Yesterday, Susan, Porkchop, Mike and I spent a really great afternoon off in the Gunks. After talking with people at my table during leadership class, I’d realized that in my 8 years in the Mid-Hudson Valley, I’d never actually been there yet. I found that even more amusing when I realized that I already had bought the maps for the Gunks probably 7 years ago, and they’d been sitting in my topo map pile ever since.
We hit the trail about 2:15, after stopping in New Paltz to grab lunch for the trail. After doing a leisurely stroll around the lake in Minnewaska State Park, we started at a more brisk pace to get out to Castle Point. Given the names of some of the features near there, we thought there might actually be structures there, so it seemed like a good goal. In reality, it was actually a cliff face that gave you a 200+ degree view of everything East, South, and West. It even had a small scrambling trail down over the edge, which I explored a bit. Mike’s ankle stopped being happy just about as we got to Castle Point, so he was a sad panda during the way back.
I did the hike in walking shoes instead of my normal trail running shoes, which was the right call for the 4.5 hours that we were moving. I think that I’ve realized my feet are just weird enough that 2 hours on them in almost any shoe isn’t fun. Nike / New Balance Sneakers seem to be the exception, which means the era of trail running shoes for me appears to be over, and back to sneakers it is. It had first noticed this on a whim last weekend when at the Natural History Museum with the family. Normally I end up needing to sit down quite often towards the end of the trip, both my feet and back hurting. With my white soled New Balance walking shoes on (white soled because they were gotten as Boat Shoes) it didn’t bother me at all.