As the house is being removed from the property, the contents also had to go. So I went back to get a couple of things.
Luckily for me a few friends came along. And how did I reward them? With a 6 mile hike in Jamaica State Park! Yeah! How awesome is that?!!
To Hamilton Falls no less.
Which starts off at a reasonable grade - flat - for nearly two miles:
Along the West River, which was extra high due to it being Dam Release weekend and was full of kayakers.
Oh and I also figured out where Tic Tacs come from:
We jaunted along until we came to the bit where the sign says "Hamilton Falls" and an arrow points upward into the sky.
Should have paid attention to that part really.
Because the path literally veers off at a steep angle for a mile upward. Something like this:
This trail nearly killed me. True story.
I'd hike and hike and hike, then rest a second to re-inflate the lungs. Then look up and realize that there was a sh*tload of trail to go. All up fricking hill.
However this is what awaits you at the top of the trail:
And since I was over-heating at that point I went in, followed by the two lads I was with:
Let me just tell you: THE WATER WAS COLD.
It was so cold that the minute I got in, every single tiny cell and fiber of my being shut down and all I could think about was OUT.
GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT NOW!!!
Yeah. That kind of cold.
After I got out and brought my core temp back to normal, I actually felt refreshed enough to tackle the trek back. And then we headed back to the camp for the night and grilled a couple of steaks on the woodstove.
The next day was all about a big camp breakfast and packing. It was sad. I don't want to think about it. But fortunately I was with some really fantastic people who made the whole thing 100% easier.
Before we left I took a photo of the yard:
And of the big tree in the yard:
Because it is the tall silent sentry that always made me so reassured about staying in the little house in the woods.
There is something magical the way the clearing where the house sat was surrounded by tall, swaying pines. Sometimes the entire clearing would be covered in great drifts of sparkling white snow and though the other trees would be bare and the bright moonlight would reflect off the crystallized snow and highlight the massive pines, gently waving in the wind.
I am truly grateful to at least have had the opportunity to enjoy the camp.