Hm 2014, WHERE TO BEGIN?! This past year was jam PACKED with some superfantastic adventures, many of which at new, GRAND places. Perhaps that’s an allusion to…the Grand Canyon? Or is it just an illusion...?
I get a little carried away sometimes, but you secretly love it.
WELL this entry will not include every single little thing we did in 2014, but I think it’s a good recap of our year.
Winter last year was BRIMMING with snowfall and excellent XC-skiing opportunities. It was our first year trying out the sport consistently, and what fun it was! Aside from exploring the trails of High Point State Park, we cruised along the white conglomerate-lined & pitch pine-laden paths of Minnewaska State Park in the Gunks (below). [video HERE]
While temperatures remained consistently FREEZING, XC-skiing warms you right up, allowing for an extended jaunt through Minnewaska’s snowy trails.
Once winter FINALLY ended…in April…we immediately took advantage of the ice-free trails of Mohonk Preserve. While it was our second time completing Bonticou Crag, it felt more rewarding this time around. With the newfound warmth and sunshine of spring, conquering this craggy scramble was a superb way to welcome the season. [video HERE]
The top of Bonticou Crag
Soon after Bonticou’s scramble, we took on the Giant Stairs of Palisades Interstate Park in NJ and NY. If you have not considered this hike yet, I INSIST you discover it this spring. It has a waterfall, rock scrambles, immaculate views of the Hudson, and so much more! Proper scrambling footwear required, of course ;) . [video HERE]
Once May came along with buds a poppin’ and birds a singin’, we biked 33 miles along the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in NJ. From Lamberville to Frenchtown, the route was a wonderful way to take in Spring’s bounty.
For my birdnerds, I personally explored Richard W. DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands in order to observe the incoming migrants of Spring! I thoroughly geeked out while spotting Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, and Yellow-Rumped Warblers…aka Butter-Butts! Cannot wait for this years migration… [video HERE]
Mid-May brought us our BIG trip out west to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Sedona. We took in the GRANEDUR of Grand Canyon National Park and all its layery goodness along its dusty trails and sweeping vistas. [Bright Angel Trail video HERE]
South Kaibob Trail
From the Grand Canyon, we drove to Zion National Park, tackling its otherworldly Narrows, as well as the soaring Angel’s Landing. I will be remembering those hikes forevermore, methinks. [Narrows video HERE, Angel's Landing video HERE]
Angel's Landing peak
Looking up at Angel's Landing
In between Zion and Sedona, we stopped over at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. An incoming storm created a sinister backdrop for the peachy-keen dunes, and a more than epic-looking photo op. I appear to be heading to my…Dune. Ha ha ha (I had to).
From this wildly unique landscape, we traveled to Sedona, filled with vortexes, crystals, and red rock wonderlands.
After our western journey, we headed back east to continue our escapades. Once June came along, we were ready to hit up the beloved Adirondacks. We camped at Lake George, paddling its vast waters and perusing its system of campable islands. What fun it would be to have an island all to yourself, chillin’ with friends and surrounded by the lakes lapping waters…also a nice daydream during this season ;) . [video HERE]
July lead us to explore the wondrous water features of Pennsylavania, including Dingman’s Falls in the Delaware Water Gap…
…and Glen Onoko Falls in Jim Thorpe.
We also took time to bike the Lehigh Valley Gorge while in Jim Thorpe, loving the sights and sounds along its waterways. [video HERE]
August brought about my second EVER backpacking trip along the Cornell-Witternberg-Slide loop in the Catskills. Through thick vegetation we strolled and up sizable boulders we climbed in order to complete the 16 mile trip. [blog entry HERE]
While I need to work on my nerves when it comes to sleeping in the über silence and solitude of the forest, I am pretty darn eager to backpack again this coming season :) .
September began with a BANG when we ventured to Acadia National Park for the second time since 2010. It was a trip filled with nostalgia and newfound appreciation for our love of hiking and the outdoors.
The first time we went I was a newbie hiker and outdoorslady who’s first thought when hearing scramble was eggs. This time ‘round, I scrambled Precipice and hopped along Maine’s rugged coastline with confidence and a fresh perspective on how far I’ve come as a spokesperson for these inspiring places. [Precipice video HERE]
Rolling into fall, we took in the PEAK of foliage at Little Pond Campground in the Catskills. A lovely spot for peace and relaxation amongst the Catskills’ hardwood forests and glassy lakes.
After the first dusting of snow in November, we traveled up to Minnewaska State Park Preserve and trekked to Gertrude’s Nose.
This is absolutely another hike for your to-do list once spring arrives. The Gunks do not disappoint with their unique, and sometimes precarious landscapes found nowhere else! [blog entry HERE]
Before year’s end and snows commenced, we traveled around Harriman State Park, including Almost Perpendicular and Elbow Brush. Both great destinations and splendid ways to explore new areas of the park. Please see my enthusiasm below:
So there you have it! A “brief” recap of our adventures in 2014. From iron-runged rock scrambles to wading through the Virgin River, we certainly ran the gamut of terrains and destinations! Something tells me 2015 will be no different…
Cheers to 2015!