When my friend Jamie invited me on a hike going up Storm King Mountain, it was perfect timing. I truly love fall, but the dipping temperatures made me feel sad and bitter. It was almost as if we were going directly into winter! But life is easier when you see the positive, so I embraced the idea of fall while being one with nature and walking under a canopy of changing leaves.
I was going to be joining a group of pals: Jamie, Ed, and James. Before we even began our journey, food got involved. With the boys getting delayed in traffic, Jamie and I met up at McDonald's first. I know. It's such a travesty to eat this stuff when we live in a city with so many delicious food options. But it's my guilty pleasure, ok? "What she order, fish filet?" Indeed, I did. I also brought some for the guys.
We have arrived!
We got out of the car and immediately started snapping away. In the parking lot. We were VERY enthusiastic about being hikers! But after we bounded onto the trail, we had to turn back and get our heavier jackets. Underneath the trees, the temperature was chilly. And since we hadn't really started moving, we were cold! Then the whole off-on with our outerwear began.
Yes, the sun!
Outerwear comes off.
Jamie's a pro.
She wanted me to try. I'm not as pro.
There was so much behind-the-scenes footage of this attempt. Failures at various angles. But I will say, my hiking team is very supportive.
Even James got into the yoga action. What is that? Upward facing dog?
James and Ed's next album cover.
I like this photo because it looks like Jamie is directing a scene for us.
Someone is making me laugh.
See, now we have all of our outerwear on here. It was so windy at the summit.
We made so many pit stops. We definitely took a lot longer than expected having our lunch. Jamie brought like 7 different sandwiches in addition to a salad, snacks, and candy. We ended up laughing at stories about the boys cutting a camping trip short because they ate all their food in one day...all while we totally scarfed down everything we brought with us. I will tell you one takeaway from this trip. All four of us are pretty obsessed with food. We have video footage of me yammering on about all the food I wanted to eat right at that moment as were walking through the forest.
We also got delayed because Jamie and James were mesmerized by this gross millipede and started recording their own Animal Planet special on it. It was quite a spectacular narration that went on regarding this thing.
Then they turned to me and had part 2 of filming when they realized that I had a baby worm ON MY NECK. Oh, we also got delayed because we got lost.
Which got us a teeny bit nervous because we were losing sunlight. And because trees like this are basically a sign that you're gonna die. Right?
Luckily, we got to the parking lot right as the sun was setting. So we made it. And conquered Storm King mountain.
Andrew and I also go upstate to visit friends and family. I actually came home from the hike on Friday and went right back up on Saturday.
Our aunt, uncle, and I relaxing on their new deck.
Besides just catching up, it's so nice to be out in nature.
One of the fun things about Aunt Elissa and Uncle Bob's property is visiting their garden and eating really FRESH vegetables!
Our city friends recently bought a house near our aunt and uncle, and I always get giddy because their enthusiasm for the country is so infectious. Frisbee on the grass, making fires outside, jumping into swimming holes in freezing weather, taking walks around the property-- all of this done with glee!
Triumphant after moving firewood
Cooking together at the house also makes me so happy!
Our friend Greg made us soft boiled eggs with muenster cheese inside. It was delicious! And I enjoyed scooping it all out with a little spoon.
This was not made at home. This was a bacon, duck egg, and cheese sandwich from Graze. Heavenly. The restaurant serves local organic food in a historic setting. Fun fact: it used to be a train station.
Anyway, eating is great in the city or in the country. But some things like enjoying a warm cup of whiskey apple cider feels perfect in a rustic environment. Things like this definitely helps me accept that winter is coming.