Spring is here, thank goodness. And although I'm totally on this "live in the present" kick, I also want to take a second to appreciate where I've been wandering this winter.
Full disclosure: winter is my least favorite season. After the holidays, it's really just a bunch of bundling up in blanket scarves. And when you're as small as I am, it's hard to stay super warm in any situation. I'd rather be soaking up the sun by the lake in summertime, and breaking out my favorite bikinis instead. But, my sneakers and boots did get to check a few things off the bucket list despite all the snow -- so I guess I can't be too mad that the chilly weather has stuck around through March.
Hiking in the winter is quite an adventure if you've never been. In the fall, the trails are effortlessly beautiful with saturated leaves and afternoons that are still a little warm. In the summer, it's the same effect -- except everywhere you look it's endless amounts of greenery and instantly the world feels like it's alive.
The couple of hikes I did were in temperatures I would seriously never seek out. In January, I spent a day feeling all my winter blues by the waterfalls of Bash Bish Falls State Park in Copake, NY -- right near the Massachusetts border and Taconic State Park -- with photographer, travel filmmaker, and super cool boyfriend, Kevin Savage. You start at the top of the trail and follow it all the way down to the falls, which at this time of the year was half frozen. My Brandy Melville jean jacket fit right into the mood, making for the most ideal photo shoot.
Another, much shorter trail, takes you higher and lets you see the mountains from almost their peak point. There's truly nothing that will put everything in perspective like being on top of a mountain and looking out at the world.
The best part of going to Bash Bish? The road trip you have to take to get to it. You'll lose service at certain points, but you'll want to play some alternative music and soak in your surroundings anyways. The falls sits right in the valley of two of the mountains, and coming up on them will feel a little other-worldly -- let alone the moment when you drive right into the crack.
My other winter hike was full of slippery spots for my sneakers, that oddly made for an afternoon well spent with my best friend. I have done the trails at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT so many times before because it's right across the street from my school (Once you graduate, can you still call it that?) My roommates and I would head up to the top on the reg -- although I only dared to do the spot where you can see all of campus when it was the peak of summer and could channel my inner rock climber.
On that day right at the end of January, the main trail was a bit packed because it was one of those weird moments when it's supposed to be winter but the weather is warm. Despite the sweeter temps, the trail still had uphill spots covered in ice -- and it took everything in my legs to keep from slipping all the way down the side of the mountain. That's what spin class preps us for though, right?
I own it up to my days of summer camp and dance for making me so okay with trusting my feet and following them throughout all these winter hikes. Icy spots quickly turned to way too much mud, and it's safe to say my sneakers will have a few permanent stains.
Sure, these hikes didn't take me too far. My dented Honda Accord alone wouldn't make it much on the highway, especially in winter weather. But, next stop is the White Mountains in New Hampshire, hopefully. So, stay tuned because this year's hiking trips have only just started and it'll be so much better when everything is just blooming this spring.
Love always, Marisa