I haven’t gone on a hike since 1961 when President Kennedy asked all Americans to take a 50-mile hike for physical fitness. I did it then. With a large group of my schoolmates and friends. We walked from Sidney to Oneonta and back.
It was the last hike I ever went on.
Until last weekend.
Last Sunday just seemed like a “Hey, gang, let’s do something as a family!” kind of a day. Somehow, though nobody really knows why, a hike was suggested. Somehow, although nobody really knows why, I agreed.
We chose Vroman’s Nose in Schoharie County as our target. I’ve always marveled at this 25,000-year-old natural oddity that juts up and out of the fertile farmlands just like a, well, a nose. The Vroman name is long associated with the founding families of the county. Whether they had prominent honkers or not is left up to speculation.
We arrived at our base camp just outside of Middleburgh at about noon. Now, when I say base camp I don’t mean the tent-filled, multi-national, Tibetan-flag flying base camp you’d see at the foot of the Himalayas. No, this base camp was a little more subtle.
It was a gravel parking lot with room for six cars.
Before we started up the mountain, my wife and our 16-year old checked our supplies for the trek. Water, granola bars, fresh fruit, first aid kit. Check. What, no meatball subs?
Both Joey and Trish are experienced hikers, having enjoyed many a sojourn up and down the peaks of the Adirondacks over the years. Our dog, the intrepid Stella, accompanied us on the hike, ever pulling, ever sniffing, ever on the lookout for woodland dangers lurking in the forests surrounding us.
And up we began. The bottom passage on Vroman’s Nose is a wide, even, cleared and gently sloping path that really is not exerting in the least. A piece of cake, I thought.