Independence Day

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When John sports a neckerchief, it is a sure sign we are going to have a fun summer’s day excursion.  We didn’t have a specific plan, but had agreed to a framework the night before: get up early and go for a hike someplace where we could bring Jack and be back by 4:00 to go to celebrations in our neighborhood.

We thought we could determine our hiking destination over breakfast, which would be a quick stop at the Happy Market in our town.  Sadly, the Happy Market was closed for the holiday.

We drove to a neighboring town and hoped we would find someplace suitable to serve us our American Independence Day breakfast.  And that is how we arrived at Noches de Colombia.

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Toting our backpack and camera, we looked and felt like tourists.  Other patrons in the restaurant were speaking spanish and ordering things they were familiar with.  We pointed to the photos in the menu of the egg dishes we wanted and ordered cups of Cafe con Leche and a mango juice; the day was off to a delicious and adventuresome start.

We had brought a guidebook with us titled ‘Take A Hike New York City.’  We bought the book a few years ago and had not cracked it open yet.  When John read to me that “Few trails pack so much scenery into so few miles as this loop up and around Storm King Mountain” – our day’s itinerary was set.

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It was beautiful driving along the scenic Palisades Parkway.
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Our travel time was over an hour.  Just long enough for a typically energetic Jack Russell to become a snoozehound at my feet.
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We arrived at the trailhead at 11:00 AM.  The climb was steep in the beginning,
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but we were sure-footed and nimble-pawed.
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In a short amount of time we were rewarded with beautiful vistas.
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At times it felt like we were on top of the world.
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We also appreciated the breaks from the blazing sun when the trail dipped into the woods.
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At one point we all stopped to take in the sound of the breeze in the trees.
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We only got lost once, and were back in the car in 2-1/2 hours.

We decided to look for lunch at the nearest town and  found a 4th of July Festival in the center of Cornwall-On-Hudson.  We perused the various food offerings such as Lucky Cow vegetarian foods and fresh juices,

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and Fried Dough and Jumbo Grilled Pretzels.
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As tempting as fried dough is on a 90 degree day, I was glad to see John delivering our falafel wraps and apple & mint lemonades from the Lucky Cow food truck.
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When we got home, we freshened up before going to Suzanne’s for a glass of wine with her friends Neal and Janet and a visiting western Tibetan lama.  Then we had a beer with contractors Tom and Pete at the end of their workday at The Destruction.  Finally we went to Matt and Deb’s for dinner and celebrated with about 20 friends.

It was fun indulging our independent spirit on this Independence Day.  With a sense of adventure John and I enjoyed pleasures that are around us everyday, such as nature, the great american landscape, friends, neighbors, and each other.

live. enjoy. repeat.

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