The summer and fall of 2016, I had done some wild wandering in the outskirts of NYC; exploring the bounty and beauty of nature, local gems and the grace of humanity that can be found in Hudson Valley.  This is the first article in a series of four, following her journey as she offers insights for meditative adventuring solo or with a companion.

When the train approaches Croton-Harmon, you get a tantalizing glimpse of a forested peninsula jutting away into the Hudson river as a peaceful bay sits cozily at the base of an enormous grassy hill.  Then in a few moments, it’s gone and the view is replaced with a large MTA station hub and multi-track station.

Don’t despair.  This is your stop!

When you get off the train follow the exits up and down, walking out to the large parking lot.  You now have a choice - if you brought a lunch, you can walk up the long sidewalk to the overpass.  If you didn’t bring food or water, take the sidewalk up to the main road and head to your right.  When you see a gas station at an intersection straight ahead, take that left to choose from a variety of delis to grab some sustenance.

Great!  Now that your food is sorted, head back to that overpass.  It’s a 15-20 minute stroll depending on your pace.  As the road curves around to the left you might be tempted to hike up the first hill you see on the right…..Wait. For. It.

Keep going with the road and eventually you’ll see park grounds and an even BIGGER hill with paths around it.  This is the hill you’ve been waiting for.  The one that beckoned you from the train.  Climb it.

As you ascend, note the beautiful abundance of wildflowers, asters and mugwort that abounds around you.  As you take each step, observe what’s moving around you.  For me it was legions of young grasshoppers jumping like confetti with every move I made.  You’re a part of the landscape now and it’s welcoming you with open arms.

When you get to the top, pause.  Turn around.  This is your hill.  With a gorgeous 360 degree view of the bay, the forest peninsula ahead of you and the majestic Hudson river, you can’t help but sigh.  You can find a path to wander around and then rest for a while, as I did.  Or you can be even more adventurous; go down the side of the hill, past the campgrounds and claim the forest and river as your very own.

        Choose your adventure.

                        Choose your bliss.

Originally posted in Las Brujas de Yerbas

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