Because of alternate side parking, you can't leave your car parked in one spot and go on vacation for a week, or you'll get a $45 parking ticket and a big, neon green, hard-to-remove sticker on your window that says something like "this street wasn't cleaned properly and it's your fault!" So if you own a car and you want to go somewhere without it, you have to ask someone to move it for you while you're gone.
This is why we have access to a car this week. We've been trying to take advantage of it. Last Sunday morning, we loaded up the car with ourselves and our dog and drove to Boonton, New Jersey's Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area to go for a hike. The weather has been quite nice this week — cool and breezy. Sunday was likewise pleasant. It was overcast and sprinkled on us once or twice for a minute or two. But we had our raincoats and were sheltered by a canopy of leaves and branches, so we didn't mind.
This is a map of the park and all its trails. The path we took is marked in purple.
Being in the woods and hiking on trails marked with "blazes" stirred up our Appalachian Trail aspirations again. While we hiked we shared remembrances of A Walk in the Woods, the Bill Bryson book about hiking the AT, that Husband and I read together last summer. We even discussed spending our annual anniversary trip hiking and camping in New England with the dog instead of going to Europe which was our preliminary plan. We'll see.
I have always liked hiking. I love the woods and being in nature. I like the smell of it and the way the sun shines through millions of leaves. Last summer we took Mo with us for the first time and my love of hiking increased by a power of ten. A dog with the freedom to run in the woods while having the assurance of her owners' presence on the path not far away is the happiest creature in the world. The bounding through the underbrush, the splashing in streams along the path is a guaranteed spirit lifter if the glory of the woods isn't enough for you. Mo spends the whole hike running ahead or to the sides about 30 yards and then turning around and running back to us to make sure we're still there. As if to say, "Hey guys, are you still coming? I love you" before she runs off again.
A beautiful day, in the indescribable beauty of the woods, with my beloved husband and the happiest dog in the world, I'll be surprised if I find anything better than this.