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Category Archives: Hiking

A different kind of Board of Directors

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This week I photographed the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Board of Directors at their headquarters in the historic Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah, New Jersey. No suits or ties for this Board…think hiking boots, Tilley hats, t-shirts and shorts…North Face, not Nordstroms.

As a longtime member of the Trail Conference, it was my pleasure to offer my services to document the board members in front of the shiny, old headquarters.

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Though the temperatures were well into the 80s and the air thick with humidity, everyone was a trouper and we made a ‘family portrait’ of a great group of volunteers. These people can clearly withstand the elements, even when conditions are brutal! I would expect no less from an organization dedicated to creating, protecting, and promoting a network of over 2,000 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey region.

Following the Board portrait, I took a photograph of the professional senior staff members on a trail right next to the front door of the HQ. I am not kidding, but 10 feet to our left was a very calm deer grazing for a while as we set up for the portraits and then decided to walk into our scene.

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If YOU want to be a part of this rugged group of individuals, become a member! Your membership to the Trail Conference supports the work of the organization, gives you opportunities to take part in volunteer projects and training workshops, and entitles you to discounts at many local outdoor stores. What more could you ask for?

Check out the NYNJTC website for more information on their work & how to become a member.

And if you’re looking for MORE adventure in the NY-NJ area, be sure to check out the online series Unboring Exploring by my Studio Manager, Krysti Sabins. She’ll take you on some of the Trail Conference’s top hiking trails, while entertaining you every step of the way! Watch an episode featuring Jersey’s own Norvin Green State Forest below:

Snow falling on cedars

Skiing Craftsbuy Outdoor Center 3-19-15_resizeIt’s St. PATRICK’S day and I’m still skiing…I can’t believe it. This is Cross-country skiing, not downhill, and I’ve passionate about XC Skiing since high school.  We were outside in the 20 degree temp for about 3 hours and covered 10 kilometers. We did this for three days! It is beautiful, and it was a treat and a privilege.20150317_131307-1_resize

 

I’m with my former Montclair next door neighbor, Bill Burhans, at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, in northern VT.  The area is called the Northeast Kingdom, and it is so far north, it might as well be Canada. There’s not much here except dairy farms and logging operations.

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3 inches of snow falling today, 2oº, beautiful conditions. This may be the best commercial Nordic center I’ve ever been to. 95km, up & down terrain, lakes, rivers, forest, views, and fabulous chili in the lodge.

20150319_201638_resizeIn the next town, West Glover, we went to hear music at Parker Pie, the only restaurant around.  This being Vermont, we had a large pizza with garlic, apple, bacon and maple syrup. That about covered all of my major food groups.20150319_201800_resize

This is New Jersey???

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It amazes me that in the most densely populated state in the Union, in the most populous county in the State, I can feel I am in the deep woods, 5 minutes away from the center of Montclair. Two days ago, I went skiing for 90 minutes in Eagle Rock Reservation, which straddles the town lines between Montclair, Verona, and West Orange,. Within 100 yards of where I parked I can get off the main trail and I feel like I’m skiing or hiking in Vermont. It is beautiful, quiet, and serene.

The value of urban parks can not be overstated. We all need these escape valves. Eagle Rock is a hidden gem of the Essex County Park System.

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Skiing with Roxy

Last weekend, I made the trek up to the northern Catskills. Schoharie County, NY, to be exact. They are experiencing the coldest February on record. The average temperature has been 9 degrees and the snow depth is about 24 inches compacted.

It sounds delicious if you like cross-country skiing. I joined Rod and Barb on the old logging trails on New York State Forest land. The day was cold, but the bright sun made it perfect for spending two hours on sticks sliding across deep snow. We followed snowmobile tracks, so we did not tire ourselves having to break trail.

I haven’t mentioned our long haired companion, Roxy. Roxy is a fantastic ski dog…happiest when bounding in the snow like a kangaroo. The cold doesn’t bother her, nor does the deep snow. The only thing she does not like about the winter are the ice balls that form between the pads of her paws.XC Skiing with Roxy

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At the NY-NJ Trail Conference HQ

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is one of my favorite non-profit organizations.  If you hike anywhere in New Jersey, the Catskills, Shawanagunks, or the Hudson Valley in New York, then you know that their maps are the best and they do an amazing job creating and maintaining all of the great trails and promoting the Great Outdoors.

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This year is an important milestone for the Conference. Construction is almost complete on their new headquarters in the repurposed 1891 Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah, New Jersey. A superb example of restoring an architectural landmark, the new headquarters will house a training center and meeting space in a “green,” energy-efficient building.

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This spring, I’ve volunteered to photograph their board of directors at their May board meeting. This morning, while dressed in my Pillsbury Doughboy jacket,  I met with Ed Goodell (right), the Executive Director to plan the location shoot. I’m planning on updating the old photograph with the current Board in front of the new building. Hopefully, the Port-o-Johnny will not be in use on the day of the shoot.

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