Sunday, September 19, 2010

Country Life

**PIctures added 10am Sunday***
We are in the Catskills for the weekend, yay!

A long overdue break from city life. It's been too many months since I've had a real vacation -- one where I rest and do nothing that I don't want to do (within reason).

We hiked up Overlook Mountain today, it's about five miles round trip -- 2.5 miles straight up, and 2.5 straight down. The path is well tended, wide and with some loose gravel over rocks and stones. Very easy, if slightly one-note (I preferred our last crazy hike, which had dips and streams and tree trunks to climb over). At the very top -- about 1,400 ft elevation -- is an old abandoned hotel, or the remnants of it, and a tall, six-story fire tower that affords incredible views into four neighboring states.

This pic below is the sign-in station, run by weekend volunteers who hike up the mountain, sit in chairs at the summit and answer questions. Oh, and they bring nice homemade treats, as you can see here. They were slightly burnt, but I ate one anyway (of course).

Alas, I can't speak to the amazing views because I got three flights up this slender, steel structure and the vertigo kicked in. I panicked, got overcome with that horrible hollow feeling in my stomach and legs and knew I couldn't go on. I backed down. The b/f went all the way up, but he couldn't brag about it, because he was the one who started whimpering and whining halfway up the hike and wanted to quit. Hah! I said no way, Jose. We started this, and we are finishing it. And we did, with him scowling and gasping and going on like he was about to expire on the spot. He's a bit of a drama queen, if I haven't mentioned that before.

I found the hike up to be quite easy, in that you didn't have to worry much about where you put your feet, and I worked up a real lather, but felt great the whole time. At one point I was walking backwards up the hill to give my knees a break and nearly stepped on a huge black snake. It chose that moment to slowly ease across the path. The b/f actually spotted it and gave a shout, preventing me from smishing the poor thing (and scaring myself out of my own skin, I might add).

Despite the b/f pouting, we did have a good time, and the view from the top was spectacular, even without scaling the fire tower rather precariously perched on a big slab of rock way up top of the mountain.

I found the way down excrutiatingly painful. My knees were killing me and I'm icing them now.

All the walking today was grand, but I am afraid I have not been doing well food-wise on this trip.

I was down 2 lbs this week when I got on the scales before I left, and I was proud to have a loss even after my mildly indulgent French dinner last week. I had all sorts of plans for this weekend, and everything went out the window on Saturday as we traveled up here.

We got stuck in a massive traffic jam getting out of the city -- and that was after a 60-minute delay getting the car, and dropping off keys to the cat-sitter.

So what should have been a 9am start was really more like 11:30am start. We'd planned to stop on the way for a healthy breakfast (I'd had two bananas around six o'clock that morning to tide me over) but that wasn't going to happen at that point.

We sat in traffic for so long we were about to go crazy, so I ran into a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and the healthiest choice they had -- a biscuit with sausage, no cheese, no eggs. It was 260 cals. I figured it's better than a donut, which would have no protein and leave me hungry again in all of 20 seconds.

Proof positive that I get hungrier faster than other people -- by 1pm I was starving again. The b/f was completely non-committal about eating lunch. I hate it when I'm starved and others are not. Mind you, I'd also eaten two bananas that he had not. He'd had the sausage biscuit and nothing else. I would have eaten one of his arms at that point but he needed both for driving.

I grumpily abstained along with him. Not smart. By the time we got settled in the cabin, I was ravenous. I scarfed two big protein bars when we went to buy groceries -- a vain attempt not to shop while hungry. We didn't do too badly, but I got trail know, for my big hike today. Except I started eating it last night. Trail mix is very fattening, and I had several handfuls.

Then I got into the cheese with dill we bought...oh god. So good. And some tortilla chips with homemade salsa our host left for us. My eating was so out of whack that when the boyfriend finally finished cooking dinner around 9pm, I ate the entire massive portion even though at that point I was no longer hungry at all and had to groaningly stuff in the last bites (it was a huge steak and potato dinner). I ate to a point of fullness I never want to experience again....but still had trouble shutting off the eating impulse!

Finally I just went to bed. Today (so far) has been better, starting with a proper breakfast, and I made sure to bring a low-cal homemade sandwich on the hike with fruit and trail mix. But I limited the trail mix intake, given my problems last night.

It just goes to show... it doesn't pay to get too hungry. Nothing good can come of it.

We're about to have dinner tonight, squash, lean turkey burgers and salad. Then I will definitely be ready to hit the hay.


  1. Sounds like an fun-filled day. I have to say, I don't think I could have made it up to the sixth floor either. I just cannot handle things like that so well. Like you, I would have tried though!

  2. Great job on the hike, Ish!! Yeah, not a success on the eating yesterday, but today, it sounds like you were mindful of those problems and worked on them. And that's ddefinitely cause for a cheer!!