Hiking Challenge Day Two: Chasing Ghosts
Have you ever heard of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?
Growing up in New York, I had heard the tale more than a few times when Halloween rolled around--pretty much my favorite holiday, BTWs--but I suppose with the movie being a thing (Johnny Depp is really hot in it too, just saying), most people have heard of the place in some shape or form. The honest story though?
It's not actually real. The place, I mean. The story, with the headless dude running around at night, is obviously real.
No but for actual real, Washington Irving kinda made the place up, but chose Tarrytown in New York to be the setting, and then years later the town voted to be renamed Sleepy Hollow in honors of its literary heritage. Or maybe just for the tourist attraction. Either way, this is the place I chose as my next hiking destination.
Let the Ghost Hunt begin.
So my intention for the day had been to find the Aqueduct. The honest, factual truth? I never did find it. Yeah, that's right; I guess, in a way, this was a failed mission. But really, I can explain--what happened was that, after crossing this super rad bridge that stretched over the highway--it came out of nowhere, bursting into sight just as a rounded a bend in the trail--there was a fork in the road. One way led to the trail I was supposed to be on. But with my newfound confidence gifted by my AllTrails GPS, which diminished my chances of getting lost just enough for boldness to fill the void, I decided to take a little detour.
"Little detour" turned into "most of the hike" shortly thereafter.
The trail turned out to be something called "Thirteen Bridges Trail", right next to a place called "Gory Brook"--appropriately named, I suppose. I don't know what it is, but I definitely have a thing for tiny little bridges you walk over on hiking trails. Maybe it's the way the wood sounds, all hollow and rustic, as you trample over. Or maybe because it means there's gunna be a little creek passing underneath, with the water glistening against the rays of sunlight. Either way, I don't regret taking that different path. It just means that I'm probably going to go back to investigate all the other little trails I found around there.
Eventually, I did make my way back to the Aqueduct Trail, though I didn't follow it all the way through to its proclaimed highlight. Instead, I passed by this huge, seemingly endless field of picturesque yellow grass. It felt like I was on the set of some colonial western, and the scene was so sudden. Kinda like the bridge, it just appeared through the break in the trees, smiting my senses with its beauty. I think it was part of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, but I couldn't be sure. Either way, I was taken with the rolling hills, tumbling away into the unknown beyond.
Also, I saw a dog around there, so like, day made.
In the end, I walked a little over eight miles--a marked increase from the day prior, so I was impressed with myself. I hardly felt exhausted, but rather, content with everything. I intend fully to make my way back here.
And maybe I'll like, actually see the Aqueduct this time. Or I'll run into some wild turkeys again. Have you ever seen those things run? They kinda just, lean forward and dart. It's hysterical, they're trying so hard.
Much Love, Actual