since seeing seeing the bolshoi ballet alongside the rest of new york balletomania is not exactly in my budget (never mind that it has been sold out for ages) i have once again immersed myself in the beauty of nature as a means to feed my soul. (also, i am somehow not as desperately drawn to the bolshoi as maybe i should be? obviously they must be fantastic and i would have certainly loved to see olga smirnova dance swan lake, but i’m not horribly torn to pieces over missing them. go figure. i mean, i would like to see them and all but i’m not devastated or anything like how i am over having to miss the vail dance festival, you know).
so anyway, the other day i woke up and it was a beautiful day, low on humidity and heavy on sunshine, so i headed up to harriman state park for a little hike to pine swamp mine. it was, for the most part, not a difficult hike but a beautiful one, with a variety of interesting features. there were dark woodsy stretches, a stunning overlook, the occasional stream or brook, a lovely swamp (i realize swamps do not generally sound like something lovely but just trust me here- it was quite pretty)! but the most intriguing feature was the mine itself. to get to the mine one has to leave the main trail and hike up something of a steep incline. my knees were not so happy about this and my knee with the torn meniscus complained quite a bit actually, but i chose to ignore it as there was no way i was not going up to the mine. (i regretted this a tiny bit the next morning in ballet class as my knee didn’t just whine, but bitched loudly and demanded i leave class before jumps 😦 ). so once i managed the harrowing, life threatening ascent (totally kidding, it was just a steep hill) to the mine i found myself facing a rocky cliff with a small pond at it’s base and the cave-like entrance to the mine on my left.
now, i am not usually one to freak out over being alone in the woods or anything but something about entering the mine had me just a bit on edge. chirping birds aside, it was eerily silent, save for the echo of my footsteps. as i ever so slowly approached the mouth of the cave i had to tiptoe through a swampy bit that lined the pond and in doing so startled a frog who plopped loudly into the water, scaring the bloody hell out of me! i nearly jumped out of my skin! dumb, stupid frog. once i settled down i continued into the mine and honestly – while it was indeed very cool it was not even scary or creepy at all. it was not very big, (i guess i was hoping to venture into some deep, dark cavernous tunnel or something) and there were no menacing bats or snakes or anything. well, i didn’t see any at least. i didn’t unearth any big lumps of previously overlooked silver either. damn it. but oh well, it was still awesome so i hung out for a bit and tried to take pictures and then i continued on my merry way- chasse’-ing over hill and dale, nimbly jete’-ing across brooks and streams. 😉
okay….well, maybe i wasn’t all that graceful hiking back to my car but whatever. here are a few photos i took, although i fear they don’t do justice to the breathtaking beauty of it all.
(entrance to the mine)