to heck with ballet, let’s go hiking! (pine swamp mine)

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.

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(entrance to the mine)

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(the ceiling)

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🙂

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4 Responses to to heck with ballet, let’s go hiking! (pine swamp mine)

  1. A nature hike up to an old mine sounds so exciting! I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bolshoi Ballet perform though, but a hike sure does make it a bit better…

  2. sunbystar says:

    Awesome photos. Beautiful place for hiking.

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