We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
The Tarpmaster had back-to-back business travel upstate and to Long Island over the past and coming week, so we had a rental car over the weekend. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go upstate for some outdoor adventure. We planned an excursion to New Paltz, with a hike in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a visit to Adair Vineyards, and dinner at Rock Da Pasta in town, which offers gluten-free options.
The New York City Department of Transportation is taking the current biking boom seriously! They're sponsoring two fun-sounding events in early August.
Art Ride: Guided Bicycle Tour of Rockaway! Public Arts Festival at Fort Tilden
Sunday, August 3, 2014
I just heard about a new nature walks group for 5-7 year olds in the Prospect Park area. Organizer Alicia Tait has experience working with children educationally at the New York Botanical Garden and at Studio Creative Play in Park Slope.
NYC Wildflower Week comes back this year for the week of May 8-10. This is a wonderful series of events that bring attention to the city's endangered and vanishing plants and natural environments. This year there will be more than 30 events in all 5 boroughs. Check out the website at nycwildflowerweek.org for more information—coming soon or sign up for the mailing list to get an advance sneak peek.
The winter edition of the Parks Department's quarterly publication, Outdoors in NYC, is available online now in a PDF version. Outdoors in NYC lists all of the free activities and programs throughout the parks system in the five boroughs. From Winter Photography to Emergency Preparedness, the Urban Park Rangers have programs that are perfect for individuals and families—and all are free!
It's finally happened: the boys are at the age to rebel against what their parents want, and for us now that means going camping. Sigh. They actually just grumbled a bit about going and of course had a great time once we set off. That was a couple of hours later than we had hoped/planned; we weren't all packed and ready to go till about 5:30. The drive is about two and a half hours without traffic, and we also had to stop for some groceries and dinner on the way. Traffic getting out of the city wasn't too terrible, but we didn't stop until after 8, somewhere between Islip and Patchogue.
It was another beautiful weekend so we headed back to Jacob Riis Park for the day on Saturday, and once again had a lovely time. We brought our Kelty sunshade instead of just a tarp and it worked much better, although we had to move the panniers to a different bike to accommodate it.
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Great Kids, Great Outdoors blog has a very helpful post on kids and backpacks. How heavy should my child's backpack be?
I frequently think my kids' school packs are heavier than they should be, but they did great with the real thing on the Appalachian Trail last summer.
The summer edition of the Urban Park Rangers' publication Outdoors in NYC is now available in PDF form. It lists all the free weekend events that the Urban Park Rangers offer in parks throughout the city. These programs enable adults and families to experience the natural world in new and unexpected ways. They include canoeing, fishing, hiking, special programs for kids and families, and wildlife viewing.
We decided to do a family bike trip out to the beach at Jacob Riis Park on Sunday, and had a great time despite a couple of snafus in the form of flat tires.