Hike with Grandma Beth: A roundup of autumn hikes and walks –
In 2021, Pashley participated in the American Heart Association’s 100 Miles in January challenge, and while she didn’t meet the requirements for the challenge, she came awfully close with a total of 90 miles. A resilient spirit at heart, Pashley said a fellow hiker of hers presented her with an intriguing new challenge; 1,000 mile hike in 2022. Pashley’s initial reaction was that the challenge was perhaps a bit of a stretch, but still a possibility.
“Looking at the numbers, I convinced myself it was doable…just under 3 miles a day of the year or 85 miles a month,” Pashley said. “Of course, some days life gets in the way and it might not be possible to hike, but other days a longer hike might be in order and it would be average. Well, I’m currently at 775 miles, so I need to step up my game a bit if I hope to get there! I will need to average 3.5 miles for the rest of the year at this point to complete the challenge. (I only count the hikes [and] walk miles, not miles or steps at work or around the house or yard, etc.)”
Pashley said she doesn’t use a Fitbit that counts every step all day, but prefers a hiking app that tracks mileage and elevation, and also maps her hike.
“I like to start most days, if I can, with a hike downtown,” Pashley said. “It’s funny that in Old Forge we call it ‘Uptown’ whatever direction you’re from and in Utica…and I guess most towns have both an Uptown and a Downtown. ”
Pashley then ventures up Maple Ridge and through the mountain bike trail system.
“[We have] awesome trails right here in the heart of the city,” Pashley said. “[I crisscross] back and forth, [so] it’s not hard to get my miles. My ‘usual’ route takes me past the lakefront and Old Forge Pond twice. I am obsessed with photos of the pond and marvel at the beautiful scenes I see every day. And of course, there’s everyone’s favorite yellow boathouse, prominently displayed across the pond.
What some may consider repetitive, Pashley finds solace, as she often captures photographs of the same (or similar) scene, but for her, the time of day, the lighting, the reflections in the pond, weather conditions and time of year, make each image stand out among the others.
“I tend to take the same photos over and over again, and I’m sure people [may] I get tired of them when I post them on social media,” Pashley joked. “I also love the beautiful reflections in the water when the light is right.”
Pashley said one of the most memorable events was a trip to Beaver River on the tracks from Woods Lake Station, just north of Big Moose Station.
“[It] turned out to be a 10 mile hike (round trip) and it’s always a bit harder to walk on train tracks compared to a trail or path,” Pashley said. “It was exhausting, at my age (68), but good for my 1,000 mile challenge!”
What’s next for Grandma Beth? It could be a trip back to Beaver River (via the Thompson Ferry from Stillwater Reservoir Landing)…no hiking on the train tracks!
Enjoy the following roundup of Pashley’s most recent walks/events during the month of October:
Photo above: Old Forge resident Beth Pashley at Cascade Mountain in 2021. Photo courtesy of Beth Pashley.
All photos by Beth Pashley.