Wawayanda lake and state park, I read about it on a wall advertisement in the Newark Airport and then always wanted to go there. Later on I found out that a 20 mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) passes through the park. This trail is something I have been wanting to explore for a long long time. So now it was 'two birds with an arrow' outing for me. After several of my plans brought no luck over most part of summer, I saw a light of hope when Girish was coming to NJ and showed interest in trekking. And so it happened.
We started very early in the morning - 9:00 AM and reached by the time it was just about getting hot. We started immediately and kept a speed of about 5 mph. It was decided that we will walk as much as we can till lunch time and then after lunch, Girish and Shubha will go back. I am mentioning this because many people asked after seeing pics - whatever happened to Girish and Shubha?
Till lunch everything went smoothly. We were on track and were on map as well. Ganesh had made the arrangements for food and he had done a good job - although he did it for satisfying his tummy rather than for doing a good job. So he "took care" of the food. While we were eating a rather jolly older gentleman passed us. He greeted us and we spoke for about 2 min. We offered him food and water but he insisted that he had to cover a lot of distance and moved on. We finished our lunch and Girish and Shubha left.
So, four of use decided not to turn back. First thing we did was that we got ourself four thick sticks, just in case. We continued, shouting and speeding. Ganesh said he wanted to walk up front, so that if a bear comes then it will go for him. FYI: Ganesh is fattest in the group. We all knew that if a bear did show up then it will definitely go for him. They also know a good deal when they see it, the wild animals you know - less work more pay. Who wouldnt want it? We heard foot steps and no voices, so we got cautious. As it is any and all noises were making us all ears and this was clearly someone walking. Could this be the wandering bear? That too it was a female, who are very protective of their cubs. We waited and waited. They were humans. Two of them, father and son. They came closer and spoke to us. After Hi, Hello they asked where we were from? Shishir answered, "Lake Wawayanda." We didnt know whether to laugh or what. But, I guess he was too concerned with bears to think straight at the time. Father guy said, "No I mean, are you from India? I said, "Yes." He laughed, "Ohh! How very nice. Raj Kapoor." I was like what??? of all the people in India you know Raj Kapoor? But anyways, I like Raj Kapoor, so yeeeeee. He then said that they were from Israel and asked if I knew about it.I said, "Yeah, sure!" and then we went separate ways. Before we could get back to worrying about bears he sang from back, "Ichak Dana Bichak Dana Dane Upar Dana." OMG, I was ROTFLOL. We all were, although, I did not think Ganesh really understood why we were laughing. He is from Chennai, I dont think I need to say anything more. Back to track, now why would he remember this song of all the awesome old hindi songs? Now I had to return the favor somehow and show that Indians know about other world as well. I yelled, "Zohaaaan!" It cant get more lame than that. And yes, in the sprit of spreading the joy, we told them that there is a wild bear nearby - you should have seen their faces. It was important to warn them, but the main reason we told them was for the weird comfort that you get in finding that there are more people just as screwed up as you are.
Anyways, by now we had exhausted most of our food stock and more importantly, water. It was very hot, we were sweating like crazy and there was no water left. Ganesh went crazy. He took of his shirt and started walking topless. All I cold see was hundreds of pounds of meat jumping around. Definitely, we were gonna attract bears and God knows what all animals. But, there is usually no point in telling Ganesh, when he is hungry or when he is driving. It doesnt register in his brain. But Gahesh wasnt the only one having trouble. Shishir was having difficulty in breathing. There was something wrong there, either it was too humid, misty, pollens, or we were too tired, or may be all of these, I couldnt figure out, but it really was hard to breath. Shishir was lagging behind considerably and Prashanth and Ganesh were running. I was caught in between trying to coordinate. Moving on, we crossed the small wall again. It was now much clearer and we were going up and up. Somehow we reached a point where there was log book.
I hope you enjoyed it. Lets see when I get my next adventure and next blog :)