Over the weekend, I nudged my family out the door to enjoy some fresh air (much needed) and to explore one of our state parks. I often lament that the good woods hikes are elsewhere, in other counties, other states. It's shameful how much I complain about this -- just ask my husband -- and I knew that I needed to get out and correct my sad impression of the places near where we live.
I should mention that we live near the Hudson River with local walks along its banks. I know, you're shaking your heads and wondering how I could possibly complain, and you're right -- we have walks that are high above in the mountains, that are as strenuous or easy as one can find. But I have since grown a bit tired of the same walks, and I also love walking in the woods. So on Saturday, we bundled ourselves up and headed off to one of our local state parks with a plan in mind. First, I knew that we needed burgers ... yes, burgers. Don't you need burgers before a long woods hike?
For years, there was a dilapidated gas station off a main road near our state park. An ingenious woman bought it and turned one portion of it into a general store and the other into a burger joint. Oh, but not just any old burger joint -- this place sells burgers made from a mixture of ground beef, short ribs, and brisket and this is their regular burger (top photo). I love trying new things so I ordered their special burger that day: two smashed short rib patties with cheese and their house barbeque sauce. Oh yeah! After, we popped into the general store for coffee, a treasure trove of pastries and prepared foods.
From there, our woods hike began -- 3.5 miles of bliss as far as I'm concerned -- and we all had a chance to catch up with each other and have uninterrupted time to talk. I'm looking forward to doing this again sometime soon.