Meltdown on the Mountain – Hiking with Kids Doesn’t Have to Be Painful!

My big kids trying to stop our friend's 4 year old tired kid from melting down while hiking.

My big kids trying to stop our friend’s tired 4 year old from melting down. (Hiking the Rubicon Trail in Tahoe.)

Hiking with Kids Doesn’t Have to Be Painful!

I hate that awful feeling when you’re in the middle of a hike with your young children, you still have a mile or more to hike back to the car or to your camping destination, and they decide to either flop over, melt-down, or they declare they’re too tired to go on. Whining commences, you begin to lose your patience, and come close to forgetting that this hike is supposed to be a fun and happy family experience. When my children were young, I found a few methods of bribing the little ones to keep going and helping them forget that they’re tired or bored. I’d love to read your comments on if any of my methods worked for you or what methods you use. Read the rest of this entry »

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The cliff is not your driveway

The cliff is not your driveway.

I was walking down the carriage road at the Gunks recently and came across some chalk graffiti on the cliff at the base of some popular climbs. It covered perhaps a 10 foot wide swath of rock. There were flowers, stick figures, and “I was here” type scribble – clearly drawn by children. My immediate gut reaction was dismay. What kind of parents would let their kids draw all over the cliffs in a nature preserve with sidewalk chalk? Read the rest of this entry »

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About the Gunks

What are the Gunks?

Geography

The Gunks are located west of the Hudson River in New York State. The official name of the ridge is the Shawangunk Mountains. This ridge runs north-south from vicinity of Rosendale in the north, and Ellenville in the south.  Most of the permitted rock climbing is in the Mohonk Preserve, which is west of the town of New Paltz. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting to the Gunks

Getting to the Gunks – Travel Information

Packing the car with too much stuff for a climbing trip to the New River Gorge

Too much stuff!

A Word About Communications

Before you plan your trip, if you have to meet up with people or call a cab, note that the cell phone service is spotty and unreliable once you get behind the cliffs. That includes the West Trapps parking lot, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and Peter’s Kill climbing area. Your mileage may vary based on your phone and carrier. Many establishments in downtown New Paltz have wi-fi available, including CafeTeria (a chill hangout spot with coffee, couches) and Starbucks. Last time I checked, I also got wi-fi at the Mohonk Preserve Visitor’s Center. Read the rest of this entry »

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Climbing at the Gunks

Gunks Climbing – Where to Park & Basic Information

Cliffmama climbing the very exposed top pitch of CCK (Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope) - Trapps, Gunks

Cliffmama on the classic CCK (5.8) – Trapps, Gunks

Hazards

Theft at the Gunks is rare, but has been known to occur. Cars rarely but occasionally are broken into. Gear accidentally left lying around can disappear. However, everyone seems comfortable leaving their packs at the base of multipitch climbs, returning later to find everything just as they left it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Restaurants in High Falls

Restaurants in High Falls

The little hamlet of High Falls is west of Rosendale on Rt. 213 going west. It can also be reached from Mohonk Road past the Mohonk Mountain House. Here are some of the restaurants worth eating at in High Falls, plus there’s some good antique stores and an excellent flea market May through October on Sunday mornings. There are historic remnants of the D&H Canal and locks in town as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Restaurants in Rosendale and Tillson

Restaurants in Rosendale and Tillson

The charming small downtown area of Rosendale, NY. Photo by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Daniel_Case

Rosendale, NY

An alternative to the crowds in New Paltz is the cute little town of Rosendale. The New York Times seems to think it’s the next hippest thing, but it’s just a quiet little town along the river. Most straightforward way to get there from the Gunks is to go back towards New Paltz and take Rt. 32 north. If there’s traffic going into New Paltz (which is always the case during busy fall weekends), there are other back ways to get there (follow along with your map): Rt. 299 east, left on Butterville Road which turns into Canaan Road, take right fork onto Dug Road, which ends and you make a left onto Springtown Road (county rt. 7). Make a right onto Tillson Road, then a left onto Rt. 32 north.  Got that? Read the rest of this entry »

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Restaurants in Gardiner

Restaurants in Gardiner

The main climbing areas of the Gunks are in the town of Gardiner, which has a small number of restaurants. While there are a couple of eateries near the intersection of Rt. 299 and Rt. 44-55, most of the other places are closer to the village of Gardiner, which is further west (away from the Gunks) on Rt. 44-55. So when you leave the Gunks, keep going downhill on Rt. 44-55, past Rt. 299 and the deli, heading south and west towards the village of Gardiner. Read the rest of this entry »

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