That's a hard line in the dirt. I stood there for a moment; cold nose and fingertips pressed against a forcefield. I took the photograph, backed up toward the trail, heeled a tree root, and fell on my ass (NO one saw that). I turned my back on the invitation and retreated.
An Illogical Expression:
Rules + X + Respect = Retreat + Regret
Rules + Respect = Retreat
X + Retreat = Regret
I was attempting to record a new route from the parking lot at Rockefeller Preserve, to the nearest Sleepy Hollow Cemetery entrance. If you're going to record a fixed route that allows for off trail excursions, you first must record the absolute route. This is the recording of the route, including about a mile of off trail excursions that nullified the initial recording. Crap.
The red line in the black box is an error in my initial route plan. The exit from Peggy's Way does not lead directly to the first SHC (Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) entrance. The squiggly red line in the Blue box is where I should have paused the recording. I wandered all over the upper part of the cemetery; fascinated by the combination of new and terribly old grave markers. I left because, however far you walk/run/crawl is generally equal to your return walk/run/crawl. Truthfully, a straight line exit from the cemetery cut off about a mile and the shortcut that created a secondary loop gave me a little more.
I moved fast on the way in and I double timed it on the way back. Too many mostly mask-less people coming at me and I resisted the urge to toss pebbles by moving about as fast as I can on a carriage path without breaking into a run. I had to take my glasses off. Mask + glasses + heart rate above 140 = blind as shit.
There are two return options before Peggy's Way. Looks like there's a third but that third dotted line is gone. It's been gone long enough to erase any lingering doubt. At the top of that 'used to be a trail' is the bridge I did not cross. There will be no bushwhacking in the park, Heather. The days of cutting across random fields, on foot or on horse are long gone.
By the time I got back to the parking lot, the two northbound trails were swarming with idiots. I pulled my mask up, removed my glasses, and didn't bother to pull it down again. At the final junction I slipped my glasses into an inner pocket in my pack. I followed Nature's Way to the left in an effort to move toward less oncoming traffic. If that was less oncoming traffic, I don't want to think about what was coming down the wide, flat, well-maintained carriage trail.
Nature's way is a washout trail with deep ruts and rock gullies. People are watching their feet, not the forest. I understood and went up on the embankment a bit. There are 200 Heather Steps in a tenth of a mile. When I counted the first 100 steps of the last tenth of a mile I sprinted to the parking lot.
When you see a 56 year old woman with her hair plastered to her head and face, hauling ass up a bit of an incline, you might move over a bit. Maybe. When the same woman is RUNNING up that incline, long strides pounding the dirt, head down to stay upright, most people get the fuck out of the way.
I didn't say sorry. I was not sorry. If she'd been wearing a mask, I probably would have been courteous enough to swerve an inch or two, but the rules are, hikers coming down the trail give right of way. I think.
I got into my car before I opened the app and ended the recording. I was soaked from the top of my head to my socks, with a sweat river waterfalling off the back of my head onto the seat behind me. I retrieved a freakishly warm twenty ounce bottle of water off the passenger seat. It was gone before I left the parking lot. The bottle in my pack was gone before I left the cemetery. Note: 5.2 miles at a near trot probably wants forty ounces. Could be me.
In the morning I plotted a do-over by making cool twisty loops from the parking lot to the cemetery, and back. This one got a name and waypoints and even some photos.
The map calculated at 3.79. If that's accurate, I circled about at the cemetery probably more turns than I noticed. It's a very cool cemetery; a little crowded at the foot, but still plenty of good stuff on the back end.
This explains SO many things:
I'm going to go back and record the helix perfectly. I will not stray, I will not even glance in an unmapped direction. I will complete the recording, save it, and suggest a new route (I want it published and retrievable).
When I have done that, I'm going to park at the Sleepy Hollow Road junction.
I'm going to cross that bridge. I'm going to cross it early in the morning, so as to avoid setting a bad example which tends to create permission. It's not the rangers that worry me.
Have you solved for X yet? I don't generally break rules.
I shatter them.