Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Archive for the ‘Monsey’ Category

Ghetto gardening

Posted by Frum Hiker on June 16, 2008

About a month ago I planted my garden, I was all excited and it was a fine looking plot of land when I started. Ample sunshine provided by my south east facing location and a chicken wire fence keeping animals out- set the stage for what was supposed to be a lovely garden. So excited was I about this piece of earth, that for the first time I dug ditches and rows and bought seeds instead of small potted plants.

I planted tomato and pepper plants and the rest seeds. Fantasies of all the cool free veggies filled my imagination as I wrestled with worms and weeds for real estate rights in my plot of land. At the end of it all I had planted three long rows of veggies. I had some left over so I decided to experiment with potted plants for the first time as well. I put these on my deck, I felt like they weren’t deep enough but nevertheless I planted basil seeds, an oregano plant and three different tomato plants on the railings of my deck.

Then the lawn grew, and grew until my backyard looked like a wild field, interspersed with garbage thrown by little kids who use the shortcut to the next street through the neighboring backyard. My garden was robbed of sunshine because my landlord whom I have never met does not cut the lawn nor have a working mower. Its cool to look at, but try having a game of Frisbee in the back yard. My garden is now full of weeds and low lying plants, some of them have fruits on them, but they are so small.

My potted plants on the other hand are enormous. The tomato plants are tall and healthy and sprouting flowers which means the tomatoes will be here soon. My basil is popping up healthy from my seeds and the oregano produces loads of smelly green leaves. So yesterday I decided I should transfer my garden veggies to the deck for sunshine purposes. Luckily my backyard is full of surprises and I found a bunch of things that could be used for pots.

I may call this ghetto gardening but I found one of those blue baby pools buried beneath garbage and leaves and decided to use it as a garden for my deck. I stabbed drainage holes in the bottom with a pairing knife and filled it with loads of dirt which was a big sweaty, shirtless mud streaked stomach job and am debating which plants get to go in. I also found some old recycling bins which could be used as pots.

If I get enough tomatoes I may even sell them, imagine the money I could make with this whole tomato scare going on and mine are organic as well.

Posted in gardening, Monsey | 8 Comments »

Looking for cycling or kayaking partners in the Monsey area

Posted by Frum Hiker on June 4, 2008

I figure I might as well put it out there- I would love to have someone to ride or paddle with in the Monsey area on weeknights. I pretty much ride every day, going mostly on my mountain bike to Blue Mt, Ringwood and Graham Hills- sometimes farther.

As for paddling I have been mostly going in the larger lakes in Harriman State Park- and am definitely up for anything doable on a weeknight.

If you are interested in riding with me or know of anyone- I ride both mountain and road bikes.

Posted in Monsey, Mountain Biking, Road Biking | Leave a Comment »

My first road ride around Monsey

Posted by Frum Hiker on June 4, 2008

I have been neglecting my road bike for some time now, favoring mountain biking because its so much more fun and close. I also am just plain old scared to ride the streets of Monsey, the drivers for one thing are terrible, match that with hitchhikers, and stray children- combined with loads of potholes- and you can see why riding my road bike seemed crazy.

I wasn’t feeling to well yesterday, but it was one of those beautiful days and I felt like riding in a leisurely sense. So I whipped out the old rode bike pumped the tires to 120psi, threw on my spandex and road through the streets of Monsey, and you know what? It rocked!!!

Thats right, once I got out of my neighborhood- which is right by Maple avenue, it cleared up- I left at about 6pm and returned at 7:30pm. I rode up Union to Viola and then down 306 to 202 and took a right- davened mincha at Kakiat park and then road back up Viola to College and then down Maple to home. 16 miles in total- not bad for a slow paced ride- but it felt damned good to just ride without having to drive anywhere.

So I started looking at other routes and want to start riding down to the Hudson River and around Nyack/Rockland Lake areas- it looks like great riding. The drivers were surprisingly friendly and no one cursed at me- yay!!!

Posted in Monsey, Road Biking | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Urban Dictionary for Orthodox Jews and Monsey outdoors news

Posted by Frum Hiker on March 28, 2008

I have created with the help of a big fan of Frum Satire my other much more popular blog a site called Frum Slang which is in WIKI form and is intended to be a fully functioning urban dictionary for the frum community(yes it will be mildly offensive) but already it is becoming very funny and a pleasure to see which tersm people have added.

In other news I have been living in Monsey NY for almost a month and I think I am having way too much fun for someone in Monsey. Most people wondered if someone like me could handle such a community and you know what- I haven;’t noticed because I have been riding and hiking more then I have ever been able to do in Albany. While its not as good as being an hour from the Adirondacks. I have become accustomed to leaving work and being on my bike in sub 30 minutes time.

I have been actively riding around the Ringwood area which is 15 miles from my house. I have yet to figure it out, but Skyline Drive offers some great technical after work single track. I have ridden the small skatepark across from Ramapo College and the college itself has some great stuff to fool around on. Stewart State forest was ridden on Sunday (I fell head first into a thorn bush) and then I proceeded to ride a 40 mile road ride in Ulster and Prange counties. I rode Blue mountain reservation in Peekskill on Weds night- I found some great new stuff in there as well.

I have been really hiking big time in Harriman. I have done 3 full day 10+ mile hikes and already am planning on work-night backpacking- due to the fact its 15 minutes to my house. Insane man. I am ready to get my kayak into the water.

My work is awesome mostly due to the hours. I can work 12 hours days but in the middle I will go for a 4 hour bike ride. My boss actually likes what I do, it splits up my time, allows him to look at what I’ve done, and it lets me know I can skip out in the middle of a beautiful day.

If anyone wants to meet up in Monsey please contact me

Posted in Blogging, Harriman State Park, Hiking, Jews, Monsey, Mountain Biking, Road Biking | 2 Comments »

I moved to Monsey last week and I am loving it!!!

Posted by Frum Hiker on March 10, 2008

I know that may be paradoxical for someone of my age and marital status to say, but in a little over a week I have realized that the outdoor opportunities are endless within a half hour radius. Just 15 minutes from my door is Harriman State Park, 46,000 acres including 36 lakes- most of which have access for boats. Lots of trails including portions of the Long Path and Appalachian Trails both of which run right through the park. I am also very close to the Hudson Highland and Storm King areas which both have extensive hiking trail networks and I am a 20 minute drive from Ringwood state park which has some of the best mountain biking in New Jersey. To say the least I am pumped. Throw in a 40 hour a week job and the end of daylight savings time- I am going to be in amazing shape within 2 weeks.

To start things off I went hiking in Harriman last sunday, snow covered trails made for slow going, but I hiked up to a startegic sunset viewing spot and sat on a rock and contemplated life and the woods, like a regular Whitman type. Then on Monday I road 20 miles on my road bike on the poorly paved roads of the park, its beautiful riding, but rough with all the bumps.

Friday I took my mountain bike out for the first ride of the season. If I was still in Albany, I probably wouldn’t have ridden until next month. I went to Ringwood and road the cannonball trail off of Skyline drive. I still can’t figure the place out so well, and road until it started raining on me and decided to just go back up instead of finding a loop- it was erev shabbos anyway. It was great riding and would have been better, but I realized my rear shock was blown and needs some new cartridges or something.

Today I hiked for about 5 hours through Harriman and it was amazing. I ended up hiking twice as much as I had originally planned due to trail flooding and no way to bushwack around. I ended up at the Lemon Squeezer which is on the AT and is this huge rock formation that you squeeze through to follow the trail. I also ended up, due to my detour on the Lichen Trail- which took me into the Ramapo Dunderberg trail. These two trails followed this ridge that made me feel like I was above the tree-line somewhere out west. Dead trees and pine trees swayed in the wind and boy was it windy, 35 mph winds, maybe thats why I met only two people on the trail for a whole 5 hours.

This week I am already planning to hike and get to know the trails better in my area. When it gets a little warmer I will be backpacking on the weeknights camping out and hiking out before work, I am pumped.

Posted in Harriman State Park, Hiking, Monsey, Mountain Biking, Road Biking | 1 Comment »