On August 19th, my dog Sam & I headed out for a hike in Southern Harriman State Park. We began our hike from the beginning of the Pine Meadow Trail (red) and took that trail to one of our favorite trails in the park, the Seven Hills Trail (blue). We made our way towards Chipmunk Mountain (1,200 ft) before heading down the Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail (orange) and made a left back onto the Pine Meadow Trail, which would eventually lead us to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center. As we were hiking along, we saw someone hiking briskly towards us with all types of gear strapped to his back. He had a big smile on and Sam couldn’t help but want to go say hello.
We began chatting about dogs and talked about his Golden Retriever as Sam found a new best friend. His name was Roland. He was full of strength and positive energy. He was on his way to repair a few planks from a bridge that he had built which crossed one of the streams in the park, but before he did so, he wanted me to pass this along ~ “I am 85 years old going on 40! It’s daily hikes and breathing in the fresh air of the woods that keeps me healthy & fit.” As he looked around and above at all of the trees, with his arms out wide and chest opened. “Make sure to tell everyone to never stop moving and to get outside for a walk in the woods as often as possible.”
I wish I had videoed our conversation but instead I asked if I could take a picture of him. We shook hands and said enjoy the day to one another. We watched him continue on up the trail with ease. I tried to quickly snap another picture of him as he was walking away but he was already up and over the hill and out of view. Meet Roland, a New York New Jersey Trail Conference Volunteer and a Trail Superhero!