P a GE 3 Outdoors While Indoors:
I heard recently that there are three classifications of outdoor fun. First you have activities that sound like fun and do turn out to be pretty enjoyable. For example, tubing down a river on a hot, sunny day would be classified as Type 1 Fun. Type 2 Fun is a close cousin; it sounds like it’s going to be fun, but then circumstances conspire to make the experience more of an adventure. A thunderstorm that downpours on
your river-tubing trip could turn that afternoon into Type 2 fun. And then there’s Type 3 fun. These are the activities that don’t sound like fun on paper and generally tend to deliver on that promise. A wetsuit-clad tubing trip in March (because, hey, we’ll have the river to ourselves!) might be called Type 3 Fun.
Type 1 Fun may sound like the ideal place to be on this scale, but we all know that Types 2 and 3 Fun are the kinds you tell stories about afterward and Catskill Peak Experiences is filled with examples of them. Edited by an active member and leader in the Catskill 3500 Club, Catskill Park Experiences shares 100 essays and reminiscences of trips to the high, remote areas of the Catskills. While there are a few accounts of blissful hikers seeing beautiful vistas and elusive wildlife, the overwhelming majority of the essays recount painful mistakes, injuries, and hiking plans that went awry (or were flat-out crazy from the get-go).
The book groups essays into sections, which include “Misadventures”, “Lost in the Wilderness”, and “Wild Weather”. If you’re on the hunt for Type 3 Fun, there’s plenty to be had in “Winter Adventuring” and “Marathon Hikes”. A
V OL UME 4
Catskill Peak Experiences by Carol Stone White Article by Reid Bauer
big portion of the fun of this book comes from the wide variety of authors; some are young greyhounds in peak condition (like Tim Stone, who hiked a 28 mile variation of the Devil’s Path in a single day), while others are greybeards with bad knees trying to finish out their last peak for the 3500 Club. Of particular interest to me was “Cave Dog in the Catskill High Peaks”, which chronicles mountain runner Ted ‘Cave Dog’ Keizer’s record-breaking ascent of all 35 Catskill High Peaks in less than three days.
The quality of writing is as varied as the authors, but the details of an adventure often compensate for a mediocre narrative. This book may actually dissuade readers from attempting to join the Catskill 3500 Club, as it has an account of nearly everything that could go possibly wrong while summiting a Catskill high peak. It can, however, give the uninitiated some idea how to avoid the misfortunes of the authors. It’s also reassuring to remember that all of the authors did return from their exploits and most went on to complete all 35 Catskill High Peaks.
Catskill Peak Experiences is available from Catskill-area bookstores, as well as through online retailers, for around $20. It is not available as an e-book. If you want to hear more about the three kinds of fun, download the podcast Fun Divided by Three from thedirtbagdiaries.com
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8