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The Road to Recovery Isn’t Paved

April 23rd, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, brings you the first post from Suffern, New York’s Sheila Monahan. Fresh off a snowboarding trip in BC, Sheila tore her ACL. She’s on the road to recovery now, starting with nearby hikes in NY State Parks…

Well, let’s see – one week after returning from snowboarding with Wildhorse Catskiing in Ymir British Columbia (just a stones throw from fellow brand team member Nick Spring‘s neck of the woods!)  I blew out my knee on a trail in Vernon, New Jersey. After being very, very bummed and spending the next few weeks rehabbing my leg muscles, going to doctors’ appointments, and physical therapy, I was finally diagnosed with an ACL and meniscus tear. Soon after the diagnosis I was ok’d to hike and bike – but only straight ahead – no turning! So, for my first hike of the season I decided to head to Harriman State Park in Harriman, New York.

About Harriman State Park: Harriman State Park, located in Rockland and Orange counties, is the second-largest park in the parks system, with 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, three beaches, two public camping areas, a network of group camps, miles of streams and scenic roads, and scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points. Harriman State Park’s major facilities include Lakes Welch, Sebago, Tiorati and Silvermine, the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, Sebago Cabins and Beaver Pond Campgrounds.

We had a beautiful, sunny 60-degree day as we set out. This being the first hike, and a short one, I decided to bring my Osprey Switch 26 snow pack. The pack is light weight and has a separate compartment for wet and dry things, which turned out to be very helpful even on a spring hike! My platypus bladder fit nicely in the pack, but half way through I realized I hadn’t closed the zip top very well! Water was everywhere! Easily fixed though and the material dried very quickly. The ski loops also held my collapsible hiking poles perfectly which I was anticipating needing to use for the descent from the summit. Hip belt pockets also kept my camera nice and handy.

A nice leisurely climb found us at the top of Pine Swamp Mountain with a gorgeous view of Lake Skannatati (where the trail started) and the Kanawauke Lakes farther to the south. We kept going up, but the we never got a nicer view than the one you see here.

The fleece came off for the hike down and it fit nicely right in the pack, especially after drinking (and losing) most of the water in my bladder (haha!).

I definitely needed the poles for the trek back down, but all-in-all, I think the first hike post-ACL tear was a success! I can’t wait until next weekend when we’re headed up to Lake Minnewaska, in New Paltz, NY. I hope we have some good weather, and this time, I’ll close the bladder all the way!

For more information about Sheila check out her bio page here.

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