Mt Beacon, Fishkill Ridge/ Hudson Highlands Hiking Trail


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I would not call myself an environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination, however I think that everyone enjoys the adventure of hiking and the outdoors. Enjoying the Mt Beacon HikeFrom growing up in the Hudson Valley as a Boy Scout to hiking with my family I was exposed to one of the number one things this region is known for, the outdoors. I love the city I live in because the area is a densely packed area that is growing faster and faster every day. With three cities within 15 minutes of each other and being just over an hour north of NYC, the area of about 100,000 people has all kinds of things to do. Sounds like a lot of metropolitan areas, however this area has some of our nation’s most renown hiking and outdoor activities. In specific is the backdrop of my city, the Hudson Highlands/ Fishkill Ridge Mountains and Parks. An area so majestic and with such breathtaking views that it was included on the New York State Seal. Something I always thought was funny that the mountains behind my city was on the state seal, however NYC was no where to be found on it and is probably the number one thing that the state is known for, lol…

The Hudson Highlands and Fishkill Ridge parks have over 2,000 – acres with numerous hiking trails that are featured in a lot of the popular hiking adventure books. Just about every trail has incredible views of the valley and are always a fun time. The Fishkill Ridge Park is owned by Scenic Hudson, the most powerful environmental group in the valley and one of the most in the nation. The park serves as the northern entrance to the Hudson Highlands State Park. The Hudson Highlands is most notably known for the Breakneck Ridge hike, one of the most step hikes and one that has one of the best views.

My favorite hike, and the one I do the most is pretty much one that most Beaconites have done for years. I just did it again the other day with the wifey since it was our first date and is always a great time. Trail Map of the Mt Beacon AreaThe hike is lined out in red on my Hudson Highlands/ Fishkill Ridge Hiking Trail Map and starts at #1 on the map in the City of Beacon at the dead-end of Pocket Road. There are 5 or 6 areas off the side of the road were you can park. The dead-end has a gate to keep motorized vehicles off the motorized trail utilized by the city’s water department to access its water works and reservoir as well as heavy equipment to access the towers on top of the mountain. The trail starts off to the right of the green water tank aka “The Dome” as Scenic Hudson’s “White Trail”. This area is known locally as “The Dome” and is a popular high school partying spot for the kids too lazy or too scared to make the trek to “Pines” (More about that later). The trail is named the Fishkill Ridge Trail and runs parallel to dry brook which carries the city’s water supply from the reservoir on top of the mountain to the water tank. It is a great hike that is not too step and features a lot of foliage. It continues up with a lot of small water falls until you get to point number 2 on the map.

At number 2 you are almost at the merge with the motorized trail and are at the base of the largest waterfall. At this point you cross over the stream and get a great view of the falls which are about 75 feet tail (pictured above to the right), a great picture point. After this landmark you travel up a steeper incline to where the trail crosses the motorized trail in an area that is densely populated with Pine Trees (known locally as “Pines” and is the premiere party spot for the high schoolers). At this point the “White Trail” continue towards Route 9, however I make a right on the motorized trail and take it further up the mountain which eventually leads you to point #3.

Point #3 is at the city’s primary reservoir and features a damed lake with 250 million gallons of water. The large lake is a great place to take a break and enjoy the view of the rest of the way up. You can also see the Mt Beacon Fire Tower in the distance which there is a movement to preserve it. After you have rested at the reservoir it is time for the final stretch of the hike to get one of the best views of Beacon at point #4. It is a short distance until you get to a fenced off area around one of the tower farms. After walking by the fence and getting your 10 years worth of radiation you reach a small field. In that field you will see a large monument known as the Daughters of the American Revolution – Melzingah Chapter Signal Beacon Fire Monument. This monument commemorates the signal fire that once burned at that location during the revolutionary war to signal the people of the Hudson Valley that “the British where Coming.” Something so important to the area that the city even named it’s self after it. From that point you get an incredible view of the cities of Beacon and Newburgh as well as the bridge between them (pictured in my Mt Beacon Hikes Photo Gallery). At nearly 1,500-feet high, you can see way up and down the Hudson River and is a great time for a picnic. All and all the hike takes about 4 hours to take your time going up and down as well as getting some lunch.

Let’s Go Mets. Why they are the Amazins’


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If you are a real sports fan check out our article on baseballat Sports-Media.org.( Ad Disclaimer/ Info )

This spring the love of my life bought me 5 tickets to see my favorite sports team at Shea (The Mets for the uneducated, lol). Although the Yankees are the greatest sports team in the world, with more wins and records than god himself, I still love the Mets. The one thing the Mets have over the Yanks is that they are the Amazins’. I can not even think of one team who has as many amazing wins as the Mets have had in any sport. From the infamous 1986 game when Bill Buckner missed a routine grounder to loss the World Series to any of the other amazin’ games such as the two I am about to describe, the Mets never stop amazin’.

So with that said, the first game was number 11 at home vs the Colorado Rockies. What should have been a fairly easy win turned out to be an edge of your seat pitchers duel. Both teams allowed only a combined 14 base runners and no runs until the tenth inning. My heart dropped when Troy Tulowitzki hit a triple to send Yorvit Torrealba home to boost the score to a 1-0 in the tenth. However I knew these were the miracle Mets and they would figure out how to win somehow. They were up and In the Uppers at Shea with the "Real Fans" as soon as I knew it, two were out. Then Damion Easley came cold off the bench and I thought, great the game is over. In fact most of the crowd started to make their way out. Sure enough in no time Damion was at two strikes and literally everyone in the stadium started to leave, however these fans did not have the faith in the amazins’. Sure enough the next pitch was a home run and the game was tied! The game then went on to the 11th when the Mets had men on 2nd and 3rd and Endy Chavez was up at bat. A great hitter, the defense did not play for a bunt and as sure as dandy, Endy bunted. With his speed he made it to first and the bewildered defense could only watch as Shawn Green ran in to score the winning run. Once again showing the fans and baseball why they are the Amazins’.

Now after seeing the previous game, one to remember and probably be one of the best games of the season, I thought how can they top it. This time I went with the wifey herself instead of the step-dad. Also we were a little late and caught the worst ever traffic on the Hutch, but thats the city for you. To no surprise, Game 19 vs the Cubs was an amazing game from the time we walked into the stadium to see the Mets loosing 1-0 in the second to the once again edge of your set ending. Before we knew it, the score was 4-0 with the Cubs dominating and the wifey said the infamous words of “Great we are going to see them loss.” To which I responded, these are the come back kids they will come back, watch how they are the Amazins’. Sure enough the boys held their ground and battled back to get the 4 runs to tie it up. Then in the bottom of the 9th they struck again and loaded up the bases with their three top hitters. The Cubs pitcher, Wuertz, had two outs on his side and the Mets clean-up hitter, Delgado, who was ice cold. However Wuertz broke from all the pressure and ended up walking Delgado and the winning run. Once again, METS WIN!!

So now everyone knows why I have been a die-hard fan since day one of the Mets and why I am proud to have NY Mets Plates on my car. All I can say is “LET’S GO METS!”

It’s That Time Again! Fantasy Baseball Season and the Beacon Mets are Back


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I have been playing fantasy baseball since 2000 with my fantasy team, the Beacon Mets. I have had some good seasons and some bad seasons, but it is always a fun time. Now in our 8th season we hope to have a repeat of last years season being the World Series Champs of our league. One thing we also hope to hold on to is that every time we make the playoffs, we win the World Series. A big bragging and intimidation record we hold. One other interesting fact also is every time Lance Berkman is our MVP, we also win the World Series. So we have Lance again this year and are ready for 07 and our third World Series Title.

This years draft turned out pretty good. Although we are a better offensive team than pitching; we are happy to take the best catcher, Joe Mauer, and closer, Francisco Rodríguez, in baseball as well as this years number one prospect, Delmon Young. If anything holds us back though it would have to be our starting rotation that has three injury prone starters that pose a great risk. Thankfully we have the best closer and relief staff in baseball to back them up. So if anyone cares or is into fantasy baseball, here is a breakdown of this years team and our previous years records:

The 2007 Beacon Mets

STARTING LINE-UP

1. Felipe Lopez (SS) – Ranked around 10th for Shortstops, Felipe boast average skills however what puts him at the lead off this year is his speed and last years 44 steals, ranking 9th in baseball in base steals. Hopefully his .274 hitting average will increase this year for an even better pickup for this 7 year veteran. (2006: .274 AVG, 98 RUNS, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 44 SB).
2. Vladimir Guerrero (RF) – Our number one draft pick for many reasons. This 11th year veteran ranked 5th for outfielders with his 8th in baseball average of .329 and 13th in baseball 116 RBIs. As long as he stays healthy Vlad will be a big value pushing Felipe to third base. (2006: .329 AVG, 92 RUNS, 33 HR, 116 RBI, 15 SB).
3. Joe Mauer (C) – The number one ranked catcher in baseball, Mauer provides us with his number one in baseball average of .347. Joe is in his prime and enters his 4th season to hopefully earn us another pennant this year. (2006: .347AVG, 86 RUNS, 13 HR, 84 RBI, 8 SB).
4. Lance Berkman (1B) – Evey year Lance is our MVP, we win the World Series. The number four first basemen in baseball ranked 5th in baseball for home runs with 45 and bats clean up to hopefully give us another Word Series in his 9th career season. He also ranked 18th in baseball with his .315 average and number four in baseball with his 136 RBIs. (2006: .315 AVG, 95 RUNS, 45 HR, 136 RBI, 3 SB).
5. Delmon Young (LF) – The number one prospect in baseball starts his rookie year with us. He played in 30 games last year and boasted incredible stats with a .317 avg. Just as a rookie, he is already fielding around the number 20 spot in baseball for outfielders. (2006 (30 Games): .317 AVG, 16 RUNS, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB).
6. Ryan Zimmerman (3B) – In his third year of his career, notorious as a baseball players best, Zimmerman ranks 6th in baseball for third basemen. He provides us with some solid stats for the middle of the line-up and in his prime may only improve this year. (2006: .287 AVG, 84 RUNS, 20 HR, 110 RBI, 11 SB).
7. Julio Lugo (2B) – The 7th ranked in baseball second baseman will start his 8th season leading off the bottom of the order. His flexibility to play SS and 3B also gives the infield more flexibility if their are any injuries (2006: .278 AVG, 69 RUNS, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 24 SB).
8. Ryan Freel (CF) – Ranked around number 40 in baseball for outfielders, the one thing Freel provides is speed in his 6th season. The number two base stealer on the team ranked 12th in baseball with base steals at 37. Hopefully the combination of Lugo’s and Freel’s speed will help the bottom of the order. (2006: .271 AVG, 67 RUNS, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 37 SB).
9. Eric Chávez (DH) – Now in his 10th season Eric will have to battle with Brian Giles for the DH spot. With numerous injuries last season, Giles may take over the DH while Chávez goes through rehab. (2006: .241 AVG, 74 RUNS, 22 HR, 72 RBI, 3 SB).

STARTING ROTATION

1. Ben Sheets – Our Ace this year starts his 7th season ranked 9th in baseball for starting pitchers. We have taken a big risk with Sheets after being injured for two straight seasons, we hope he will revert back to the 2004 season were he pitched 12-14 with a 2.70 ERA. (2006: 6 Wins – 7 Losses, 116 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.89 WHIP).
2. C.C. Sabathia – Our number two man may earn the aces slot depending on Sheets health. Sabathia follows Sheets ranked as the number 10 starting pitcher in baseball also is starting his 7th season. He posted an impressive 3.22 ERA ranked number 6 in baseball in 2006 with 172 Ks which ranked him 20th in baseball. (2006: 12 Wins – 11 Losses, 172 K, 3.22 ERA, 1.77 WHIP).
3. Chris Capuano – Chris starts his 5th season leading the team in Ks with 174, 19th in baseball. He ranks in the lower 40s for starting pitchers and offers the team a healthy solid pitcher. (2006: 11 Wins – 12 Losses, 174 K, 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP).
4. Brad Penny – The 8 year veteran gets the number 4 slot ranked in the upper 30s with 16 wins last year, 8th in the Majors. Although he boast a great amount of wins, he lacks with his ERA. (2006: 16 wins – 9 Losses, 148 K, 4.33 ERA, 1.38 WHIP).
5. Kerry Wood – Starting his 9th season after being injured for two years, Wood adds to the teams weak rotation that is injury prone. As with Sheets, we hope that Wood will not fall to injury (2006: 1 Win – 2 Losses, 13 K, 4.12 ERA, 1.37 WHIP).

THE CLOSERS
1. Francisco Rodríguez – Baseball’s best closer will defiantly be getting a lot of work in his 6th season with the weight of a weak starting rotation on his shoulders. With 47 saves, the best in baseball and a ERA of 1.73, among the best of the relievers. (2006: 47 SAVES, 2 Wins – 3 Losses, 98 K, 1.73 ERA, 1.10 WHIP).
2. Brian Fuentes – In his 7th year of baseball, the upper teens ranked closer will be very busy. His 30 saves, 19th in baseball will help the weak starters with a weak rotation. (2006: 30 SAVES, 3 Wins – 4 Losses, 73K, 3.44 ERA, 1.16 WHIP).

Beacon Mets through the Years

Year Record Win % GB League Place Playoffs MVP
2000 83-152 .352 16 10 out of 10 N/A Nomar Garciaparra
2001 136-99 .580 11 7 out of 12 N/A Mike Piazza
2002 127-108 .539 30 3 out of 8 World Series Champions
League Champions
Division Champions
Lance Berkman
2003 122-113 .518 38 6 out of 10 N/A Gary Sheffield
2004 104-131 .443 40 9 out of 12 N/A J.D. Drew
2005 103-132 .439 38.5 11 out of 12 N/A Randy Johnson
2006 128-107 .545 27 4 out of 12 World Series Champions
League Champions
Division Champions
Lance Berkman