Bull Hill

When I gave up commuting to freelance nineteen and a half years ago, I envisioned a lot more days like today. I worked for three hours this morning, then "played hooky," as Bruce Bolger, my companion and guide, put it. 

We hiked a moderate 4.5 mile trail up and down Bull Hill, also known as Mt. Taurus, in the Hudson Highlands north of Cold Spring, N.Y. It was a glorious day in many ways, starting with the weather (starring the elusive sun) and the scenery that first inspired Thomas Cole, unwitting founder of the Hudson River School. The area is filled with wondrous trails, Bruce tells me, and it's only about an hour from my home  (and an hour and a quarter from where I grew up). But I've never hiked here before.

Bruce, who grew up in Westchester and also lives in village of Hastings on Hudson, began hiking when he was 16. In the Nineties, he co-authored guides to day hikes in the countrysides near New York and in France and Great Britain. I felt like I was sampling cuisine with a master chef.

I can tell you that it won't be another nineteen and a half year before I play hooky to hike in the Hudson Highlands again. Now if I can only find some time to do some kayaking and mountain biking in between the softball, racquetball and poker that I don't play hooky to play

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