特集:2016年9月17日,橙郡华人协会2016秋季登山

On the west bank of the Hudson River is one of the Hudson Valley’s most well-known attractions (and for good reason), Bear Mountain State Park. As per a semiannual tradition, the Orange County Chinese Association organized a group hike followed by lunch at the park on Sunday, October 23rd. Despite some lofty winds, the weather and atmosphere of the morning was near perfect. The brisk mid-autumn breeze sifted a flurry of endless leaves into the air, the remainder of which remained on the damp ground in a mosaic of reds, oranges, and yellows. Up above, the sky was a beautiful blue dusted with clusters of pristine white clouds like cotton balls. In small groups, students, parents, teachers

and families of the OCCA trekked up the mountain, the sound of crunching leaves beneath their feet intermingling with the hubbub of Mandarin, English, and universal laughter. We climbed over hefty rocks and made our way through warm-colored trees occasionally marked by a square of white paint. A good portion of the trail consisted of a man-made stone staircase, ultimately making the trail a fairly easy one. At the top of the mountain was an absolutely breathtaking overlook of the Hudson Valley, reminding us just how unbelievably lucky we are to call such a beautiful place our home. After taking in the view, we headed back down the mountain, our appetites ready for food following an invigorating hike. At the bottom of the mountain, the Chinese Association’s red flag stood proud next to a picnic tables lined with delicious food, a mix of potluck dishes and catered Chinese food. There was food to satisfy every taste bud, from white rice and sesame chicken to pizza and cookies. Without a doubt, it was just the right ending to a lovely hike.

The idea of visiting Bear Mountain on a beautiful Sunday morning most certainly wasn't just thought of by the Orange County Chinese Association. The park was occupied by countless other people, and this Sunday coincided with a weekend of Oktoberfest. There was traffic driving into the park and even traffic while hiking the trail! Fortunately, this did not detract from the experience, and if anything, heightened the overall atmosphere of community. It’s safe to say that everyone who came with the OCCA enjoyed themselves, and are hopefully looking forward to our next hike in the spring. Because while taking the road less traveled by has its rewards, traveling a well-trodden road with the people you love brings you a joy and comfort like no other.