A Proper Send-off for Summer ‘16

It’s the week back after the long Labor Day weekend, and the unofficial start to the fall season. According to mainstream media, summer is over, white attire is retired, and autumn crisp is right around the corner. This has been a roller coaster year in life and running. It has been a year of re-assessment, of running for the sake of run love, having bad runs – bad days at work, bad commutes, and bad hair days – and [TRYING to] be ok with it. This year was the concession to the reality of the quarter-life crisis. But most importantly the rising from the doubt, the dating myself, and slowly re-positioning the frame to smirk at my own imperfections with the love I can only imagine comes from the slight bit of pride in knowing you created the best version of yourself.

This weekend was a capstone of sorts on the progress of that journey. There was no grand race, award, project, or accomplishment. Like the rest of summer’16, the weekend was different – but also better – than expected. Eight ladies set off early Friday morning for our camping adventure in Minnewaska State Park, just outside of New Paltz, NY. The objective of the weekend being a starter weekend for camping, an exceptional weekend for bonding, and a much needed break from city noise and Saturday long runs.

Before I get into the details of what made this such a summer-altering adventure, below are the details for you to snag the opportunity to experience it yourself:

Where We Went

Gunk’s Campground

Official Name: Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground

Address: 953 Route 299 Gardiner, NY 12525 


 (845) 255-0032

What We Brought With Us


-          Tents

-          Sleeping bags

-          Yoga mats (for ground padding)

-          Camp/beach chairs

-          Hiking backpacks

-          Bug spray

-          Sunscreen

-          Phone chargers

-          Power strip

-          Headlamps / lanterns

-          Paper plates/cups/utensils


Clothes / Personal

-          Running /hiking shoes

-          Trail socks

-          Shorts / Tights

-          Running tanks

-          Long sleeve shirt

-          Sweatshirt

-          Bathing suits

-          Towels

-          Flip flops

-          Toiletries

-          Water bottle


-          Portable speaker

-          Playing cards / Uno / Cards Against Humanity


What We Brought When We Got There

-          S’mores supplies

-          Granola bars

-          Extra water

-          Allergy medicine

This trip was certainly a beginner trip for all involved. We got a lot of slack for not “roughing it” enough, but this was the baby step trip to prep for bigger outdoor adventures.

Yes – we pitched tents.

Yes – we slept on the ground

Yes – we went the entire time aided only by “bird baths” and lake dips

But we also didn’t try to cook because we knew the point of the trip was about relaxing and taking on what we could handle. We spent our breakfasts perusing what the local coffee shops in New Paltz had to offer, and discovered a beautiful, cozy small town with flourishing local flavor. 

What We Did

Awosting Falls – Minnewaska State Park

This is the most beginner of hikes. It’s not a rock scrambling, thrill seeking adventure. Rather it’s like stepping into the forest in your favorite childhood fairy tale, complete with towering, sun peeking trees, and a bridal veil waterfall shortly off the path

Lake Awosting – Carriage Road – Minnewaska State Park

A slightly longer, but still very moderate hike that pours into a beautifully serene and private lake. We ran straight into the lake to swim at the end, but the view alone is worth the journey.

WHere we Ate

Bacchus - A double decker craft beer bar and vegetarian friendly restaurant, with a mountain house hippie feel.

HuckleberryA backyard, strung light patio with a hot grill, vegetarian frier, homemade sangria, and great salads.

This was such an easy, enjoyable trip. It was a strong reminder of how accessible it can be to escape for a few days and listen to the sound of silence – which to be quite honest sounded a lot more like crickets and owls than I might have imagined. Day after day I look for ways to stay calm and find peace. I think if I read a book on the subway, go to morning yoga, put my feet up the wall at night… that I can be a person that operates with a semblance of calm. Instead, this weekend reminded me that the best remedy for calming a soul is just to leave the place where the stress exists, find a change of scenery, and then make it exactly the experience you want it to be.

So, while Labor Day is now behind us, the beautiful weather is really just beginning. Chao for now, happy runners! Share your latest adventures by hashtagging #thehappyrunnerdiaries on Instagram, or email me directly for features and collaborations at thehappyrunner@gmail.com.

<3 The Happy Runner




Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.