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March 13, 2023

The only hike Neil and I undertook together occurred some time after he heard I’d been to Angel Falls. He discussed some far off place in Asia, Tuva, I think, his adventurous spirit eyed that country for some time. But we settled for a closer venue–Hidden Pond in Minnewaska State Park.
We met at his cozy home, and after looking at a few of the trees in his yard, I being a Forester, we set off. Accompying us were two dogs, my Jack Russell, Ivy, and a local mutt that had taken a liking to him, and ofter tagged along with him.
Neil knew the obscure trails off the road, and we ambled along, the dogs at our sides, and eventually arrived at the pond. Rather small, and with drifts of some sort of filmy weeds in its dark water, it looked murky and unappealing for a toe-dip. But the surrounding blueberry bushes made a bountiful diversion.
Though we never traveled to far off places, I met and worked with Neil many times here near home, always found him interesting, focused, amiable and dedicated to the out of doors.
Truly, we have lost a wonderful hiker, friend, and companion.

- Frederick Gerty