On a Roll

April 3, 2021 § Leave a comment

Having purchased my own snowshoes from REI, I was ready for a more challenging adventure. I had already been to High Point 3 times, the first written about here, and then two more follow up trips, the weekend prior where I introduced the activity to Robert Risberg and his family. Robert had actually mentioned that he and his family were taking some time up outside of New Paltz, NY and asked whether I would be interested in a snowshoe hike in the Catskills. I was very interested, however when I checked in with him, he no longer had the time in his schedule, so I looked to Mike to see if he wanted to give the Catskills a go. Now keep in mind, getting to High Point takes about 90 minutes, maybe less when there is no traffic, however getting to the Catskills is 3 hours, so if plans aren’t made to spend the night up there, and they weren’t, then that is 3 hours up, hike all day, and then a 3 hour drive home. Six hours driving in one day is lot for anyone. Add the efforts of a snowshoe hike, and chances are high, I would get a good nights sleep when it was all over.

Micro Spikes are terrific
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Snowshoeing Again

April 2, 2021 § Leave a comment

An unusual thing happened this winter. It snowed! It didn’t just snow, but it snowed a lot. I live at the Jersey Shore, where I wouldn’t say that it doesn’t snow, because it does, but the Jersey Shore just isn’t a place where it snows a lot. At least not consistently. Occasionally there are storms that come, and dump, and the conditions are right, and a lot gets dumped, but those conditions are rare. This year, the snow gods aligned their energies, and the conditions were right. That isn’t necessarily enough though, because sometimes, when it snows a lot at the Jersey Shore, it doesn’t snow a lot where it’s better to have a lot of snow. Like in the mountains. That wasn’t the case this year. While the Jersey Shore got 10 inches of snow, High Point NJ got almost two feet! With two feet of snow, there are a lot of options on the winter sports table.

The day after the storm ended, and the roads were clear enough, I drove over to my local hiking park, Hartshorne Woods, and donned my micro spikes, and set off into the normal loop I do with Mike and Jed. The going wasn’t too bad. There was about 8 inches of snow, and only a few people had been on the trail, however that included one brave soul who took in Laurel Ridge on cross country skis. A cross country skier, I am not, but Laurel Ridge seems like a pretty challenging route on skis, but this skier was perhaps a very experienced one, and able to make a go of it, as the tracks looked to be fairly stable, and I didn’t see anything that looked like the person had suffered for their choice of route. There were no broken trees, or bloodied bushes, so control seemed to have been maintained.

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Planning a Brokeback Mountain Weekend

February 14, 2021 § Leave a comment

When non-camping friends I have ask me just how do these weekend trips get planned, it’s hard to really comprehend all the negotiations that occur to determine a weekend, then to determine where we go, and finally to determine what we will do, besides build a big fire, consume the hauled-in assortment of quality craft beers, cook and share the equally well thought out food stuffs and smoke the many fine cigars and cigarette tobaccos. What is going to be posted here, for all to read, is some, maybe all the correspondence that flies around that great echo chamber known as The Internet as we work these details out.

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AT Massachusetts – That’s a Wrap

November 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

When we left off our last discussion, we were three, and happy and warm in Mark Noebels Shelter. For Ali and myself, we had just over a day remaining on the trail, and for Paul, he would accompany us to the summit, and there would branch off onto a side trail for a change of scenery. Mailman was with us as well, and had his own plans for the day. The only downer to start the day, is the rain did finally arrive before the sun came up, and there was a steady, moderate amount still falling from the sky. Today, at least the morning, would require proper rain gear, but, considering we weren’t under any real time constraints, there was no rush to get going. Even Mailman had his reservations about venturing out.

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AT Massachusetts – Treats on the Trail

November 9, 2020 § Leave a comment

By now you are aware that four of us started this adventure, and now only two remain. We have four days, including our biggest day, behind us now, and 3 and half days ahead of us. Since we started up the Race Brook access trail, we haven’t crossed a road that has contained anything remotely treat worthy, so we have been eating nothing but what we brought with us. While this doesn’t change on Day 5, it does change on Day 6, and then again on Day 7. Also, though Kevin got the call that told him if he wasn’t hiking then he should come home, and so home he went and we would not be seeing him on our last two days, we did pick up a new hiking mate for one night on the trail. That and more details follow in this edition of The Adventures of The Bird and The Persian Prince.

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AT Massachusetts – Planning

October 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

Last year, 2019 Christmas, I started and knocked out the Connecticut portion of the Appalachian Trail. You can read about that here and here, and maybe even here, however in preparation for that trip, I purchased the AMC guide book for that section, and what came with that was also the maps and guide for Massachusetts as well. So, it should not surprise to anyone, that as I was mass transiting back to NYC, I had already started thinking about what it would take to knock out Massachusetts as well.

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The Halfway on the AT – Not the Winter Trip We Expected

January 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

You may recall from my previous post, that there was a plan and except for a little damage to Andy’s wife’s Infinity and a little bit of rain, everything was so far going to plan. We all arrived safely, ate huge breakfasts at The Elkhorn in Bendersville, and we pared everything down to all the food, beer and booze we needed to enjoy all ourselves for the weekend. We set out from our parked vehicles, and we headed South on the AT, which at the start was nothing more than getting out of the parking lot, and walking along the road until the trail turned right and started climbing past some local hunting cabins. The grade was a pretty easy grade, and there really wasn’t anything in this day that was expecting to be any real challenge.

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The Halfway on the AT – Getting There

January 16, 2020 § Leave a comment

This is a very misleading title, because I am no where near halfway covered in AT mileage. Let’s be clear. I have only done the following:

  • NJ 72
  • NY 81
  • CT 51
  • Most of Vermont 100+
  • 16 miles in PA
  • 10 miles in MD
  • 20-30 miles in VA

That is it. I haven’t even walked a quarter of the AT, even if I note that I have done Jersey twice! So, when I title this “The Halfway” it is simply because our band of knuckleheads got together again for a weekend of fun in the woods, and we targeted Michaux State Forest, and more specifically Pine Grove Furnace which is where the AT Museum is located, and also the official halfway marker on the AT.

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Christmas AT Backpacking Trip – MA to NY via CT – It is A Wrap

January 14, 2020 § Leave a comment

The sixth time I felt my bladder had to be emptied, was around 5:10 in the am. I had slept on and off, however 5 times I had to get up at night, and one of those times, I needed to go around my tarp and move the rocks to tighten up the tautness in the tarp. I even extended the tent poles a little more to give me a wee bit more clearance. Anyway, here it was 5:10 in the am, and I knew I needed to get up. The question I presented to myself was this: “Why not simply get up, eat, and get going? Why pull into the destination shelter near the end of light? Why not simply, get there early? I contemplated these thoughts within the warm confines of my bag for another ten minutes, and then decided to follow through and this time, rather than simply dressing to pee, I dressed for the day.

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Christmas AT Backpacking Trip – MA to NY via CT Day 1

January 5, 2020 § 2 Comments

I stayed in the city Christmas Eve with Susan, filling our belly’s with Tenho ramen, and getting to bed long before midnight. My plan was to arrive at Grand Central with plenty of time to find my platform, and possibly find an open food establishment. Susan packed me a nice breakfast of granola, yogurt, and some Clementines, but with a long hike ahead, I thought some coffee, and a pastry of some sort would supplement well.

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