Weminuche 2021 – Day 5 Over Columbine

December 22, 2021 § Leave a comment

It rained most of the night, but when I awoke it had abated long enough for us to break camp and grab some breakfast. Though the rain had abated it wasn’t done for the day, and we’d be lucky to see the sun at all on this day. We didn’t really have all that far to go with the pass at maybe 2-2.5 and then another 1.5 down the other side. Remember from an earlier post that we were advised to take a site in the upper Chicago Basin where few, if any, of the Needleton access 14er-seekers will bother to hike up to. With a sense of urgency we broke camp while our water heated, and with no sun to dry anything, packed all our wet gear as it was. Sure it would be heavier, but we didn’t have to go far. With the main gear packed we took in our morning breakfasts and coffee drinks; we took care of our morning business and then we were off for Columbine Pass.

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A Return To Michaux

December 15, 2021 § Leave a comment

The plans for a late Fall adventure began to take shape during the 3 day Indigenous Peoples Day weekend in October when I accepted an invitation (I invited myself) to spend some time with my longtime friends Larry and Melanie Butler at their cabin in the woods behind Woodward, Pa. As it so happened, this was also the weekend of Pennsylvania’s tremendously successful gravel bike ride UnPaved, which Larry and I planned to “Bandit Ride” a shorter segment. I brought all my Pennsylvania Lizard maps with me so we could take some time to glance at “possibilities”.

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Weminuche 2021- Day 4 Up, Up and Away

December 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

If you recall, we broke two long days into three shorter days, and today was the second of those days, and this day would be nothing but regaining most, if not all of the elevation we lost yesterday. Distance-wise it was a little shorter, but terrain-wise we would hit some big gains in two sets of switchbacks, where I believe each set was 20-30 turns. The feeling was that we would find something between the second and third set where we could pitch our tents, but until we got there, we wouldn’t know. We hadn’t seen anyone we could ask.

The morning was another fine morning where the mountains to our East shielded us from direct sunlight until long after we hit the trail. Our fourth morning, and everything is very routine by now. Before I even leave my shelter, I have dressed, re-stuffed my sleeping bag, deflated the air mattress and returned it to its carry sack, deflated my pillow, and broken down and rolled up my tarp. Then it is time for hot water and a little relaxation while I watch everyone else do their thing. Of course Kevin is already up, as is Jim, and by the time I sit down, everyone is up and moving.

The Morning Sun is High Above Us
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Weminuche Wilderness 2021 – Day 2 A Two Pass Day

December 7, 2021 § Leave a comment

It’s been awhile since I last climbed the Continental Divide under my own power. I crossed it as a bus passenger in June, but that doesn’t count in my book. We were in the Pacific drainage when we both started and ended this day, but we hiked in the Atlantic drainage for a short while, which meant that we had two passes ahead of us. I can’t find a name for the first pass, and maybe there is a definition of “Pass” that I am unaware of that this first “Pass” doesn’t meet, but I feel like if I cross from one side to the other, say from one valley to another, that is a pass. The second for our day would be Hunchback Pass. A real name.

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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 § 1 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 § 1 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 § 1 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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