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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Christmas AT Backpacking Trip – The Preparation

January 4, 2020 § 2 Comments

After returning from a three day weekend backpacking trip in Pennsylvania Furnace State Park, also known as Michaux State Forest where the Appalachian Trail halfway point between Springer Mountain Georgia, and Mt Katahdin Maine lies, I had all my gear still out and ready to put away when I thought “What if I took some time before the end of the year and tried to knock out the AT in Connecticut?” Though not the shortest sections of the trail in any state, it is pretty low. Maybe even number 2 to West Virginia, but maybe even number 3 to Maryland. I knew that the total length in CT was just over 50 miles, and I was already familiar with the Southern terminus; I just didn’t know much about the Northern end.

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Hiking With Hunters

January 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

I don’t have any pictures of any of the hunters that we saw/met on the AT this past weekend. When you are unarmed, and miles from witnesses, it doesn’t seem like self-preservation to raise up your iPhone and start recording the dudes with the guns.

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The Devil’s Path

July 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

If you type “The Devil’s Path” into google the summaries in the top hits read like the following:

  • The Devil’s Path is a hiking trail in the Greene County section of the Catskill Mountains of New York, often described as one of the more challenging trails in the … (wikipedia)
  • Frequently called the most dangerous and toughest hike in the East, most hikers tackle this trail east to west in order to go up the steepest parts. You’ll bag five … (hikingproject.com)
  • The Catskills’ Devil’s Path got its name for a reason. (newyorkupstate.com)
  • Devil’s Path Trail is a 21.8 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Hunter, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is… (alltrails.com)
  • How to prepare for The Devil’s Path in the Catskills in New York – the toughest trail in the Northeast. (thetrek.co)

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NJ AT Hike #6

December 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Frosted weeds

“Who ever decided on extending this hike to 17A, Fuck You!” Andy was a little grumpy, and he had turned a patch of exposed pink granite gneiss into a Tempurpedic mattress for a short rest, but he was still moving, and in the end he was going to make it.

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NJ AT Hike #5

November 8, 2015 § 1 Comment

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Morning on the Wallkill Wildlife Refuge

It’s funny thing about trail systems. It doesn’t really matter what size the system is. We could be talking about your favorite local trail, for example The Grand Tour in Hartshorne Park here in Monmouth county. At some point in time, the trail requires a re-route. There are reasons for these changes; Some times it is to allow a used section of the trail to recover and regenerate. Where the area is large, say for example Harriman State Park in NY, trails can be moved fairly often so that no one section gets too abused. In the case of the AT there are many sections where private land is involved, and the land owner changes their mind, or the land changes hands and the new owners refuse to allow the right-of-way to continue. When this happens enough, new maps get issued.

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NJ AT Sectional Hike #3 – Culver’s Gap to High Point State Park

June 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

June 28, 2015

It’s been a month since our last hike (4 weeks technically), my oral surgery is still in recovery mode, but I am under no restrictions other than I am still on a soft food diet. Our plans of camping Saturday night, so that we could observe the Sunrise from Sunrise Mountain, were thoroughly washed away by a near tropical storm that came through late Saturday.

Getting Started Culver's Gap

Getting Started Culver’s Gap

I awoke in a daze. I had fallen asleep in the chair I had last been sitting in watching another episode of The IT Crowd. (Episodes on Netflix!) I hadn’t done anything to prepare for my hike and I needed to get some bed rest before awaking for real at 4:30. I did take some time to put a lunch together and then retired to my bedroom. I wanted to get to bed, so I figured I would just put everything together in the morning and I crawled into bed.

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