Thursday, May 31, 2012

Half Way

Thursday, May 24, 2012:  They say it takes five million steps to hike the whole Appalachian Trail. If so, then I took my five millionth step today. That's 2184.2 official trail miles hiked this year. Of course, I haven't hiked the whole trail - just half of it. But since I retrace my steps every day, I've now hiked the equivalent of the entire trail.

Half way in less than five months. That's pretty good. I now have more than seven months to do the other half - so let's get on with it. No lingering celebrations today. No parties. Just a renewed determination to make it all the way.

For the details of today's bit of trail - who and what I saw, and what I'll remember - I'm again turning to my personal journal:


I parked at NY 22 near the Appalachian Trail Metro Station again and was on the trail at 6:50AM to hike a 3.5 mile leg north. In the past I have always loved the meadow and pasture walks. This morning’s hike started out with a mile of that, but I hated it because the grass in the successive fields kept getting higher and higher until it was nearly waist high. And of course it was all soaking wet.

At first, in the lower grass, I was having reasonable success keeping my feet dry, but across the final field of waist-high grass that was impossible, so all the care and energy I spent keeping my feet dry was wasted, and that’s what really bothered me – the pointlessness of all my effort.

The most interesting part of this section was this Jules Verne Rocket Ship waiting to launch from a grassy hillside.  It's actually a 1920's water tower built by a local dairy business that has long ago vanished.  Only the sturdy water tower remains to mark its location.

At the end of the mile of field walking, the trail enters Pauling Nature Reserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy if I interpreted the sign correctly. There was a trail register there, which I signed, and I used the removable drawer in the register box as a dry seat – sat down and changed my socks, putting on cotton socks to try to absorb as much of the shoe moisture as possible before later putting on a regular pair of hiking socks.

In the nature reserve the trail begins to climb Hammersly Ridge and then begins to pass a series of side trails along the ridge top. First there was a red trail that crossed the AT and went both east and west, then after about half a mile there's a yellow trail. Beyond the yellow junction the AT begins a series of sharp little rocky ups and downs - no more than 20 feet elevation change with each of them, but the come one after another in quick succession, so it feels like a roller coaster.  When that ends, the AT gets on a long stretch of puncheon and right near the start of that there is a ‘puncheon junction’ with the same red trail headed back on the west side (left). That was quickly followed by a green trail to the left and then a red trail (or the same one) departing to the right. Then, after almost a mile there’s a yellow trail, near the northern end of the Pauling Nature Reserve, which goes right (east). I turned around there after changing into my third pair of socks and headed back, passing one guy who looked like a thru-hiker and an older couple clearly out for a short day hike.

I got back to the parking area at 10:45 and spent the next two hours off the trail, changing into dry shoes and socks and driving to my next parking area with a fairly long stop to replenish the ice in my cooler. Then I found my next parking area at Hoyt Road where there is a nice little square parking area off the road to the east, right where the AT leaves the road going northbound after a short road walk.

I finished my preparations and was back on the trail at 12:45, headed back south. The trail crosses a few overgrown fields and climbs a bit then begins to descend through woods in a twisting route that finally comes to a big stream called Duell Hollow Brook. After crossing it on a fairly elaborate footbridge composed of two spans well above the water, the trail ascends to cross Duell Hollow Road and then ascends fairly steeply to the Wiley Shelter.

There’s a hand pump below the shelter a few hundred yards, but a sign taped to it said ‘out of order’. The trail comes right up to the shelter and then makes a sharp left turn right in front of it and continues up to the high ground. Wiley Shelter has sagging fiberboard floors – didn’t look very comfortable. I got out the register and was starting to read it when a hiker came down (from the south) and sat down at the picnic table with me. I was reading the register and trying to talk with him at the same time - telling him that the pump was out of order but that there was a small stream running across the trail right in the same area, when the last register entry caught my eye.

It was ‘Meats’! He had signed the register today. Well, the guy I was talking with turns out to be a thru-hiker also, named ‘Salty’, and he had met ‘Meats’ back in Duncannon but had been behind him since then after taking two zero days. He said he saw Meats’ entry in the Telephone Pioneers Shelter – he had apparently stayed there last night. That means that Meats had to have passed me today somewhere. But even with my two hours off the trail, I picked up the trail seven miles further ahead, so it seems unlikely that Meats covered those seven miles in two hours. Did he get a super-early start, such that he had already hiked the 3 miles from Tel Pioneer Shelter to NY 22 before I hit the trail there at 6:50? It’s certainly possible, since the sun rises at 5:30. Anyhow, I was both excited (to know he had made it this far) and agitated because I had missed him.  He would have been the only person I've passed three times (February 23rd in TN when he was on a weekend training hike, March 15th in NC as he was heading north, having now started his thru-hike, and today).

‘Salty’ figures he would stay at the Mt. Algo Shelter tonight – and that’s already beyond the entire section I would hike tomorrow. Salty also had met ‘Patches’ and had heard of or met several other thru-hikers that I know. He’s a nice kid – pretty young – and it’s likely we’ll meet again tomorrow, since he’s taking a short day to give his feet a break – they were getting sore from hiking in wet socks for several days.

Beyond Wiley Shelter, once up on the high ground, the trail drops right back down to cross Leather Hill Road, then climbs right back up to the high ground and meanders with small ups and downs, and always on easy trail with few rocks, for the nearly two miles to my turn-around at the Yellow Trail intersection (that seems to be the actual name of this trail). The trip out took about two hours and the return trip took less time. I was back at my parking lot at 4:30 and still feeling pretty energetic.

I reloaded supplies and studied maps a bit then headed out for one final short leg of hiking. I hiked north across CT 55. I should pause and mention that somewhere around the Yellow Trail I had passed my half-way point, having hiked the equivalent of the entire length of the AT. And now, as I hiked from the parking lot at Hoyt Road to CT 55 I crossed the state line and entered Connecticut for the first time. The short section between these two roads is uneven, going over a little rocky ridge and through some swampy stuff and even some fields, all in a quarter mile. After crossing CT 55 there’s a short level section in the woods and then the trail makes the steady but easy climb to the summit of Tenmile Hill.

There is a vista marked on the map at that summit. It’s actually a tiny gap between some trees – what I call a ‘slot view’ from a rocky point a few feet off the trail. That was my turn-around point for the day. I headed back and was finished for the day by just after 6PM.


Missing 'Meats' and walking the tall wet grass were the big downers of the day.  On the up side, of course, were the two milestones - my personal half-way point and the first contact with Connecticut.  The weather was great - it never got hot because a northeast maritime breeze kept clouds overhead.  It was in the 60's basically all day - perfect for hiking once the grass dried out.  Can I order a few more days like this?


Here's the track recorded by my GPS for today's hike.  The extraneous straight line is an artifact of the way the EveryTrail web site presents my data, and I can do nothing about it.  The title above the map is a hot link to the entire album of photos taken during today's hike:

AT Day 131 - Pawling Nature Reserve at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Man-made trail sights

Wednesday, May 23, 2012:

Let's have a little fun, then I'll attach my dry trail description at the end. Here's probably the only place you can get a train directly on the Appalachian Trail. Hike to here and the next thing you know, you're off to Istanbul.
Did you notice the bird sitting on the roof of his house in the above photo?
When the trail needs to cross a small swamp ... one that can't be bypassed ... the Boy Scouts of America come to the rescue:
Hiker Trash vs. Hunter Trash - the escalating war:
Trash trash. The trashiest place on the AT (Springer to here). Grab some buds, maintainers ... underage drinkers are not going to pack out the evidence. This beautiful vista needs to be better patrolled.
The new luxury boardwalk and the old puncheon and footbridge. There's almost a half mile of new boardwalk here over the aptly named Swamp River valley, so I'm including a couple of pics:
Whale Rock. I named it that ... don't know the name it's given by the locals, if any. Maybe 'Moray Eel Rock'???
We have a Whale Rock along Rist Canyon Road west of Fort Collins, CO, where I lived in the 70's. That one is much smaller, but it's in a much more prominent place. So the Colorado artists have gone wild. Back in the early 70's they had just painted the eye, and in my opinion, the minimalist approach works best. Wonder if I still have an old photo ...
Okay ... humans are man-made, no? Here's 'Bomber' and his rubber chicken 'Henry'. The second thru hiker I've met twice, two months - to the day - separating the two meetings in both cases.
And yes, Nuclear Lake is a man-made lake. I revisited this enclave of serenity again today:
So now, for the detail-oriented, here's the verbose transcription describing today's hike from my personal journal:

I dressed and headed out a bit after 7:30. It was already summery humid and warm, with the temperature overnight never lower than the low 60’s and dew point to match, obviously.

The hike was interesting from the start and remained so most of the leg south. I first had a road walk past a nursery and landscaping business, which, I’m told, offers free showers to hikers. Then the trail leaves Highway 22 at the Appalachian Trail Metro-North stop, only used on weekends and holidays. Beyond the tracks there is nearly a half mile of spanking-new boardwalk over Swamp River and its attendant broad swamp. There’s even a beaver pond with huge lodge right near the boardwalk.

The trail then climbs a small mountain, Corbin Hill, in the woods and descends the other side in fields with scenic views of a rock outcrop on a ridge to the west. While crossing these fields I met ‘Bomber’ again. We had a very nice chat and took each others’ photos. I hope I can follow his progress as he continues north.

At the bottom of this field walk, the trail passes Dover Oak – a huge old white oak of massive girth, supposedly the biggest on the trail – right beside West Dover Road, county highway 20. Then there’s a little swamp crossing before the significant ascent begins. That ascent starts on a slippery-when-wet bedrock spine. Why they relocated the trail there escapes me – the old trail is visible passing over normal terrain just to the left as you ascend. I suspect it’s pure laziness – bedrock is easier to ‘fix’ than erosion on the old trail. That sketchy bit only lasts a couple hundred yards though, and then the ascent is on normal trail, aka soil, and is fairly easy. It’s interrupted before the summit by the side trail to the Telephone Pioneers Shelter – no historic significance to the name, it was just sponsored by the local chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America when it was built in 1988. I stopped in there and took a photo and signed the register as I do at every shelter. I had the place to myself, but as I was leaving, the same couple who I’d met at Morgan Stewart Shelter yesterday at lunch time, were arriving to take a break. Remembering my first impression from yesterday, I was a little guarded.  But today these two were pleasant company. We chatted for just a few moments and I learned their trail names: ‘Day-Glo’ and ‘Blue Bird’, section hiking from Del. Water Gap to North Adams, MA.

I headed on out for the second half of the ascent to the ridge top where the rock outcrop I spied on the field walking earlier now presented me with a great view of where I had just hiked and Dover Oak. I’ve marked it on the photo below:
There was a beer-can-littered illegal campfire site right near the viewpoint – dozens of cans – more trashy than any spot I’ve encountered anywhere on the AT between here and Georgia. Underage drinkers are *not* going to pack out the condemning evidence, so somebody has to patrol this area better.

From the summit the trail gradually descends, passing a couple of side trails and an Eagle Scout constructed bridge over a significant swamp area. Finally I reached my turn-around point at Nuclear Lake and had a chance to linger there again on a nearly calm, humid, summery late morning.

On the hike back I finally ran into the late-60’s-ish couple who own the red van with NC plates that ‘Scooter’ is shuttling. They’re a very nice pair, excited to learn of my way of hiking. I was especially impressed by the smiling eyes – very pleasant people. Tomorrow is their last day on the trail for the year. Each year since 1990 they’ve hiked a section, starting in Springer and steadily working north. Next year they hope to do all of CT and MA.

I got back to the NY 22 parking area at 1:30, just as a few sprinkles were beginning to fall. I checked the radar – good internet reception there at the parking area – and it looked like a quick, insignificant shower that would quickly be finished. So I might have headed out right away, except for the fact that I was deliberately taking things a little easier since my ‘watershed’ reassessment and three zero-days. Instead I chose to have some lunch and rest a bit. And that turned out to be a very good choice, because by 2:30 the skies had opened up. There was a nearly stationary shower that had developed, mostly to the south, that was just endlessly dumping heavy rain here. I’m guessing that ‘Bomber’ had already gone far enough north that he missed this shower completely. But I was obviously not going to go out and hike in that. It lasted for more than an hour as I had more lunch and then napped to 4PM. I still had thoughts of doing the planned short leg north in the evening, but it was still dripping rain at 4:30, so I decided to settle for this short under-quota day and use the time to catch up on the blog writing and publishing.


And that I did with this long post.  And I'm back on an even keel, ready for an early start tomorrow.  Hope the weather co-operates.


Below is a map of my hike today.  The title is a hot link that takes you to 22 photos taken along the route.

AT Day 130 - Nuclear Lake to NY 22 at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three people-stories

Tuesday, May 22, 2012: From my personal journal:

Rain delayed my start today.  Studying the radar I was anticipating it ending gradually, and indeed it did.  I hit the trail at 10AM, starting at the I-84 overpass on Stormville Mountain Road.

The 3.5 mile section of trail from I-84 to Depot Hill Road is described in the guidebook as having some tough rocky scrambles. I think there were three short ones, maybe only two, that really slowed me down. Otherwise it seemed like pretty easy trail to me, and there was very little major elevation change – just small ups and downs. The view from the rock outcrop on Mt. Egbert was great but the overhanging clouds and some humidity made for less than the best viewing conditions.

I bypassed Morgan Stewart Memorial Shelter on my way north. Hearing people talking there, I opted to visit on the way back, as always hoping for an empty shelter so I can take care of my business without distractions. When I got to Depot Hill Road I found that the unmaintained east side section (which I had scouted and chose not to drive earlier) ends at the summit where there are communication towers. The road is actually nicely paved from there on west down the hill. The parking area is a bit more than a tenth of a mile road walk to the actual summit (the trail crosses east of the summit) and was a very nice little off-road space. As I walked back I was formulating plans to use that as my next parking area.

Stopping at the shelter I had it to myself at first, then a couple hiking a long section from Delaware Water Gap to Massachusetts came in for lunch. I sensed some tension or something, and they man seemed fixated on whether I was going north or south (which I wasn’t explaining very clearly, saying I was currently going south but go both ways every day and am, in the larger sense, heading north). They were a nice couple – probably just an off moment to talk with them.

Then another people story: Just as I was emerging at the I-84 overpass about 1PM I ran into the older, smallish bearded man I had passed a couple times yesterday. This time he was without his backpack, compass in hand, studying the trailhead bulletin board. He seemed a little frantic, and upsett. When he started to ask me his question, he was incoherent – the words made no sense to me. He was pointing to his compass and to me, very perplexed. Finally he pulled out a card which explained that he has aphasia as a result of a stroke. The problem with this impairment is that he can’t express his question, but similarly cannot understand my answer. I’m pretty sure that he was disoriented by the road walk and wasn’t sure which way was northbound. But it wasn’t clear to me, and so I’m not sure if I helped him. I don’t know where he left his backpack, but it would seem difficult to mistake where he came from (south) from where he had not yet been (north). Otherwise he has no business alone hiking the AT.  As I repeatedly pointed northbound, saying "Appalachian Trail North" he seemed to suddenly have an ‘aha’ moment and articulated it pretty well. "Okay, Right!"  I left him and went toward my vehicle parked a quarter mile down the road, but saw him still going back and forth at the intersection as if still confused. He must be competent enough to do what he's doing … but I wonder. I didn’t see him again today.

The sky was generally brightening except for a few dark patches with sprinkles. So I headed out to find the west-side access to Depot Hill Road. It was a very nice residential road all the way to within sight of the parking area. I parked there and headed north. In less than two miles, the first half of which was roughly level with little ups and downs and the second half of which was a steady but not difficult descent, I reached civilization again.  I crossed an abandoned railroad that is apparently slated to become a commuter rail route to NYC, then crossed old Highway 55, then new highway 55 then passed the side trail to the parking lot on new 55 – no bigger than the one on Depot Hill Road and similarly configured as a little square lot. A sign indicated that the side trail to the lot was, until 2006, the route of the AT.

By then the weather had turned really nice – some sun was breaking out and the wind was calm. It was humid and the rain had left the air fresh smelling – pretty much my favorite kind of conditions. I had the time (barely) so decided to hike on to my minimum ‘quota’ destination for the day. Perhaps I shouldn’t have because the return climb, coming at the end of the day, wore me out. But I get ahead of the story … I decided to head on and turn around at Nuclear Lake, which I learned is so named because it’s the site of a former nuclear testing facility (until the 1970’s). But now it’s owned by the state and I found it to be an absolutely serene setting on this calm evening. Nobody else was there, and there were no sounds of gunshots – the guidebook says there’s a firing range nearby. It could not have been a nicer place to end my day. I lingered a little and took lots of photos. Above is my pick from among them.

On the way back I wasted time checking out a reroute identified by signs on both ends as being twice as long as the 0.15 mile section it replaces. That’s such a short distance that I decided to check the old trail to see if I could figure out why it was rerouted. I could see nothing other than a couple patches of maidenhair ferns in a little valley – are they rare in this area? Otherwise the old trail looked nicer than the new – no erosion or rock or bog problems at all. I concluded that there may have been some kind of endangered or threatened species there – or perhaps there was a bit of low level nuclear contamination.

Anyhow, now comes a third people story for the day.  After a few minutes back on the trail south I passed a guy who, upon seeing me, immediately asked “Are you ‘Seeks It’?” This turned out to be ‘Bomber’, a guy I met below Gingersnap’s trail magic site near Rock Gap. Once again my ‘face blindness’ was painfully evident. I studied the guy’s face intently and could not recall him. He told me where we met, but even that only brings back vague memories. He was the guy who passed me praising the amazing brownie he had just eaten. I do not remember any more of the conversation, though I told him I had just met Gingersnap coming back from delivering said brownies.  I don’t remember him saying his trail name or saying mine, though clearly the conversation must have been more extended than I remember. I was probably distracted by the long conversation I had just had with Gingersnap.

Anyhow, back to today ( I checked my entry for the date of our first meeting, March 22nd, AGAIN two months TO THE DAY, between encounters - same as with 'Parkside'/Paul) Bomber was headed to the Telephone Pioneers Shelter and would get there just before sunset and wanted to spread out all his stuff to dry it out, so I didn’t want to delay him. We had a nice but brief conversation and he mentioned Trail Journals – he might write in my guest book and post his email there.

I headed on back to my Depot Hill, kicking myself, wishing I could just roll up in a ball, because of my ‘disability’. It happens I was wearing the same Honda hat that I was wearing at Rock Gap, and maybe my beard is distinctive, so maybe ‘Bomber’ had an easier time recognizing me than I did him (he’s a normal looking 20-something with no particularly distinguishing characteristics – medium height, dark brown hair, etc.). But he instantly recognized me and then I’m sure I hurt his feelings by gazing at him, studying his face, puzzled and failing to recognize him. Yes, it makes me just want to roll up in a ball and cry. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but I simply cannot recognize faces unless I’ve imprinted sufficient other memories to go with the face.

So it was with a sense of defeat that I made the climb back up from 55 to Depot Hill.  As I said earlier, it wore me out, coming at the end of the day.  I was hurrying and my mood probably didn't help. Back 'home' all I wanted to do was sleep.

Ahh, to sleep: perchance to dream ... of Nuclear pansies, glowing in the dark ...

Memories of my peaceful interlude at the lake flooded back, and soon I was content.


AT Day 129 - Nuclear Lake at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fishkill Plains

Monday, May 21, 2012: This is the only photo worth highlighting today. It is a view west-northwest from Hosner Mountain and, as described in the guidebook, overlooks the Fishkill Plains, the Hudson Highlands (first mountains beyond), the Shawangunks (next), and finally the Catskills (tops in the clouds, most easily seen on the right side of the photo).

Other than that, I'll let my personal journal description provide the detail of today's episode of "The Trail Goes Ever Onward" and insert a photo or two as time permits.


Radar echoes of significance were moving north and could hit as early as noon, so I dressed for a sunrise start to my hiking. I actually was on the trail half an hour after sunrise, at 6AM, headed south on fairly rock free trail over Stormville Mountain, then dropping down to cross Hosner Mountain Road then back up to Hosner Mountain where the trail sidesteps the summit and opts for side-hill walking. It is fairly difficult rocky, up and down trail for the first couple of miles, passing the blue blazed Hosner Loop Trail – blue blazes still prominently visible but with signs at both ends saying the trail was closed in July 2010. The tough walking is partially justified by the reward of a few vista points including the one shown above.

The trail gets easier as it begins to gradually descend toward the Taconic State Parkway. Because they provide variety, I always really enjoy the road walking associated with overpasses or underpasses of major freeways, and this was no exception. South of that underpass the trail drops into a stream valley and crosses another road where the unusual RPH shelter is located – a former house converted to a shelter by tearing out a wall on one side. It’s right by the road and neat as a pin, so obviously must have a near-constant presence of some sort of caretaker.

Beyond RPH I made the climb, steep only at first, then in small steps, up to my turn-around point at the very trashy parking area at Long Hill Road. On my return trip through the rough rocky section on Hosner Mountain I could see significant rain approaching. When it hit, it started suddenly and fairly heavily, so there was no debate about pulling out my poncho – get it on as quick as possible.

The rain hit right about noon, just exactly as I had projected before leaving this morning. And once it hit it stayed. With just one brief break it rained all the rest of the way back - an hour and a half. I got out of my wet stuff, ate lunch and took a long nap then checked weather again. There appeared to be a brief break in the rain coming, so I prepared, put on my old hiking shoes (comfortable as an old shoe), and headed out a bit after 5:30 PM.

This walk was easy and fun – it featured some open woods walking with little understory, then a field walk that would have had an impressive view to the west if it weren’t for the fog, then a stretch of road walking to cross over I-84. I was finished this short leg by 7PM, having successfully accomplished the minimum miles I had hoped for today despite the rain. Tomorrow looks to be even more soggy, so let's hope I can squeeze in some hiking without getting thoroughly soaked.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunk Mine musings

Sunday, May 20, 2012. Because I hike every bit of trail twice every day, I very much *care* about the trail's character as I pass through it the first time - for the very reason that I'm going to have to negotiate the same features on the way back. I think that makes me pay attention a good deal more than a one-way through hiker might.

My morning section today took me past Sunk Mine - an old magnetite mine that had a narrow gauge railroad serving it.  The AT follows that railroad grade for more than a mile of easy level walking.  I appreciated that ever so much when my afternoon leg took me over two miles of unpleasantly difficult trail beside ('overlooking') Canopus Lake with never a view of the lake or anything else except adjacent opportunities to relocate the trail onto much more level, rock free terrain.   I can only guess that when the trail was originally built to traverse the lake-facing gnarly rocky side-slope, that there *was* a view, now lost behind the growth of trees.

My morning section then took me past a very pretty waterfall draining a beaver pond, said to be the actual site of Sunk Mine.  I appreciated that trail low point as much as I appreciated two high points on my afternoon section north of Canopus Lake.  There was this view of the lake itself from a  rock outcrop on the north end, and then there was the view, below, from Shenandoah Mountain looking up towards the Catskills.  The dim outlines of those higher mountains was nearly lost in the haze.

I'll never get to the Catskills.  Not on this adventure anyway.  The trail skirts them and heads into Connecticut.  Although I'm enjoying New York, I'm impatient to get to that state line.  I'll tell you why when I get there.


Here's the track of today's hike and a link to more photos:

AT Day 127 - Canopus Lake at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Saturday, May 19, 2012:

Yep, that's all that the AT did for me today - cross roads. No vistas, no unusual trail, just woods hiking through rocky glacier-shaped landscape that was riddled with roads.

South to north this section starts at the NY 403/US 9 crossing, crosses three roads that seem to be associated with the Graymoor Franciscan monastery complex, then climbs a rocky hill and descends to cross the Old Albany Post road (a dirt road) where it intersects with a surprisingly busy dead end dirt road called Chapman Road.  Next comes Canopus Hill Road, then South Highlands Road, and finally I turned around where the AT crosses Dennytown Road at a nice spacious parking lot.

That's it.  That was the main business of the day.  But I also had to go back and hike the Trailside Zoo at Bear Mountain again, because it was closed yesterday evening when I tried to make my return trip through it.  This time I was able to hike it both ways, which is mandatory for me.  Yesterday I had to take the Blue Blazed bypass trail on the way back south.  Today I took my time and enjoyed the views from a couple of side trails.  This view of the Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose is about the only photo I took today worthy of publishing:
There were some interesting people-encounters today, though. It seemed like most of the hikers I passed this morning I had also passed yesterday. With most of these we just exchanged the usual passing platitudes, but I stopped and talked for fifteen minutes with one couple that I had only a cursory conversation with yesterday. It turns out that Kirk and Cindy were on their way from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to their home in Norfolk, CT via roads and the AT. They had just completed a continuous year-long thru-hike of the American Discovery Trail, doing it west-to-east, which is not common since the available directions are only given for east-to-west hikers. They have also hiked other trails. Kirk has hiked the PCT, the continental divide trail, and the AT twice (1978 and 1983) as well as various other shorter trails – 20,000 miles in all. He took my photo and asked if he could post it on his blog (he gave me a card), and I took their photo as well. It seems he’s a ‘professional hiker’, or effectively so. His web site is ‘’ where he lists himself as a hiker, musician, speaker and author. It’s amazing the stories behind the people you meet on the trail, if only you take the time to discover them.

Here's today's track, which looks like a mess because I had to go back to Bear Mountain.  The software that EveryTrail uses connects the GPS points whether it's a good idea to connect them or not.  I have no control over it, unfortunately.  Also included is a link to their site, where I've uploaded many more photos.

AT Day 126 - Graymoor at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Yonkers, New York

Friday, May 25, 2012

How it should always be

A state of serenity captured on 'film', perfect weather to be outdoors. 8AM Friday, May 18, 2012 - nobody around - atop Bear Mountain. Let it always be this way.
Perfect trail. 800 half-ton granite steps and thousands of hours of volunteer labor have turned a rocky eroded mess into the apotheosis for the whole trail. Let it someday be so. *Please* take note, custodians of the section of trail between Newfound Gap and Charlie's Bunion. (Should Mahoosuc Notch be thusly tamed? Let the debate begin.)
Available to all. This view is handicapped accessible. Whenever I open my eyes, let me behold such beauty.
Ultra-light, ultra fit. 'Swivel' and 'Spiral' left Springer March 20th and they're already here on Bear Mountain. I shared the descent of the 800 granite steps with them. Fit when they started, well equipped, determined. Let every prospective thru-hiker follow their example, and godspeed to them.
And finally, let every AT road crossing come equipped with a 24 hour full service deli and pizza shop.


There are many, many more photos from today's interesting trek through Bear Mountain Park, etc.  The map below shows my route and the title line is a link to the other photos:

AT Day 125 - Bear Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York


Thursday, May 17, 2012:  Back on the trail after three zero days, and today wasn't a full hiking day because of the long drive from home.  I'm excerpting from my personal journal to save time - will probably do that more often, as I've learned a lesson from the three days off - I've been pushing myself too hard.  Not only will I have to listen to my body more carefully, I'll have to cut back on the daily miles and on the daily computer time.

Sorry, but that means a lot less interesting writing style (assuming it was ever interesting in the first place) - but my personal journal usually gives "just the facts, ma'am" :

After making a wrong turn I finally got to the Seven Lakes Drive parking lot and was on the trail at 11AM. Then I almost immediately made a wrong turn on the trail, wasting a bit more time. Once on the right track I hiked south on some newly rerouted trail, clearly new this year, only returning to the old trail as I emerged at the first vista point, which looked east to Bear Mountain. There was a second vista east higher up, then the trail hopped quickly over to a rock outcrop on the other side of the ridge, a hundred yards away, with a great view west. Then it follows the bedrock along that west side of the ridge past several more viewpoints with the same view until it reaches the blue blazed side trail to the West Mountain Shelter. It was a half mile walk to the shelter from the AT, but what a fantastic setting! The shelter is perched on bedrock with a panoramic view out its front overlooking the Hudson River. The shelter itself is in fairly bad shape – another of those of the same design as Fingerboard and probably built in the same time frame (1920’s). It has a missing floor board and a big hole in the roof.

Back to the AT (southbound), right after this side trail it begins to descend pretty steeply down to the bridge breaching Beechy Bottom Brook (say that fast ten times), then crossing the busy Palisades Interstate Parkway with cars roaring by at 70 miles per hour – scary.

Then the trail ascends Black Mountain. It seemed a quick ascent, steep but not too rocky until near the top. There you emerge to a wonderful view of the New York City skyline 37 miles away (according to the sign on the Parkway below). I had heard that you could see the city from the trail, and am so glad I had a low humidity clear day to catch that view. That’s exactly how I like to experience the Big Apple – from a good distance, from a wilderness setting. That’s as close as I care to come to the noise and bustle and pollution, thank you very much.

As I started coming off Black mountain I passed the maintainer for the section between there and William Brian Shelter – a gray haired woman, small and wiry. She was eating lunch on a rock and we had just a brief conversation in which I probably thanked her four or five times for the work she does that benefits us all. Just beyond her was a very nice viewpoint overlooking Silver Mine Lake, then the trail drops down into a pretty little valley, just a couple hundred feet below the ridge, then back up to the ridge again for the last mile to William Brien Shelter, my turn-around point.

It was 3PM when I got to the Shelter and there were two guys there who were apparently settling in to camp there tonight. One asked me about water in the direction I’d come from and I told him about the nice little stream in the valley a mile away. I hope they didn’t go that far for water, because there’s a side trail from the shelter down to Silver Mine Lake that’s much shorter – reaching a stream that feeds the lake well before reaching the lake itself.

On the way back I was passed by an ‘angry hiker’ who seemed to be yelling at the trail every time it took him up rocky slopes (or at least shouting at something). I didn’t ask, but from the looks of him – beard, etc. – he was a thru-hiker who was slack-packing to Bear Mountain Inn. I told him to watch for the NYC skyline as he passed it and he did stop and take a quick photo. Back down at the Beechy breach I sat down on the bridge to eat a snack before beginning the ascent and the same guy passed me again, in even more of a fury. He had taken a wrong turn at a place where, if I had not noticed the turn on my way south I might have also missed an AT northbound turning left where the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail goes straight ahead.  The turn isn’t well marked. I told him that I had heard that the trail farther north is even less well blazed to which he just commented ‘we’ll see’ as he hurried on his way.

When I got back to my starting point it was not quite 6PM so I took a quick hike starting up Bear Mountain – just a half mile to the crossing of Perkins Drive before returning to my vehicle.

And them's the facts, Ma'am.

As I said up top, I need to streamline my daily schedule.  Here's what I wrote in my personal journal about that tonight:

It was only when I started my usual after-hike routine that I fully learned the lesson that these three days off the trail were trying to tell me.  It was eye-opening to note how much more lively I felt than I had in the same situation in recent hiking days. I suddenly realized how thoroughly exhausted I had been – virtually every night. I had been really pushing myself too hard and didn’t fully realize it. Yet it’s all so clear now, given that 3 day break. I mean I was tired tonight, and wanted to do nothing but go to sleep after eating, but by comparison, I was a wreck – a total zombie – for the last several nights prior to this break. No wonder I was rebelling and feeling so down. There’s no question that I need to slow down. And that may mean revisiting my goal of finishing by the end of October. I should allow myself the entire calendar year if I need it – just get to Maine without killing myself and then see if there’s enough time left to do that last 354.2 miles at the end of the year. If it’s still possible then maybe that would be the time to really push myself.

So, yes, I'm optimistic that I can still achieve this goal.  I only need to hike eleven or twelve miles per day to finish by December 31st.  And since I don't mind being on the trail for eleven or twelve hours a day, or even more, I can do that at a snail's pace if I feel like it.

And yes, as should be obvious, the last few days have been a watershed for me - new landscape, new views.  I even spent the day breaking in new trail running shoes - so far so good with that.  Psychologically also, these new slopes are taking me in an entirely new direction.  Let's hope it leads to Maine :-)


Here's a map of today's route with a link to more photos:

AT Day 124 - Black Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why I will Keep Trying

Wednesday, May 16, 2012:  Things are looking better.  Three zero days and a lot of AT map and guidebook study have turned the tide.

Monday I was in a funk.  It took me all day to travel back home - many stops along the way.  I didn't even start driving until noon, and didn't arrive until sunrise Tuesday.

Yesterday I began the serious assessment - self examination and reality check - which is reflected in yesterday's post. I also took two long showers, got lots of rest, did all the necessary shopping (bought new trail running shoes, as the old ones are rapidly falling apart) and did four loads of laundry.

Today I slept more than I have in months, and spent nearly 8 hours of serious research and analysis, looking at maps and books and internet information covering every one of the last 796.6 miles of trail I have yet to hike to get to Katahdin.

The basic question I needed to answer before I would even consider going back to the trail is this:  If I can't average more than 1 mile per hour on some of the toughest stretches of New England trail, are there enough parking and access points to allow me to still achieve my unique goal?  That goal (if it isn't already clear) is to become the first person to hike the entire AT both ways in one calendar year without support and without spending a single night camping or otherwise sleeping in the wild (i.e. back home before midnight every night - home being my 'poor man's RV' or 'two-ton steel tent' as I call it).

So ... is that possible?  Are there enough access points where I can park and do my out-n-back day hikes every day all the way to Katahdin?

I am delighted to say that the answer is an unqualified YES!

In fact there are *more* than enough access points through the toughest parts of the White Mountains and western Maine.  Some of them require 2 to 4 miles of spur-trail access-hiking each way, but these insert me into otherwise very remote and long stretches of difficult AT.

And in the 100 Mile Wilderness - toll roads are my friend.  Jo-Mary Road alone branches out to provide me with five different access points spread out nicely along the trail.  The Katahdin Iron Works Road gives me another critical insertion point.  In two cases I can get to the trail by way of ski lifts or ski trails if necessary.

The logistics of the long drives between access points will be a challenge, but once I'm inserted into my starting point for the day, the hiking challenge will be manageable.

In fact there is hardly a day I will have to hike 20 miles, even where the trail is flat and easy through the remote areas of eastern and central Maine.  The reality is that Great Smoky Mountains National Park presents by far the greatest challenge to my method of doing the trail - in the form of those four 30+ mile day-hikes.  And those are well and truly behind me! 

So the burden has been lifted.  I'm rested.  I know that I'm on no 'Fool's Errand'.  I'm ready to head back to the trail.  Bring it on!

Why I might fail

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012:  

(Today is the first day of the new Return (year), and of a new four-year "Tally" of the 43 Ides. This from my sci-fi fantasy tale - the calendar and spiritual prayer cycle in use in that distant future time when the Seventh and final Shepherd was emerging. The holiest of days in a Tally, "The Lost Day," has just come and gone while we slept. It is a most appropriate day for reflection and self-examination. For those interested, I've appended more at the end of this post).

There is nothing terribly light and airy about this post, so skip over it if you don't want to read about the down-side of long-distance hiking.

After 123 day-hikes so far in 2012, I'm off the trail, taking a zero day today (Tuesday, May 15).  It seemed like a good time ... rainy day.  But that's not the main reason I needed a zero at this particular time.  I'm at a low point.  I feel beaten down ... old ... weary.  It feels like the trail, or my routine, is breaking me.  There's not as much joy as before ... and more pain.

I've not yet reached half-way in this journey, but I'm close, so the lights at both ends of the tunnel seem dim and far away.  I've lost the freshness and enthusiasm that comes at the start, but cannot yet sense the approaching finish-line.

Physically I have no major single problem that would be a show stopper.  But there is an accumulation of little things.  There are the chronic issues that I came to the trail with, such as my 1986 broken left ankle that the doc chose to let heal with a bone fragment out of place (so the ankle is not as stable as a normal one).   There are the strange new issues, such as the pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders, that have become chronic on the trail.  Note that I've used the term 'such as'.  A complete list of the complaints I have would bore the reader to tears.  Lets just say that pain is an integral part of this process of getting to Maine, just as the old saying warns.

Did you know that I somehow ripped the nail off my right little toe?  Yes, I said *somehow*.  It happened about five days ago, and I didn't even notice when it happened.  That's how numb my feet have become.  That's how much tolerance for pain it takes to do this thing.

Did you notice my report that I hiked two thousand miles of trail and just recently re-injured my weak left ankle off-trail while trying to crush an aluminum soda can?  Such a classic prototypical story of irony that is ... and now I have my own version of it.

So I ask myself:  Do I appreciate how hard this has become?  Do I really like to hike *that much*?  Am I ready for it to get tougher ... when I reach New Hampshire?

Can a 63 year old man hike the entire Appalachian Trail in both directions - 4368.4 miles - in a single calendar year?  Has anyone my age or older done this?  Are there enough road access points in the tough sections of the Whites and Maine to accommodate my out-n-back, no-nights-on-the-trail day hike approach?  Or is Mahoosuc Notch my Waterloo?  Have I been delusional right from the start?  Am I on a fool's errand?

I'm soul searching today, and will continue tomorrow.  In tomorrow's post, I hope to provide some tentative answers.  But today, honestly, feels as if it could be the zero that ends my hike.  *Could be* ... it's too soon to tell.


The last day of the four year Tally cycle (between May 14th and May 15th of the final year) is a calendar day that is Spiritual only, not physical. For further explanation, here’s an excerpt from an appendix to my book, in preparation:

About the Lost Day: A tally represents the fundamental spiritual cycle for self-improvement and growth, because each tally concludes with a special atonement day when our innermost being is laid bare and open before our Ancestors and Protectors. At the completion of each tally, one day is unaccounted for—there are forty-three ides of thirty-four days’ length in a tally. Forty-three times thirty-four is 1462, one more than the number of days in four returns containing one leap day.

So the new tally must begin a day earlier than the keepers of the tally would “expect.” That day is lost to men, but for cosmic balance it is not lost to our Spirits. And so the first ide of the new tally is devoted to the “reaching out” to touch that Lost Day that was hidden from our conscious mortal minds by the Ancestors

Though lost to consciousness, the Lost Day is an integral part of our spiritual whole. On the Lost Day, the Spirits hold all living beings (and indeed, all the moving planets and stars) in a deep sleep or trance; and during that day, they move among the living, taking an accounting and reaping the spiritual harvest (the emergent ‘knowledge’) that each one of us has cultured through our actions and prayer. This harvest represents our worth to them, because it is what sustains and impels the very current of reality—the River of Truth. So the greater the harvest we provide, the more influence we have on nature’s course, and therefore the more favorably the Spirits will regard us through the coming tally

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Now here's the rest of the story

Sunday, May 14, 2012, part B: (with apologies to the late Paul Harvey) You've heard the headline: how I was Lemon Squeezed ... now here's the rest of the story.

That single moment on the trail,  just north of the Lemon Squeeze crevice, where the trail goes vertical for 8 feet, was a watershed.  In horizontal trail length it was essentially zero distance covered.  The time taken to travel that distance was half a minute.  But the repercussions have lasted for days.

This little bit of trail woke me up.  It sent me to the ATC web site where I'm ashamed to admit I had never paid attention to their difficulty rating.  They have created a scale characterizing the terrain that ranges from 1 (flat and easy) to 10.  Parts of the AT in New Hampshire and Maine are the only ones rated '10' and described thusly:

"10 = Use of hands required for extended periods of climbing, footing precarious, and leaping may be required — not recommended for those with fear of heights and not in good physical condition. Shorter hikers may be at a disadvantage"

No part of New York is given a rating higher than 5.  FIVE!  What have I gotten myself into???  A few days ago I passed through a stretch of trail, just after entering New York, that was slow and strenuous and really wore me down.  I don't think I've fully recovered from that yet - physically.  And now comes this psychological blow.

If this a 5, how in the world am I going to make it through sections rated 10?

It turns out that Monday (May 15th), a day with serious Spiritual significance for me (won't go into any detail here) was going to be showery, and Tuesday was forecast to be even wetter.  So I decided to use these days (and Wednesday as well) to go back home and take care of business, do laundry and ... yes, reassess this whole thing.

I'll have more to say about the consequences of reaching this watershed in a couple of upcoming zero-day posts.

When you come to a watershed, you reach a point where the landscape turns in a different direction, and where gravity takes you to an entirely new destination.  What is this new destination?  I have to figure that out.


Meanwhile, there's also 'The rest of the Story' in a more mundane sense - the story of Sunday's hike - specifically the part north of Island Pond Mountain.  I've deliberately separated Sunday's hike into two posts, mostly because the first post took on its own direction (post-watershed) but the second part of the hike, though it came after the first, took me temporarily back onto the familiar old (psychological) ground.

Yes, the trail got easy again - but not at first.  Describing the trail northbound from the park-like summit of Island Pond Mountain: there are a series of little ups and downs, some steep and some rocky, that slow you down as you pass through hemlock and beech forests.  Then you ascend again and reach the high ground on Fingerboard Mountain.  There the setting is once again wonderfully park-like, with no undergrowth, only big trees.  It looks like deer over-browsing may be killing off all new tree seedlings and other understory growth.  If so, then this pretty setting is actually an example of a forest in distress caused by human interference - killing off the wolves has allowed the deer population to explode.  And deer are eating away the understory.

Near the summit of Fingerboard Mountain you find Fingerboard Shelter - a wonderfully rustic structure built in 1928 that looks its age.  I wish I had taken a picture of some of the woodwork, including the heavily worn floor planks.

Fingerboard Mountain also contains lots of 'bedrock boulevard' - places where the trail follows ribbons or slabs of exposed glacier-smoothed rock.

Next you cross Arden Valley Road and then the trail gets easy.  The descent to and ascent from Seven Lakes Road is gentle, gradual and mostly rock free.  I made good time on this stretch and so was able to reach William Brien Shelter - another rustic old stone lean-to, but this one with more of the classic (WPA style) appearance that appears to have been popular for stone buildings in this area -- massive boulders incorporated into a wide base, with the walls then tapering significantly with height.

The William Brien Shelter was my turn-around point for the day.  I enjoyed Fingerboard Mountain and the bedrock walkways all over again; and I looked forward to revisiting the Lemon Squeezer, and to descending the 8 foot wall above it.  In this case it took a short jump, or controlled fall, to get down -- and this is a case of 'The shorter they are, the harder they fall'.

I made enough miles today (19) to compensate for the short day yesterday.  But with zero days ahead, and with The White Mountains beginning to appear on my horizon, one nineteen mile day isn't going to make much difference.  That was in the old watershed, where the miles came easy and everything was cool breezes and light.  The new watershed seems to have a dark cloud over it at the moment, full of shadow, taking me to strange and secret places ... more on that in coming posts.


Below is the track of the entire hike, parts A and B, taken Sunday.  The title is a link that takes you to more photos and data.

AT Day 123 - The Lemon Squeezer at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near New York, New York

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lemon Squeezed

Sunday, May 14, 2012, part 1:  This is Island Pond. What a peaceful setting it has, seemingly unspoiled. And this is the park-like scene on Island Pond Mountain, just next-door, so to speak.  That's Island Pond itself visible through the trees.
So who would ever expect to be subjugated to -- nay, crushed by -- the famous Lemon Squeezer between these two peaceful venues?
The Lemon Squeezer is actually a gauntlet made of three fun parts. Besides the ever-narrowing, uncomfortably skewed crevice shown here, there's a cave passage somewhat like Virginia's 'Guillotine' or Grayson Highlands' 'Fat Man Squeeze', and there's a seriously difficult 8-foot vertical scramble up a rock face that requires pulling yourself up with your arms because there are no reachable footholds. This is the most challenging bit of rock scrambling that I've seen on the AT. Of course I've not yet been through Mahoosuc Notch and The Whites of New Hampshire. But from what I understand, normally something this difficult comes with a climbing aid, such as a ladder or implanted steel pins, etc. In this case the only 'aid' is a blue-blazed bypass labeled 'Easy Way' ...


A blue blaze bypass of any sort is verboten -- totally out of the question for the trail purist like me.

To the purist, the white blaze is a sacred trust.  It is, in some real sense, like a religion.  There can be only one 'TRUE PATH!'  In my opinion blue blazed bypass trails invite the hiker to start down that slippery slope to perdition.

Verily I say unto you, brother hiker - take that first step onto the 'easy way' around the Lemon Squeezer and before you know it you'll be using blue-blazed short cuts just to save time. Next you'll be road walking, hitch-hiking, skipping whole sections.

Hell, why not just drive the entire route? Google Maps tells me it takes less than 24 hours by car from Amicalola Falls State Park to Baxter State Park.  Wave at some white blazes as you whiz past them on I-81 - Groseclose and Troutville, VA; Cumberland Valley, PA.

Start early, done by midnight. Big deal.  Been there, done that. Send in the application for your 2000 miler badge and move on to the next ""whoop-ass challenge"" (not!).  Who's yo' daddy?  Talk to the hand ...

Whoa ... I think my mind has just been Lemon Squeezed.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Agony and Ecstasy

Subtitle:  The Grind and the Blind. 

Saturday, May 12:

The Grind:  Agony Grind, the 500 foot ascent from the NY State Thruway to the top of Arden Mountain (which offered the view above), was actually not the source of my worst agony today.  There was a cliff ascent just south of East Mombasha Road that was much more difficult and tiring.  It was hand-and-feet climbing up big uneven reaches of near-vertical rock.

The Blind:  Imagine climbing that blind.  Andres did ... with the help of his friend Chuck.  What a remarkable pair!  When the trail got more 'normal', these two maintained a pace that I was hard-pressed to match.  Andres is, of course, an amazing inspiration.  And my admiration for Chuck as a skilled guide and dedicated friend, is just as deep.  It was a distinct pleasure to share a bit of Appalachian Trail with these two.  It turned the Agony into Ecstasy.

North of East Mombasha Road is a stretch of trail that passes Little Dam lake.  Chuck recommended it as one of the prettiest sections in the area.  I have to agree.

Because of the difficult trail, hot weather, and a late start (too much time spent in resupply, scouting, family phone talk, and, yes, even a bit of sleep), I didn't make anywhere near my planned mileage today.  But what I did accomplish writes another distinctive chapter in my 'AT memory book'.


Here's the track of today's hiking route, accompanied by a link to many more photos - 19 in all.

AT Day 122 - Agony Grind at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Yonkers, New York

Friday, May 18, 2012

Creatures of all sorts

Friday, May 11, 2012 - a bonanza of creature sightings today!  First here are a 'Goose' and a 'Groundhog' (along with 'Maverick', all thru-hikers):

Then on Cat Rocks I spotted this nest of Ravens:

Close up of the four baby Ravens taken from above:

A colorful and harmless milk snake occupying the AT a half mile north of  NY 17A:

And then I saw FOUR bears (all together, about a half mile north of Fitzgerald Falls).  Looked like a papa (scary-huge), a mama and two yearling cubs (who scrambled up trees).  I managed to get this shot of two of them before I spooked them all and they fled, uttering their soft murmuring vocalizations (as if saying: "No, not the trees kids - that's a human - a rock thrower, a gun toter.  Get down and run!  Follow me)":

Before starting my hike today I spoke to the proprietor of the hilltop hot Dog stand on NY 17A above the town of Warwick, NY.  He gave me the full rundown on the big party Warwick is having on June 30th to celebrate being the first town in New York State to become an official (ATC designated) Appalachian Trail Community.  Part of that involves the relocation of the trail from where my guidebook says it comes out (near the hot dog stand on Continental Drive), to an abandoned house down the road.  That house is to be town down (by June 30th?) and replaced by a huge new AT parking lot:

Now that I've mentioned Fitzgerald Falls (in the bear story above), I suppose I need to show you that:

And finally here's the best vista of the day - Greenwood Lake from the ridge of Bellvale Mtn., about a half mile south of the Village Vista side trail that leads to the town also called Greenwood Lake:

As you can see, it was a beautiful day.  There was more of the ridge-spine bedrock walking today, but only in short sections.  Most of the rest of the trail was normal, some of it downright easy, so I made decent time even though my bones were still a bit weary from yesterday's walk over miles of undulating, sometimes more vertical than horizontal bedrock spine.  Everybody I met today agreed - that four mile section from the NY-NJ state line to the Village Vista side trail was one tough stretch of trail.

Today there were two short bits of the same sort of tough trail, Cat Rocks and the Eastern Pinnacles.  But both were short and both offered blue blazed bypass trails (for wet conditions, lazy or tired or less adventurous hikers, and those who want to leave their packs at the end and then go back and scramble the rocks without the extra weight).  It's nice to have choices ... but for me, of course, there was but one choice - 'religiously' pass every white blaze in both directions.  And once again doing the trail twice paid dividends.  The first time over Cat Rocks I didn't notice the Raven's nest, and the milk snake and bears were nowhere in sight on my first passing of their locations.  In the end, not a bad harvest of photos and memories ... and not a bad day to be out on the trail.


Here's a map and link to more photos.  The straight line segment is an artifact that I don't know how to get rid of.  It indicates that I turned off my GPS while I drove from one parking/access/trailhead to the next.

AT Day 121 - Warwick NY at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near New York, New York