Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pico Peak Shelter

Up at 6:00 and on the trail at 6:30. The hike this morning was pretty uneventful.... just pushing, pushing. Beacon Hill climb (climb out of Clarendon Gorge) was a pain in the butt but I survived and finally made it to Cold River Road and Upper Cold River Road just before noon.

Just after crossing Upper Cold River Road, I ran into some Trail Magic. Someone had left a chair and cooler full of Mountain Dew and Coke! There was even a trail register suggesting this spot was called the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I had one dew, then another and then hit the trail with some extra skip in my step :)

I stopped 1.5 miles later for a long lunch at the Governor Clement Shelter. This place has a bad reputation because of all the parties that used to go on here. Shrewsbury put up a gate 2 months ago to bring the traffic back and one guy, George Hall, rides up there everyday to check in on the place. It turns out he is married to a Page (Jan). I will have to ask Randy about that when I come out.

Anyway after a long lunch and giving my clothes time to dry out (it was very muggy again today), I hit the trail just as Peanut Butter Jesus and Bird Nest came walking by. We leapfrogged each other a couple of times up to Cooper Lodge and then we hiked to Killington Peak together. It was a very short, very steep climb from the lodge. Oh, I forgot to mention, it pretty much poured rain for the full 4 mile hike up Killington. I made for a very misty summitting but it was beautiful in its own right.

By the time I left the peak it was approximately 6:00 and I needed to get a move on because I still had 3 miles to go to get to Pico Peak. I was wasted by the time I finally got there. I ate my pepperoni stick for dinner (too tired to cook) and was rewarded with some snickers from a sheltermate for sharing my pepperoni, mmmmmmm....... The stream at Pico Peak Shelter is just a trickle so I wasn't able to get water and I just ran out. I am going to need to find water early tomorrow.

Trail Conditions - Muddy doesn't begin to say it. There were puddles and even full on streams in the trail for most of the afternoon. I will be wet for a few days!

Animals - Tons of frogs and toads, a gartner snake, a chipmunk, an orange salamander

Mileage - 16.3 miles on the AT, .5 on the blue blaze to Pico Peak Shelter, .4 on the blue blaze to Killington Peak

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Minerva Hinchey Shelter

I'm back! It was hard leaving the family but once I was on the plane, I started getting pretty pumped for the trail. The air travel was pretty uneventful except for the ride from Boston to Rutland, which I loved. It was a short 50min flight and we never got the Cessna above 6500ft so the views were awesome (when I wasn't sleeping!). There were only 4 other passengers in the little 1o seater. Needless to say, there was no beverage service!

Gina Page (Todd's wife) helped me out by picking me up and dropping me off where I left off last year. Just a couple of minutes before noon, I threw on my pack and took off with 12 miles to cover before it got too dark.

It was fun for me to hike on trails I had been on as a young man. I walked by Little Rock Pond and remembered jumping from the cliffs on the other side with our group of Boy Scouts. I remember more than one trip up to White Rocks (although it seems the route was different). Tonight I am camping 1/2 mile from Spring Lake where I would go with the Pages and Congdons and tomorrow I hike past Upper Cold River Road (Pages live 1.5 miles from the trail) and then up to Killington Peak where I used to ski.

Cliffs on the other side of Little Rock Pond

I love the challenge of being out here. I was good and tired after this first day but thankful to be on the trail. I only ran into one other person during my hike but when I got to the shelter, there were 5 other people there; a couple going to St. Lawrence College and 3 guys (2 from Jersey and 1 from Boston) who are SOBO (Southbound) on the LT (Long Trail). It looks like they are almost done! The couple is NOBO (Northbound), I believe. The whole group ws cool to hang out with and we spend a lot of time just chatting and playing a game where you have to list all the songs you know with fruit either in the title or lyrics. One guy also gave me his leftover potatoes from dinner. Well since I didn't get to camp until after 7:00 and everyone turned in at 8:30 the fun got cut short. I have a few ambitious days ahead of me, especially for the beginning of the trip, so I am going to rest up. Tomorrow is a 17 mile day up to Pico Peak Shelter.

Trail - I heard it rained the last 2 weeks and I believe it. The trail is wet and it is muggy out here!

Broken! - The buckle on my packs waist belt. This meant I carried a lot of the weight on my shoulders instead of my hips today. Tomorrow I am going to see if a little duct tape won't fix the situation.

Trail Names - Peanut Butter Jesus, Bird Nest, Indian Cucumber, Invisible Man, Bird Talker, Hammer, Sparkles

Mileage - 11.7 on the AT, .4 on the White Rocks blue blaze

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hiking Y Mountain

So ... hiking the Y with the family gave me an appetite to climb further so today I took on Y Mountain.

This was a challenging hike (~3500ft) that continued up Slide Canyon above the Y, through Bear Flats meadow and up the backside of Y Mountain. I was surprised by how poorly marked the trail was considering the number of people that live immediately adjacent to these mountains but it was still a very nice hike. I even ran into a nice guy from our Stake who hikes the Y everyday and offered to accompany all the way up the mountain. I appreciated his companionship especially considering the condition of the trail.

Today's hike made me even more hungry to get up in the mountains east of Provo. I will be back up there again soon.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hiking the Y

Today, the family and I decided to hike to the Y. I guess that means we are officially in Provo now. We started from our home since we have trail access from pretty much our backyard. That proved to be a slight miscalculation since it added another mile and at least a few hundred feet of elevation to the hike. That made for a pretty grumpy Sy a little more than halfway up the slope so he and Anne waited it out while Soren and I finished the climb.

Even though Sy didn't make it all the way up, I was very proud of him. In the end, that was easily the furthest hike (~4miles) he has ever been on and he did really well considering the circumstances. Soren also did well but then again, he had it a little bit easier!