Monday, December 19, 2011

Mount Frissell-South Slope (Connecticut Highpoint)

After the two hour drive from New Jersey and lunch near Salibury, we made our way to the Connecticut highpoint trailhead. This turned out to be one of those highpoint where the route finding on the road was going to be more challenging than the route finding on foot.

The guidebooks I read warned that the 5 or 6 miles traveled on gravel road might be closed in the winter but I opted to follow the primary route instead of looking for an alternate.  Sure enough, about 5 miles from the trailhead there was a large cement barrier half blocking the road and a road closed sign.  I did say it was HALF blocking the road, right?  Onward!  The road was in great shape but I kept waiting to hit the other side of the closed road barricade expecting that one side was left semi-open for people needing legitimate access while the other would be completely blocked.  Luckily, when we ran up against the next cement barricade (completely blocking the road), we were about 50 yards from the trailhead and MA-CT state line.  After turning the dead end into our personal parking lot, the boys and I hit the trail.  It was still cold out but had warmed a little since our stop in New Jersey earlier that today.

The hike is a nice flat trail for the first quarter mile or so before taking a path more or less straight up to the summit of Round Mountain.  Soren more or less bounded up while Sy slowed a little after an initial burst of energy.  We all reached the top another 1/2 mile or so later in good spirits although Sy's attitude darkened noticeably when he realized the goal was the next peak over.  Soren on the other hand insisted on taking lead and announcing the arrival of every red blaze insuring we were on the right track! 

(on Round Mountain summit.  Notice the red blaze!)

After descending Round Mountain and making a more or less identical kind of ascent up Mount Frissell, we reached the summit and signed the log.  Sy rested at the peak while Soren and I continued south until reaching the highpoint marker at the MA-CT state line a 1/10th mile or so south of the summit.  The views from Round Mountain where great and some of the lookouts around Mount Frissell were nice as well.

 (small copper(?) rod just below my right knee marks the highpoint)

We made short work of the return trip and although we had a couple of less fun moments along the way, both made the return trip in high spirits and commented on what a fun day it had been.  I can only hope to have many more.

High Point (New Jersey Highpoint)

After a little bit of a frustrating spell at work, I decided I needed a day off so after taking care of a few Church responsibilities on Sunday, the boys and I hopped in the car and headed to Point Jervis (Pennsylvania?).  I made sure to pick a hotel with an indoor pool which pretty much sold the boys on the whole hiking adventure idea. 

After breakfast the next morning and another dip in the pool, we drove all the way up to the New Jersey highpoint named.... High Point.  This one had easily the most grand monument I have seen at any other highpoint and was kind of a focal point of the state park it calls home.  The park actually seemed like a pretty cool spot with a ton of picnicking sites, spotted with small ponds and in the winter is a x-country ski park. 

Our stop was brief for two reasons (1) there was no real hiking involved and (2) it was freezing cold and the wind was howling!  Nobody wanted to hang out very long.  After racing back to the warmth of the car, we started the two hour drive to our next highpointing adventure......