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[at-l] Chase and woodelf hike in NY, Ct, Mass

This is a little long because I ramble, so there's a short version
included. woodelf

The short version: We drove 11 hours, we hiked 130 miles in 8 days, then
we drove   	               home.

	and now the real thing.............................

Friday	05-23-97	624 miles yellow blazes and 2 miles on the

	Left Roanoke, Va. about 4 am drove 11+ hours. After discovering
our "new" Trail Guide was 4 years out of date (thanks to Back Country Ski
& Sports) we found the local outfitter (Rick aka Sandbagger '88) who told
us where the trail head was and waited for Andy  to get of work and pick
us up for the shuttle to Bear Mt. NY
Andy dropped us off at the Bear Mt. Bridge around 7:30pm. We hiked across
the Hudson River (we used the bridge) climbed the first mountain and it
got dark. Since we were'nt in an official camp site we stood in the
middle of the trail in our bivi's all night. :)

Saturday 05-24-97	15.5 miles	

	Watched the sun come up there moved on to Hemlock Springs
Campsite for breakfast and a load of water(*#%#* water filter). Hiked
along a rocky ridge with views of the Hudson River and the bridge. Past
thru the first of many rock walls we will see on the hike, met Lucky '92
(one of the Sierra Club group) and Boss Man "?
Boss Man is slack packing from the DWG to mid. Mass., we will see him
several more times. The tail ascends and descends steeply several times
with many good views. Saw Pink Lady Slippers (many) Violets, Jack in the
Pulpits, Wild Columbine and other spring flowers. There were many
squirrels (try to catch them with duct tape, no luck) so I ate the freeze
dried possum I brung from mamma's house. Crossed a lot of pretty creeks
with waterfalls, some as much as 10' high. Camped in Fahnestock  State
Park beneath a stand of large Hemlocks, just north of Sunk Mine Road.

Sunday 05-25-97		7.6 miles		

	Slept late (7 am) started hiking in a light drizzle, which got
heavier. The trail was pleasant, the rain and fog gave everything an
eerie look. I like hiking in fog and don't mind light rain if it's not to
cool. Walked up a hill and around Canopus Lake with several good views of
the lake, the fog made it look mysterious. A herd of White Tail deer
crossed the trail in front of us (nothing will stick to this darn duct
tape). The rain varied from a light mist to a drizzle as we crossed
Shenandoah Mt. with a fine view of the clouds. Stopped at RPH cabin for
lunch and didn't leave till the next morning. RPH cabin is a very nice
cinder block shelter, the front door was locked but there was no back
wall. :) The well sucks unless you like iron water, it turns even darker
as it sits. Two section hikers from NJ showed up a little before dark
with massive packs I don't think I could carry, they did 6 miles in 12
hours. Boss Man and Lucky dropped by but didn't stay.

Monday 05-26-97		16.2 miles

	Started after a delicious breakfast of Grits (MMMMM) and
immediately climbed another mt. Hit the road about 9 am and yellow blazed
to Tony's Deli for a hot pastrami ruben (no corned beef or fried
squirrel), bought more candy bars (the perfect high energy food ) and
back to the trail. Many steep ascents and descents with some really great
views the trail is rocky (rocks not sharpened like PA.) and well
maintained. Stopped at the Morgan Stewart shelter for a snack and a
little rest. Met a local couple and their 2 daughters, the man was from
New Delhi and the lady from Colombia SA. They come up regularly to check
the shelter and to run the riff raff off. So we moved on and climbed some
more mountains, one section went straight up on giant rock steps. Met the
section supervisor and his wife, he asked if we had any problems with his
section. I wanted to know why none of the side trails had signs naming
them, he said  the side trails where insignificant and didn't need signs
(he really said that), so stay off the blue blazed trails they don't go
anywhere. I don't believe we saw more than two side trails named on this
entire hike. Two more guys came along to work on the new AT along Nuclear
Lake, it should open late this summer or by fall. I didn't ask them
anything, didn't want to offend anyone else (:{)]]. After a long flat
section of trail lined with Bluets (the first of many such sights), we
descended steeply and crossed another bogg. Ascended to Cat Rocks for the
best view yet. We camped at Telephone Pioneers Shelter, an pleasant
shelter with an excellent view. About an hour before dark a strange man
showed up for the evening shelter and camping area inspection. After a
couple of attempts at conversation on our part, without any luck, I asked
him about his unusual staff. I was curtly informed it was a walking
stick. I said I had assumed that but what was it made of? "Lightweight
aluminum" (as opposed to the heavy kind) was his reply as he left as
quickly as he came. Strange.

Tuesday 05-27-97	18.5 miles

	Watched the sun come up and then slept another hour, only 15
miles planned today no need to hurry. Left the telephone booth shelter
and headed out to see the ENT. (if you don't know what an Ent is read
Tolkien) Had my picture taken by an enormous White Oak (19' around), it
must be an Ent but I think it was asleep or maybe I was just too hasty.
Crossed several fields and boggs, lost the trail briefly in one field
with an old water tower, no blazes. Saw more deer, RedWing Black birds,
and some Yellow Goatsbeard. Stopped at the AT Train Station for another
picture (such tourist), past the Davidson Tatoo Parlor, wasn't open so no
free tatoos for kinfolk today. The trails today were mostly pleasant
through woodlands and boggs, there were many birds. Crossed into
Connecticut and walk a ways along Ten Mile Creek, a wide bold stream with
moss covered rocks along the banks. Crossed the Ned Andersen Mem. Bridge
over Ten Mile River. Took a side trail (yellow blazed) to the Country
Mart for candy bars and BEN N' JERRY'S (MMMMMMMMM). After a walk along
the Ten Mile River ( or was it the Housatonic) we climbed  Schahgticoke
Mt. and by a cluster of a couple of dozen Pink Lady Slippers. We stopped
at the Rattlesnake Den Campsite (KOA) with many other people, so much for
doing extra miles to get to a "remote" area.

Wednesday  05-28-97	10.6 miles	

	Left the den of snakes campsite before anyone else got up, it was
the least restful night of the trip. Rats and big things running around
all night and people talking loud till almost 21:30 :) Walked a ridge
with views of the river and valley. Hit the yellow blazes again, into
Kent Ct. for our mail drop and the IGA foodstore for more candy bars and
some bagels too. Back on the trail after passing through a fence at a V
crossing with a bar across the top so after wiggling through you have to
duck also, very unusual and a real pain in the....back. Saw more deer
chipmunks and squirrels, got some fresh duct tape in Kent, maybe now I
can catch one. Very hot today....sux. Took a break at Caleb's Peak with
wonderful views of the mountains we hiked yesterday. The climb down from
St. Johns Ledges almost requires rope, walked along rock faces with moss
and vines, cool breezes slide off the rock, very nice on such a hot day.
A road walk and then the AT along the Housatonic River was a pleasant end
to the days hike. We passed Stewart Hollow Shelter and the screamers
staying there and camped at the Stony Brook Campsite. Very nice

Thursday  05-29-97	14.8 miles

	Last night was the coolest night so far, off to an early start,
even though we're going to do an easy day to line up for Riga Shelter on
Friday. (some guy said we should stay there, it was a tease wasn't it
Felix). More trail along the river this morning and because of the cool
air there is "smoke" on the river. The trail ascended steeply along a
large stream with waterfalls and moss covered rocks, very peaceful.
Climbed Pine Knob with views of the mountains. Saw some green toads (can
you really get warts if they do that?), more flowers and ever present
chipmunks. Trail goes up in the crack between to big boulders, the crack
is barely wide enough for a pack and quite steep. This section of trail
was very rugged with many short steep ascents and descents, not good for
the knees. Past Pine Swamp Brook Shelter, Chase didn't.....oh no! I
should say here Chase and I don't usually hike together, we hike 5 or 10
minuets apart. His pace is a little faster than mine but I take shorter
breaks, works out good....most of the time. Hung around the hang glider
launching platform with it's fine view, looks like a good place to fly
from. Arrived at Belter's Campsite but Chase isn't here, I'll check
Belter's Bump, he's probably taking in the view. No Chase, so I'll check
the spring......still no Chase, this isn't like him we never go beyond a
chosen stopping place till the other catches up. It's been an hour and a
half and no Chase so I'll have to catch him tomorrow. As I finish a dry
and crunchy freeze dried meal (no stove) Chase walks up. He's been at the
spring almost an hour and a half, he didn't walk far enough up in the
camping area, so he didn't see me. He was on the way into town to form a
search party. My knee has bothered me the entire trip and I pulled my
achilles tendon favoring my knee coming up through that crack between the
boulders  earlier, that and my allergy to bees had him worried. He's a
good little brother. So after he cussed me a while he set his bivi next
to mine and we had a good laugh. (I didn't know I was sposed to stop at
Pine Swamp Brook)

Friday 05-30-97		18.1 miles

	By the time we made it down off the bump to the road I could
barely walk. The pain was so intense I told Chase I didn't think I could
go on, since there are a couple of road crossing in a row we decide to go
on as long as I can. We decided to stop for coffee and donuts at the
Village Coffee Shop, it was very hot inside and Chase smelled real bad
but the people were nice and said they didn't mind so we bought all there
candy bars. (I of course smelled like roses) When we went outside I
expected to be hitch hiking back to the car but my tendon had loosened up
and the pain was bearable (waaa!!), so we moved on in a light drizzle. We
walked along the Housatonic River in a grove of large White Pines. After
crossing the Iron Bridge we climbed a small hill left the river, after a
final view of a large dry waterfall. (the hydro electric plant draws
about 75,000,000 gallons an hour from the river just above the falls)
After another climb we stopped at the Giants Thumb, a spike of rock
sticking up like a lost thumb in the forest. We soon stopped for a meal
and were passed by a group of 16 juvenile delinquents (they all looked at
lot like Felix) and adult supervisors, we hiked with a group from the
same Ct. school back in '82. We soon passed them eating a large lunch
(probably stashed in a nearby cemetery. A little farther along we stopped
at Randy's View, a long sloping field,very different than the standard
mountain top AT view. A ways farther is Lions Head View the best view
yet, especially in the fog and clouds, with ponds and ridges fading into
the distance. The clouds are getting lower we hope to make Riga Shelter
before the hard rain begins. Finally we get to Riga, but wait the clever
group has sent their fastest hikers ahead to grab the shelter for
themselves, even though the sign plainly says no groups over 6 and there
are several group areas within the next mile. The "adults" at the shelter
seemed unconcerned about no group and fragile vegetation signs and said
the group was going to camp in and in front of the shelter. So....we
moved on and stopped about a half mile farther for a meal in case it
rained before we camped (bivis are'nt easy to cook in). At Bond Shelter
there were 2, two person (PC) tents set up in the shelter, each with one
person along with several other tents in front. As we left one of the
people in the shelter felt guilty and ran after us offering to make room.
But we thanked him and kept going. We crossed Bear Mt, it was covered
with "Bonsai" oaks and has an enormous pile off rocks stacked for a
viewing platform, fantastic.  I always say good can be found in bad if we
look for it, Sages Ravine Campsite was the best area we camped in. I
think we're in Mass.  The ravine is a fantastic place, and it didn't rain
at all. I'll go back and spend some time in Sages Ravine.

Saturday  05-31-97	12.7 miles

	The trail follows the steam thru Sages Ravine (I must come back),
there are many birds out this morning. As usual the last day starts off
perfictly. After a long pull with good views along a rocky trail we reach
the sumit of Race Mt., even more fantastic views. The birds are out in
force today, more than any day so far. The trail descends then climbs
steeply to the top of Mt. Everett (and I thought it was in Napal), the
view is'nt as good as Race Mt. but I'd like to see it from the old fire
tower here. Meet a couple from Norfolk, Va. out to do a section. At Glen
Brook Shelter we meet 2 guys from RI out for 20 days, they have 4 days
and 12 miles till they are picked up, tough mileage huh? After slowly
descending along a rock ridge we cross a large field with Cyprus Purge
scatered through it. The trail goes thru boggs and pine swamps for the
last few miles, quite pleasent till the skeeters find us. We do the last
2 miles at a run, it's skeeter hell. We arrive at the car (South Egremont
Road)  about 16:30 and 2 quarts low on blood. After a short break we
descide to drive home....NOW. 600+ miles and 11.5 hours later we make ti
back to Roanoke, where after a 2 hour shower, I climb into my coffin for
24 hours.

	Did I ramble too much? The long (real time) version of the trail
report will be out soon. (:{)]]


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