Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Trail Maintenance, Suffern - Bear Mountain Trail, Harriman State Park

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
9/30/2018 4.5 miles 4 hours 33 minutes 835'

Map: NYNJTC Northern Harriman
Parking: Anthony Wayne Recreation Area
Directions: n/a

We decided to spend the afternoon doing trail maintenance on the new trail that has been given to us. We went out once with our supervisor Bill, but hadn't finished our short section. This time we took Trek with us. We hiked up to Cat's Elbow, the start of our section. The first thing we did was dismantle a fire ring set up at the view, and pick up someone's egg shells. From there, we hiked through the section that we had already trimmed recently, so work was light. The trail has a combination of metal tags and painted blazes. Glen decided to focus on fixing metal tags which were starting to dig into the bark of their tree. I worked on clearing the trail of any new branches that fell and doing small bits of trimming as necessary. But what we cleared before still looked really good. When we reached the area where we ended last time, we found more trimming to be done. I ended up just sitting down to do most of the trimming, because I didn't want to get a backache again. Trek didn't get the whole sitting down in the trail thing. He wants to hike! I made him lie down. He sulked. And then periodically he'd try to get up and sneak away to go down the trail towards Glen. So Trek is not very impressed with the trail we're maintaining. Maybe next year we'll sign up to maintain a trail in the Catskills which involves more removing of sticks and branches. Trek LOVES it when we try to clear the trail of sticks. He thinks its a wonderful game of fetch.

I really enjoyed our hike. I've been feeling sad about Moxie, but I felt like today there was nowhere else I'd rather be than sitting in the sun outdoors on our trail. I felt so peaceful that I didn't want to leave! Too bad its Sunday and too bad I had no tent on me!

Chicken in the Woods

View from Cat's Elbow

Admiring our work from our previous trip


Monday, October 8, 2018

Alder Lake and Millbrook Ridge Trail, Catskills

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
9/29/2018 9.9 miles 5 hours 55 minutes 1,969 36:00

Map: NYNJTC Catskills, Map 142
Parking: Alder Lake access road
Directions: Clockwise around Alder Lake to Millbrook Ridge Trail. East on Millbrook Ridge Trail to Overlook. Return to Alder Lake and go clockwise around the lake back to the parking area.

Today we decided to work on the Millbrook Ridge Trail, on map 142. The drive here was gorgeous. Beaverkill road has a river on one side and farms on the other side. I told Glen I could live there. He said, "I'm not buying a farm." It's just so peaceful. The open fields just set off the mountain views in a nice way.

We started off on the west side, near Alder Lake. The parking area was pretty crowded actually. We saw a bunch of people out fishing in the lake. And then lots of people camping around the lake. There are a number of primitive campsites around the lake. And a porta potty at the parking area. We saw one group who hung their cooler and 2 trash bags the same way you'd hang a bear bag. Ha! I've never seen that before. You can't drive your car to the campsites, but on the other hand, the camp sites are within a pretty easy walk back to the parking lot.

At the very beginning of the hike there are building ruins - of the Coykendall Lodge. I love reading about the history of abandoned buildings we find. This one was owned my a railroad magnate. The trail around the lake was muddy. Oh yeah. But it seems like its a popular day hike to just do a loop around the lake. We went partway around the lake, and then east on the Millbrook Ridge trail. Once we were on the Millbrook Ridge trail we didn't see anyone. We had a vista view in mind, and decided we'd hike there if we had enough daylight hours. Looking at the map, we wondered if the high point on the Millbrook Ridge trail was a Catskill 67 hike. We hadn't done any research ahead of time to check. We just noticed the elevation and thought - huh, maybe this is one. So we studied our map and decided to try and find the high point just in case. Well. We found a cairn on the trail. So was the trail the high point? Our map showed it to the right of the trail. We bushwhacked around. But it was pretty flat, so it was really hard to tell was there a higher point. We even tried using Glen's phone to check the altitude and Gaia GPS to try to come up with an approximate summit location. After wandering around for a while, we decided good enough, and went back to the trail. Turns out it is a Catskill 67 summit.

We did make it to our hoped for turn around point, which had a nice view. We hiked back and did the opposite side of the loop around Alder Lake. I was thinking about letting Trek take a long swim at the end. But there was a dam near where the trail rejoined Alder Lake. There was no way I was going to let him swim anywhere near a dam, so he missed out.

Stone wall next to Coykendall Lodge ruins

Coykendall Lodge ruins

Coykendall Lodge ruins

Coykendall Lodge ruins, overlooking Alder Lake

Coykendall Lodge ruins

Coykendall Lodge ruins

Alder Lake

Summit searching

Is this the high point?

Not the summit, but a great view and our turn around point

Glen said this looks like pencil shavings

High point on the trail. Cairns on it. Is this the high point?

Possible summit photo

Alder Lake

Blue Trail, Ward Pound Ridge, Westchester County, NY

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
9/23/2018 4 miles 1 hours 54 minutes 588' 28:54

Map: Pick up when you pay for parking.
Parking: Enter park, pay for parking and keep driving straight until you reach the Kimberly Bridge parking area. There is plenty of parking. Cost is $10 without a Westchester County Parks Pass. $5 with a Parks Pass.
Directions: Blue trail loop.

Today was a really hard day. Moxie was in a poor state, and was getting more depressed. I tried to get her to eat - she ate an egg, but wasn't interested in anything else. We had brought her to our vet yesterday, and we tried a last ditch effort even though the vet said there wasn't anything that could be done. Today I brought her to the emergency vet hospital to euthanize her. She had a long happy life, but its still really, really painful. I've been trying to focus on all of the adventures we had together, all the joy she brought to our family. I'm grateful for all of the people who helped us with her training, her care, and just gave her affection.

May Moxie run free.

In the afternoon, we headed to Ward Pound Ridge. Hiking is how I heal. We reminisced about many Moxie - all the rules she made, the games she would play with Trek, and how she always smiled when she got to hike off leash.

Moxie in the morning

We have a hiking friend who collects balloons on her hikes. We have only found 2 this year. #2

Turkey Mountain, Westchester County

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
9/22/2018 2.5 miles 1 hour 15 minutes 416' 29:38

Map: Available in Walkable Westchester book
Parking: Route 118, Yorktown Heights. Room for around 10 cars.
Directions: Blue trail up to the summit, and blue trail down from the summit

Today was a hard day. Moxie was going downhill fast, and we had a vet appointment in the morning to find out what was going on. We got bad news, but decided to try a last ditch effort to see if it helped. I was pretty devastated, and didn't want to leave her, but felt a hike would do me good. The woods are good for healing. This wasn't the ideal place, as its busy on weekends, and I would have preferred to be alone with my grief.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Lost Cove trail and Belleayre Ridge trail to Bellayre Mountain

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
9/16/2018 7 miles 4 hours 11 minutes 2,178' 35:57

Map: NYNJTC Central Catskill Trails, Map 142
Parking: Lost Clove Road
Directions: Lost Clove Trail. Cross Belleayre east summit. Continue on Belleayre Ridge Trail. Continue to Belleayre west summit at ski resort. See also Ski Area from Lost Clove

I went to the gym this morning and did a stretching & mobility class before we headed out hiking. We still had enough time to get a decent hike in. We have hiked up to the eastern summit of Belleayre mountain using a different approach, and have never been to the western summit (the taller of the two).

Eastern summit

Walking through the ski resort

Western summit