Guymard Turnpike to Hawthorne Lake

GuymardHawthorneLakeJul2014_01camera32gps_pictalltrailseverytrailcaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, July 17th I wanted to hike closer to home but still be able to work on a long distance trail. I decided to go to Wurtsboro and work on connecting the portions of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail that I had completed. I decided to hike the section of the SRT from Guymard Turnpike to Hawthorne Lake. My plan was to park on the Guymard Turnpike and to hike the trail to Hawthorne Lake and then return by reversing the route. I was a little apprehensive as the lower end of the hike is near the Leap ridge Trail where I have seen rattlesnakes in years past. Sheila was ready to go after several days on inactivity and we left Livingston Manor just before 8:00 AM. I turned off the Quickway at the exit for Route 209 and headed south toward Port Jervis. I drove about 11 miles south passing Route 211 and turned left on Guymard Turnpike. I followed the road through its twists and turns for about 2 miles to just before it crossed over the railroad tracks making an almost 180 degree turn. I found the small pulloff on the left side of the road and turned around and parked. I was careful to pick the parking spot without the “NO PARKING PROPERTY OF CONRAIL” sign! It was 8:40 AM when Sheila and I left the car and crossed the tracks to start our hike. Continue reading

Weather for the week of July 13

The week of July 13th started with a warm but completely overcast Sunday morning. At 7:00 AM the temperature was already 68 degrees. The forecast for the next three days is the same: Heavy or strong thunderstorms starting Sunday afternoon continuing through Tuesday evening. The temperatures to reach into the high 70’s but the storms will have heavy rain with a possibility of hail and damaging winds. Sunny weather returns on Wednesday and should continue through Friday. Currently the weekend forecast is calling for showers with a chance of thunderstorms. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Basha Kill to Guymard Turnpike

BashaKillGuymardJul2014_01camera32gps_pictalltrailseverytrailcaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, July 12th I wanted to hike closer to home than New Jersey, The northern Catskills or Cortland. All these locations would help me work on some long distance trail but where too far from home. I decided to go to Wurtsboro and work on connecting the portions of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail that I had completed. I decided to connect the Basha Kill with the Graham Fire Tower hike we had done. My plan was to park on Route 61 (Otisville Road) near the Basha Kill and to hike the trail to the cutoff to the Graham Fire Tower. Sheila was ready to go despite the long hike from the day before and we left Livingston Manor just before 8:30 AM. I turned off the Quickway at the exit for Route 209 and headed south toward Port Jervis. I could immediately see some of the damage from the recent storms as several large tree lay by the side of the road or in yards. I drove about 6 miles south and turned left on Route 61. Just before the bridge over the Basha Kill I parked in a small lot on the right side of the road. I got out of the car to try to determine where the trail was located. Continue reading

Glenwood Road to Wallkill Wildlife Refuge

GlenwoodRdWallkillRefugeJul2014_06camera32gps_pictalltrailseverytrailcaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, July 11th I was really ready to hike again after several days of heavy thunderstorms that made getting outside impossible! I wanted to continue my quest to complete some section of the long distance trails like the Long Path, FLT and AT. I decided to drive to northern New Jersey and park on Glenwood Road to hike “south” on the AT toward Unionville. The AT actually heads west from Glenwood Road and passes through the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge before getting to Unionville. Cindy and I had parked on Glenwood Road and hiked north so I knew exactly where I was parking. I got my gear ready to go and got Sheila in the car so that we could leave Livingston Manor right around 8:00 AM. I took Route 17 south and east to the exit for Florida. In only a little while the turn for Pulaski highway came up on the right so I turned and followed the signs to Pine Island. From Pine Island I headed south on Route 517 and then made a right on Route 565. Continue reading

Violent Thunderstorms Again?

The week of July 6th started with a warm and sunny Sunday with temperatures ion the low 80’s and a slight breeze. The temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are forecast to reach into the high 80’s even in the northern Catskills. Thunderstorms are forecast to move into the Catskills on Monday with after noon storms possible on both Monday and Tuesday. A morning storm may hand around for Wednesday. A chance of a shower is in the forecast for Thursday while Friday looks like the clearest day of the weak. Temperatures will be in the mid to high 70’s from Wednesday on. Saturday shows cloudy skies. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Finished the AT in New York!

Route20HoytRdJul2104_01camera32gps_pictalltrailseverytrailcaltopomapmyhikeOn Sunday, July 6th I wanted to finish the AT in New York by returning to the Dover Oak and hiking east to Hoyt Road in Connecticut. This is about a ten mile section so I wanted to either do a car spot with another person or have someone help me spot me car at Hoyt Road. Fortunately, my son Kurt was available but not until 1:00 PM. I still thought we would have enough time to do the hike. This also allowed me to attend church before leaving for his house in Wappinger’s Falls. I had though about doing this hike last week but after hiking three days in a row some thunderstorms moved in on Wednesday and hung around through Friday. I had a family commitment on Saturday so Sunday as the first day that was open. I left Livingston Manor at about 11:15 AM and headed down route 17 to I84. I took the Newburgh-Beacon bridge and ended up at Kurt’s house just before 1:00 PM. He was almost ready to go and we headed toward Connecticut by picking up Route 21 east and then Route 55 east. Continue reading

Warm but Wet Weather

The week of June 22nd started with a warm and sunny Sunday. The temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are forecast to reach into the high 70’s or low 80’s even in the northern Catskills. Thunderstorms are forecast to move into the Catskills on Wednesday with some possibly violent weather in some areas. A violent thunderstorms with high winds, heavy rain and large hail rolled through Livingston manor around 12:30 PM on Wednesday! A tornado watch was in effect for the central part of the county. Flash flood watches are in effect through Thursday as more rain is expected! Friday may see a return of the sunny weather from the beginning of the week. The weekend looks pleasant and sunny if a little warm.  Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

AT: Nuclear Lake to Dover Oak

camera32gps_pictalltrailseverytrailcaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, July 1st I wanted to continue my quest to finish the AT in New York by returning to the area east of Fishkill. After hiking part of the AT from Route 55 to Nuclear Lake the day before I wanted to finish the section between Nuclear Lake and the Dover Oak on Route 20. This would leave only 10 miles to the Connecticut border! After hiking over 9 miles the day before, I wasn’t sure how much I would want to extend the hike. In addition this was supposed to be the hottest and most humid day of the week with the heat in sex well into the mid 90’s. I decided to try to get the hike in before noon and then leave the last 10 miles for a car spot or drop off later. Continue reading