On Saturday, November 29th I planned to hike a section of the Long Path from Mount Ivy to the Big Hill Shelter in Harriman State Park. I had already hiked the Tors so this hike would connect them to the rest of my Long Path sections and leave only section 1 to 3 for me to complete the entire trail! I mentioned my plans to my son Kurt and he said he would be able to hike with me. This meant we could spot a car on Route 106 where the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail crosses the road. We could then drive to Mount Ivy and hike the Long Path to the Suffern bear Mountain Trail near the Big Hill Shelter. The rest of the hike would be only the Suffern Bear Mounatin Trail back to Route 106. This would also allow us to pass by the Jackie Jones Fire Tower and the ORAK Mansion, two points of interest that I though Kurt would like. We agreed to meet at 9:00 AM but Kurt sent a text early in the morning asking to delay our rendezvous until 9:45 AM. The new plan would allow me to get there a little early to see if Route 106 and the parking area were plowed. Continue reading
On Thursday, November 27th the family was headed to Delhi for Thanksgiving. About 8 inches of snow had fallen on Wednesday and it looked very pretty on the trees. I decided to take a short walk on the hills behind our church before we headed out. The temperature was still in the high 20’s and the sky showed only little blue. I got dressed and took my pack since it is the easiest way to carry my camera. Sheila was ready to go so we walked across the street and up the steep hill to the top of the cemetery. I stopped and dropped my pack to take some pictures of the town and the surrounding hills all of which were covered in snow. Sheila seemed to know where we were going and we were soon hiking through the woods . I was a little surprised to find we weren’t the first to venture out as I saw boot print and dog prints in the snow. We came to a large blowdowns across our regular route and follow the other set of prints as they wound around it. As we walked through the woods, I stopped several times to take a few more shots and then put the camera away to concentrate on the beauty around us. We followed a route we often use but I decided to walk the flat part first and then climb the hills. There were some deep puddles of water which were almost completely frozen but we avoided them just in case. Soon we had made the turn and started back which meant we had a few pretty steep but short climbs. I had not worn any traction devices which would have made the climbs a little easier. I could have worn snowshoes since there was more snow in the woods and on the hills than around the house but they were not necessary. We descended the highest hill and rejoined our path from the outbound part of the hike. Sheila was right on the “trail” the entire time despite the fact that the others had turned around only a short way into the hike. We had started just before 9:00 AM and were back at the house by 10:30 AM after covering a few beautiful miles.
On Tuesday, November 25th it was still overcast with some mist in the air after a good rain on Monday. I decided to hike locally as I had track practice in the afternoon. I decided that the rain might have increased the flow in local streams and that Russell Brook Falls would be a good place in to check this out. Sheila was happy to be getting out and rushed to the car! We left Livingston Manor at about 9:15 AM and headed toward Morton Hill Road just outside of Roscoe. I made the left and rove to the intersection with Russell Brook Road. I turned around and marked on the shoulder of Morton Hill Road as the parking area is on private property. We were hiking down Russell Brook Road by 9:35 AM and it already appeared that there would be some water in the streams. Continue reading
On Monday, November 24th it was still overcast with some mist in the air after a good rain on Sunday. I had planned to hike from Hartley Road near Goshen to Mountain Road in Greenville to connect my sections of the Long Path in Orange County and Harriman with my sections to the north. This hike is a road walk all the way so I had called Alist Taxi the night before and asked the driver to pick me up at Mountain Road as I wanted to hike from east to west. I had been over the route in a car and measured the distance at about 14.5n miles which was about the same as the distance described on the website. I was surprised at how hilly it was especially in the western part. I knew that I didn’t want to break it into two hikes and around trip of 28 miles was out of the question! I almost called the driver and cancelled but I decided that it was so warm, about 55 degrees in Livingston Manor, that even if I got wet it wouldn’t be too bad. I also knew that there was worse weather ahead. Continue reading
After several days of unseasonably cold weather, the week of November 23rd begins with a warm but cloudy day on Sunday with temperatures rising to near 50 degrees. Monday will be even warm with highs in the 60’s. The forecast calls for a windy day on Monday with showers at left in the morning. The temperatures drop into the low 40’s going into Tuesday with some sun. The forecast for Wednesday calls for some snow with temperatures dropping again into the mid 30’s. The temperatures for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday will be about the same but there is no precipitation in the forecast. Friday will see a slight drop in temperatures but there will be some sun. Saturday the temperatures may rise again into the mid 40’s but there is the threat of some rain. This forecast is for the lower elevations. Hikers have already reported accumulating snow on the Catskill peaks! 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!
On Friday, November 21st I was ready to hike after four days of filling in for the school nurse! I had considered going to Orange County to finish the Long Path sections there by hiking a 14 mile section from Hartley Road near Goshen to Mountain Road near Port Jervis. The forecast was for temperatures barely above freezing AND sustained winds of 10 to 20 miles per hour. I knew the road walk would be unprotected and opted to wait for the warmer temperatures predicted for the days before Thanksgiving. I asked Cindy if she would like to go to Frick Pond to hike and she agreed. This is one of our favorite places and I had not been there in some time. When I awoke at 6:00 AM is was 16 degrees and there was a stiff breeze nlowwingthe1 morning progressed the temperature rose slightly. Continue reading
The week of November 16th began with a cold and cloudy Sunday. Temperatures barely made it above freezing and snow flurries were in the air. The forecast for Monday calls for freezing rain in the morning followed by rain later in the day as a storm moves up from the South. By Tuesday the temperature is expected to plummet into the 20’s and stay there until Thursday. The highs Thursday and Friday will hover right around freezing with snow possible on Friday. Saturday should be sunny with a high just below 40. This forecast is for the lower elevations. Hikers have already reported accumulating snow on the Catskill peaks! 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!
On Saturday, November 15th I was ready to hike after three days of filling in for the school nurse! It was the first day of rifle season for deer and bear and it snowed some overnight. I stayed around to cover any morning ambulance calls and fortunately there were new. Cindy and I decided we would hike the new Ridgeberry parcel from Mountain Road to the SRT. This would help me finish up some of the Long Path in Orange County. I knew that hunting was prohibited on this land which was also a plus. Cindy and I got ready to go making sure we wore some orange and that Sheila wore her orange vest. We headed down Route 17 at 10:45 AM and I took exit 113 to get on Route 209 south toward Port Jervis. The temperature was still below freezing but I expected it to rise during the day. Continue reading
Snow showers began in Livingston Manor at dusk and continued throughout the night. Several inches of snow fell on the warm grounds and road surfaces. An accumulation of about 2 inches was on the grass in the morning with some snow adorning the bushes and trees. Most of the snow that fell on the roads melted on the warmer surface. Some roads were slippery in the morning as the melted snow froze as the temperatures dropped. By morning the air temperature was 25 degrees which was over 20 degrees lower than Wednesday morning!
On Tuesday, November 11th I wanted to continue to work on some sections of the Long Path in Orange County to connect my Harriman sections with those to the north. I had finished the section from Route 32 to Monroe on Monday. The next section was the Heritage Trail from Monroe to just northwest of Goshen. This is an 11.5 mile stretch of paved trail most of which lies on the old Erie railroad right-of-way. I did not want to break this into two hikes and I knew I could not do over 23 miles as an out and back. I found that Alist Taxi in Monroe would transport both me and my dog so I hatched a plan. I decided to park at the end at the Heritage Trail parking area on Hartley Road west of Goshen and have the taxi drop me off at the beginning of the trail in Monroe. I could then hike one-way from Monroe back to the car. I talked to the driver and we tentatively agreed to meet at 8:15 AM. Continue reading