Weather for the week of November 27th

The week of November 27th began with a cool Sunday with a light covering of ice and snow on the ground. The highs for the day were in the mid 40’s. Monday started out cold but the sun came out and the highs in the afternoon were near 50 degrees. By Tuesday rain moved in and continued to fall until early evening. The highs for the day were in the high 40’s. Rain is forecast again for Wednesday and it will be continuous from early morning to late vending with some showers overnight. The highs on Wednesday will be in the low 50’s. Thursday will be cloudy with some sun. There may be early morning showers and there is a chance of a shower around noon. Temperatures will reach into the high 40’s. On Friday the morning skies will be partly cloudy giving way to clouds in the afternoon. The highs will be in the low 40’s but the wind will make that feel from 5 to 10 degrees cooler. Saturday there will be a low cloud cover with highs only in the high 30’s. Some areas may see snow showers. Be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. It is time to break out the winter clothing including gloves and a hat. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! 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!

Hodge and Frick Ponds: Flynn and Quick Lake Trails

HodgeFrickNov2016_04camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, November 26th I was ready to hike after the Thanksgiving holiday madness and a number of ambulance calls. The weather was questionable especially to the north so I decided to stay local and head to Hodge and Frick Ponds. Brad and Krista were in for the weekend and Brad decided to go with me. I was glad to have the company as he and I have things in common since we are both EMS volunteers. We got ready to leave and pulled out of the driveway sometime after 10:30 AM. The temperature was only 30 degrees so I wore my Mammut hoody and Columbia Titanium pants over a long sleeved shirt and baselayer. We decided that snowshoes would not be appropriate since the recent rain had diminished the snow cover. Sheila was certainly ready to hike as she jumped in the back seat and perched on the console. I drove out DeBruce Road and turned left on Mongaup Road. When we arrived there were two other cars in the bigger lot and a pickup in the small lot. I was pretty sure at least some of them were hunters. We crossed the road to get onto the Flynn Trail at 11:00 AM. Continue reading

Round Top Snowshoe

RoundTopSnowshoeNov2016_05camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, November 21st snow was still falling and the wind was still blowing after a storm dumped at least 8″ in Livingston Manor on Sunday. Most schools were closed as the roads were in very poor condition. I asked Cindy if she would like to snowshoe on the Round Top Trail we had helped create across the street from our house. She said she would like to go and Sheila was eager to get out. Sheila has a little Siberian Husky in her and she loves to romp in the snow. We both had some things to do around the house before going out. Around 11:15 AM we started to get ready and I was reminded of how much harder it is to prepare for a hike in the winter! We both dressed warmly as the air temperature was in the high 20’s and the wind was gusting to over 30 mph! I got our snowshoes out of the basement choosing to wear my Crescent Moon snowshoes which have the best bindings. I decided to wear a pair of insulated Salomon Nitro boots and my Mammut hoody. Eventually we were ready and walked out the driveway to the street. Continue reading

Weather for the week of November 20th

The week of November 20th began with an overnight snowfall of 6 to 9 inches in Sullivan County. By Sunday morning the snow was still making driving hazardous. The road crews worked to clear the snow and the sun came out briefly to make driving conditions better from midday to early evening. As the sun set and the winds picked up the temperatures dropped below freezing making the roads even more dangerous. There were several accidents precipitated by drivers unprepared for the road conditions and oblivious to the forecast. The snow is expected to continue overnight and into Monday tapering to snow showers. The wind is expected to continue all day on Monday with temperatures staying below freezing for the entire day. Tuesday will see highs hovering around the freezing mark with additional snow showers. By Wednesday the sun should be peeking through the clouds and the temperatures will rise into the high 30’s. Rain will move in for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday with highs barely reaching the high 30’s. By Friday the precipitation should pass but the skies will be cloudy with highs in the low 40’s. There may be some sun mixed with clouds on Saturday with highs again in the low 40’s. Be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. It is time to break out the winter clothing including gloves and a hat. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! 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!

Round Top Trail

RoundTopTrailNov2016_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, November 18th I had scheduled a meeting with some Livingston manor students at the Round Top Trail. The students were members of the school’s newly formed Interact Club which is sponsored by the local chapter of Rotary International. The purpose of the meeting was to walk the newly completed Round Top Lower Trail and to introduce the students to the trail and to trail maintenance. I wanted the students to react to the trail as it exists and to suggest changes or improvements. I also wanted to show them how to maintain the trail using some “elbow grease” and simple tools. Depending on the time they had available, I thought it would also be a good idea to have them help me plan the next phase of the trail project. This is a trail from the existing lower trail to the high point of Round Top that is on public property. This trail will only be about a quarter mile long but will require more work than the lower trail. The lower trail, follows many existing woods roads while the upper trail has now roads to follow. I parked at the church at about 12:50 PM for the 1:00 PM meeting and was the only car there. I was a little worried but just before 1:00 PM five students arrived. Continue reading

Touch-Me-Not Trail Maintenance

TouchMeNotMaintenanceNov2016_32camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, November 16th I wanted to get in a local hike and decided to check out the TouchMeNot Trail which I maintain for the Finger Lakes Trail. I wanted to staSt at Big Pond and see how far I could get. The last time I had worked the trail was during the summer and I wanted to make sure it was free of new blowdowns for the winter season. I left Livingston Manor right around 9:15 AM and headed up the Beaverkill Road with an excited Sheila in the back seat. Even though the temperature was pushing into the high 40’s I chose to wear my Mammut hoody since it was lots of zippers to dump heat and extra pockets. We arrived in the parking area by Big Pond just after 9:45 AM and got started immediately. There was a pickup in the parking area but I did not see anyone fishing on Big Pond. I had my Fiskars axe which I carry when hiking longer distances since it is sharp but light with a hollow handle. I also had brought my Silky curved saw and some plastic felling wedges. We crossed the road and got on the red Touch-Me-Not Trail to hike over the hill toward Cabot Mt. Continue reading

Logger’s Loop Trail Maintenance

LoggersLoopMaintenanceNov2016_08camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, November 14th I wanted to get out and hike locally as the week coming up would be busy and include some rainy weather. I asked Cindy if she would like to go to Frick Pond to clear the blowdowns that we had found on the Logger’s Loop on the previous Saturday and she agreed. When I awoke in the morning the temperature was 20 degrees so we were not too eager to get a very early start. I got my gear in the car including my Fiskars axe, Silky Sugowaza saw and felling wedges. Because the temperature was till in the 20’s, I decided to wear my Mammut hoody and warmer Columbia Titanium pants. The hoody has lots of zippers to help regulate temperature and I knew I could always take it off. Sheila was happy to be going anywhere and crouched in the back seat with her head on the console. I drove out DeBruce Road and turned left on Mongaup Road. Where the road splits I stayed left on Beech Mountain Road and parked in the smaller lot at 10:10 AM and got started almost immediately. The temperature was 28 degrees when we left the parking area. Continue reading

Weather for the week of November 13th

The forecast for the week of November 13th began with a cool but sunny Sunday with gorgeous skies. The sun made it feel like the 60’s even though the air temperature was in the mid to high 50’s throughout the day. Monday will partly sunny with highs in the high 50’s. On Tuesday the highs will be in the low 50’s with clouds in the sky and a chance of rain throughout the day. Wednesday the highs will drop into the low 50’s with mostly cloudy skies. By Thursday the sun will appear with highs still in the low 50’s and a chance of showers. On Friday the skies will be sunny with high temperatures into the low 60’s! On Saturday the highs will reach into the mid 50’s with sun in the morning and a chance of showers in the afternoon. Be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. It is time to start wearing or carrying a light jacket and maybe even light gloves and a hat for the earlier morning hikes. A light rain jacket may also be a good idea. Keeping hydrated can sometimes be tricky but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! 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!

Frick Pond: Logger’s Loop, Big Rock and Flynn Trails

LoggersLoopBigRockNov2016_06camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, November 11 I had planned to head to Bath to hike another section of the Finger Lakes Trail on map 10. When I awoke at 5:30 AM, the pain in my right ankle was better but I could still feel some discomfort. I am convinced that this was due to my own stupidity in not putting proper insoles in my shoes on Tuesday for a long hike. Wearing good insoles for the rest of the week an resting from hiking seemed to be helping. I decided to be cautious and do a shorter hike around Livingston Manor. I got a little more sleep and when Cindy and I got out of bed I asked if she would like to hike. She said “Yes” and we decided to head for Frick Pond. My plan was to hike the Quick Lake Trail to Iron Wheel Junction. From here we would hike the Logger’s Loop to Times Square an then ascend the Big Rock Trail to the Flynn Trail to get back to the car. There were several ways to shorten the hike if I felt my ankle would not take additional mileage. Although the temperature in the morning as in the low 30’s we knew it would warm up throughout the day as the sun came out. When we left the house just before 10:00 AM it was still barely 40. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Trail: Hughs Road to Sand Pit Road

HughesRdSandPitRdNov2016_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, November 8th I wanted to hike the Finger Lakes Trail again so I looked at Map 11 which is immediately to the west of the section I had just complete. Map 11 runs from Hughes Road and Turnpike Road south of Howard, NY east to Sand Pit Road near Bath, NY. When I saw that the distance was 11.9 miles I knew it would take two trips and planned to do the second leg on Thursday. It bothered me that spotting a car would allow me to do it on one trip but I had no one else that would go with me! I thought maybe Bath was a big town to have a taxi service and I did an Internet search. I found Village Taxi and communicated with them on Facebook. They assured me that they could pick me up in Bath and drop me off on Hughes Road and they would be glad to take Sheila along. I spoke to them on the phone to confirm that I would be in Bath between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM and that I would contact them at that time. I planned to get up at 6:00 AM and get going as soon as possible. The forecast was for temperatures reaching into the 60’s with plenty of sun with clouds moving in at the end of the day. I woke up a little earlier than 6:00 AM and got ready to go. Continue reading