Weather for the week of May 21st

The week of May 21st began with a bright and sunny Sunday with highs reaching 60 degrees in most places. The skies began to become cloudy in the afternoon before several days of rainy weather. The forecast for Monday includes overnight rain and showers on and off throughout the day. The highs should reach into the high 50’s on Monday. Tuesday may be the nicest day of the week with temperatures in the high 60’s with partly sunny skies. Rain returns on Wednesday with scattered showers throughout the day and highs in the high 60’s. On Thursday the temperatures will drop to the high 50’s and may hit 60 but there will be a chance of scattered thunderstorms. Temperatures rise into the mid 60’s on Friday but there will still be scattered showers. By Saturday the skies should clear with highs in the mid 60’s and times of sun and clouds. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Weather for the week of May 14th

The week of May 14th began with a bright and sunny Sunday with highs reaching 60 degrees in most places. The wind began to pickup during the evening and remained in the double digits throughout the night. The forecast for Monday includes morning showers ending around noon. The highs should reach into the mid 50’s on Monday but the wind will continue to hit velocities just below 20 mph. A warming trend on Tuesday will send temperatures into the low 70’s with plenty of sun. The trend continues into Wednesday with highs in the low 80’s and plenty of sunshine. Thursday will be even warmer with highs in the mid 80’s but with increasing humidity also. The highs on Friday will drop back into the low 70’s with a chance of an early morning shower. On Saturday the highs will be in the low 70’s with clouds and sun.When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Weather for the week of May 7th

The week of May 7th began with a cold and rainy Sunday with highs reaching only into the low 40’s. The overnight temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach into the low 30’s with the possibility of a snow shower! Monday will be more of the same with temperatures struggling to get into the mid 40’s. A double digit breeze and showers will make it feel even cooler. Tuesday will be mostly cloudy and cool with temperatures making it into the high 40’s but with less wind. On Wednesday the mercury should creep into the low 50’s with some sun and a few clouds. The trend will continue on Friday as  the temperatures jump into the high 50’s with periods of sun and clouds. Friday will be mostly cloudy but the highs should reach the low 60’s. The forecast for Saturday is almost a copy of Friday.    When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Hickok Brook Trails

HickokBrookCompleteMay2017_03camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Thursday, May 4th, I finished a short hike at the Mongaup River Trail on Route 97 and then headed for the Hickok Brook MUA which was on my way home. I drove north on CR-31 (Upper Mongaup Road) for a little over 5 miles to Glen Spey. I turned right and then made a quick left on CR-32 (Proctor Road). I drove north and west for a little less than 4 miles and turned left on Barker Road. I watched carefully for the sign for Hickok Brook MUA but I didn’t need to worry since the typical yellow on brown sign appeared on the right in .6 miles. I pulled into the parking area and had to decided whether to park in the lot outside the gate or drive farther down the road. I opted to park in the lot and hike the road even though the gate looked like it would not be closed. There was a van parked in the lot as I got my gear ready to go. I let Sheila run free but encouraged her to stay on the road as I had already picked several ticks off her coat. We started southwest on the road at 12:40 PM. The sun was out now and I was warm even in the light jacket. This time I brought my poles even though the road was flat and in good shape. I had remembered to bring insect repellant but the slightly cooler temperatures and the breeze were keeping the insects away. Continue reading

Mongaup River Trail

MongaupRiverMay2017_18camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, May 4th, I had planned to get out early to hike but an ambulance call in the middle of the night made sleeping a little later necessary. When I got up at 9:00 AM, the temperature was in the high 50’s and the sky was cloudy with some sun peaking through. The forecast called for increasing temperatures and more sun so I dressed in lighter pants and opted for a light windbreaker. I decided that I would investigate some more trails from the trailkeeper.org website that I was working to correct and improve. My choice was to first head to the Mongaup River Trail south of Glen Spey and stop by Hickok Brook MUA on the way back. Driving to the Mongaup River would take almost an hour and I had to make at least one stop along the way. We left Livingston Manor at 9:30 AM and I drove down State Route 17 to Liberty. I finished my business there and picked up Route 55 south toward Eldred. I drove for 23 miles through Swan Lake, Kauneonga Lake, and White Lake. In Eldred I turned left at the light on CR-32 (Proctor Road) and drove a little over 5 miles to Glen Spey. I turned right and then left on CR-31 (Upper Mongaup Road). I again drove south a little over 5 miles to Route 97. I made a left, crossed the bridge over the Mongaup River and made a quick left into the parking area. Continue reading

Hodge Pond (Flynn Trail)

HodgeMay2017_09camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, May 3rd, I had not planned a specific hike but wanted to get out and do something as the weather for the rest of the week seemed questionable. When I checked my cell phone at 8:00 AM, I found Lisa had left a message asking if I wanted to get in a hike. I called her and she said she was still interested and would like to go to Hodge Pond. We agreed that she would come to my house at 9:00 AM. I went outside for a minute and found it was a little chilly with temperatures in the low 50’s and a stiff breeze. I decided to wear my Columbia Omniheat pants and Mammut hoody for a little extra warmth. I also rough along a light hat and gloves. Lisa was right on time so I loaded up my gear and Sheila and headed out the DeBruce Road. After about 6 miles, I turned left on Mongaup Road and drove to where the road split. I stayed left at the Y and drove up Beech Mountain Road to the parking area. We were surprised to see two other cars already parked at 9;20 AM. I set my electronics and we crossed the road to begin our hike at 9:25 AM. We hiked the Flynn Trail passed the register toward the woods road that would take us to Hodge Pond. Continue reading

Mongaup Pond Loop

MongaupPondLoopMay2017_05camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, May 1st, I had not planned a specific hike but wanted to get out and do something as the weather for the rest of the week seemed questionable. I thought about going to Frick Pond to do some trail maintenance but the morning dragged on and I thought it a little late to start chopping. I decided instead to go to Mongaup Pond and hike a loop around the pond. This loop was posted on a website I am working on and the distance was listed at 21.88 miles! I was pretty sure the loop was shorter than that. When I mentioned this to Cindy, she said she wanted to come along so we got dressed and put our gear in the car. Sheila likes it best when we all go hiking so she was jumping around and making strange vocalizations. We left Livingston Manor around 10:15 AM and headed out the DeBruce Road.After about 6 miles I turned left on the Mongaup Road and at the intersection with Beech Mountain Road I stayed right toward Mongaup Pond. In a mile I pulled over and parked in the small parking area just before the entrance to the campgrounds. The park was not yet open so parking in the lot by the bathrooms would have been free but I wanted a GPS track from outside the entrance. Continue reading