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Old 05-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
Cumulus
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I May Be Getting Old, But I Can Still Read a Map - Birthday Hike 2012

Wednesday the Second was my birthday, and for the second year in a row I spent it hiking in the Catskills with my son Murmur. Coming with us this year were fellow Connecticutman JohnGalt, and Vermonter Whichway, along with her dog Delilah. We hiked Plateau and Sugarloaf.

We were in a stratus cloud all day. We had no views at all. Besides that, however, the conditions were nice. It did rain a little bit off and on, but never hard. The temperature varied from a little chilly to a little warm.

We started down Mink Hollow Trail, intending to do Plateau first. At one point we came to an outlook, or what would have been an outlook if there were any views, and then proceeded down a little rock scramble, only to realize that we were off the trail. We scrambled back up and saw that the trail made a hairpin turn, and we'd just kept going straight. I pointed to the left and said, "so we go that way", and my son said, "No, that's the way we came; we go that way." The other two agreed with Murmur, so we went up the right branch. I started becoming uneasy, though. I took out the map and compass and said, "We're going the wrong way", but they all disagreed. In my favor were the facts that A) we were headed NE; we should have been headed SW, B) the land went up to our right and down to our left; it should have done the opposite, and C) we hadn't turned again, which we would need to do to stay generally in the same direction. In their favor was the fact that none of us could recognize any landmarks, and we'd soon passed a very distinctive and interesting rock shelf it was hard to believe we'd missed. Eventually, though, JohnGalt thought he recognized something, and I kept insisting, so after a couple tenths of a mile or so from the hairpin we turned around and went back. When we got to where we could see the outlook JohnGalt took out his camera and found a picture he'd taken from the same spot, which he wouldn't have done if we'd come the other way. So we continued down the other branch of the hairpin, and sure enough, it turned back to the SW, and soon came to a bridge over Roaring Kill which we certainly hadn't seen before. Which just goes to show that determining facts is not a democratic process.

After we got to Mink Hollow we proceeded up to Plateau on the Devil's Path. On the way up we met about eight Koreans coming down, probably the same ones that have just recently been discussed on this forum. They would be the only other people we'd see on the trail all day.

We turned around at Plateau and went back to Mink Hollow. There Murmur decided to just hike out and skip Sugarloaf. This was the first hike he'd done since the fall and he was beat. The rest of us went up Sugarloaf. At the summit JohnGalt produced a chocolate cake with a candle he'd packed up for my birthday, which was really nice.

We continued east down to Pecoy Notch and took Pecoy Notch Trail back to the car. Unfortunately for Murmur, the most amazing parts of the hike were on this trail.

First we came to the biggest beaver dam we'd ever seen. Actually, I once saw one in Vermont I think was longer, but not as high. This one was about four feet high and hundreds of feet long. It was very impressive.

Next we came to the Stone Chairs. I had read something about them, and they're marked on the map, so we were looking for them. We came across a few chairs made out of stone slabs and thought, "This is kind of cool", took some pictures, and continued hiking. Then we came upon the main Stone Chairs site. We were amazed. This is a stone palace, with towers, a fireplace, terraces, stairways, and lots and lots of chairs, all made out of flat rocks. You'll have to look at the pictures, but they don't really give you a sense of the scale of this site. We spent a long time exploring the area, and then continued to the car, arriving a little before dark.

So thanks to Murmur, JohnGalt, and Whichway (and Delilah) for making this one of my best birthdays ever. I plan to make a Catskill birthday hike an annual tradition, and I hope these three can continue to join in.

Plateau and Sugarloaf were numbers 13 and 14 on the Catskill 35 list for me.

Here are my pictures.

--

Cumulus

NE111: 89/115 (67/67, 21/46, 1/2); Cat35: 14/39; WNH4K: 25/48; NEFF: 27/50
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"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
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The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Cumulus For This Useful Post:
Halia and Flammeus (05-07-2012), Jim Kennard (05-06-2012), mountainmeijin (05-06-2012), PA Ridgerunner (05-07-2012), Pathgrinder (05-06-2012), Snav3 (05-06-2012), TFR (05-07-2012), Woolybear (05-06-2012)
Old 05-06-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
cantdog
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Nice report. I assume all that vast and massive ice is all gone. Sorry about one of your party hiking out. And happy birthday.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
Cumulus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantdog View Post
I assume all that vast and massive ice is all gone.
There was no ice whatsoever.

--

Cumulus

NE111: 89/115 (67/67, 21/46, 1/2); Cat35: 14/39; WNH4K: 25/48; NEFF: 27/50
LT NB 2009

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
Jim Kennard
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY

What a great way to celebrate an other birth year with friends in the Catskill woods.

Many cheers..........

Jim
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
Halia and Flammeus
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I've gotten really confused and turned around on that section of trail by the hairpin turn. It is a little odd, for sure, but you'll remember it forever now!

Happy birthday! So glad you enjoyed it.
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