Friday, December 17, 2010

A hike as promised

So today I got up, and when to my local outfitter looking for a detailed map of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut.  Sadly they were sold out and would not be getting more till Tuesday.  Now not to be discouraged I decided that the research I did online would have to do.  By this time it was 10:30a.m. and I had the fifteen minute drive home and still needed to pack a day pack.  Once I was home I put a pack together and asked Sarah if she could drop me at the trail head.  She seemed more then happy to do it and after I was packed she took me five minutes up the road to the nearest AT trail head.  The section I wanted to hike looked like an easy three or four mile hike and it was.  

It turns out it was a great day for a hike!  The temps were in the mid 30's and there were no clouds to speak of.  So as Sarah pulled away and I hit the tail I could already see a problem.  I dressed to warm, and after a far to early stop I ended up shedding a shirt and hiking with my jacket open(still had a t-shirt on under the jacket).


The first section was the side of the mountain that got all the sun, and it was almost too warm.  It was not the most challenging hike, but I had not been out in a while so I was a little winded as I reached the top.

Once I reached the top I found a nice rock and sat down.  I had not had lunch to this point, but thought ahead and threw a cliff bar and some hot chocolate in my bag.  I also packed my pocket stove and some fuel tablets so from my perch on top of the world I warmed some water for hot chocolate and a cliff bar.  After sitting for 25 of 30 minutes I decided to press on.

As I headed down the other side of the mountain a couple things became very clear.  The first being that this side of the mountain was much colder.  Second there were land mines in the form of frozen pools of water just under the snow, which made for a dicey time going down hill.  I managed to not fall this entire trip which is great because I fall when conditions are great so these poor ones had me worried.  

 Along with the ice and snow on this side I found myself following tracks of what I believe were coyotes.  They were using the AT a lot.  I saw deer and turkey sign all along the way as well, and I guess it only makes sense to see a predator when there was so much game sign.

 In the last half mile I explored an AT shelter.  Found these cool steps people made out of some perfectly flat rocks, and crossed a great foot bridge.  I can't imagine what some of the first AT hikers had to deal with when it came to the rivers they had to cross.  I sure was thankful for that bridge because the water was icy and cold, and I would have turned around and walked the 3 miles back if I had to ford that river. 
All in all this was a great reward for working hard on setting up the house over the last two weeks.  I am looking forward to hiking on the AT more in the spring, but will be using it this winter again I am sure.  Also really want to take Sarah along the next time, maybe even on this exact trip.  There are lots of great picture opportunities and she is a much better photographer then I am.  Hopefully I will get one or two more outdoor adventures in before christmas, but I know I will blog again before so thanks for reading. 

1 comment:

  1. Bruce,

    I wanted to update you on some changes at AZWanderings. My new site can be found at:

    Thanks for any insights or thoughts you have. Stay warm in the Northeast.