Triple play – two for the CHH and one for the grid. Not really quadruple, because although we got in a few miles on the Long Path we hadn’t hiked before, we’ll still have to go back and hike the bit of Section 23 between Blackhead and Acra Point. Oh well, there are worse things than having to hike another day.
Being that FatVegan has finished his 35, we’ve decided to start working on the Castkill Hundred Highest (CHH). I marked them all out on a brand-new set of NY/NJ TC maps (well, the ones that are actually on the TC maps) last week, and then found that (theoretically, at least) they all appear on the VO map of the Catskills. So I ordered that one. Thx, TFR, for the suggestion!
Oh, and as an aside – <digression> I stopped at Ramsey Outdoor Store today (the only outdoor store in my area open on Sundays) and saw the 2010 NY/NJ TC Catskills map set – I think there are three additional maps, one of which covers Bearpen and Vly! If you’re reading this and haven’t seen the new set yet, congratulations: you’re the last to find out. Send me a PM and I’ll make sure you get the booby prize at the 3500 Club dinner this March.
FatVegan and I headed up from the PA at the end of Big Hollow Road (56) via the red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail, then banged a louie to go westish along the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail, which follows along the base of Burnt Knob. We banged a right off trail and ‘whacked to the summit of Burnt Knob. Nothing all that special. Plenty of prickers to put holes in my rain pants (which I’m not sure are all that waterproof anyway – maybe more on that later), though I think I slid through them well enough to avoid putting any holes in them. If there was a cairn at the top, we didn’t see it: the prickers and other stuff were chest-high at points.
After declaring the summit reached and our first peak bagged for the day, we ‘whacked northish some more to rejoin the Escarpment Trail. We bagged a bunch of views on the way as we headed up to Windham HP, then backtracked past the BDR trail junction and headed up to Acra Point. Then it was backtrack back home.
The nettles weren’t ridiculously bad. Some of the BDR was getting a bit overgrown, but that’s to be expected in springtime; same with the first part of the trail after the junction on the way up to Acra Point. We gave directions to a couple in shorts who were working on an Acra Point loop that they started from the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail. We also saw five chicks hiking up to Acra Point as we were on our way back down. That was an interesting encounter – I’m a happenin’ single guy who happens to be pretty smooth when I’m in a familiar environment (the woods should, theoretically, qualify), but all I could do was step off the trail, nod, smile and make caveman-style grunts of approval as they passed. Maybe I need more internet dating in my life.
Aaaaaand speaking of dating: if any of y’all happen to know any good-lookin’ single women between the ages of 24 and whatever, please feel free to set me up. I’m a pretty good first, second and third date – after that, well, I really have no idea anymore. But it sure would be fun to find out! A hiker chick working (or who’s completed) her 35 would be nice, but I’m not all that particular. About the hiking part, I mean.
It rained cats & dogs on the drive up, but we didn’t get so much as a single drop on us (besides what came off the flora) for the whole hike. That said, we were still prepared – I hiked in my rain pants and with a pair of board shorts underneath. My rain pants are teflon, of the Campmor variety. I’m not so sure that they’re waterproof, as my calves were relatively wet; and I don’t think it was sweat. Any suggestions? FatVegan was wearing his GoLite rain pants and damn if they didn’t shed water like a duck’s back! We stepped out of the bushwhack section and his pants were dry as toast!
Definitely a good hike – 7.75 miles total. Great views of the Blackhead range throughout.
So that’s it. I hope everyone had an excellent weekend and I look forward to bumping into you out on the trail. Especially if you’re young, single and cute (and have two X chromosomes).
PS: I burned the sh*t out of my cake while I was writing this, lol.
Grid: 78/420 (5/35 for July)