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Gooward, Mudaldson, and Wetmons. 2016-08-27

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  • Gooward, Mudaldson, and Wetmons. 2016-08-27

    Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons. 2016-08-27​

    There are two Mud Seasons. There's the officially declared one in Spring and then there's the rest of the year. Thursday's rain left the Sewards gooey, muddy, and wet just in time for the weekend crowds. I arrived at the Seward Mtn Trail-head shortly before 7:00 AM and the main parking area was full. Only three spots remained in the short access lane. Upon my return, six additional cars were parked on Coreys Road.

    I met several forum members during the day; our conversations typically began with "Aren't you Trail Boss?" Let me take a moment to say it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance and I appreciate your kind words. Here are the people I had the good fortunate to meet: nickUSA TBPDPTI charles Trail Happy and lurkers whose names I've unfortunately forgotten.

    The most unexpected meeting was with a gentleman who I had liberated from an electrified enclosure. Last weekend's mishap with my car key had me leaving ADK Loj well after dark (10:30 PM). While walking by the dumpster, cordoned off by an electrified fence and accessed via a self-latching gate, I saw someone, with two young boys, struggling to exit. I laughed and shouted "Caught another one!" The individual chuckled and mentioned it was like a roach motel. I found the gate's latch which was activated by a pull-cord inside the enclosure. I reached around the gate's frame to show where he could find the cord to unlock it. What I failed to see in the dark was the frame was also electrified. A "bzzt" sound and mild shock to my forearm revealed this fact to me. Anyway, we laughed about their predicament and proceeded to talk about bear-hangs and other things. On Seward, one of his young sons recognized me and I got to meet the entire family.

    I've descended Seward's north side several times but never ascended it. I was overdue for this experience so I chose to hike Seward, Donaldson, Emmons as a clockwise loop. I'm happy with my decision because the Seward Trail was very wet and muddy. Descending it would've been a slippery affair (supported by the presence of numerous existing bypass trails). In comparison, the Calkins Brook Trail was dry as a desert (except for the usual "problem" spots). Donaldson to Emmons was messy, as is normally the case. The bog atop Donaldson's summit ridge was much soggier (poles sunk a foot) compared to when I was there in May during the official Mud Season.

    The ho-hum walk to Blueberry Lean-to was made more interesting (to me) by the initial re-route (it now follows the Blueberry Horse Trail before switching back to the Blueberry foot trail) and the presence of illegal camping. Hammocks were strung up by the lean-to and several tents were pitched 30 feet from the trail across from the lean-to. I asked the campers having breakfast if they saw any yellow "Camp Here" markers. I know I didn't see any. They agreed there were none. I explained, for future reference, the DEC's regulation concerning primitive camping sites. Not a single person claimed they knew anything about it. They chose the sites because it was obvious others had used them in the past (illegal sites continue to be re-used because they are convenient). To be fair, despite proximity, I think the spots they chose are well-suited for camping and should probably be marked as designated campsites.

    Despite two rest breaks, one atop Seward and the other on Emmons, and pausing to chat with other hikers, I'm happy to report that I set a new personal record for SDE. I covered the loop in a tick under 7.5 hours. I hope to return in September, tackle all four (Seymour + SDE) and do better than my old time of just under 11 hours (or at least in the same ball park).

    Looking for Views!

  • #2
    Was nice to meet you at the trailhead, Trail Boss! We were successful in our endeavor to climb ST #2. We continued to the Ward Brook lean-to for our starting point. The illegal camping there was even worse: a tent (with the people still inside) was set up practically on the Ward Brook truck trail itself. I would say that it was half on the truck trail, and half off of it, right in front of the picnic table there. It's just getting crazy....
    High peaks: Summer: 46/46 (1st iteration); 27/46 (2nd); 11/46 (3rd); 6/46 (4th) Winter: 7/46 (1st); 1/46 (2nd)

    The other 56: Summer: 54/56(1st); 12/56(2nd); 4/56(3rd); 3/56(4th) Winter: 13/56(1st); 3/56(2nd); 1/56(3rd); 4th (0/56)


    • #3
      Sorry we missed potentially crossing paths by such a short time between our hikes. Glad we took your advice about the Calkins Brook route in and out. Thanks again!


      • #4
        Saw your name in the book, but missed you. We were in climbing just Seymour. Astonishing how many folks were in there!