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Tom Jones Mountain and shelter 11-27-21

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  • Tom Jones Mountain and shelter 11-27-21

    it was one year ago, today, that I hiked up to Overlook Mountain with a friend. It was a cold day, then. It was cold for this hike, except, the wind was like a small hurricane on the slopes of Tom Jones. The weather report called for good weather, but cold with wind gusts up to 15mph. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go. I prepacked by backpack, Tuesday and just had to get dressed and head out the door. I was feeling pretty good. No reason not to go. I rose about 5am with a planned departure time of 7am. I got dressed and had breakfast, farina and coffee. Deep down, I really wanted to go. Normally, I would just back out. I just didn’t want to sit around the house all day, when I could be out there. I tried to justify not going by telling myself that I’ll save gas and till money. That didn’t work. As 7Am closed in, grabbed my gear, tossed it in the car and set out for Harriman State Park.

    i reached the PA about 8:30am. My first choice was to hike the far side of the mountain and approach the shelter along the spine. When I parked the wind was howling like a madman. I decided to drive to a secondary PA and approach the mountain from the Victory Trail. The route was shorter and since, my goal was to spend time at the shelter, it looked like a better choice. Man, it was cold! 34 degrees with a wind chill of about 15. My breath was so cold that it was waiting for me at the trailhead. It looked like one of those planes you see with the vapor trails 30,000 feet up. One more chicken thought crossed my mind, but I boxed it and moved out. I was wearing my Rohan Winter jacket Frostbite 100 with Rohan Winter Trousers. The pants always worked in cold windy conditions and kept me very warm. The jacket was facing its second test. The first test was on fingerboard Mountain. Not as cold, but it held up well. With cold and heavy winds, the real test was here. I found the junction after blowing it initially. Once again, I was thinking, I walked too far. Checking my map and gps, I had passed the turn off for the mountain. I quickly backtracked and found the trail marker. I shook my head. Harriman has always stumped me with its crazy trail markers. You really need to look for them, as they are small and sometimes, too far apart. The trail was like a staircase and up I went.

    The wind was fierce as I went. Several times I got blown backwards or side to side. I had to hold onto my hat. The last thing I needed was to chase it all over the place or have it blown into a ravine. I picked my slowly until I reached the top. The shelter was easy to spot. I arrived about 10am. It looked like there was someone there. I could see a smoldering campfire. I shouted a greeting, but no one answered. I found the shelter empty. The last occupant had not done a complete job of putting out his fire. With the wind blowing so hard, I took it upon myself to put out the remaining embers. I unloaded my gear and decided to build my fire in one of the two fireplaces flanking the inside of the shelter. I brought in a cord of wood and fire starter stuff, charcoal and lint. I got a small fire started, but the wind was giving it trouble.

    Some time later, a few people showed up. Dave and his GF Beverly and another hiker, Alex. They arrived together, but were hiking separately. I broke out the marshmallows and cigars. They shared some tea, and we had a nice time chatting and enjoying the views. The early morning clouds had cleared to point where some sun and blue sky was showing. The shelter protected us well against the wind. Our fire kept going out, and we all worked to keep it going. Eventually. The fire weakened and only continued underneath the log because of the coals. Soon, my guests departed to finish their hikes. I remained behind until about 12pm. I decided to call it a day. Alex was making a loop of the area and was thinking of spending the night back at the shelter. I killed the fire and set up the remaining wood on the side, in case he decided to return. I left the unused marshmallows behind and started back to the PA. The wind was still blowing hard. The return trip was a little more treacherous going down. Again, several times, I got tossed around and lost my balance. I ran into more hikers coming up. We briefly chatted before parting. I got back to the car about 1:20pm.
    pictures to follow later.
    Nothing like being in the woods.

    http://www.gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com

  • #2
    Hey Gerard,

    Probably that it's not unusual for this question to be asked. Who was Tom Jones? Could it be the singing Welsh guy?

    Was there a historic marker at the LT?

    Don
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 11-30-2021, 05:10 PM.

    Comment


    • Gerard01
      Gerard01 commented
      Editing a comment
      I didn’t see a plaque. I’ll try and look it up.

  • #3
    https://gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com/pictures
    Nothing like being in the woods.

    http://www.gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com

    Comment


    • #4
      That is some ramshackle leanto!
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • Gerard01
        Gerard01 commented
        Editing a comment
        Still, was pretty warm in there, even with the fire.
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