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  • Gunks - Traversed!

    Well, it was a long and winding road, to quote a song.

    We all made it from Sam's Pt. to Spring Farm, 23 miles! There were a few blisters, and sore muscles, but everyone stayed together and we had a great time. We got a 1/2 hour late start, but we arrived at Spring Farm after only 11 hours. If we had gotten the 6:00 start, the deluge would have not soaked us all to the skin! Oh well! It was refreshing!

    There were TONS of views along the way, in spite of the haze. Matt chose a great route!

    Blueberries are out!

    We saw a baby porcupine, I hope someone got good pics of it!

    The heat and humidity were pretty bad, but we stopped several times to cool off in streams, and by lakes. Aaaaaahhhhh!!!

    I could write a book about this hike, but I won't. Others can fill in the details.

    At the Gilded Otter, where we had excellent food and beer, we had a surprisingly good musician sing us 'Country Roads', as we improvised it into:

    Carriage Roads,
    Take me home!
    To the Car,
    I will drive!

    Maybe Matt can improve on that even more!

    A great hike with great people! Nice to meet the_swede, a young man with endless energy!
    Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views And Brews

  • #2
    Gunks Traversed indeed. This was a great hike with great people. Something I wanted to do for a long time. It's funny how we travel to all corners of the country looking for mountains and trails and sometimes overlook what we can see from our front porches.

    The laurel was breathtaking and the first few blueberries were tasty. A hazy day robbed us of the views we knew were in the distance. Oh well, we will see them on future hikes and exploration.

    Shortly after starting out, we identified ourselves as TEAM GUNKS. The team as seen in the first picture from left to right are George, Tom, Laurie, Cindy, Matt, Ronnie, and Eric. Nice meeting and hiking with you Eric.

    Matt was the tour guide and resident expert of our traverse. Thanks Matt.

    Tom, thanks for putting the trip in motion and working out the complicated logistics of the perfect plan.

    A few pictures from the day.
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...93435686gQXImH

    Comment


    • #3
      It was a pleasure and an honor to meet all of you very accomplished hikers yesterday. You folks have inspired me to continue to pursue my hiking endeavors, full speed ahead.

      Originally posted by TFR View Post
      Nice to meet the_swede, a young man with endless energy!
      If only I had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep the night before. Man, was I tired!

      Here are just two pics from yesterday. The lighting conditions were not in my favor but I did what I could. I'll post some more if I'm able to fix them up.





      "In a long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day, Rip had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill Mountains. ... From an opening between the trees he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson, far, far below him, moving on its silent but majestic course, with the reflection of a purple cloud, or the sail of a lagging bark, here and there sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in the blue highlands."
      —Washington Irving

      New Jersey 1K Club
      My Climb List

      Catskill 35: 39/39 (finished 3/7/2010)
      Catskill HH: 60/102
      ADK 46: 20/47
      NE 67: 17/67
      NJ 1K: 52/52 (finished 1/10/2010)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Matt, Tom and Laurie for organizing this hike; it was a great hike and a fun day. George, great group shot, what a great group to spend the day with. Eleven hours and many laughs!!! Eric, it was nice meeting and hiking with you, your energy is endless. (it's only a 1/2 mile, we can jog that) Well, as the lightening got closer we did jog most of it.

        Happy Trails - Cindy
        Snickers
        I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
        -Maya Angelou

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice trip and pics--You covered all my faves--In fact I'm headed to Minnewaska tomorrow--Thanks for the preview

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds like you had a great day. I wondered how this group fared when I heard about the bad storms in the Mohonk area. Glad all went well for you.
            Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.~Thomas Jefferson

            Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.~Steven Wright

            Comment


            • #7
              Great pics guys. Sounds like a great long hike. I read about some lightning strikes in the area saturday. 5 people, none hurt seriously thank God. When I saw the paper I almost freaked, knowing you guys were all out there! Glad you had an excellent trip.
              -Tony
              And because of all their tears
              Their eyes can't hope to see
              The beauty that surrounds them
              Isn't it a pity
              -George Harrison

              Comment


              • #8
                Heat and Humidity did make for a tough day. We took several long breaks soaking ourselves in the streams, wetting our heads, legs, arms, clothes, taking our shoes and socks off, soaking our feet, made a huge difference. The t-storms were bad, that is the only time you will see me in the front of the pack; especially this pack. It was raining so hard we could hardly see, although the rain felt so refreshing. Many thanks to Tom and Laurie who had their cars at the end, as we were dripping wet when we got in them. I drove us to the Gilded Otter for dinner, it was the only dry car.

                It was pretty cool for me to do the traverse, as I hiked the Gunks for about two years (before I discovered the Cats) and had previously been to all of the major points of interest we hiked on Sat. So it was cool to link them all together in one long hike.

                Gilded Otter is definitely a great spot for some good beer and food. I had a Heffy and Laurie had a Blueberry Wheat that was delicious. The Asian Samon Burger is great, has a kick to it. Yes, across from Rock-n-Snow, before the bridge.
                Snickers
                I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
                -Maya Angelou

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Snickers View Post
                  Gilded Otter is definitely a great spot for some good beer and food. I had a Heffy and Laurie had a Blueberry Wheat that was delicious. The Asian Samon Burger is great, has a kick to it. Yes, across from Rock-n-Snow, before the bridge.
                  To be specific, if you are coming into town from the West, the Gunks side, it is the first building on your left. It is 1 block West of Rock and Snow, which is up near the 32/299/208/Main St. Traffic light. But the 2 certainly have an affinity for each other, as there are climbing ropes, climbing books, and climbers in G.O. all the time! Not to mention tired but happy hikers!

                  Darren the brewer has won national level awards for his beer. They have everything from 'light' beer to Stouts, with an amazing variety in between. If you look at the list they have up on the wall, it is astounding what the guy has brewed over the years! They have 2 levels inside, and a huge covered porch outside, which offers peaks back at those 'lofty' gunks!
                  Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

                  Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
                  Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
                  Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
                  Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
                  CEO - Views And Brews

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great job everyone. Very nice photos so far. Looking forward to seeing more. The little porky is adorable and the laurel looked very nice.

                    I was also a little concerned Saturday evening when I first heard the reports about the lightning injuries. However, one of the early reports mentioned that the 4 shaken hikers at Mohonk were 3 adults and a child who had come for dinner at the hotel. They had arrived early to go on a short hike. So I knew that could not have been your group. The Daily Freeman report was the most comprehensive. An earlier report on their website had also mentioned that several trees were brought down along Mountain Rest Road. But I guess they did not fully block the road or were cleared by the time you left.

                    Verkeerder Falls looked a bit parched, but that is typical in summer. Too bad the haze hindered some of the views, but they will be there for another day.
                    “Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.” Henry Ford
                    My Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/CatskillHiker

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pics:

                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04795.JPG - Sunrise
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04797.JPG - First Climb
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04800.JPG - Looking back down
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04801.JPG - Off we go
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04802.JPG - Lost already?!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04805.JPG - Falls
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04807.JPG - Laurels
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04809.JPG - More Laurels!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04815.JPG - Laurels in front of Awosting
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04821.JPG - Awosting Beach
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04822.JPG - One more time!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04833.JPG - Nice View!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04837.JPG - This guy was waiting for one of us to drop!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04839.JPG - Summit Marker
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04842.JPG - NY NJ TC Hard at work
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04843.JPG - Beautiful Stream
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04846.JPG - Burn area
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04851.JPG - Da Gang!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04853a.jpg - Yes, we ate it!
                      http://viewsandbrews.com/temp/DSC04865.JPG - Baby Porky!
                      Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

                      Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
                      Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
                      Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
                      Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
                      CEO - Views And Brews

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great pics, guys. George's porky pic is about the best I've seen of that species. It was indeed a cute little guy, especially when it stood up on it's hind legs. That was about the 4th or 5th porcupine I've seen in the Gunks. They often seem to be right on the side of carriageways. Much earlier in the day we also saw a heron in flight while we were near Mud Pond, then several
                        ravens at Lake Awosting. Then towards the end, we saw a couple fawns hurtle across the trail during the ferocious rain.

                        For me it was a really special hike, then in another way, it was just another day in the Gunks. The special part was the length of the hike (obviously ), the friends , and crazy ending . The "just another day part" was the familiarity with all the places we visited. But then all those places themselves are special. It was also very normal (and nice) to only have a short drive home after, but it felt a little different than it usually does. I arrived back home to find a large tree down right in front of my place and had to drive around road flares after the fire volunteers let me by. The power was out of course, which is a fact of life at least once or twice each summer on my road. So that was another normal/unusual thing-normal to have the power out, but unusual that it was an entire tree, right in front of where I live. Just a wild day.

                        I took a shower, ate a little and relaxed for an hour or so, then rode my bike the short distance up the rail trail to meet Tom, Laurie and Cindy at the Otter. While there, I spoke briefly with some Minnewaska staff at the bar-they mentioned the lightning strikes and my skin crawled a little. Then Sunday I found out the the 4 Mohonk people had been sitting with their feet in water during the storm! Very glad they're okay, no further comment.
                        Thanks for the concern from those that had heard the early reports. The rain itself wasn't a problem at all, and the lightning wasn't so scary while we were in the forest with all the trees the same size. What was a little dicey for me was crossing the open area at the very end at Spring Farm, then of course the lot. But a little running at the end took care of that in minutes. It felt great to look around at all 6 souls back at the cars and see that everyone was still in one piece, and smiling at that. What a crew. What a day. What a place.

                        I didn't post yesterday because I barely had time to recover. I took a short rail trail ride in the afternoon, then took off for a show in NYC with some friends, on short notice. I need to go to work now to get some rest!

                        Matt
                        "Why so many want to read about the world out-of-doors, when it's more interesting simply to go for a walk into the heart of it, I don't fully understand." -Edward Abbey

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey, Eric had little sleep when he did the R-D traverse with me and AJTIV... must be pattern or a specific training method. :-)

                          Glad you guys got wet on the gunks, so to speak, both figuratively and literarlly.

                          It never rained in south jersey where I was in the late afternoon but it sure was really soupy saturday morning. You guys and gals are troopers and glad you had a nice hike. I'll have to check the photos at home.

                          Jay

                          Life is a short, warm moment
                          And death is a long cold rest.
                          You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
                          Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
                          -Pink Floyd

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First of all, thanks Tom for giving birth to the idea and Matt for providing a wealth of knowledge. Thanks to George's insights as well after we got closer to the areas he is more familiar with.

                            This was my first time in the Gunks and it was really a great day amongst friends.

                            I was really taken in by the beauty...I didn't have any expectations and it was really fabulous.

                            I had no idea that Thunderstorm was causing such a stir...WOW!

                            I will say, I never saw Cindy move so fast.

                            It was good to meet the "Swede" even if I couldn't get him to carry my pack..(cuz I was the oldest fart on the trip!).

                            Anyway, I am glad I did it and especially happy to have had this particular group for company.

                            And Cindy, by the way, I did 12 miles on and around Breakneck Ridge yesterday. Also very nice. Almost 3500 feet in elevation gain for the hike. Surprising!

                            Natural environment sustains the life of all beings universally. Trees are referred to in accounts of the principal events of Buddha's life. His mother leaned against a tree for support as she gave birth to him. He attained enlightenment seated beneath a tree, and finally passed away as trees stood witness overhead. H.H. D. L.

                            "experience is something you don't get until after you need it, that's the problem." - Joe Simpson


                            As I was walking - I saw a sign there
                            And that sign said - No tresspassin'
                            But on the other side - it didn't say nuthin'
                            Now that side was made for you and me!
                            - Woody Guthrie -


                            Charter Member of the Tongue-In-Cheek Club (TIC)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zer0-G View Post
                              And Cindy, by the way, I did 12 miles on and around Breakneck Ridge yesterday. Also very nice. Almost 3500 feet in elevation gain for the hike. Surprising!
                              If you're interested in history and old ruins and stuff, you should check out the valley between Breakneck Ridge and Bull Hill (Mount Taurus). A guy named Cornish had a dairy farm way back when and there's literally an entire abandoned village down there. I find it way more impressive than Doodletown on the other side of the Hudson.
                              "In a long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day, Rip had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill Mountains. ... From an opening between the trees he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson, far, far below him, moving on its silent but majestic course, with the reflection of a purple cloud, or the sail of a lagging bark, here and there sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in the blue highlands."
                              —Washington Irving

                              New Jersey 1K Club
                              My Climb List

                              Catskill 35: 39/39 (finished 3/7/2010)
                              Catskill HH: 60/102
                              ADK 46: 20/47
                              NE 67: 17/67
                              NJ 1K: 52/52 (finished 1/10/2010)

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