The Last Hike Of 2008

A Major Ice Storm Hit The

Catskills

knocking out power and closing roads, so I thought "it's Hiking Time"
The ride up to the high peaks region started before sun rise and the full moon in perigee gave a ghostly illumination to the forest.





The full moon as seen through conifers. It was like some big eye watching me.




I started as always with too much gear and a thermos of espresso. The roads were ice covered or washed out. The heavy rain we had days ago were followed by plunging temperatures. It was one extreme or the other but the conditions of the area could not change my reverence for the forest and its beauty.


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While stopping to take photos of the spectacular scenery, I locked my car key in my warm and running van. Mike a local and gentleman of the first order offered assistance. He was in a very pleasant mood for a guy that tells me he just got power restored after twenty seven hours without. With some wire from the barn he got me in and on my way before I lost too much time.

Thanks Mike, Merry Christmas to you and yours.















I hit the Slide Mt trail head just after sunrise.

The stream beyond the parking area (the head waters of the Neversink river) was swollen with mountain run off and I could not cross. Plan B a quick trip up Giant Ledge!

The onset of the trail was a mess, leafy puddles and broken branches covered the majority of the approach. But the worst was yet to come. As I climbed a bit further I saw the real damage. Ice and wind had broken trees large and small. Indiscriminately felling any branch that could not bend or shake it's load.














I shared the trail with other forest dwellers.
A coyote and some turkey were using the same trail I was.




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I had to stop to crack the ice build up off my carbide points and the sudden silence scared a Grouse, After I re calibrated my Pace maker I moved on.















ICE EVERYWHERE!


The over look was frosted with ice and snow, I stayed away from the edge.












Mother Nature's Christmas Ornaments.

On my way home, I found the strangest tree. It seemed to have dozens of strands of colored beads hanging from it. Some of the young locals have been busy.