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  1. #81
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    I'm just starting to put my pack together, see ya'll tonight

  2. #82
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    Hiker boy says it's 9 degrees...clear, crisp day at Harriman. Group off to brunch in a bit.
    Lazarus

  3. #83
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    8 for brunch: imscotty, Bob, hiker boy, elf, Kathy Paul, lou, 1azarus. And talk about next year!
    Lazarus

  4. #84
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Sorry that Catherine and I had to bail early. She went to the doc when she got home, by which point she was coughing like a consumptive. He diagnosed a bad case of bronchitis, gave her a nebulizer treatment and sent her home with antibiotics. (Yeah, she'll be OK, and is already talking about "next time.") I was there at least partly for her, since I was missing something else important at home, so I decided to bail out at the same time.

    Catherine and I had a brief trip, but an epic one. The short hike from the Lake Kanawauke parking to Tom Jones was ... challenging. We had to start after dark, since Catherine was coming from eastern Connecticut, and had patients to see on Friday. Some highlights of the conditions:

    Temperatures in the sixties when we started up. I was wearing just T-shirt and shorts under my rainsuit.

    Torrential rain, and snowmelt running over our boots. Route 106 was flooded at all the low-lying points.

    Fog so dense that we could not wear headlamps because the backscatter just blinded us. We had to hand-hold them as low as possible even to see our footing. We were kind of guessing how the trail ran and groping our way from blaze to blaze. Very slow going in the wet, the remaining ice, and the zero visibility.

    High winds once we were up on the whaleback.

    What with all that, we decided on the unoccupied shelter because pitching camp was going to be dicey. Finding someplace that didn't have standing or running water would be challenging to begin with.

    The shelter is kind of odd. The sleeping platform is on two levels, one gable end has a wall that doesn't go all the way to the roof, and the back wall is just the native rock. It was also very wet, with the weather blowing in on two sides, water cascading down the back wall, and a leaky roof. We were OK, by putting a tarp down on the upper platform and folding another around the foot end of our sleeping bags, but cmoulder was right to put "shelter" in scare quotes.

    The temperature dropped from the sixties to the teens overnight, and the weather changed first to freezing rain and then to snow. Catherine grabbed a phonecam shot across our toes when she woke up. At least the snow had diminished to squalls.


    Tom Jones Shelter by Kevin Kenny, on Flickr

    She also got a pic of me packing up, so you can see the odd bi-level sleeping platform, and how the gable end on the right is open to the weather.


    Tom Jones Shelter by Kevin Kenny, on Flickr

    I recommend that if you plan to stay at Tom Jones, bring a broom! The platforms are pretty filthy.

    Once the fog lifted, we could see that the place has a very nice view. It would be quite pleasant indeed in fine weather, where having the shelter well ventilated would be a plus.


    View from Tom Jones by Kevin Kenny, on Flickr

    But Cathy was coughing and feverish (over 102 when she got home), and so it was back to the cars for us. The most memorable feature of the hike out was that the whalebacks were glazed with black ice, and really the whole trail was icy. We got back down OK, did the short roadwalk back to Kanawauke (observing that the highway crew will be in for some fun clearing the rock that came down overnight), and got everyone home safe.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  5. #85
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    Kevin, That's the kind of shelter and the kind of conditions one can truly justify putting up a tent in a shelter!
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #86
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Kevin, That's the kind of shelter and the kind of conditions one can truly justify putting up a tent in a shelter!
    Uhm, yeah. I hadn't brought extra stuff to rig my tarp without staking it. I figured when packing for the trip that if things got really ugly, I could do a tetrahedron pitch while Catherine battened down my Notch. In retrospect, I should have cut up my bearbag line for cordage. With the nearly 70 degree drop in temps in 24 hours, the bears would have been going back to sleep even if the brief warm spell brought them out for a look around.

    I briefly tried tying the 8x10 tarp across the front of the platform as a windbreak. (The 5x7 one was under us.) I gave up and wrapped it around the feet of the bags instead. It would have been shredded by morning.

    Oh well, we stayed warm at least, and the DWR on the sleeping bags mostly worked - they still had plenty of loft in the morning, even if the shells were damp.

    One annoying bit for me: that bench/table sort of thing down the left side of the shelter had a sump underneath it, and the water flowing down the back wall was going trickle, trickle, trickle most of the night until it finally froze again. Oh yeah, and very slow drip in the roof was hitting the tarp right between us, ker-plop!, just as we'd be dropping off to sleep. Tiny in the grand scheme of things.

    Paraphrasing G.K.Chesterton: An adventure isn't called an 'adventure' when you're having one. It's usually called an 'inconvenience.'
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  7. #87
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Sorry we missed you again Kevin. Overload made the cheesecake Thursday nite, around 7/8ish Friday night she was asking why I didn't go, or she would have made it Friday. I walked her to the deck, where she watched branches floating in the backyard. All I could think of was Moulder getting splashed hiding up in his hammock.

    Saturday, HB and I Parked at Skannatti and were on the trail by 9ish. It was a beautiful day to hike with a heavy load. The summits were breezy, but real nice day to walk.

  8. #88
    imscotty's Avatar
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    Sorry I did not get to meet your daughter, hope she is doing better. Glad I missed the deluge.

    Lou's cheesecake was great as always. Thank you to everyone who made it.
    For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  9. #89

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    That cheesecake was outta this world, Lou many thanks to Overload! (That was my dinner Saturday night )

    As AK described above, the conditions Friday and Friday night were atrocious. The only factor that made it possible was the warmer temperatures, and had the temp been 35F with heavy rain instead of 60F it would have been extremely dangerous. At a bit past 11pm Friday the temp at Tom Jones was 57F and by 8am Saturday it was 23F according to my digital thermometer.

    I had planned to hike in on the Parker Cabin Hollow trail, but after only a bit over half a mile I came to a stream crossing that would have been foolish to try to cross, and being solo would have made it doubly so. I scouted briefly left and right, but to the left the bank was steep and not passable and to the right the edge of the stream was all bog and swamp. As you can see in the photo, the bottom of the stream was all ice, and it was also flowing very rapidly. So I went back out to Kanawauke Rd and did the road walk to the Victory trail to get to TJ... In any event, the trails were a mess.

    Parker Cabin Hollow stream crossing.jpg

    Fortunately there was about a 1/2 hour window when there was only some light rain and I was able to set up the hammock without getting everything wet. The tarp really got pummeled with wind and rain during the night. It was glorious to see the blue sky and sun Saturday morning, even if it was turning cold.

    Next morning I walked out with AK and Catherine, who as AK mentioned wasn't feeling well at all, and got a ride back to my Caravan at Rt 17/17K commuter lot after AK took Catherine to her car at Johnsontown circle. I got a slice of pepperoni pizza at Pizza Pit in Sloatsburg and arrived back at Johnsontown circle at almost the same time Lazaraus did and we walked in together to Dutch Doctor.

    After Sunday brunch at Bear Mtn Inn, Laz, Paul & Kathy (LIhikers) and I decided we hadn't had enough cold sleeping weather, so we decided to camp one more night at an undisclosed location that can be reached fairly quickly from Elk Pen (LIhikers) and which Laz and I approached from Tiorati circle via AT/Ramapo-Dunderberg. My thermometer indicated a low of 6F so it was pretty cool. (By the way, Dutch Doctor low was 8F according to the Accurite thermometer.) Those are my two coldest hammocking nights yet so it did build some confidence in that system.

    We went our separate ways this morning, with Laz getting an early start taking the AT back to Tiorati (as I did about 1.5 hrs later) with LIhikers taking a longer scenic route back to Elk Pen.

    It was indeed a memorable trip!
    Last edited by cmoulder; 01-16-2018 at 11:29.

  10. #90
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    oh, and thanks to Peter, who showed up at Dutch Doctor early enough to amass an impressive pile of firewood in a place where firewood is hard to come by, which he then tended for us well into the evening.... even boiled water for me! We missed you at brunch. YOU are certainly invited to return next year!!! Heck, fire and cheesecake... perfect get together! ...come to think of it, I have to thank the LIHikers for boiling water as well.
    Lazarus

  11. #91
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Kathy and I had a great time even if we didn't cover a lot of miles.
    We arrived at Dutch Doctor just after it got fully dark and set up our tent immediately.
    Then it was over to the camp fire and BS with every one else and make and eat dinner .
    A little more tall tales and Couch Lou broke out the cheese cake. Kathy and I each had a piece and it was hmmmmm good.
    Sunday morning it was walk back to the car and drive to the Bear Mountain Inn for brunch.
    What a contrast to eating diner Saturday night around the campfire out of a small aluminum pot, brunch seemed so civilized.
    The Kathy and I jumped in the car and headed for the Elk Pen parking area. There we donned our packs and headed for that undisclosed location that cmoulder mentioned.
    Since we had a short walk in we arrived before cmoulder and lazarus and had our camp set up.
    It was entertaining to see laz walking up the hill carrying a pot full of water in one hand, but the entertainment wouldn't end there.
    After cmoulder and lazarus had their hammocks set up it was time for dinner.
    It was great fun watching lazarus trying to boil water on his wood stove. You see, all the wood was wet from Friday's rain and while it was burning, it was only burning well enough to dry itself out and use itself up with not enough extra heat to boil water. Finally we put his pot on our MSR white gas stove and Lazarus was eating in short order.
    Kathy and I hiked out Monday on a route different than we had come in on and boy oh boy was there a lot of ice and even some running streams.
    I managed to make it through the day with only falling into one stream, sort of.
    It was a running stream with some ice on the edges and we decided to cross on a downed tree trunk.
    Kathy made it across fine, but in the middle I slipped and fell. I was able to land on the tree trunk but one leg went into the water up to about mid calf.
    When I finally made it across I pushed up my pant leg, took off my shoe and sock and dried myself. We took a break there while the water drained out of the shoe and I put on some dry socks.
    Then the rest of the trip back to the car was uneventful.
    Kathy and I sure enjoyed our time out in the woods with this bunch of characters, so much so that we'd do it again in a heart beat.

  12. #92
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Kathy and I had a great time Saturday evening until Monday afternoon.
    Monday, on our scenic walk out of that undisclosed campsite, I slipped and wound up with one foot and leg in a stream.
    With the temperature in the low 20s at the time I removed the shoe and sock, dried my foot and leg, drained the water from the shoe and put on dry socks pretty quickly.
    The rest of the walk was uneventful and both Kathy and I had a very enjoyable MLK adventure. The ice flows on the cliff faces was a sight to see, beautiful!

  13. #93

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    Glad you guys made it out ok!

    I've hiked a bunch in Harriman and have never seen the streams so swollen. Even Surebridge Brook was a bit dicey to cross.

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