In July of 2019, I lead a team from Hudson Valley Hikers across the Pemigewasset Wilderness in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. We backpacked 22.4 miles, climbed 5,828 feet, and bagged 6 New Hampshire 4000 Footers: Galehead, North and South Twin, West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff. We camped at Guyot Shelter about halfway through. The Bonds are a spectacular range set in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Because its at least a 6 mile hike into the woods to get to them, they are like a more private version of Franconia Ridge.Continue reading White Mountain Bonds Traverse: Gale River to Lincoln Woods
In July 2019, I spent a week in Maine with a group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers. We spent the first half of the week exploring Baxter State Park, home of the famous Katahdin. Day 1 was very rainy, so we did the easy 10 mile section of Appalachian Trail from Abol Bridge to Katahdin Stream (separate post.) On Day 2 we launched a 2-prong assault on the buttressed fortress of Katahdin itself. A portion of my group went up the Helon Taylor trail and crossed the Knife Edge. Tree Whisperer and I chose to go up the newly opened Abol Trail. We would all come back down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail.Continue reading Katahdin: Up the Abol Trail, down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail
Saranac Lake, NY
In June of 2019, I spent a weekend canoe camping on Lower Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Park. I went with friends from Hudson Valley Hikers. HVH hikes have a reputation for being long, difficult, and fast. Our canoe camping events tend to be quite the opposite. Most of these trips are slow and relaxing. Canoe camping is also a nice departure from my normal minimalist backpacking style because it is easier to carry cooking equipment and real food.Continue reading Saranac Lake Canoe Camping, Fishing, and Hiking Ampersand Mountain!
In July of 2019, I took a small group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers up to Maine for a week. This was a real multi-adventure. We spent the first few days in Baxter State Park hiking the Appalachian Trail and climbing Katahdin. Then we took a day off hiking to raft down the Penobscot River. This post discusses the last leg of our trip: a 4 day backpack from Flagstaff Lake to Monson.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Flagstaff Lake to Monson
In May of 2019, I lead a group of backpackers from Hudson Valley Hikers on a trip in Southern Maine. Our plan was to hike from Rangeley to Grafton Notch, some 34 miles over rough mountains. Southern Maine has a reputation for being one of the most rugged sections of the Appalachian Trail. My biggest concern in the weeks leading up to this trip were late season snow conditions. The northeast had seen an unusual amount of snowfall in April and May. Many locals I spoke with warned me that snow in their yards had just recently melted. No one had any information on the trail at high elevations. There are no 4000 footers in this section, so no one had made any trip reports. We were going in blind.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Rangeley to Grafton Notch – ABORTED!
In September of 2019, I went on a solo hike of the Appalachian Trail from Rangely Flagstaff Lake. You can read about my the trip in detail in my multi-part trip report. This post serves as a summary for those who may want to hike this section themselves.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Rangeley to Flagstaff Lake
I woke up a little sad on the last day of my trip. From my camp at Bigelow Col, there was just an 8 mile hike down to Maine Rt 27 and then I would be done. I spent a lot of this day hiking with The Mayor. The Mayor finished the AT a month or so ago, but he missed a good 50 mile section. He sat at home for a month feeling guilty and then decided to come back out and finish it. He just wasn’t feeling it though, and needed a lot of encouragement. I talked with him most of the day, then dropped him off in town.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Bigelow Col to Stratton
Today I was dropped off at Flaggstaff Lake and began my hike south again. Now hiking in the opposite direction as I had all week, I began to run into hikers I had met earlier: Promethius, March 4th, Go Forth, The Germans…. It was a fun recap. I had already completed the AT from here North all the way to Katahdin, except a few miles in the HMW I missed due to an injury.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Flagstaff Lake to Bigelow Col Campsite
I would like to dedicate this post to FDNY Chaplain, Fr Mychal Judge, who died praying over rescuers, injured, and the dead in the North Tower on September 11th, 2001. May we all take a lesson from his act of selfless sacrifice in service to his fellow man and to our almighty God.
Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Crocker Cirque to Carabasset Valley
Take me where you want me to go,
Let me meet who you want me to meet,
Tell me what you want me to say,
And Keep me out of your way.Father Mychal Judge, FDNY
The fourth day of my journey started off chilly at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to. Like most mornings, I had coffee in bed, read for a while, and then went and got my food bag so I could have breakfast. I didn’t have far at all to go this day, so I wanted to kill a lot of time with long breaks. I took these at the summit of Spaulding Mtn, somewhere on the path to Sugarloaf, again at Sugarloaf, along the ridge descending Sugarloaf, and at the Carabasset River. Long breaks. Like 30-45 minutes each. I think this is the first day I got comfortable not really going anywhere. I even took a nap!Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Spaulding Lean-To to Crocker Cirque