October 19, 2016

North Country Trail: Shackham Road to Bardeen Road

Erwin joined me for another section hike on the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) today.  We covered the 4.2 miles between the northern NCT crossing of Shackham Road and the NYSDEC fishing access lot on Bardeen Road, where we spotted the second vehicle.  I had been saving this section for a day with two cars available, because I wasn't entirely certain I could complete it as an out-an-back and make it back in time to pick Frankie up from school.  I think I could swing 8.4 miles in my hike window, but there is no need to risk it.  Plus, this section of the NCT has two particularly scenic features I thought Erwin would enjoy: Shackham Pond and the Fabius view.

October 15, 2016

Great Bear in October

My mother and her husband are in town briefly, on their way back from their annual fall tour of New England, visiting family in Maine and friends in New Hampshire.  It is a long drive from Maine to Michigan, so they stopped here in Central New York for two nights, giving us two dinners and one full day together.  The weather was autumnal perfection, so after some lazing about this morning, with Frankie reading books aloud and showing off his school work, we headed out for a hike.  Alden was napping, so Mary suggested Great Bear, in hopes Erin could come join us when Alden woke up. 

October 12, 2016

North Country Trail: Stoney Brook Road to Wiltsey Glen

I've been exploring the local sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) all year, tallying my miles as I went.  Today I surpassed the 100-mile mark for 2016.  It was a little bittersweet, honestly.  My total was at 94.5 miles before I set out, and I was genuinely tempted to shorten my hike so I wouldn't finish until next time out.  Why, I couldn't quite put my finger on... obviously, I will keep hiking once this goal is complete.  I guess I've just enjoyed the NCT Hike 100 Challenge so much, I didn't want it to end.  Maybe I'll have to take on another challenge now that this is done.  The Adirondack High Peaks obviously remain a long-term goal, but I really enjoyed the local aspect of this one. 

October 9, 2016

North Country Trail: Freber Road to Emhoff Road

I had originally hoped to get up to the Adirondacks this weekend to do some leaf peeping -- hiking Blue Mountain this time last year was amazing.  However, the weather forecast was kind of dodgy.  For last minute, long drives, I generally look for more favorable weather conditions, so I decided we'd stay local.  Frankie and I headed out for another section hike on the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT).  We parked at the trailhead on Freber Road, and hiked south to Emhoff Road and back, hiking the section immediately north of my last hike.  The mileage would have been 4.6 miles out-and-back, but due to some slight backtracking to reclaim a special stick that Frankie accidentally left behind after snacking, totaled 4.9 miles by the time we got back to Freber Road.  The back seat of my car is full of sticks.

October 5, 2016

North Country Trail: Emhoff Road to Route 20

I have a cold, the first that Frankie's brought home this school year, and I woke up dragging.  I was really tempted to just come home after dropping Frankie off at school and go back to sleep.  However, it was gorgeous out there and I knew I'd regret being a total slug: I knew I'd truly enjoy myself if I managed to get outside.  As a concession to my low energy, I picked a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) that follows the old Lehigh Valley Railroad.  Flat sounded more appealing than normal.  I hiked section from Emhoff Road south to the village of Cazenovia and back, a total of 6.2 miles roundtrip.