Building The Perfect Beast

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Archive for the ‘hiking’ tag

In Beacon, N.Y., Hiking the Path of the Incline Railway

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Great NYTimes article on one of the hiking trails up the front of Mount Beacon. Well worth the effort.

In Beacon, N.Y., Hiking the Path of the Incline Railway | via NYTimes.com

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 11th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

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Head for the Trails to Enjoy Spring

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My latest article for the Poughkeepsie Journal, Head for the trails to enjoy spring, is live and available on their Web site. Better get there quick though, as the newspaper doesn’t keep articles up on the Site for too long.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

April 13th, 2011 at 8:02 am

A Little Bit of Snowshoeing

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Great day today. After a couple of small storms that have created a good solid snow base, today we got a really wet, heavy snow. It’s been snowing hard since about 7:00 AM today and it’s not supposed to stop until sometime late tomorrow afternoon.

As is often the case, we try to get ourselves out into the snow as soon as we can after a good snow falls. Today was just about the best day we’ve had in a couple of years.

After a little work around the house we were able to spend about an hour walking out behind our house in the freshly fallen snow.

The House in Snow

The Tank Behind Our House

Up The Trail Behind Our House

Written by Jeffery Battersby

February 25th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

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Island Beach State Park

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After a fine breakfast at Kelly’s Kitchen in Point Pleasant proper, and after my bike’s rear tire was repaired, Kathy and I spent a delightful day at Island Beach State Park. We parked just outside the maIn gate and then biked the eight miles to the southern end of the island. It was a nice flat ride that we were assisted on by a nice tailwind.

After we got to the end we racked our bikes and began walking toward the end of the island, which is just opposite of Barnegat light; a sight we’d never seen from this point of view before.

We hung out at the end of the island for about an hour as we watched the surf fisherman fish, a Coast Guard crew run drills, and I slept briefly. Then we hiked around the southern tip of the island through an area where the original surf fisherman and other outdoor enthusiasts used to hold property leases before Island Beach State Park was purchased as a park by the state of New Jersey. This was a wonderful part of our hike. There was NO ONE hiking the same trail we were on and it lead between the dunes only occasionally revealing one of the seven remaining houses that are owned by the leaseholders.

These houses, by law, cannot be passed on to heirs, so those who live in them now get to live in them until they die and then the property and the lease revert back to the state. The properties were beautiful, hidden as they were in between the dunes and the ocean, but knowing that those who lived there now would be the last to enjoy the property made us feel sad.

After our bike and hike we returned to Point Pleasant for dinner and shortly now we’ll be off to bed.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 20th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

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Marcy Plans and Algonquin Dreams

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Lead us to the Wright stuff

We’re just back from the high peaks region of the Adirondacks putting a period on a two week long vacation that has taken us from Washington D.C. to Weirton, WV, Niagara Falls, Canada, and finally Lake Placid, NY. Sounds like a crazy trip but it’s been quite good with no more than six hours of car travel between each of our destinations, great family visits—my dad met us in DC and we spent several days with Kathy’s family in Weirton—and excellent sightseeing of the sort that we don’t usually undertake on vacation.

The high peaks were the planned highlight of our trip as we’d hoped to hike to the top of Mount Marcy, the highest mountain in New York. But after checking the weather for the day that we planned to hike it became clear that Marcy was not going to be possible. Friday morning, it appeared, was going to bring rain and thunderstorms and we didn’t want to get caught on a ten hour hike to the highest peak in the state with that kind of storm looming. So, on the advice of a waitress at Lisa G’s restaurant—a primo local joint that beats the pants off of any other restaurant in town—we decided to attempt Algonquin Peak—the Adirondack’s second highest peak—on Thursday instead.

As Thursday was originally planned as a light day, we slept in, had breakfast at the hotel, grabbed some sandwiches for the trail (again from Lisa G’s) and headed out to the Adirondack Loj trailhead which was about 15 minutes down the road from our hotel. We ended up hitting the trail at just after 1:00 PM, which was much later than we should have started. not dangerously late, just hot afternoon, middle of the day late. The kind of late that has you drinking all of your water much sooner than is reasonable. The “I didn’t bring a water filter” kind of late the leaves you parched—or giardic—by the end of the hike.

We had two books in hand to help us along as we hiked. Barbara McMartin’s 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondack Trails High Peaks Region trail guide. The ADK’s book is excellent and includes a topo map in the back with clear markings for all the trails in the region, but 50 Hikes was the book we used as our guide to select the trail we’d hike for the day. McMartin’s book stated that Algonquin Peak was a moderate hike that would take us about 6 hours to hike out and back.

The Adirondack Loj trailhead was as wide as a super hi-way and nearly as crowded, although most of the people we saw were walking in the opposite direction. In all Kathy and I figure that we saw about 50 people on the trail, including two groups of 10+ kids that were part of a local camp. Even with the crowds the trail was beautiful. The evergreens gave it both the smell and the feel of Twain Harte, where I spent all of my summers as a kid, and every turn revealed a different vista, from stone steps to a slow-running but beautiful waterfall.

Algonquin Trail

Algonquin Trail

Algonquin Trail

About three hours into the journey we were no where near the top of Algonquin Peak and the kids (and I admit it the adults too) were feeling pretty toasty. We’d finished drinking about 1/2 our water, hadn’t eaten our late lunch and weren’t certain how much further we could afford to go forward before we’d end up hiking the return trip in the dark with the aid of headlamps. About 30 minutes earlier we’d met a ranger on the trail who suggested that we forgo Algonquin and head for Wright Peak. “Same view,” he said, “but you’ll be able to get out and back again before dark. The last 9/10 of a mile on Algonquin Peak is going to take you at least an hour to get up.” I wasn’t buying that until about 15 minutes later when I met a 10-year-old girl coming back on the trail who looked at me like I was crazy when I told her father where we were headed. 10 years old, and much wiser, she said, “You’ll never make that today.”

Out of the mouth of babes…

At the split for Algonquin and Wright we went left, which was Wright, and hustled the last half mile to the top. It was steep and challenging but the ranger was correct, the view from Wright was beautiful. A complete panorama of the entire High Peaks region. And, while the trip up had seemed like a super hi-way, we enjoyed the top of the mountain all alone. Not a soul in sight for miles.

Going back was rough but good. The downhill trudge wreaked havoc with Kathy’s knees, but seven hours after we started we were back at the Loj and ready to head to dinner.

Back in the hotel and ready for bed I fired up my MacBook to see why a six hour hike was going to end up taking us about nine hours. Well… if you look closely at the link above you’ll note that Algonquin Peak is listed as a NINE HOUR hike. So either this is one ugly typo in 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks or Barbara McMartin is a serious mountain goat. (Just in case you’re wondering… I’m not going to go the other direction here and say that I’m a wuss…) The seven hours listed on this web page for the Wright hike, by the way, was right on target.

Lovely hike to be sure. We all had a great time and Wright Peak put a perfect period on our high peaks vacation.

Wright Peak

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 6th, 2007 at 11:53 am

Tryptophan Dreams

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And other stories…

We celebrated a lovely Thanksgiving at my brother-in-law’s house up in New Paltz. (New Paltz being home to one of North America’s first Huguenot settlements and a town selected this year by Outside Magazine as a top destination for hiking and rock climbing.) We had a great time with Kathy’s family although our friendly Thanksgiving football game was postponed due to rain… lots of rain.

dsc_0168.jpgdsc_0161.jpgThose waiting for that famously delicious cranberry sauce were not disappointed. I made it the night before, along with a cranberry relish, to guarantee that all were sufficiently cooled for the next day’s festivities.

Kathy is also a happy camper this weekend as today I was able to finish hanging and putting the hardware on the cabinets in the pantry. (I had put the floor cabinets and countertop in place around the first of September. My wife has the patience of a saint…)  What this means is that we now have sufficient storage in the pantry for all that stuff that used to be sitting on the floor.

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Say, whaddya think of that stained glass window? Nice huh? (Sorry, long exposure, no tripod.)

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Written by Jeffery Battersby

November 25th, 2006 at 8:18 pm

Posted in Commentary,HousePosts

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The Rains Came

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rain-and-leavesfall.jpg
And knocked the leaves off the trees…

I had high hopes for going out hiking this weekend and to take pictures of the last legs of fall. Unfortunately, not much luck in that regard. A rather large storm blew through last nigh, cancelling soccer games for the day, bringing the stream up to a cozy roar and effectilvely moving the fall color from the trees to the ground. A disappointment to be sure, but I’m sure we’ll find other things to do.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

October 28th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

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