Participants: Joni Moore (Leader), Donna Davidson (Co-leader), Bill Armstrong, Curt Romerill, Dan Harrell, John Bredenkamp, Keith Trinkle, Paul Moore
Utilizing almost every inch of space in the CIWC van for our trip gear (backpacks, pertinents and such) we headed out early for our trip. After an uneventful day of travel and making good time we spent a night in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania which got us far enough along to have time the next day to do some shopping at Campmor Outfitters. We then decided to head to the New Jersey/New York state line and begin our hike there.
It took a while to locate a trail leading to the Appalachian Trail (AT) but, once we did, we wasted no time in getting our day packs and boots on to hit the trail. After a mile or so we came to the section of the AT marked at the state line NJ/NY; that was a first for most of us on the hike. So, there we were beginning our hike at the beginning of the AT section for New York. We didn’t spend much time at this site as we knew it was getting late in the afternoon and we still had lots of ground to cover. After hiking several miles we came to a parking area where Paul was waiting for us in the club van which held our dinner and overnight gear. We did not waste any time refueling with a delicious barbeque dinner, loading our overnight gear on our backs and hitting the trail again for the Wildcat Shelter.
The hike to Wildcat Shelter proved to be a real challenge since there was a lot of rocky terrain and boulders to climb up and over and darkness was quickly setting in. Upon arrival at Wildcat Shelter
the shelter was found to be full (well with only two other hikers who took up the whole shelter and did not appear to be willing to share the space). I guess that’s what happens when you get there late in the
day. Thankfully, a few of our group had arrived before dark so they were able to locate good tent sites. The rest of us arrived after dark and had no problem getting set up for the night. Hiking by a full moon and our headlamps added a greater level of adventure to our hike.
On day two of our trip we discovered that most of the terrain was much the same as it was the evening before. Lots more rocky paths to hike through and boulders to climb (this really slowed us down). At the top of some of those boulders and balds, however, there were some spectacular views of seemingly endless lakes and countryside. We also enjoyed a scattering of small river falls that proved to be impressive from a close view. As the day progressed to evening and
knees were straining from several steep descents, we ended our hike a few miles short of our original goal. Having ended the day a bit early
we were able to spend more time preparing and enjoying our dinner. Joni had a feast of salmon patties with mac and cheese planned for dinner and it went over very well. Since Paul was able to meet us in the van at various points along this section of the trail, we took full advantage and Paul kept our beverages of choice iced down and ready for us to enjoy with dinner. Ice cold beer and hard ice tea…hard to beat after a day on the trail.
Day three of our trip we woke to pouring rain. After quickly packing we went to a park shelter to attempt to dry our stuff and prepare breakfast. There was no letting up on the rain and the earlier
forecast of 30% chance of rain escalated to 100% and the same for the next day. The rain seemed to preclude any safe passage over the rocks and boulders we covered the previous days, so we decided to end our hike. After some cruising around driving over a Hudson River bridge, visiting Greymoor Spiritual Center and the Bear Mountain
Lodge we decided to head back home. The best part of the drive home was a very large black bear seen in the woods near the highway while driving through Pennsylvania.