Thursday, February 12, 2015

Travel Thursday (February 12, 2015) -- Northville-Placid Trail Part 5


Day 3, Tuesday, August 11

We got up early -- 6:00 AM and with dry tents in the shelter packed quickly to get on the trail & be at Piseco food drop by noon.  On the trail and then at 7:20 AM breakfast was pop tarts, raisins & lemon drink -- no cook!

The trail was very wet from the night before and there was no sign of the two women all day. The sun finally came out and we got good shots of beaver works, etc. Our pace was quickened by thoughts of meeting Grandma and Grandpa & seeing some civilization for the first time in 3 days. We arrived at NY Rte. 8 in Piseco through a field of blueberries & blackberries & paused often to sample them. When we finally came to the road at 10:20 there to our right was Farber's General Store (food, videos, liquor & camping gear) -- we went for Chipwiches & an ice cream bar & chatted briefly with the proprietor, a friendly bear of a man. He bemoaned the lack of upkeep on the N-P Trail & said about half as many hikers used it as in the past when his H.S. kids were hired in summers to keep the trail clear.

We began the 2 mile hike to the Post Office on the roads & saw Grandma and Grandpa driving by when we were about half way. We finally met at the airport where there were picnic tables in a fenced area that G&G got permission to use. It is immediately beside the P.O. -- our food drop point -- and we made it there at 11:32 -- 28 minutes early!

Grandma brought a wonderful lunch of cold O.J., milk, & LP [Lake Placid] water plus cold beef sandwiches, bananas, nectarines, watermelon, Oreos & other cookies. We unpacked & lay things to dry on the fence in the sun & a slight shower but it soon thundered & a storm blew in just as we finished re-packing with food -- throwing off unwanted items (zip stove, small pots, etc.).

Christopher decided to leave with G&G after a valiant 3 days & 25 miles in the wilderness. His legs were all bitten up, but he had an accomplishment few have at 12 years old!

J, J &M left at 1:35 in the pouring rain headed for Fall Stream. The rain stopped & the sun actually came out for quite a while, but the trail was a wet, muddy mess. As we came up a steep incline, another storm drenched us from head to toe & it even hailed a bit. The lightening made us crouch low in a huddle until it passed minutes later, but by then we were thoroughly wet. JPT's shoulder strap separated at the lower clevis pin & a trail repair in the rain had to be made. Minutes later J. slipped & fell onto his backpack off the trail & JPT slipped & fell in the opposite direction trying to help him up. J's walking staff sunk 1 1/2 feet into the muck as he tried to get up. J. said, "This is where the fun begins -- right here, right now!" Weary and wet we finally got to Fall Stream at 5:01 in the clearing sky, but made camp quickly as another storm was on its way. We hung the bear bags, had a no-cook supper of apples, wraps with salami slices & cheese & were in our tenets by 6:15 -- in the pouring rain.

We covered 11.1 miles today & just under 30 for the trek. We'll need a shelter tomorrow to dry out so we plan to get to West Canada Lake 11 or so miles tomorrow -- hopefully in the shine & not the rain!

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Additional Glossary terms:

Clevis Pin -- is a large metal pin that inserts through a grommet at the base of a backpack shoulder strap and then through the pack frame where it is held in place by a cotter pin or wire through a hole in the base of the clevis pin. I always carried extra pins when using external frame packs. 

Zip Stove -- was a back-up stove to our liquid fuel Svea.  It is quite light made of aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a small fan at the bottom of a double-walled burning chamber. The fan is powered by a single AA battery and fans the fuel, which is wood chips, twigs, forest duff, etc. found throughout the woods -- so no need to carry fuel, you just pick it up off the ground. It burns quite hot and is fairly quick, but it produces a lot of soot on pot bottoms and, of course, you need to find dry fuel in the woods. We never had need of it and it rained so often we decided to go without it after Piseco.  
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All images are from originals in the family collection.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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