On April 5-7, 2012, I participated in the 27th annual Frostbite Overnight (FBON). This year, in addition to Dave and me, Tom, a past co-worker, joined in on the festivities for the first time in several years. If memory serves me correctly, this particular combination of participants had never been in attendance during a Frostbite trip before.
The Frostbite Overnight (FBON) is an annual backpacking trip taken the three days before Easter. Typically, the trip’s destination is somewhere in the Catskill State Park, in southeastern New York State. This tradition dates back to 1986, when Dave and a couple co-workers journeyed down to the Catskills for a night of partying in a motel room, followed up by a single night of camping. As the years passed by, there has been a great turnover in its roster of participants, while the emphasis switched from partying to backpacking. In recent years, the arduousness of the Friday hike has lessened, perhaps marking the increasing average age of the participators.
This trip remains shrouded in many traditions, described in detail in last year’s teaser. Typically, the first day we drive down and hike in, setting up camp and getting situated. Friday is our hiking day, followed by a Happy Hour celebration of beer and munchies. On Saturday morning, we hike out for breakfast at a nearby diner, followed by a sunny ride home.
This year we hiked into Pelnor Hollow in the Cherry Ridge/Campbell Mountain Wild Forest. Pelnor Hollow is located only a couple of ridges over from last year’s destination of Trout Pond. A lean-to shelter near the base of a beaver pond was our hoped campsite, not even a mile from the trailhead, located at the end of a lonely dirt road. Our Friday hike consisted of a round-trip to a lookout off to the northeast at the end of a ridge a little over two miles to the north.
I was unaware at the time that this would be my only backpacking trip of the entire year. As several weeks later, a mysterious and seemingly spontaneous knee injury sidelined me for over five months.
The highlights of this trip consisted of a hike around a beaver meadow, a wild trail culminating in a beautiful view, some tasty steak and cheese sandwiches cooked over the fire and a visit from a friendly eastern phoebe in the lean-to. And did I mention the beer?
Stay tuned for the details.
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