For the first time in two years, I return to Cropsey Pond in the Pepperbox Wilderness for the Audubon Society’s Birdathon, a 24-hour long contest to observe as many bird species as possible. Despite a serious head cold, a long climb from Raven Lake Road over a small rise is the only thing standing between me and the small, remote pond.
The second and last day of the Frostbite Overnight starts with a shocking surprise when a sudden and loud noise echoes within the Hoxie Gorge lean-to. After recovering from sudden awaking, we eat breakfast, say good-bye to the chickens and hike out to our vehicle the same way we came in. On the way home, we stop at the Eureka store in Binghamton before returning to Syracuse under the typical blue skies.
After hiking into Hoxie Gorge for a shortened Frostbite Overnight, we find ourselves faced with the task of amusing ourselves for the rest of the afternoon. Although the five resident chickens at the lean-to provide an interesting distraction, we also engage in a little exploring, a gear show and tell and the always highly anticipated Happy Hour. As the day draws to a close, we end up sharing the lean-to with some interesting visitors.
This year’s Frostbite Overnight, an annual early spring hiking adventure, contains many firsts. This year’s trip lives up to its name by being only a single overnight, instead of the usual two. The destination is Hoxie Gorge, a state forest near Cortland, instead of somewhere in the Catskills State Park. And unlike no other trip, we share a lean-to shelter with a bunch of chickens. It has to be read to be believed.
During the late summer of 2011, while hiking across Isle Royale, I planned an outing into what might be one of the remotest and least often visited (by humans anyways) parts of the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, a mysterious knee injury in the spring of 2012 put this trip onto the back-burner until this year. Now I
Finally, after a two-year absence due to a nagging knee injury, I once again participated in the Audubon Society’s Birdathon this past weekend. For the third time, I ventured into the wild and trailless heart of the Pepperbox Wilderness in the northwestern Adirondacks. Unfortunately, I was not alone, as a nasty and tenacious head cold
Change is in the air this spring. At least as far as the Frostbite Overnight is concerned.
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 my friend Dave and several 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 the 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.
Almost a year ago, a knee injury forced me off the hiking trails, yet alone allowing any bushwhacking off-trail through forest, swamp and meadow. Fortunately, my knee appears to be healing adequately, and once again, I am thinking about future trips into the backcountry, one in March, another in May, and a final one probably
The final day of FBON 2012 starts early at Pelnor Hollow lean-to in the Cherry Ridge/Campbell Mountain Wild Forest of the Catskill State Park, but thankfully it is a much warmer one than the day before. Unfortunately, the night was no more restful than the first night here, as the Breathe Right strips, generously provided
The second and only full day of the Frostbite Overnight (FBON) is where the bulk of the adventuring occurs. Typically, in the past, we rise early and summit a mountain, or at least make a worthy attempt, but anything that takes some physical effort is game, just to get our blood circulating. Last year, we