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Birdathon Recon 2014: Hiking Through Time on Old Logging Roads to Evergreen Lake

Rescuing a tent stake in the middle of the backcountry is truly like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Originally, I thought I might have to bushwhack over to Sunshine Pond for another search if Cropsey Pond did not yield my lost stake, but thankfully, this was not to be. By the time I

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Stake Rescue 2014: Departing Cropsey Pond With All Stakes Secured Safely

Exploring the Adirondack backcountry is never about comfort. If coziness and comfort is your thing, being sweaty, surrounded by vicious biting flies and exposed to the elements most of the time in the middle of nowhere is probably not your cup tea. Nothing, not even successfully rescuing a lost piece of gear is going to

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Stake Rescue 2014: The Great Stake Rescue at Cropsey Pond

Losing gear in the backcountry is never a pleasant experience. Feelings of loss (“Where did it go?”), denial (“It has to be in my backpack somewhere!”), guilt (“I never should have put it in my pocket”) and even frugality (“Now I have to buy a new one”) engulf you, each chewing off another portion of

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Birdathon 2014: Departing the Pepperbox Wilderness via the Bowtie Beaver Meadow

The day after the Birdathon is often a letdown. All the excitement of the chase for new bird species is over, leaving just the responsibility of reporting the results, and the necessary frantic exit from the backcountry that goes along with it. The only redeeming part is the dream of doing better next year. This

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Birdathon 2014: The Case of the Missing Tent Stake at Sunshine Pond

Where to end my Birdathon bushwhack in the Pepperbox Wilderness always becomes a difficult decision. There is always the constant incentive to push on, hoping that the next destination will provide the big breakthrough of a plethora of bird species, producing the banner year I continue dreaming about during the weeks leading up to the

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Birdathon 2014: Birding Up Deer Pond Outlet to Sunshine Pond

Birds tend to be less active in the late afternoon; that is just a fact. The singing dies down, with many birds taking their siesta after feeding during the earlier morning hours. This phenomenon makes Birdathon afternoons a time of profound desperation, where the frantic search for any new species to add to a scant

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Birdathon 2014: Unproductive Bushwhack to Deer Pond Outlet

After exhausting the beaver ponds along the Cropsey Pond outlet during the early morning hours, an unproductive bushwhack over a couple of ridges, separated by a series of wetlands, are all that lies between me and the more bird diverse Deer Pond drainage. The afternoon hours, when most self-respecting birds are taking their siesta, is

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Birdathon 2014: Birding Along Cropsey Pond Outlet

The big day has finally arrived; the 2014 Birdathon is finally here. Not a moment too soon either! The excitement is palatable, waking me numerous times during the early morning hours before the sun makes even a faint appearance. Each time I do my best barred owl impression, trying to tempt one to respond. Greeting

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Birdathon 2014: A Wet Time at Cropsey Pond

With at least half of the way to Cropsey Pond to go, my 2014 Birdathon adventure has been a wet one so far. Although missing the worst of it by sitting it out in my car, the rain returned as soon as I was far enough from my vehicle to rule out a hasty retreat.

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Birdathon 2014: Climbing to View of Stillwater Reservoir

Heavy rain is not the ideal weather for the beginning of a bushwhacking trip.  Logs and fallen leaves become slippery, streams overflow their banks and mud becomes ubiquitous, especially during mid-spring in the Adirondacks. This is especially true during the Birdathon in the Pepperbox Wilderness.  Unfortunately, the predicted wet weather gave me little choice this

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