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Birdathon 2013: Climbing with a Cold Towards Cropsey Pond in the Pepperbox Wilderness

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.

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Frostbite Overnight 2013: Saying Farewell to the Chickens at Hoxie Gorge

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.

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Frostbite Overnight 2013: Exploring Hoxie Gorge State Forest

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.

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Frostbite Overnight 2013: Chickening out at Hoxie Gorge Lean-to

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.

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Birdathon 2013: Forty-six Bird Species and a Black Bear in the Pepperbox Wilderness

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

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Frostbite Overnight 2013: Hoxie Gorge and some chickens

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.

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FBON 2012: Leaving Pelnor Hollow and Revisiting Trout Pond

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

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FBON 2012: Hiking to Split Rock Lookout

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

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FBON 2012: Exploring Pelnor Hollow

As the snow melts and the cold temperatures recede, the early plants begin to emerge from the once frozen ground and the Easter bunny begins collecting his eggs, these signs can mean only one thing, the Frostbite Overnight (FBON) is fast approaching, of course! In 2012, this annual backpacking event is in its 27th year,

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Frostbite Overnight 2012 Teaser

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

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