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Birdathon 2013: Descending Through Regenerating Blowdown to Cropsey Pond

With the climbing from Raven Lake Road over, only the descent through regenerating blowdown remains on my bushwhack to Cropsey Pond. From Cropsey, my birding trek through the eastern Pepperbox Wilderness for the Birdathon on the following day should yield a vast array of bird species. Or so I am hoping.

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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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Trip Plan: Carpet Spruce Swamp of Middle Branch Oswegatchie River

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

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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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Seam Sealing Away

One thing I learned over the years from backpacking is that when it comes to gear, keeping it clean means it will last longer. Just be sure to follow the instructions. Unfortunately, I learned about following the directions the hard way. Because of my carelessness, I recently found myself hurriedly seam sealing my Sea-to-Summit backpack

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Welcome to the Family ResQLink. So Long, MicroFix.

Typically, when a superior piece of equipment makes its debut, I pounce on the opportunity like a cat on a catnip-stuffed mouse. Especially, when the new gear is significantly smaller and weighs less than what I am currently using. This was not the case last year, as my injury kept me out of the backcountry,

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Taking the New York State Guides License Exam

For many years, off and on (unfortunately more times on than not), software engineering has been my primary occupation, my employers including a small start-up company, a couple Fortune 500 companies and a federal government agency. While enduring these years, I continued to plan and plot some way to escape the drudgery of staring at

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