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Jay Mountain Wilderness 2014: Surveying My Campsite on Lot 8

When the results for Proposition 5 came back in November 2013, it became obvious that the New York State voters decided to offer up a portion of the Jay Mountain Wilderness as another sacrificial lamb at the altar of jobs, greed and profitability. Soon, chainsaws, bulldozers and explosives would move in and destroy Lot 8,

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Jay Mountain Wilderness 2014: Arriving at Lot 8

No time to lose. By reaching Hale Brook, I caught up to where I originally planned to camp on my first night, it just took me a day and a half to get there. Retreating on the first day due to dwindling daylight, enduring a nighttime bed-wetting accident and ascending Jay Mountain in less than

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Jay Mountain Wilderness 2014: Descending to Hale Brook

It is do or die time. After retreating off Jay Mountain the previous day due to dwindling daylight and threatening skies, I find myself back in the position of deciding whether to continue on with my trip or scrapping the whole thing altogether. The prospect of heading home, tail firmly embedded between legs, with the

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Birdathon Recon 2014: A Wood Pile, a Mystery and a Toilet Seat Along Old Logging Roads Near Ginger Pond

After killing a couple mice at Evergreen Lake, bushwhacking to a large wetland, scampering around Peaked Mountain and Hidden Lakes, it is finally time to enter the Ginger Pond area on the very last leg of my day’s journey. Unfortunately, my chances of actually visiting the eponymous pond are fairly low, as it lies off

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Birdathon Recon 2014: Finding Hidden Lake and Moving On

So far today, the large wetland and Peaked Mountain Lake were underwhelming with regards to bird activity, making my Birdathon reconnaissance trip appear like a grave disappointment. Instead of spending more time at the avian-deprived Peaked Mountain Lake, I decide to move onto Hidden Lake and eat lunch there before continuing toward Ginger Pond to

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Birdathon Recon 2014: Past Abuses on the Way to Peaked Mountain Lake

The painful guilt from earlier in the morning continues draining my motivation, drawing out my morning backcountry chores, including downing the tarp and stowing everything back into my backpack for the day’s trek south and east. The most difficult task involves folding and slipping the collapsible plastic bowl within my sleeping mat in the back

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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: Final Report for the Pepperbox Wilderness

On May 16, 2014, I participated in the Audubon Society’s Birdathon, a challenge to observe as many bird species within a single 24-hour period as possible. This was my eighth year participating in the event, all of which took place wholly or in part in the Adirondack Park. For the fourth time in five years,

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