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Ordin Aryguy
01-30-2006, 11:16 PM
Outdoors time has a descriptive name for me, Decompressing. Getting out from beneath the pressures of the ever-escalating rat race has an enormous importance in my life. Disconnecting, unplugging, disassociating, DECOMPRESSING, is how I cope. Very recently it became obvious that is was time to pull the plug for a short while.

The Decompression regiment requirements were:
1) A short drive from home to maximize outside time.
2) Not too far from the road. This would be my first winter camping experience. Have to be able to bail out if required.
3) Leanto would be preferred.

Morgan Hill State Forest met all the criteria.

Bailing out of work a wee bit early on Friday afternoon got us to the Hemlock Glen Leanto right after sunset. Dark enough to need headlamps. Dark enough that Ted doubted I really knew where I was leading us. About 13 steps short of a mutinous uprising, lead by Ted, we reached the leanto.

For being close to home, and a short hike from the road, this is a wonderous place. Shackham Brook spills over a small series of falls just in front of the leanto, providing an incredibly calming background hiss. Not a painful, contrived noise, rather a gentle, subtle note of just enough intensity to constantly keep you reminded that it's there. Unless Brian is snoring.

For being January, the weather was anything but typical. During the day, Saturday, at some point or another we were all out of our jackets and in t-shirts just to keep cool enough. Crazy weather. Hopefully the Yin to our recent weather Yan will be somewhat moderated rather than being handed a whole heaping of Mother Nature's fury all at once. Regardless of the unseasonal warmth, the sun shone, and my immediate world was "right."

Through the day on Saturday a few day hikers dropped in, none staying very long. Perhaps we looked a bit more motley than is our reality. Guess they don't know that ugly dogs are no more prone to bite than pretty ones.

Josh and I followed the Finger Lakes Trail southward from the leanto for some distance, exploring and looking for a firetower that we somehow had both thought existed along the trail. Didn't find the fire tower. Did find the old stone foundation of an old homestead, though. Not that I need an excuse to have a good hike, but that old foundation was a neat find.

Saturday night, as the other guys were already sleeping, I sat and tended the fire for quite some time, occasionally tossing in a chunk or two of wood to keep the flames going. Not a high angry fire, just a bit of light and motion to stare at. Time has no reference when staring at the fire, minutes are hours, and hours are fleeting. It's powerfully hypnotic drug without the expense or flashbacks.

Sleep came easy on both nights. Not being a fully equipped winter camper, I made due with one lightweight sleeping bag inside another, and my favorite wool blanket over the whole mess. Not a rig I'd carry for endless miles on end jammed in my pack, but a perfectly suitable setup for a short trip such as that one.

Earlier this evening I grabbed my copy of "50 Hikes In Central New York" and started looking for some other hikes close to home that I just might have to explore very soon. This winter stuff is nice.


Ordin

Boreal Chickadee
01-30-2006, 11:21 PM
Ordin-Gladyou got out and Morgan Hill is a great place, close to home and it gets you out in the woods just like you said.

I haven't hiked there in the winter in probably 10 years. Maybe it's time to check it out again.

forevrwyld
01-31-2006, 08:51 AM
Ordin-

Just read the post about your trip as I sit down and begin another day of the bs that puts food on the table.

Excellent read, I wish I could write like that. For a moment I was there with you .. .. ..

Now back to the salt mines,

'Ev

Wildernessphoto
01-31-2006, 07:38 PM
Hi Chuck!
I've slept many a night in that lean-to. I love the falls on that trail.
Sounds like you had a good time! I was waiting for snow so I could do another CNY hikers trek like last year. My thought was to hike to the lean-to and up to the top, and hike the road back to Sheckham Road.We may still get one in this winter if the weather cooperates.
Good trail report! let me know next time your going, I can show you some neat stuff up there.
Here's a shot of the lower falls:
-Gary-

Ordin Aryguy
01-31-2006, 09:16 PM
W'photo,
From all the "I'll be there" replies on the ADKF Meeting thread, I knew you'd be elsewhere last weekend or I would most certainly have filled you in on the plans. Plans that I hastily threw together only 2 days prior to actually going camping.

Another CNY ADKForum winter hike would be a grand plan. Grand indeed... After spending a little time out there after dark, it occurred that that area really would lend itself well to a fullmoon snowshoe event. Hot chocolate (splashed with Amaretto or Fragelico for medicinal purposes ;) ) made fresh up at the overlook, staring out over the valley.. or maybe grill some 'dogs out over a roaring good fire in front of the leanto...

Something like that, maybe? I'm in, regardless. :thumbs:

Ordin

Boreal Chickadee
01-31-2006, 09:26 PM
Ordin- Do you mean the overlook where they hang glide from? The one overlooking Labrador Pond? That would be a cool full moon hike. Snowshoes or boots, that would be fun. And if you plan it as an evening hike, it could even be done on a Friday night (or whatever night was a full moon).

Ordin Aryguy
01-31-2006, 09:37 PM
Ordin- Do you mean the overlook where they hang glide from? The one overlooking Labrador Pond? That would be a cool full moon hike. Snowshoes or boots, that would be fun. And if you plan it as an evening hike, it could even be done on a Friday night (or whatever night was a full moon).

Indeed, the hang glider launch is the exact place. There are few places that I know of that have more to offer visually. Never have been there at night, but could only imagine how incredible it must be under the blue glow of a full moon.

A little campstove, a handfull of instant hot chocolate packs, perhaps my bride could be conned into baking some cookies (and maybe even tagging along :D )...

Sounds better by the minute.


Ordin

Wildernessphoto
01-31-2006, 10:00 PM
I just pulled out my Rino 120 and it says we are going to have a good moon on the 10th of Feb...How about the lean-to for a overnighter??(weather permitting) :D

Or the overlook for a fire and hike out after dark...
Sound like a plan?

Ordin Aryguy
01-31-2006, 10:17 PM
I just pulled out my Rino 120 and it says we are going to have a good moon on the 10th of Feb...How about the lean-to for a overnighter??(weather permitting) :D

Or the overlook for a fire and hike out after dark...
Sound like a plan?


At a minimum it'll be a fire at the overlook followed by dark hike out. I'm there for at least that much! My boy has been hankering to get out hiking with the old man again. Count him in, too.

Have to let you know about the overnighter later (I'm absolutely sold on it, but the other influences in my life have to sync up on the plan)

Ordin

Wildernessphoto
01-31-2006, 10:23 PM
Sounds good!
Do you want to come in from Spruce pond and make a 3.5-4 miler out of it? We can stage a car on both ends.
Sounds like we need to put it in the Trip section and see who wants to do a moonlight hike on a Friday night! :D

Ordin Aryguy
01-31-2006, 10:33 PM
Spruce Pond is a pretty way to get up to the overlook, for certain. Would hope for some decent snow before then, so the shoeing would be good. That hill is something a bit shy of fun when it's muddy. Greasy conditions, a 100% grade, in the dark... hmmmm.

The hike up from Tinker's is pretty generic compared to the Spruce Pond route, but it's much more easily doable with no, or little, snow.

The route choice might have to be made a bit closer to the 10th, based on conditions at the time.

Either way, color me there.


Ordin

Wildernessphoto
02-01-2006, 07:10 PM
Spruce Pond is a pretty way to get up to the overlook, for certain. Would hope for some decent snow before then, so the shoeing would be good. That hill is something a bit shy of fun when it's muddy. Greasy conditions, a 100% grade, in the dark... hmmmm.

The hike up from Tinker's is pretty generic compared to the Spruce Pond route, but it's much more easily doable with no, or little, snow.

The route choice might have to be made a bit closer to the 10th, based on conditions at the time.

Either way, color me there.


Ordin
Cool!
We'll pick this up in the planning/meeting section:
http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=3557

ADKlvr
02-02-2006, 09:51 PM
Gary, Exterame Geocaching anyone? There is one right at the launch site. ;)