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Old 07-29-2016, 08:32 PM   #41
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This one wasn't exactly on the trail - but on the shore of a remote lake.

One day last September, I solo hiked to Round Lake in the Aldrich Pond Wild Forest. At the end of the trail at the lake, I borrowed one of the rowboats and paddled to the rocky point on the north shore. It was a hot sunny day so I decided to go for a swim. I had no swim suit but no one objected since I was alone. After my swim, since I also had no towel, I laid on the rock ledge while I drip-dried. I must have dozed off. I was startled out of my doze by a fighter jet flying at just above the treetops on the opposite shore. It was very loud, but it was going so fast, I didn't hear it until it was passing by. I felt bad for the pilot if he noticed me.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:50 PM   #42
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Hmm, at the speed you described, the pilot's eyesight would need to be superhuman to spot you ... let alone parts of you.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:51 AM   #43
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My most unusual experience happened while breaking trail in about two feet of unconsolidated snow from Elk Lake to the Ausable. Just as I started up the climb to the Colvin Range/Boreas pass I looked back to see where my partner was. There was something brown on top of the snow that hadn't been there before. Going back a few steps I found a perfectly preserved saw-whet owl that had been brought to the surface by the basket of my ski pole.
What are the chances that the owl died and was immediately covered with snow and therefore not found by a scavenger and that my ski pole would manage to hook onto it? I donated the owl to the Paul Smiths VIC.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:48 AM   #44
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I have had several unexpected trail sightings or happenings but I am going to throw out the one that bugged me most I guess. I was on Burntbridge Pond Trail doing a portion of my CL50 since the day was really hot and hiking mountains would be way too hot. So I started up and spotted a pile of cloths that were pretty much new. This wasn’t just a cast off t shirt or sock these were brand new hiking cloths that you don’t just pitch away without good cause. So most people would have just walked on but I guess since I worked in security for so long that, that part of me had to investigate. I took a stick and moved the cloths apart to see exactly what all was there. I found two boy’s pairs of underwear, one adult male pair of underwear, a pair of boy’s shorts, and two boy’s shirts. Now that might not seem too odd but I have a son and you don’t leave stuff like that and especially if it is clean. The boy’s cloths would fit a kid of 7 or 8 maybe. Well it bugged me but I didn’t see blood or anything else that would suggest something strange so I moved on. This gnawed at the back of my mind while I hiked until I got to the last sign in book. At which point I saw scrawled in the book “3 men enter 1 man leaves”. Now was this a joke in the book. Most likely. But it just bugged me the whole day. Finally when I got out I said better safe than sorry and I called the rangers to make them aware of the situation. They were extremely interested and took down all my information. I never got called back about any further information needed but I did scan the paper and internet for missing kids or arrests in the area for a while.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:39 AM   #45
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I have two odd ones-my bear encounter in Five Ponds was a surprise, but not surprising, if you know what I mean.
A. On a busy day at the top of Giant I saw a very "ironic hipster" (odd chunky eyeglasses, overalls, 80's rock band t-shirts, pork pie hats) couple with a huge Great Pyrenees dog, looking a bit disheveled. The Rik Ocasek-hued guy looked pretty beat up (it was a wet, muddy day). I looked at his shoes-he had managed to summit in a pair of Heelies-the roller skate shoes so popular around 2005-from which he had removed the wheels. My younger son asked where the wheels went and the guy said "I should have saved them for going down".
2. In November at the top of Mt. Jo (on a very slippery microspike kind of day) I met an Asian couple who spoke no English who were also very beat up, only this couple were in full wedding regalia-she in poofy white dress with a now filthy train, wearing chucks for shoes, and he in a now unreturnable black tuxedo, wearing shoes that were little black carpet slippers-no tread at all. They were deliriously happy, sitting on that awesome ledge and drinking out of those styrofoam plastic topped coffee cups from Stewarts that they miraculously managed not to spill.
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Old 08-07-2016, 05:45 PM   #46
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Don't know if this counts or not, but I was on my way to do Gray with my dog and stopped to take a quick rest. Four young backpackers came up to us as we sat there, with a very attractive girl leading the way. They stopped to chat, but in order to make eye contact with the girl talking I had to look down at her as I was sitting higher than she was. All I can say is she had an amazing body and it was nearly impossible not to see as her shirt was open because of being hot on the climb and I was already looking in that direction!!!
Are you hiding in the shadows - forget the pain, forget the sorrow.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:28 PM   #47
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A plastic grocery bag containing, how to put this politely, "adult entertainment" DVDs and a plastic "birthday girl" crown. I had so many questions. "People still buy these in the day and age of the internet?" "Why would someone bring these into woods?" "What did they plan to use to watch them?" "What a strange birthday?"
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:46 PM   #48
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I was hiking on Cascade and their was this woman carrying TONS of books. Several books under each arm. Thats all she had really (a small backpack) but books!
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:53 PM   #49
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hiking Blake from Elk Lake (the Panther Gorge part). I turned around once I hit Blake peak, and observed the largest porcupine ever. He stood up and looked even larger! I knew he wasn't capable of shooting his quills, so I just let him waddle off a ways on the return path back over Pinnacle.
Dare to dream. If you don't dream, you don't become. Dreams are indicative of what we can do, when we let our dreams flourish. Don't let negativity from inner or outer sources thwart your dreams. The human spirit is capable of much more than what we can see.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:43 PM   #50
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Once, I hiked in to the Murphy Lake Lean-to from Creek road. While eating my lunch, I read the entries in the notebook. One entry read, "We saw a guy hiking in just a thong." A later entry read, "So glad we missed the guy with the thong."

I'm glad I missed him too.

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Old 10-10-2016, 09:51 AM   #51
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on a trail not to be named I saw a Red Headed-double breasted-thrill seeking-mattress thrasher....ran like hell.....honest....I did see the Donald close by....

Last edited by dpc34; 10-10-2016 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:10 PM   #52
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Sunday 3:05 pm at the Snowy Mtn. Trailhead (almost 4k feet).... 2 guys beginning the hike without packs, water, anything. Except one carrying the NG map in his hand.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:45 PM   #53
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I think I can top the suitcase story. Many years ago I was on my way out from Marcy Dam to Adirondak Loj. About half way out I encountered a group of 4 or 5 guys on their way to Marcy Dam for an overnight stay. They did not have packs. They did not have suitcases. They were carrying all of their stuff in cardboard boxes. I noticed mostly canned goods. The story gets better (or worse depending upon your opinion), it was pouring rain and the boxes were beginning to disintegrate. There was no way the boxes were going to hold up until Marcy Dam, especially with the heavy load they were filled with. The boxes were already a soggy mess. I hope but doubt they had a stove with them. With the rain there was no way these guys were going to start a fire. If they made it to Marcy Dam they ate cold canned food that night.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:20 PM   #54
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Luck graces fools, children, and ships named Enterprise.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:16 AM   #55
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The weirdest thing I've ever seen on the trail is The World's Loneliest Comedian.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:42 AM   #56
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A decade or so ago, I was hiking up Cascade, in the middle of the day and the middle of the summer. Lots of people around. On top, there were two topless young women sunbathing. On our way down, we encountered a troop of boy scouts on the way up. I wonder about what their reaction would be. Seeing topless women in the 'Dacks is not that unusual, but on top of Cascade?
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:42 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
A decade or so ago, I was hiking up Cascade, in the middle of the day and the middle of the summer. Lots of people around. On top, there were two topless young women sunbathing. On our way down, we encountered a troop of boy scouts on the way up. I wonder about what their reaction would be. Seeing topless women in the 'Dacks is not that unusual, but on top of Cascade?
You won't get much tan below treeline. IIRC it's legal.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:58 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by geogymn View Post
In the Adirondack backcountry I was on a solo jaunt headed from point A to point B, in no hurry, checking out the general flora, when I happened upon a set of man tracks. I decided to follow said tracks as they were headed in the general direction of my desired destination.
As a wise old backcountry hunter I was able to determine, from the stride, that the owner of said tracks was a person somewhat taller that me, somewhat heavier, and undoubtedly a greenhorn, as could be plainly seen as the trail wandered haphazardly.
I was determine to follow these tracks as to see what this knucklehead was doing in this remote part of the woods.
After a while I ran into another set of man tracks and he too was following some knucklehead. It was then I realized that I was the only one in the woods that day. Use your compass!!
You must have been near the Oswegatchie above High falls.. they say if you are observant , at least while paddling, and look very carefully, you can catch a glimpse of the back of your own head... did you ever get a good look at "your" fellow? LOL

I never get turned around in the woods... except the time I got turned around in the woods... while bird hunting.... in a very large uninterrupted area I knew like the back of my hand. ( great bird hunting!) Well I got down in an area i had never bothered to get to before, and was getting dark and headed back to car when I crossed the crick I expected, only to soon after find another flowing in the wrong direction. Was very overcast- no sun. Threw me for a major loop, and I got that vertigo feeling, of hair on neck prickling, confused disorientation- like when you realized Bruce Willis was a ghost in the 6th sense.. . after thinking it through, I knew I was in no real danger, just a supreme 4 mile detour in dark through woods following creek downstream major PITA - no flashlight no compass. More harm to my confidence. I figured it out after finding and climbing to the top of a deadfall- but I realized if it was any darker, I would have not been able to see. Later, when I took out the topo, I simply didn't know it had such a lovely pronounced oxbow at that end... From then on my compass went into my pocket wherever I go off road- cause it happens- even if it just a PITA decision of determining the correct turn.

Weird Stuff- well not weird in the woods.
While fishing by myself, I had a muskrat suddenly appear and climb out of the crick and eat the bright green roots of whatever he was harvesting 2.5 - 3' from my feet... He made a half dozen trips, always returning to the same spot.. He never saw me! On the last turn, I clicked my tongue.. he stopped eating mid-chew, slowly turned his head, looked up ... and "discovered" me, and took off like a rocket! Had a racoon amble through a meadow directly toward me I watched him surprised- as who sees a racoon walking in the woods.. He was waddling left and right, looking all over... just never once forward. I watched him for a long while, wondering what was up, I didn't allow him to get too close- i mean "rabies", I clicked my tongue, the effect was instantaneous.. he froze head snapped right toward me, we made eye contact- and then... he flew off! They can move! IN fact, i have seen more in the woods by myself- either hunting or fishing then any other activity- I imagine the noise of conversation and non-careful moving is the killer.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:03 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by RichieC View Post
like when you realized Bruce Willis was a ghost in the 6th sense..
Dammit! Cross that one off my list....
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #60
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Tony's post about accidentally skewering the corpse of a saw-whet owl, reminded me of this anecdote.

In September 2011, shortly after Topical Storm Irene remodeled the backcountry, I volunteered to help clear the trail to Dix (from Round Pond). @JoeCedar sliced through a large, fallen tree with his chainsaw and exposed a dark hollow.

The cavity contained fragments of rusted sheet metal and nails. It was a trail-marker that had been engulfed by its host tree. Someone counted the rings from the hollow to the bark and estimated that forty years had passed since the marker was 'internalized' by the tree. Imagine the odds of sawing at the precise spot containing the marker!

Last edited by Trail Boss; 11-23-2016 at 04:06 PM..
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