Beavers and newts

Said goodbye to Marty and Pat today. 

They hiked some of the AT with me today and taught me a lot about local plants. Pat is going to help me with plant identification when I get stuck.
The red newt efts were out in force after the rain yesterday:

Can you see both of them in this shot:

Pat and Marty took me to a great blue heron rookery that was in a beaver pond. Ever since then, I’ve been more aware of beaver activity:

The ponds formed by the beaver dams were beautiful:

Also had a chance to meet my long time friend Bruce Finke – he drove out to Tyringham, MA to meet me on the trail. We worked together for many years in IHS

And there were many noteworthy sightings on today’s walk:

Indian cucumber:

Indian pipe:

A pink lady slipper after blooming:

Great fun !!!


Off the trail for a day

Once again, I find myself in the enviable situation of being “rescued” after a five day hiking period. My friends Pat and Marty picked me up in Bearstown Park in Western MA:

I visited their beautiful home in Canaan, NY

The trail continues to be dry but rain is in the forecast today

We visited some beautiful places along the MA/NY border, including Kripalu (a spiritual retreat where we attended a yoga class)

Drove by Tanglewood:

Visited the Hudson River at the town of Hudson:

Hudson is an old whale processing center. There is a lighthouse in the center of the River (Hudson Athens lighthouse):

A few toads from the AT yesterday:

Hoping for a drenching rain tonight (I’ll be at Pat and Marty’s)



Yesterday was all about water management. Seems like all the “reliable” water sources were dry. Much of Massachusetts seems the same way. Many of the trail areas must usually be seem ply because there are wooden platforms or rails, but there is no water under them

I ran into two trail magic stations with cold water, so somebody knows what the hikers need – that was so kind!!

The Housatonic flows here in Massachusetts as well

Couldn’t quite remember what Shay’s rebellion was:

A tiny house manufacturer right off the AT in the Berkshire mountains

They have stone fences in Massachusetts, as well:

And the Bears here seem really docile:

A few more: 

Ready for a little rain,


Hot and Sunny

Weather has been great, although it is a bit warm – 90 today!

Some steep climbs:

And some nice water at the low elevations:

And a few more highlights:

Every day is amazing!!!


Rolling into the Bay State

Got a chance to hike with Dave and his daughter Sage in Northern CT today

We hiked to Bear Mtn – the highest point on the AT in CT

Saw 3 more bears early this am – first a cub, then the mom, then about 5 minutes later, a BIG one- maybe poppa.

See if you can see anything 

I seem to be a bear magnet!!

A few more from the last two days:

This overlook was called “Rand’s View”

I’ll me in Massachusetts in about 15 minutes  – how about that!!


The Housatonic and another bear

Yesterday’s hike offered plenty of ups and downs with a fairly long stretch of flat in the middle – along the Housatonic River.

The scenery was beautiful:

Saw a few critters ( including another bear that walked right toward me as I quietly wrote this blog entry on the side of the trail) – not sure if you can see him in the photo below:

Outhouse spider

And a few other things:

Becoming more accustomed to bears, 


Exploring Connecticut

Headed into New England today

Linda drove Dave and me to the trailhead and we headed north.

We hiked 12 miles with a couple challenging climbs and had great weather.

One dramatic event from the day involved our observation of a predator/prey interaction. We saw two mammals rolling around in the leaf litter. At first I thought it was two Chipmunks playing. Then it became clear that this was an adversarial interaction – and one of the participants had a long tail. Dave intervened to stop the fighting and the long tailed mammal scampered off. Only then did we realize that it was a weasel (which was preying on the chipmunk).Another interesting thing was that two birds ( one of which was a woodpecker) were dive bombing the mammal skirmish. Seemed that the birds didn’t want the weasel around either.
Can u find a snake, a toad, and some nice flowers?

A river shot for Puffy

Some nice views


Happy Summer!


The Dover Oak, a sweet boardwalk, and Henry David Thoreau

Near Pawling NY the AT passes the Dover Oak, a white oak which is the largest in New York 

My trekking poles are nearly 4 feet long

The branches reach across Dover Rd
This beautiful boardwalk crossed a lowland area with great birdwatching 

Note the writing on the chair 

There’s actually a passenger train that you can take from NYC and get dropped off right here on the AT

While I was hiking two days ago, a local day hiker offered to share with me (as trail magic) an excerpt from Henry  David Thoreau. I gladly accepted, and he recited this wonderful bit of advice:

Enjoying some live trees, 



After 9 days of hiking, and 110 miles covered, I was rescued by my relatives Linda and Dave, who live in New Hartford, CT. I’ll take it easy at their place tomorrow. They picked me up at a road crossing just as I entered the state of CT. I was born in Bristol, CT and lived in this state for about 8 years – nice to be back!!

Visited the most amazing store, which was right on the AT, as it crossed a road:

Ate some apples and had ice cream and iced tea (it was 90 and humid  today).

Look what was hanging in the bathroom

I’m adding the next three photos to see if you can find the animal.

On the ground:

In a tree

In the bush in front of the rock

Answers – momma bear, cub, bobolink.

Happy Solstice!!

Heating Up

It’s a hot day today. And water is not too plentiful in this part of New York, so I have to carry a lot. The forest is quite cool where the canopy is thick. 

It seems like everything quiets down about noon (birds stop singing and animals disappear). I’ve been trying to grab a siesta rest each day as well. 

Here are a few shots from this morning

Lots of 9/11 monuments on the trail near NYC

Saw this enticing state park beach scene yesterday