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Everything posted by ramapo

  1. Lots and lots of great caches are about to disappear. It is really a shame. All the problems in our parks; the lack of maintenance, the lack of personnel, the lack of improvements, the lack of decent places to park. No enforcement of laws against dumping or ATV usage or illegal hunting. And this is what the folks at NJS P&F decide to be a critical problem requiring their management. Could we see such an absurdity as a state cache patrol that actually goes out to collect the 'unlawful' caches? When was the last time you saw a ranger walking a trail around here? I just pulled a cache out of Ringwood. It had been there nearly eight years to the day. There were 100 log entries, an average of one visit a month. It was a bit off trail, near a historical feature that few knew about. Now the forest will be safe and the environment there will be undisturbed except by the deer and bears and other creatures that walk through the forest (but not humans). Of course the geocaching community brought this upon itself by staging the infamous cache-placement war of yesteryear. It just goes to show you that no matter how innocuous an activity, people will somehow find a way to argue, bitch, politicize and otherwise screw up what had been a pleasant hobby. Yes the game changed some time ago with the advent of power trails that turned finding a cache into an almost rote activity, devoid of any meaning other than this find was at least 529 feet away from the last. There won't be many hiking caches left after this purge of our parks and forests. Maybe there will be a few where a trail happens upon a special place and a cacher is sufficiently motivated to go through the process. It was fun while it lasted.
  2. Hi. You have a few options. 1. Indian Trail Dr and Dakota Trail, Franklin Lakes. There is a small circle to park in. Entrance to the yellow trail that takes you to through the very nice Franklin Clove. 2. Winding Hollow Dr at top of Reservoir Dr, Franklin Lakes. Another small circle. Pick up the yellow trail (two entrances to it depending which way you want to go, look carefully). Or go down Reservoir Dr a bit to the Red trail. 3. Chicopee Dr in Wayne (towards the end on the right). Entrance to Blue Trail. The white connector trail hooks up with the yellow. You can also cheat and park at the end of Omaha Way off of Dakota Trail in Franklin Lakes. There is an unmarked trail that hooks up with the blue but you miss a nice section of trail if you do that. Do not park at the end of Scioto Dr in Franklin Lakes or across from Toys R Us corporate entrance on Berdan Ave in Wayne. You might have a problem
  3. I will second Packanack's invitation. Riding up the middle of Sixth Ave past Radio City, bicycling down the Harlem River Drive, over the Queensboro Bridge and down the BQE is a fairly unique experience. And it is easier than you might think. He did get one thing wrong. We ALWAYS have had a good time, even in a cold, wet rain. Although there is no guarantee that we show up if it rains in NYC on May 1, 2011.
  4. Thanks Brian for the great show. Lots of terrific memories.
  5. It was actually a very pleasant hike despite the foreboding forecast. There was a bit of rain but not enough to get us really wet. If it had rained any less, it would of been kind of disappointing. It didn't even seem cold to me. Now those who wore shorts might've thought differently but then at least their pants didn't get wet. No bear sightings today. They had enough sense to sleep in. Thanks to Brian for the trails and caches and to Packanack for suggesting that we go out on a cold, dark, rainy and windy Sunday morning. It was the highlight of the week.
  6. Chicago is a great place to bike and cache. I got to ride the bike path along Lake Michigan last year and logged a number of caches while taking in the spectacular views. Here at home in North Jersey, I've done quite a few caches by bike. My philosophy is if the cache doesn't provide for a good hike, maybe I can at least get in a good bike ride. Caching by bike also eliminates the hassle of where to park the car. Rail trails offer another great biking/caching experience. I've been out on a number of Packanack-inspired rides where we've enjoyed great scenery, learned a bit about local history, and collected some smilies. Our recent rides though Central Park were quite memorable. Biking and caching go together as perfectly as hiking and caching.
  7. That rattle gives you quite a rush, doesn't it? I've had a couple of close encounters. Those rattles really do work! I'm glad there are enough rattlers out there that we run across them in our travels. Best practice is to keep your eyes on continuous scan mode but that takes a lot of discipline to maintain.
  8. Those wacky Europeans! Packanack is quite correct, we had a great time in early May riding through the five boroughs. An official Sunrise ride is a fine idea. All three suggested rides are quite appealing.
  9. I have found that state and federal legislators do respond to INDIVIDUALLY written, thoughtful emails. The form-generated, issue-of-the-day, spam mail is likely to make no impression, nor should it. If you can't spend ten minutes to write about an issue in your own words, don't bother. I do think that a traditional, USPS delivered letter does still have the most impact. Our new state senator, Kevin O'Toole, has pronounced this proposal to close the parks to be most foolish. I always like it when I can agree with a Republican. My favorite stupid remark is the one by our esteemed DEP Commissioner to "close" the trails. Perhaps they have plans to barricade the roads leading into the parks and the parking areas. That'll teach us.
  10. This is a fairly outrageous list of proposed closings. No doubt, in part, to provoke some outrage. The elimination of camping and swimming, especially at Ringwood, High Point and the like are especially maddening. The state parks are busy places during the summer. Sure, cut the services that make life a little more tolerable for those who might not be able to afford a trip to the Caribbean, or even Wildwood. How about cut the job of some useless bureaucrat who is nothing more than a political appointee? No, I don't have anybody specific in mind at the state level, but I bet there are more than a few. Enough to pay some lifeguards anyway. I'm sorry, useless bureaucrat. I realize you have a family too but... There is no doubt that the fiscal houses of both the state and federal governments are in great disorder. It has taken a lot of years and much effort to get that way. There are no simple solutions but it seems there is no end to bad solutions. Guess I better write my State Senator and Assembly-people before this idea gets too far.
  11. Sold me too! I've been wondering how people make those maps. Good, I feel a new sub-obsession in the making!
  12. This looks like a great hike. I've owned the maps for a long time but have never gotten up that way to hike. I think I'm ok for 3/22 even though my son will be in for a visit so it is possible that might complicate my availability. I vote for an early start, the earlier the better (as painful as it may be). It is always best to have as much time as possible to deal with the usual "this is taking much longer than I thought it would" syndrome and other unforeseen situations. Another good spot to warm-up for this hike is Windbeam Mt. GC4752 is your reward (among others). I have to get up to Pinwheel Vista still...it does look a bit more difficult than Windbeam.
  13. I'll be there...have hiked the trails but am looking forward to another meeting of the sunrisers and completing the snow series of caches. Maybe it is time to start a 2008 Sunrise thread?
  14. Always interested in a Sunrise Stepoff. My next two Sundays are committed but I'm good for 11/25 or later.
  15. Just let me know if there are any caches in Ramapo SF/Reservation and surrounding environs that need checking on and I'll schedule a visit.
  16. The furnaces are interesting and I'm happy we weren't caught trespassing. I guess ignorance of the rules would be no defense. If they really didn't want people checking out the furnaces then maybe they should just fence them off like in Waywayanda. The ruins near Half Centenarian (GCT698) are more intriguing. There are remains of foundations, most of a chimney, along with a large dam..all out in the middle of the woods. Of course, things were different how ever many years ago the dam was built. It must've been a busy place at one time. I suspect there might be more out there but we didn't have much time to look.
  17. Thanks to Packanack for another great Sunrise hike. This one especially showcased his exceptional organizational and leadership skills....I didn't even have to take the map out of my pack today. This was a great hike that had it all. Beautiful weather, even a chill in the air that we haven't enjoyed yet this season. A bunch of caches. Wonderful vistas. Hawks and other flying critters. Challenging stream crossings. Some vigorous climbs. Unmarked trails. Ruins. Mines? Abandoned vehicles. And last but not least, fine companionship. Special kudos to our youngest hiker today who walked nearly a mile for each of his birthdays and he didn't get all that much help from dad. I'd be walking for a long time to match his feat. It was nice to finally make my way out to Split Rock and this sure won't be my last visit.
  18. I saw a pair this morning on the Hewitt-Butler trail on West Brook Mt in Norvin Green. They were good size but I don't think fully grown. They scampered across the trail, not too far ahead of me. One stopped to give me the eye, then went chasing after the other one. No pictures, I was too busy staying out of their way, and then they were gone. I made sure to make plenty of noise during the rest of my hike.
  19. Also my congratulations. I enjoyed following your progress. Great pictures! ... an impressive, inspiring accomplishment.
  20. I'm back from vacation tomorrow but have been up every morning at 5:30 geocaching by bike up here in RI. Lots of caches....too little time. I'll probably sleep in on Sunday.
  21. Those "obstacles" look somewhat terrifying. I'd like to meet the dog that can climb the ladder, that is some special animal. But at least the ladder gives you something to cling to. Are you scrambling up or down the rocky incline in the top picture? Or going horizontal? Does it get any worse than this? These pictures make our Saturday climb seem pretty tame. Best of luck and be careful. I'll be following your travels vicariously.
  22. We had a GREAT day and were able to find both crash sites. This was easily the hike of the century and possibly of all-time, personally speaking. It was both challenging and rewarding. The weather was just about perfect and I had the pleasure of spending the day with a fine group of fellow hiker/cachers. We logged just over 10 miles. It was a long trip down from the top and it seemed that most of the day was spent going downhill (that didn't make it easier). Thanks to Brian for organizing the expedition. He certainly picked a good one for #500. Details, logs, and pictures to follow after a long, hot shower, food and maybe some sleep.
  23. Recent trip report....this looks like the intended route. Thanks to Packanack for the pointer. Trail: Kaaterskill High Peak from Platte Clove Road Date Hiked: 6/2/07 Conditions: Hiked up from Platte Clove, following the snowmobile trail around to the north side, then up to the loop around the mountain. Fabulous walk up through the lower levels, not too steep, nice foliage. Took the unofficial blue-blazed trail to the peak, then down the north side to the loop. That north side descent is much more steep than the south, requiring some scrambling. Followed the loop back around to the north (my friends didn't want to bushwhack, kinda annoying). There are several large nettle patches through there, but with the rain falling by then I didn't even feel them. Passed the plane wreck, then back down & out the snowmobile trail. Trail had long muddy sections, particularly in the Pine Plains area, on the hike up. As we started down heavy thunderstorms with hail hit; after that, much of the trail was under water, sometimes as much as knee deep. Special Required Equipment: The bugs were out in force up at the summit & ledge- even with DEET it wasn't the most pleasant place for lunch. Heavy waterproof boots were a must, but nothing was real protection from the amount of water that fell during the storm. Comments: My final peak of the 3500's! Submitted by: Rob
  24. I've never hiked in this area and it's been a long time since my last visit to Kaaterskill Falls so I ran out at lunch to Campmor to buy the Catskill map set. Couldn't resist also picking up a couple of the very nice topozone maps of the local area, then replaced the lost binoculars, a new day pack to replace the one with a broken strap, and it always good to get a new pair of socks...so this is already an expensive expedition. Brian's recommended route appears good to me. Looks to me like a 10ish mile round trip with some slow going on the unmarked trail due to elevation and probable blow downs. I think I have the ranger's guide at home someplace, waiting to finally be put to good use. Will have to look for it tonight. Is the plan to be at the trail head at 8AM? It seems pretty late to get started from down here. I'm still not 100% sure I can make it but I sure hope to be there. Sounds like a great adventure.
  25. Great story. Seems like almost every time I hit one of the popular hiking areas like the Reservation, I see signs posted about a missing dog. Always heart wrenching thinking about the frantic owner and bewildered dog searching for each other. I'm sure many of these situations don't turn out with as happy an ending as this one. As much as dogs love to be off leash, there is always the danger that it will bolt after a deer or other animal, no matter how well trained it is. It must've been a fantastic feeling to reunite the dog and owner. Congratulations on saving the dog and avoiding the bear. It is certainly disconcerting to have a bear trailing you. Stage 2 of the cache was pretty easy to find once you get to it. I can't imagine that it has moved since I was there last September. Stage 1 was the bear (oops, no pun intended).
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