Joshua Tree / Fretboard Summit

Trip to San Diego for friend visitation, Fretboard Summit and a side trip to Joshua Tree National Park.  Serendipity reigned as we spent a day waiting in line and failing to get tickets for Paul McCartney at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown having arrived there in the morning on a sight-seeing whim.  Didn’t need to see the band, you could hear them just fine from outside where there was much to see and do.  Besides hanging out with the awesome guys on the porch of Chaparrosa Outfitters, there were meteors, a mountain rescue and a gate crashing woman pushed off the bar porch onto a cactus.  All while boomer females screamed like teenagers for Sir Paul hoping to catch his ear from the parking lot. Um… they didn’t.

Danny Barnes had to cancel his appearance at the Fretboard Summit (hope things are OK) but Courtney Hartman, Molly Tuttle, Joe K. Walsh, Grant Gordy and the rest made my horrible golf skills tolerable.

[The rude turds who selfishly ran and cut to be first in line for tickets]
[McCartney at Pappy and Harriet’s video from inside…]

[Chaparrosa Outfitters]
[Fretboard Summit]

Hunter Mountain

200 years of taking a giant dump on the planet have finally paid off.  We can now wander at 4000 ft in the Catskills in mid-December comfortably wearing shorts and a T-shirt.  Becker Hollow Trail to the summit fire tower. As we haven’t figured out how to change the earth’s orbit for more daylight, opted out of doing the full loop to Spruceton Rd.  Headed toward West Kill and turned back on the Devil’s Path past the freshly cleaned Devil’s Acre lean-to.  Out at the Devil’s Tombstone campground, 2 miles on the road back.  Might be my new favorite hike.

 

Upper and Lower Wolf Jaw

View from summit of Lower Wolf Jaw, Adirondack Park looking toward Upper Wolf Jaw and Mt. Marcy

Annual Thanksgiving hike.  Plan was to ditch my stuff at the Wolf Jaws lean-to and climb Upper Wolf Jaw to Armstrong and maybe Gothics then come down and spend the night.  That did not work out…  the Southside trail is no longer being maintained, which meant using the Johns Brook trail to the outpost.  I should have taken the short left on the Southside over to the Great Range trail, but instead went up the  Ore Bed Brook trail toward  Saddleback to get the Woodsfall trail.  The Wolf Jaw lean-to has been moved down from the Woodsfall/Great Range trail junction to  halfway to the Southside trail junction. This meant going down about .3 mile and then back, so I kept going.  At about 3500 ft, trail became icy enough for microspikes. About .3 miles from the summit of Upper Wolf Jaw the trail was iced over rock outcroppings I couldn’t get up with my full pack on.  Went up Lower Wolf Jaw and out. Doing it in October next time…

Yosemite

Departed the operating system for the actual place. Week staying at Tioga Pass. Smoky for the first couple of days, it rained, we went to the valley, returned and it was clear the rest of the week. There was pie, rising up singing, stars and walks in the woods. The woods looked like they need a vacation too.

Stork’s Nest to Colgate Lake via Dutcher’s Notch


Looking for a walk before waiting around in Hudson, decided to do the quickest (for me) entry to the Catskill Park via Stork’s Nest Rd. Instead of going up Blackhead or over to North Point, went straight down to the Colgate Lake parking area. Some decent hemlock stands and a nice views of Blackhead from the valley made the 13 mile round trip worth doing.

Dix Mountain

Dix Mountain (4857 ft) loop from Elk Lake up via the Lodge easement over a nice new bridge crossing Lillian Brook up to Hunter’s Pass down via Beckhorn. Trailhead parking area was full so a 2 mile walk on the road was necessary from Clear Pond overflow. 18.1 miles round trip.