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Old 08-22-2017, 09:29 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Eclipse day on Crane with the New Jersey Yoga Team!

I have always remembered the Barbara McMartin article on the Crane Mountain loop and how it was one of her favorites, so I figured it would be as good a place as any to check out the eclipse from. I tried to time the hike so I would be on the summit at max coverage, so I didn't even start up until noon. I took the loop clockwise, heading toward Putnam far at 1st and ascending from the west side of the pond. It is MUCH easier going up from this side, the descent from the summit to the lot is gobs steeper and rockier, parts of the trail down reminded me of a less rubbly "devil's half mile" up Haystack.

Made it to the top with perfect timing, and a very nice man let me use a welding glass to get the full effect, made the event really memorable. My phone camera is not up to the task of photographing over my shoulder directly into the sun. Everything about Crane (except it's remoteness) was great, the pond, the weather Monday, no black flies, nice breeze at the top, etc...., except for the NJ "Yoga Team."

There were 20+ of the Garden State yoga-ites crammed into the large Chevy Transit van I saw at the trail head. They stayed in a large, illegal, traffic jam causing group up and down the mountain, leaving banana peels, apple cores and other (probably organic) garbage strewn about the trail. At the summit they were SO LOUD-somehow not what I expected from a yoga group. Luckily the summit has many ledges where other hiking regulars could have fun discussions about our NJ group- I pictured them having MTV NJ Shore like arguments: "Your downward facing dog is sh*t, ya think you're better then me, do ya?" I have nothing against Jersey or Yoga, but the idea of a "team" of them struck me as funny, which I needed because their trail etiquette was sh*t too. There are just too many groups like this, I like the idea of the stewards at the trail heads, but maybe a huge nastygram sign at every popular trail head might help too. End of rant-S&S
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