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Old 01-02-2022, 02:29 PM   #21
Zach
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Scheduling trips that far ahead must be challenging. Usually for mine I had a 2 or 3 week period in which my week could fall, and would watch and plan to leave when it looked good. Sometimes this worked great and a questionable forecast would improve, and other times I would wish I had waited a week but by then it was too late.

In my new life I'll be self employed full time, so much of the time I should have the flexibility to go on short notice. I hope that the LNT principle can be met by having an itinerary planned ahead and waiting to execute it when the weather looks suitable, but there may be more to it that I haven't thought about.
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Old 01-02-2022, 02:35 PM   #22
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Zach - once you're in Piercefield you'll easily be able to get up here in good weather. It's a great spot for overnight trips. Lots of places to ride your bike too. I've ridden all over up there, it's great. Lots of backroads, legal trails, and woods roads.

I used to worry a lot about the weather before a trip... well not really worry, but sometimes change plans last minute. Later on I just decided to deal with it and that it was part of the experience, if I didn't want that experience, "good" or "bad", I did something else. I guess this is called "Stoicism", and in terms of my outdoor experiences, it's been one of the best things I ever learned. I generally just ignore what I can't change and be prepared for it and enjoy all the things that come out of it. For instance, I've had some of my best wildlife encounters in pouring rain. I've had my greatest appreciation for certain areas by the difficulties they possess - and then maybe made wiser decisions about what could be best enjoyed from them. I've never had a bad trip - but I've certainly, in terms of work and suffering, had that on every trip... it's just part of life. But again, pick your battles...
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:08 PM   #23
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Scheduling trips that far ahead must be challenging. Usually for mine I had a 2 or 3 week period in which my week could fall, and would watch and plan to leave when it looked good. Sometimes this worked great and a questionable forecast would improve, and other times I would wish I had waited a week but by then it was too late.
Trying to make a group trip work on a specific weekend (even one picked well in advance) honestly can be a colossal pain in the butt*. To accommodate the diverse and often competing needs of everyone involved isn't easy. Rather than striving for the impossible goal of making everyone happy all the time, we've adopted a philosophy of "you win some, you lose some." For any individual, some years are going to be easier to attend than others. But we do put effort into trying to make it all even out for everyone over time, and that seems to work well.

Although for reasons somewhat outside of our control, we ended up canceling the trip this past autumn- and it turned out we were lucky to have done so. That particular October weekend saw a line of strong thunderstorms pass over the ADKs with heavy downpours and high winds. It would've been by far the most miserable weather we'd have conducted a Duck Hole trip in to date (and that's including the year it unexpectedly snowed several inches on us!). There would've been some cold, wet, and miserable ducks in the woods for sure.

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In my new life I'll be self employed full time, so much of the time I should have the flexibility to go on short notice. I hope that the LNT principle can be met by having an itinerary planned ahead and waiting to execute it when the weather looks suitable, but there may be more to it that I haven't thought about.
It helps if your pack is always packed, so you can grab it and go at moment's notice. And yes, it also helps if you spend free time pouring over maps and reading trip reports in advance, as you plan future itineraries without a set date. Then, when the window of opportunity makes itself apparent at the last minute, it's less that you're skipping the "plan ahead and prepare" part, but rather that you've already taken care of it in advance.

With our Duck Hole trips another factor that has helped immensely is that we tend to visit destinations that I've previously visited on solo trips to explore and familiarize myself with the area. IMO, having first-hand prior knowledge of an area is an absolutely essential component of ensuring that group backpacking trips are fun for everyone involved.

*I say this with love for any of my friends who happen to read this post.
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Old 01-02-2022, 11:16 PM   #24
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It helps if your pack is always packed, so you can grab it and go at moment's notice. And yes, it also helps if you spend free time pouring over maps and reading trip reports in advance, as you plan future itineraries without a set date. Then, when the window of opportunity makes itself apparent at the last minute, it's less that you're skipping the "plan ahead and prepare" part, but rather that you've already taken care of it in advance.

[/QUOTE]

I spend much more time than a rational person would reading trip reports, guidebooks and maps, and thinking about possible itineraries. There are so many great choices out there, and with limited time I used to try to prioritize the places I most wanted to go in any particular year.
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Old 01-04-2022, 02:10 PM   #25
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Zach,
It’s exciting to think of the possibilities of being self employed, especially with respect to scheduling trips.
For me, I have yet to transition my trip scheduling to match my flexible schedule.
I seem to lock myself into predetermined trip schedules when the clocks and calendars have no power over me!!
Must be a carry over from a lifetime of working around everyone’s constraints.

Hope you can break away often, even while you’re working on the new house, a few days here or there won’t make much difference in your completion dates, but can work wonders for your mental health. I know I need those sort of breaks.

And D, thanks for posting these TR’s, especially now when the waters hard and the snow is lousy…
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Old 01-04-2022, 05:36 PM   #26
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I think your weasels were mink, but another good trip report. Thanks for sharing your adventures
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Old 01-04-2022, 05:44 PM   #27
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I think your weasels were mink, but another good trip report. Thanks for sharing your adventures
I think you’re right.

I thought weasels were smaller and differently colored but what I’ve seen I’m not sure if it was a weasel or a stoat. And in other cases I’ve seen critters scurrying or diving in the water that I thought were mink but they might have been otters. Tough to say when you only get a glimpse

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Old 01-04-2022, 07:20 PM   #28
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Stripperguy, I'm also excited by the possibilities of flexibility, but I don't know how well it will work in practice. I'm sorry you haven't been able to find the best way to make freedom work for you yet, and I hope that will get easier for you now that your house is done and all. I've been taking a very extended break from working on the house in Piercefield (I haven't been up there since November 20th) but my sanity is still nothing to write home about.

For the last 20 years here at the farm weather conditions and seasonal changes have been important determinants of my outside work day to day, so it will be different to have a life where most of my work is indoors and can be done any time. I've been working about 2/3 of a full time job in the shop for the last year, building instruments, and the other 2/3 at farm tasks, so that has been a good transition phase. Prior to that it was more like full time farm work and 1/3 of a job in the shop.
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Old 01-04-2022, 07:27 PM   #29
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I think your weasels were mink, but another good trip report. Thanks for sharing your adventures
I wouldn't know myself but according to the DEC website mink are part of the weasel family, so perhaps it's the same difference either way.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:10 AM   #30
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I wouldn't know myself but according to the DEC website mink are part of the weasel family, so perhaps it's the same difference either way.
We're in the same family as gorillas, chimps and orangutans. So perhaps to a mink, it's all the same difference what great ape it encounters.
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Old 01-05-2022, 12:13 PM   #31
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Speaking as a member of my family I can affirm that we are indeed related to orangutans, some of us more closely than others.
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Old 02-02-2022, 04:50 PM   #32
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Just as the first glimpses of Upper Gull Lake were starting to come into view through the trees, I hiked through what appeared to have been the site of an old camp- possibly a lumber camp. A number of discarded metal odds and ends were lying about, including sled runners, barrel hoops, and more.






There was even an old horseshoe lying amidst the junk. So perhaps at least one horse has made the epic journey to Upper Gull Lake?
I missed this when I went out here as I went around via lower Gull but I've been studying old fire maps and certain enough, the 1916 map shows this area around the two Gulls was logged for softwood - also looks like the section where the trail comes up from Big Moose.

Based on those artifacts - I'd guess it was from pre-1900s logging. I didn't go through the task of trying to figure out when that became forest preserve, so it may have been logged again at some point.

I also read, I think it was in McMartin's Great ADK forest book that they would harvest the softwoods, go gather them up and haul them out by sled in winter to the nearest water body. I assume that's what happened here with the horseshoes - likely they hauled the spruce down to Big Moose and floated them out to the rail station.

It's a not a huge acreage that was logged there though per the map.
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Old 02-03-2022, 01:18 PM   #33
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Group Trips
I attended a paddle event organized on this site a few years back. Set up months in advance, Many people expressed interest. Come that weekend only me and one other gentleman - an I was late! Still a great time.

Weasels
In Canada (Massasauga park) we swam across a small channel from our campsite, were sunning ourselves on a rock, and witnessed a weasel (or weasel like critter)wrestling with a large black snake 10' from us. Once in a lifetime experience. Weasel won (we were rooting).

Lean To Challenge
Ok, I have to look more into this. I have never been fast on the trails but this sounds like more fun than peak bagging.

Many thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-03-2022, 03:19 PM   #34
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Jackson's lean-to challenge is awesome.
Justin's privy challenge is cool too.
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Old 02-06-2022, 06:59 PM   #35
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Russ, is there a spread sheet for Justin's challenge? If not he needs to make one.
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Old 02-06-2022, 09:56 PM   #36
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Russ, is there a spread sheet for Justin's challenge? If not he needs to make one.
I think it is on a roll of Charmin. 😂
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Old 02-06-2022, 10:04 PM   #37
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I think it is on a roll of Charmin. 😂
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Old 02-07-2022, 09:51 AM   #38
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Lean To Challenge
Ok, I have to look more into this. I have never been fast on the trails but this sounds like more fun than peak bagging.

Many thanks for sharing!
My "lean-to challenge" isn't anything official- just a personal goal to try and camp out in as many lean-tos in NY State as possible. I figure it's maybe not particularly likely I'll ever actually stay in every single one of them (although FWIW I'm also well over halfway towards that goal). In any case, though, working on it takes me to a lot of neat areas that I might not ever visit otherwise.

There's lean-tos in western NY out past Buffalo even... and as an eastern NY resident, they've honestly been some of the biggest PITA's to bag.

There was an attempt by someone else at making an actual patch-bearing "Lean-to Challenge" a few years ago but IMO it was not particularly well thought out.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:11 AM   #39
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I'm thinking of building one and putting up a trail cam just to see if you show up...
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:50 PM   #40
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I built one on my property, folks are welcome to use it. Jackson, want the GPS coors to put it on the map. 😛
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