Forgot Mah Spoon!

I finally had a chance to hike a local section of the North Country Trail, which runs from Willow Bay in PA through to the RedHouse area of Allegheny State Park. They suggest the total milage is ~18, but that’s just the NYS part- with elevation gains it ends up being closer to 22.5… and mostly uphill (both ways!).

I started out at about 8am Sat, hiked till about 4:30p and stayed at the Stony Brook Leanto (~13mi into the hike). About an hour after I found camp, a few guys from Buffalo showed up coming from RedHouse. At first I wasn’t thrilled (I’m sure they weren’t either), but they turned out to be a fun group- as we cracked open our MRE’s I noticed, the one think I hadn’t packed.. my spoon!

Luckily “SK” had an extra- and I was happy not eating dinner with a stick (I did have to stir my coffee in the AM with one). We crashed the Leanto that night- the forest was dead silent with the exception of a few frogs, mice and what sounded like a really large Deer (we hope it was a deer).

I learned a few things on this trip-

  1. 35LBS is too heavy for up and down mountain climbs
  2. I don’t need a spare cellphone battery
  3. Hiker hunger doesn’t really kick in until the end of Day 2
  4. A sleeping bag rated for “15F” means- don’t use it unless it’s < 40 out at night (we hit 42, I was still hot in shorts).
  5. Ticks are bad. They should be avoided where possible.
  6. Most other hikers on the trail are not overnighting- they will look at you funny with your gear on.
  7. Uphill is hard. Both ways.
  8. There is no Cell Service in the forest (thanks Garmin!)
  9. In late fall- make sure you have more water than you need, the mountains tend to dry out at higher elevations if it hasn’t rained in a while.

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