Perfect hiking day…

When I last left you all, I was headed into Manchester VT for a resupply. I had to hitch a ride into town from the trailhead. About a five mile ride. I was quickly picked up by a local carpenter who was excited to hear I was from Cooperstown. He was an ex pro baseball player, farm league single A and had actually played in Oneonta thirty years ago.
Bought groceries and then went to local outdoor hiking store where I had to buy new poles. One of mine snapped in two hiking down slippery rocks a few days ago.
Last several days have been hiking with Chip and Jan from Parkersburg WV. He’s an engineer with specialty in solar power and she is a violin teacher so we’ve had interesting talks about all sorts of things. Although I’m hiking “alone”  it’s amazing that usually within a day or so I meet and hook up with compatible hikers. We generally walk as a group during the day and tent next to each other at night. Very easy to meet nice new friends
After our resupply, we all stayed at hiker hostel in Manchester :the Green Mountain Inn. A clean bed, laundry, one free soda, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and full breakfast for only $40!
Started hiking next morning up to summit of Bromley mountain.
This was the “perfect hike” : Started out on a full stomach, beautiful sunny weather, NO aches all morning while hiking!  Feet didn’t hurt, knees OK, crotch and butt didn’t itch, no shoulder pain and generally had lots of energy :

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Black Diamond Run on top of Bromley

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Later that afternoon we reached the bottom of the mountain and camped in front on a small Vermont Lake. I took a dip and then went fishing in my underwear. That’s my definition of a perfect hiking day

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Today was another story. Lots of ups and downs hiking in the rain. More aches and itches. Pitched our tents in the rain and ate a rather wet dinner outside. Fortunately, right now I’m composing this blog lying in my nice warm dry tent. Here are some views of the day

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Tomorrow my son Bob is meeting me to join the hike for the next several days. More updates soon.

Busy week…

One last day hiking with Ben with a final night tenting behind the Toy makers  Cafe. Awesome breakfast there next morning.

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. This is Ben and me thumb wrestling in front of Thumb Rock:

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We were picked up in Salisbury CT by Ed who took both of us home to Cooperstown. Short weekend for me to celebrate Father’s Day and my anniversary.
Grandpa, my sister Jane and me for picnic at Three Mile Park.

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Stephanie and me celebrating anniversary 34 at the Otesaga

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Me celebrating summer in Cooperstown

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June 23 back on trail. Dropped off at Williamstown MA to continue my journey. Last September I did a big chunk of AT hiking in Massachusetts with friend Tom B. I’m skipping MA now so I can hike as much of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before my Aug 15 deadline.
After just a few uphill miles I’m at the VT border. The AT through VT shares part of the Long Trail which traverses all of VT north to south

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Next morning rained pretty hard for 2 hours. That wasn’t so bad, but I had to climb down some steep rocks that afternoon. I think the most dangerous part of the hike so far is hiking downhill and not slipping or falling. I’ve done both so far. Minor bruises only.

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No more rain and a nice Thai dinner that evening.

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Today was a tough uphill to the top of Stratton Mountain. Rewarded by a firetower with beautiful 360 view

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Tonight I’m stealth camping alone in the woods. Hope no critters around

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Tomorrow will go into Manchester for resupply.
Do my best to keep these posts coming.

A few more Bauers join the hike

Ed left the trail on June 7 and that night I spent a comfortable sleep at the Bear Mountain Inn. Early the next morning, I crossed the Hudson River via Bear Mountain Bridge :

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A few not so bad ups and downs hiking solo that day. I ended up at a nice campsite at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center,  which is a Franciscan monastery. Although hiking alone all day, there must have been at least 10 AT hikers at that site that night.

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Next morning, woke up to sound of gregorian chants in the background.

Hiked solo again through hills, lakes and streams, ending up at Clarence Fahnestock State Park. Food was not too bad!

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Next day was a busy one. My son Ben joined me for several more days of hiking. Unfortunately, his initiation to AT hiking starting around noon was a wet one in the pouring rain.

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It stopped by mid afternoon and we were picked up by car just off the trail by friends Deb, Jim and their daughter Rachel. After only 3 hours hiking, Ben and I had a rough night at their beautiful house on the lake

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Actually did some serious hiking the next day

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By following morning we were in Kent CT and were joined early by my cousin Dan who hiked the entire day with us:

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Glad you could be part of our hike Dan!

Next two days Ben and I went through fields, then up and down some tough hills

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Right now getting ready for bed in my tent after mac and cheese dinner with Ben. We’re both getting picked up tomorrow for a quick Cooperstown weekend visit with family. It’s father’s day Sunday and my wedding anniversary Monday. Thanks for reminding me Stephanie!  Although, really.. When have I ever forgotten!?!?
Back on trail early next week.
Great hiking with Ben this week who got a real flavor of what his dad is doing.

Big day for me !! ??

After hiking some lowland swampy areas of NJ, we went up and down some modest hills. During a drizzly light rain it was very  slippery, so Ed had to pick me up a few times.

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Really nice waterfall early in the morning :

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Late in the day, we passed a road and found this cooler right on the side of the trail. This is called “trail magic”. Left by kind souls, it’s usually some treat for thru hikers to enjoy. This cooler had fresh fruit and soft drinks.

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Got an early start the next morning and our first challenge was to fit through the Lemon Sqeezer.. Since I lost all this weight, I had no problem fitting through this VERY narrow passage :

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Mountain Laurel is at it’s peak

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Last night we slept at the West Mountain Shelter. High on the ridge, it offered an amazing view of NYC 40 miles to the south.

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This morning we hiked up and down Bear Mountain.

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After lunch at the base of the mountain, Ed’s friend Kwan, picked him up and brought him back home to Cooperstown. It was great having Ed with me for the week. Grandpa has hiked the AT with me. Three more Bauer boys to go. Any other takers out there?

Finally, why did I title today’s blog “A big day?!”¬† BECAUSE.. Today is my birthday and look at my new Birthday card:

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I had a great day with Ed, and am now finishing my post packing some ice cream calories. Awesome.

Starting some solo hiking tomorrow.

Back on trail!

Left my hiking “crew”, Morroco Mole and Adventure on May 22

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All wives met us in Hamburg PA, home of world’s largest Capella’s. The guys kept hiking,  but I went back to Cooperstown with Stephanie for a few days of real life at home:

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The main reason for the hike detour was to travel to Providence RI to see our Ben graduate from Brown University.

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We all had a great time. All four boys have finished college!

Another highlight of the weekend was a brief stop at the AT trailhead off the Mass Turnpike in Lee MA. My dad Alex, age 94, wanted to hike some of the AT with me and his wish came true:

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On May 31, after a 3 hour ride back to High Point NJ, my son Ed joined me on the next leg of my hike.

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Notice my six week beard is gone!  Starting fresh this next leg.

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High Point had some nice views

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Last night we stayed at a great shelter with potable spring water and a mowed field where Ed and I camped in tents without needing our fly tent protection, so we had a nice view of the stars.

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Today we over did it a bit with a 15 mile day. Varied terrain in New Jersey with hills, swamps, and pastures :

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Relaxing after dinner now. Plan for a bit less challenging day tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted….