My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

North Country Trip 2007

Some of the views along the Hike

Along the North Country Trail

As you know from the previous post that Young Naturalist J, his father (Jeff) and I went backpacking along the North Country Trail here in Allegany State Park yesterday. We started down on the Bay State Road and hiked up to the Lean-To along this section of the trail. The uphill hike wasn’t very fun with temperatures nearing 90F degrees, very muggy and I was bitten up by mosquitoes along the trail. I took everyone along a re-route section of the trail that is being proposed and it only made it harder since it was 0.7 miles off trailing hiking. The original alternative probably would have been a smarter route for us to do.

Our Dinner boiling water

Hotdogs and Boiling Water

Once we arrived on site . . . . we got the fire started and put camp together before it was too dark. We made hotdogs for dinner and hot chocolate as an after dinner treat. Lucky we had cell phone reception and continued monitoring the radar for any storms that might be approaching. Somehow we avoided the storms and stayed dried the whole trip (of course I planned the trip on being rain free . . . . yep I did).

Spring Water

Using the Water Pump

Being this is a nature blog, I probably should talk about some of the critters we encountered. Highlight had to be the Barred Owl that was vocalizing all night long (sounded like it was right above camp)! I tried recording the owl but the volume was too soft to post on the blog. We also heard a Hermit Thrush, America Robin, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco’s, and Eastern Wood Pee-Wee! Of course Nuthatches, Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers were also found along the trail. Over night we did hear something making some noise outside camp. Young Naturalist J thought it was a bear, Jeff was sleeping and I thought it could have been possibly two Raccoons fighting (still have no idea what it was). But, didn’t have any Porcupines on this overnight trip but did read about some bad experiences with them in the camping log that was their. They can truly be nightmares when they decide to chew on the lean-to building.

Morning Fire at Camp

Jeff and his morning campfire.

I love backpacking but every time I get out I have a horrible time sleeping at night. I need to sleep on my side and my make shift pillows never seems to cut it. But, who needs sleep when the adventure outweighs taking a nap upon returning home. Of course . . . . Young Naturalist J can sleep through anything and never woke up till almost 9:30am. Jeff and I got out of bed when our 5:30am Barred Owl alarm went off.

Ugg . . . its on the bottom of the pack.

Grumbling because his socks were on the bottom of his pack (posed picture).

Having to pack everything back up and start heading home is the hardest part about the trip. We had soo much fun and tomorrow I plan on doing a goofy post on our evening hours before heading bed (You will not want to miss this)!! Hmm, now I wonder if I can sucker these guys into another adventure before owl banding starts??

Quick Break Before Heading Home

Quick break along the trail before heading home.

23 responses

  1. Marg

    I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to “sucker” them!
    Nice post about your fun time, hiking in mosquito ridden 90F doesn’t sound like that much fun to me-but everything else did!

    25 August 2007 at 9:03 pm

  2. Birdbander11

    Oh boy Tom, that was a great blog. That field at the begging of the hike was HOT! The dinner was great and so was the hot chocolate. The flitered water still tastes a little funy to me but it is still good. It was not my fault that i left my socks in my backpack, I would like to see you try to stick your hole arm down a backpack that has no space left to try to get socks! And all of those breaks saved me but my leg does still hurt!

    25 August 2007 at 9:10 pm

  3. @Marg – thanks and was fun mosquitoes and all .
    @ Birdbander – told ya that I would be posting that picture! LOL Thanks!

    25 August 2007 at 9:14 pm

  4. banderparents

    Jeff looks like a natural with the backpack on and then in front of the lean-to enjoying his morning coffee. I have heard about all the fun, even with the heat and humidity and he said he had a really good time. I am sure he could be suckered into it again; after some bengay and a good night’s sleep on a soft surface.

    25 August 2007 at 9:40 pm

  5. banderparents

    I love the picture of J struggling for his socks – priceless .. and it got a lot of laughs at home –

    25 August 2007 at 10:05 pm

  6. Banderparents – whatever he tell you . . . he was a natural for sure! Maybe we can figure on a pump up mattress for him to sleep on!! Sorry J, how could I not post that picture?

    25 August 2007 at 10:11 pm

  7. Looks like fun. I’ve never been back packing. My husband says his idea of bac packing is packing everything he can into the back of his truck. We are still tent snobs, but we definitely don’t rough it.

    25 August 2007 at 11:15 pm

  8. I haven’t been camping for years, but what I always liked best about it was hearing all the nature sounds right outside my tent. I’ll never forget the night I heard several barred owls “hootin’ it up.” I’m glad you guys didn’t get stormed on.

    25 August 2007 at 11:19 pm

  9. Looks & sounds like a grand time – I miss backpacking! It’s been waaaaaay too long :-/ Glad the weather held up for y’all too.

    25 August 2007 at 11:28 pm

  10. Man, those sure are some clean and well built lean-tos you got there. Picnic table and all… Just like home!

    Off trail hiking is good… as long as the season is right. Humidity and mosquitoes just make things worse. Nice trip report man!

    26 August 2007 at 12:31 am

  11. Loved reading about the porcupine stories. Brings back memories of meeting fellow lean-to campers in the Adirondacks on the Appalachian trail and hearing about how they had to sleep on picnic tables as the porkies were eating the lean-tos down around them.

    26 August 2007 at 6:38 am

  12. Love those pictures! Hope you got a good sleep last night at home.

    26 August 2007 at 7:42 am

  13. I wouldn’t be able to sleep either. Love to be out there in the daylight, but my mind would wander too much in the night hours in wonder of what was creeping around me. Looks like a fun testosterone time!

    26 August 2007 at 7:49 am

  14. I love J’s expressions – he must be a character in real life! Glad the critters and the weather left you alone at night! I was thinking about you guys in the heat – argh! I hear you – I soooo cannot sleep whenever I sleep outside either! Even with an air mattress (is that cheating?) cuz I’m a side and stomach sleeper.
    I don’t think you’d have any problems getting J & Jeff back outside for another round! Looking forward to your next post!!

    26 August 2007 at 7:58 am

  15. rick

    glad you had a wonderful trip

    26 August 2007 at 8:27 am

  16. Waaaiit a minute! No one’s explained why the heck porcupines would chew on a lean-to.

    When I read your cellphone post I clicked on the radar there in NY and saw the rain that luckily missed you. Nothing like hot, mosquitoey, sleepless AND wet conditions whilst camping :o)

    I do envy your hearing the Barred Owls. Neat.

    26 August 2007 at 1:00 pm

  17. Michael Head

    Sounds like fun Tom. For your next event find yourself a small inflatable pillow that they use for Air Travel. It folds completely flat and will take less room than Socks! Combined with your makeshift pillow peices I think you will have what you need for dreamless sleep.

    26 August 2007 at 3:42 pm

  18. @ Barb – sure was and your missing a ton of fun!
    @ Ruthie – That is fun for sure! Thanks and I am also glad we didn’t get rained on!
    @ Adam – sure was and there is always time to go!
    @ Andrew – thanks for visiting and one of the reason’s we picked this place! Thanks
    @ threecollie – thanks and they are such a pain in the butt!
    @ toni – thanks and I sure did!
    @ Jayne – those are the best times to be out their, hearing all the wildlife around you! Last year if you had read my blog posting we had coyote’s etc… vocalizing in the morning.
    @ Pam – he’s a great kid and that’s really a posed shot! I two was happy with the weather but was sticky!
    @ Rick – thanks
    @ Cathy – they normally chew wood in trees to wear their teeth . . . but they like this wood probably because it treated and has some flavor to it! Anyways, they chew all night long if given a chance!
    @ Mike – hmm, never seen one of those! I bet I could find one somewhere here!! THANKS!

    26 August 2007 at 4:00 pm

  19. Sounds like a good trip – especially missing those recent deluges. I miss hiking/camping…

    27 August 2007 at 3:28 pm

  20. Grace

    Those porcupines! Well, wood is their favorite food (like beavers) and they like it seasoned with a little salt — or urine. Never pee on the lean-to! :-))

    27 August 2007 at 11:17 pm

  21. ah food of the gods I must say…! hot dogs and boiled water. Normally at home what child would not complain for days? but nature is magic isn’t it? And is there any other time you can get a kiddo to cook their own meal? {nature philosophy to ponder} I love that cabin slash lean-to. Wow… we should build one of those down by the creek. This looks like a really fun time!

    28 August 2007 at 12:55 am

  22. I’m in to that kind of stuff but would rather go in the fall.-Barred Owls make such cool vocalizations for owls-I love hearing them!

    28 August 2007 at 6:36 pm

  23. @ Marty – best way to get over missing something is going out and doing it!
    @ Grace – that we didn’t do for sure! Thanks for the heads up on this! !
    @ aullori – those were some of the best hotdogs than what I had had in a very long time! Thanks and was a great time!
    @ Larry – Fall is fun for sure and the barred was great! Thanks!

    28 August 2007 at 9:25 pm

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