Sunday, November 22, 2015

Where, Oh Where...?

Fr. Scott and I went out for a backpacking/camping overnight Thursday-Friday in the St. Regis Canoe Area near Lake Clear.  We spent the night in the lean to on St. Regis Pond.  I've stayed there a couple of times before (here and here)...and it seems there's some sort of problem pretty much any time I go into these woods, and this time was no exception.

The forecast wasn't the best ever--rain showers and some wind Thursday afternoon and into the night, but clearing, if cooler, on Friday--and that forecast was accurate.  The weather, however, wasn't really an issue; the heavy rain didn't start till well after we were settled in for the night.  The moon and stars peeked out every now and again, and we heard the "laughter" of what must be some of the last lingering loons of the season.   We were blessed with quite a beautiful sunrise.

The trouble came when we were headed back out of the woods Friday afternoon.

It took us about an hour-and-a-half to hike in on Thursday: an hour on a wide, open "truck trail," and then a half-hour, half-mile bushwhack along the pond shore to the lean to.  The going wasn't bad at all, and the way was familiar from previous visits.  But we decided to try another route on the way back to the car--bushwhacking in the other direction to catch another trail.  Let's just say it took us four hours to get where we wanted to go due to a pesky marshy area and bog that we just couldn't seem to get around (but which has the magical power turning hikers around in a complete circle), and that's only after we returned to the lean to to retrace our steps from the day before.  It was all but dark when we got to the parking area at 4:45pm, and starting to snow.  We were a little sore, with a few minor scrapes and scratches, but otherwise none the worse for wear.

This makes 23 months in a row now that I've spent at least one night sleeping in the woods!  But it was just a little too close to becoming two nights in the woods this November.

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