2016 March 27

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Cotton Hill State Forest
Dutch Settlement State Forest

March 2016
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening. I hope you had a good holiday weekend and enjoyed your Easter.  For a little while longer we will have partly cloudy skies but more clouds creep in around midnight. Currently 47 degrees. The Waning Gibbons Moon moon is visible in the east. Rain and 52 degrees expected for tomorrow morning. The sun will be rising at 6:43 AM on Monday.

I had a good day, although I got kind of dehydrated, sunburn and a bit sick out hiking back from Middleburgh Cliff. The trail was a bit more up and down then I had remembered from hiking it years ago, and while the morning was cold, the sun came out and without shade from the leaves, it got very hot int he woods quicky.

Once I was fully rehydrated, I was a feeling achy but better, but I should have brought more then 40 oz water with me, wore a hat and lots of sunscreen. At least I didn’t die or have to be hospitalized for heat stroke. This time of year with no shade and cold mornings can get deceptively hot and get a nasty sunburn. Still pretty achy this evening, and we will see in the morning on how sunburnt I got. Hopefully no pealing skin or reddish skin.

I got back to my truck about 5 PM, which was much later then expected, but after getting overheated on the trail I had to stop, and I also ended up stopping several times to make phone calls for work. But being only 40 minutes from home, I was able to make it out to my parents house at a reasonable hour for Easter dinner. Regardless it was a nice hike out to Middleburgh Cliff, even if the hiking was a little more vigorous then first expected.

Regardless, it was a good day. Got my wash done and I think I’ll be in bed by midnight. Got much of my gear unpacked, and while the cooler and buckets need to be washed, that will have to wait until morning. I got my clothes put away. I have some more gear to get out of the truck, but I think I want to clear out the bed of my truck as I need to fix some wiring in the truck cap and need room to take a bunch of bottles and cans to the transfer station. Want to get everything kind of inventoried and ready for the spring camping season too.

Guess who is once again drinking coffee out of a Nalgene bottle because he left his coffee cup in his pickup truck? I went down and brought all my bedding and personal supplies in my backpack to my truck and got the food I needed for breakfast and once again forgot the cup. At least I hauled a lot of gear back to the truck. And you can drink coffee quicker out of a Nalgene bottle. And it’s a hell of a lot classier then drinking coffee out of a beer can, like I have done in the past. I also forgot (again) to bring Styrofoam plates up the mountain, which meant I had to eat eggs and sausage out of the hot frying pan.

I emptied out the bucket shitter in deep in the woods, away from the campsite. The soil is very shallow on Cotton Hill — while I could dig a cat hole about 3 inches deep, after that it’s all solid bedrock. I can understand why this land was abandoned for farming. At one time it may have had more soil but agricultural tilling probably wrecked it. I had three days of shit and toilet paper to bury, but I was able to dig a wide hole, build a mound of dirt over it, and throw a log and brush over top. Hopefully that will keep wildlife from digging it up. In retrospect, I probably should have just burned the paper rather dumping it in the bucket and burying it. I prefer my bucket with the toilet seat, as it means digging only one cat hole, it’s comfortable, and I can bring it right to the campsite, especially at night to avoid wandering in the woods. Burned my camp garbage this morning, as I didn’t want to haul the shit covered garbage bag that was in the bucket down the mountain. Usually I don’t burn garbage in the woods except in the evening when a roaring fire to fully incinerate the plastics but I carefully picked out anything that didn’t burn from the fireplace. I stayed well upwind and used some twigs to get it roaring. Yeah, I’m a dirty hick.

Last night was pretty delightful but a bit cool. Lots of stars, and don’t worry with the candlelight I had the flag appropriately illuminated. and played lots of good music and podcasts. With the Big Buddy heater and ample sleeping bags stayed plenty warm. Saw four people all weekend, two camped on the other side of the mountain.

All I have left now to bring down the mountain is the empty water bottle, a mostly empty propane tank, and my chair. Should be much easier then before. The campsite is cleaner then when I found it and the fireplace built up much better. The flag is down, this camping trip is coming to an end. I probably will hike to the Cliffs of Middleburgh as I have some extra time and I’m only 27 miles or 40 minutes from home.

The next camping trip in April may be to the Delaware Wild Forest, so I can do some trout fishing down by Roscoe in the Beaver Kill. I do need to get a fishing license as mine expires next Friday. Friday is April 1st which opens trout season. I won’t be able to do this trip opening day but maybe mid month. But for trout fishing locally on opening day, looking at a cloudy day with a chance of showers around 56 degrees with high water levels on most local creeks.

But for the rest of today, mostly sunny with clouds then rain creeping in late around 54. Sunset at 7:18 pm tonight. Have a great rest of your Easter!

Good morning. Happy Easter on this clear and soon to be sunny morning. 36 degrees on Cotton Hill. Light breeze but a lot warmer than yesterday morning. I hope the Easter Bunny treated you well. Cheap Cadbury Eggs for sale after this most holy of mornings as Christ has risen. Warm next to the Big Buddy heater but it doesn’t make it as toasty as in the tent as the lean-to with its open face.

The first light this morning was at 6:15 AM and sunrise just happened at 6:42 AM. Despite the time change, with the increase of day length, mornings and evenings have gotten quite longer. Day length increases quickest around the first day of spring, today picking up 2 hours and 53 seconds. Not the 2:56 increase around the first day of spring but still a quick increase. Day length increases lose speed and slow to nearly zero as the first day of summer.

Today will be sunny with a high around 56 degrees at least out here around Cotton Hill. 41 degrees tonight with rain by morning. Rain on Monday and a high around 48.

Today should be a nice one for an early day for Easter. Enjoy it!