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Four Men and a Blow Up Doll
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A Catskills Trip Report
“After Buddur's lifesize doll fiasco, five TT'ers were on top of Slide Mountain in the Catskills yesterday, and Capn Bobo sent his young assistant lumberzac to fetch Bobo some food from Bobo's pack.
Zac jested, "what are you doing with this inflatable doll in here?" A minute or two later, the other group of backpackers (four guys) with whom we shared the summit turned to us and said, "what was that about an inflatable doll? We have one too!"
And to prove it, one of them actually pulled out a lifesized inflatable woman from his pack!
I am home safely. Pennsy, lumberzac, lthiker all got off the trail safely (with me) and should be home by now, but are probably busy celebrating mother's day.
The four of us left Bobo and Phantom Soul on top of Giant Ledge this morning around 7:30. Hope you guys got down and home OK.
Trip reports to follow...”
“so were they sharing the girl or what...prolly into the group thing i bet..”
“You guys are starting to scare me...”
“so yall camped faaaar away from that group right?”
“Actually Bobo wanted them to bring out the doll and inflate it so he could have a closer look, but the rest of us were quite content to move along and not interact with those guys again. :)”
“LMAO...Fritz that was me man!! It's good to put a face with the name. What was the big deal though?? I mean guys get urges no matter what man. Lighten up.”
“Cool! Good to meet ya, Shep! You should have inroduced yourself, though. Maybe we could have had a...um....never mind.”
Glad you guys had fun, look forward to the full reports.
“Artex, wish you could have been there, bro.”
“DAMN!! I THOUGHT US CANOERS HAD THE BEST THREAD TITLE THIS WEEKEND WITH "WIENER" ONE... but this gives us a run for our money!”
Here are my pictures. Sorry none of the doll though.
Catskill Hike Pictures ”
“you guys were very sweet to bring pennsy a girlfriend on the trip :)”
“Cool pics! I miss that trail, it's my favorite in the Catskills.”
“What? No helium?
“ Day 1: Where the hell is Bobo?
It never fails, when I try to leave work early I end up not being able to leave for at least an hour after the planned time. So finally I reached the trailhead at about 3pm, just under an hour late to see Capn Bobo just getting ready to hit the trail. He waited for me to change into my hiking cloths and we were off. Immediately after were crossed the bridge over Woodland Creek, the trail turned steep and rocky. After climbing a couple hundred feet, I reached the trail register. As soon as I stopped a black cloud engulfed my head. Then the swarm of black flied attacked. Shortly after I signed in Bobo made his way up the trail. I decided to move on, because I couldn't take the biting flies any longer. After making it to the top of the next rise I was feeling winded and stopped to rest a bit. Once again I was swarmed by black flies. Once Bobo was in sight, I called down to him and told him I was going to keep pushing on. The trail ran in steep steps most of the way up over rocky terrain. The black flies weren't bad as long as I kept moving, but as I got close to the summit the wind started to pick up and I was no longer bombarded when I stopped to rest. Around 5-5:30pm I reached the summit of Wittenberg. The summit offered about a 180degree + view to the southeast. Not really sure how long it was going to take me to get to camp, I didn't stay on the summit too long and soon I made my way toward Cornell.
The decent to the col between the two mountains wasn't hard, and before too long I was once again heading up hill. With the exception of one short scramble up a crack in a rock wall, the accent of Cornell was fairly easy. I took a few quick pictures and made my way towards the col between Cornell and Slide where Pennsy and LTHiker were to set up camp. I took my time going down the mountain, as the slope was fairly steep and covered with loose rock. Eventually the trail leveled off and produced a few mud holes that were easily navigated through. At this point I could smell a campfire burning so I knew I must be close to camp. After checking out a few vacant campsites I finally walked into one that contained Pennsy and LTHiker a little after 6pm.
The campsite was fairly large, but offered few places to set up a tent. Eventually I found a suitable spot and haphazardly set up my tarp (this was the first trip I had used it and only the second time I set it up). Once set up and after some razzing from both Pennsy and LTHiker, I turned my attention to firewood. Soon enough was collected to get us through the night and attention was turned to, "where the hell is Bobo?" The plan was to eat dinner when Bobo got to camp, but hunger won out over patients. Once we finished eating we decided to send out a SAR team to find the good capn. Pennsy and myself headed out toward Cornell, while LT stayed at camp and tended to the fire. Shortly after we crossed the 3500' mark Pennsy once again asked, "where the hell is he," just as Bobo plus Fritz came down the trail towards us. The four of use made the short jaunt back to camp, where we ate and drank around the fire before crashing for the night.
Stay tuned for Day 2: The inflatable redhead and Pennsy's Korean girlfriend.”
I made it back down!!!
“And now for the "abridged" version of this trip: (I can't belive I missed the doll incident!)
I hiked into Giant Ledge on Saturday to meet the rest of the guys on this trip there, since I couldn't escape work on Friday. Because I was coming in late like this, I got to hike in solo. Ran into Capn Bobo at the spring just below the ledge, and then met up with the rest of the guys at the campsite.
Giant Ledge is one of my favorite places because the views are incredible in both east and west directions and you can camp there (its elevation is just low enough). The weather was kind of cloudy with a few showers passing through and an insane wind overnight, but I still managed to snap some photos. Oh yeah, when you hike solo, you end up taking quite a few pictures of yourself because, well quite frankly, there's no one else to take pictures of. But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little vanity here and there, right?
On Sunday morning, we struck camp and everyone just took off as soon as they were ready so we could all get home for Mothers Day before we were too, too late. And of course, because it always takes me forever to pack up, I got to hike solo again. C'est la vie...
Btw, for those of you concerned, by the time you get to this point, you've probably figured I got down the mountain alright (which I did), but I think I will be postponing my VA trip indefinitely anyway, that was supposed to start next week and take some time off from hiking to let my knee heal completely.
All in all, even though I only managed to make (less than) half of this trip, I had a really good time and enjoyed meeting 4 new TT-ers. I'll be looking forward to hiking with yous again.”
“Sorry LZ, our posts must have crossed -- didn't mean to step on your multi-part saga like that...”
“That's ok I haven't written it yet. I probably won't get to it until tomorrow anyway.
Nice pictures BTW.”
“Seriously, no way did he pull out a blow up doll.”
“lol scorch i told you i did...damnit frinks belives me”
“Back safe and sound! Met up with the guys with the inflatable doll in the parking lot before I left, but they stil wouldn't let me take pictures.
Could this have possibly been the band of thugs moving across country, having their way with inflatable sex toys?”
Four Men and a Blow Up Doll...
“Sounds to me like a messy trip.
Hope y'all didn't catch Pennsy's disease.”
“"Seriously, no way did he pull out a blow up doll."
ignore this user
I thought they were joking with us like I was, until the one guy pulled it from his pack.”
“The following account is neither fictionalized nor exaggerated. It is the true story of one man's battle against nature, against time, against himself...
All I could hear was the sound of my heart pounding in my ears.
Climbing, climbing, relentlessly upward.
Pulse check...15 seconds, 40 beats. Dang, am I ever out of shape.
Between deperate gasps for air, I take bites of my apple. It was meant for tomorrow but I am looking to reduce my pack weight now. Chew, breathe, chew, breathe.... On the trail, on the mountain, life is reduced to its most basic elements, as a matter of survival.
And I am pelted by the dreaded black flies. Relentless, almost predatorial, they give me no peace.
How long can I continue, how long can I endure?
Time check: 5:04pm.
I have been battling this mountain, fighting this exhausting fight, for all of six minutes.
Well, OK, maybe it is exaggerated just a little. The initial climb from the Woodland Valley parking area headed towards the Wittenberg summit was a real wake-up call as I have gotten very out of shape compared to where I was a year ago.
"It hurts, but it hurts good."
But it was a thrill to finally be back out there, in the woods, in the mountains, for the first real hike in over six months.
Hiking solo is a great pleasure but being realistic, it is never without risk. Starting this hike so late in the day, I know it is unlikely that anyone will be following behind me. If I slip and fall, break a limb, I will either have to get myself out, or lie by the trail through the night until I am found in the morning.
That is a risk I am more than willing to take. I love being in the woods, being in the mountains. I love the comaraderie of the group campfire, but I also love the solitude of hiking alone.
At 7:15 I pause at the summit of Wittenberg. Offering a sweeping view of the valley to the east, including the reservoir whose name (Ashotunk?) now escapes me, this would have been a fine place to pause for a meal, for an extended visit, to contemplate the smallness of my thoughts and the vastness of the universe.
But I am racing with the darkness. I don't mind hiking at night...in fact, I enjoy it. But on rough, unfamiliar terrain, with my weak ankles, with my moderate myopia, I know the wiser move is to be at camp before dark. So I move on.
In the col between Wittenberg and Cornesll, I catch a glimpse of a large animal hiding between some large rocks not ten feet away. It is a large beast, and strong, but I am not frightened. The beast has spotted me and moves toward me, also unafraid.
(To be continued...)”
“Glad you all made it down safely, Bobo and Phantom I hope you didn't get caught in the heavy rain.
Great trip as usual with a great group of people.
I still can't believe that that guy actually had a redheaded inflatable doll in his pack.
This was my first hike with my new lightweight pack. I started the hike with 25lbs including food and 2.5 liters of water and a liter of wild turkey. The difference was incredible, I was able to hop up rock ledges and actually almost keep up with Pennsy. I aso used low cut hiking boots for the first time on a backpacking trip. I was alittle worried about them because of the rough terrain on this trip but I had no problems.
Friday Pennsy and I met at the trailhead around 10:30am I was running late because of traffic thru Connecticut. We got our things together and headed up the trail around 11am. Across a small foot bridge and imediately the trail started going up. That was one steep start. The blackflies were there but not too bad, as they didn't seem to be biting much. We stopped at the top of Wittenberg for lunch and hung out for awhile until the breeze started to die down and the flies came back. Down Whittenberg into the col and back up to the top of Cornell for a couple nice vistas. Then down off cornell into the col on the way to Slide and our nights campsite.
There were 6 sites listed on the map and of course we had to look at them all, they were spread about a mile. As luck would have it the first one that we looked at was the best so we returned there for the night.
Pennsy pumped like a mad man and filtered 11.5 liters out of a spring that resembled a mud puddle. I think he is going to need a new cartridge.
We gathered wood and built a fire and into camp strolled Lumberzac.
From here the other trip reports give you the info.”
“I see a movie in this one..are you guys gonna sell your rights to Fox...I believe they will want to make a tv movie about 4 men and a blow up doll!!”
“I'm almost jealous except that I drove the 450 miles each way to go on a boozer with my daughter.
That settles it; from now on I'm bringing Dolly (my anatomically correct inflatable sheep) on every TT outing.”
“Nobody answered the crucial question: was it good for the doll?”
“heh..you guys are nuts...love the reports..
i think i'm gonna start writing mine down in a notebook and keep a yearly hiking journal..kinda sad that prose this great and memorable...disappears into the void of the internet after awhile.”
“I still have a bunch of old camping journals. They bring back old memories whenever I pull them out and reread them.”
“Nice thread title Fritz. Sheesh!
For the record, I did NOT see the blow-up doll. I was 100% convinced those guys were joking so I didn't even bother to turn around. Skeeery.
I'll check out the pics when I get home later tonight and try to post a few myself. In brief, it was a super weekend. The weather gods were very kind to us, and the Wittenburg-Cornell-Slide-Giant Ledge loop was awesome. The spring up on Slide is to die for.
Lt did a great job organizing this trip, and it was great to see Bobo and Fritz getting out again. I was glad to see the "new" guy Phantom Soul again, even if he didn't pack in any beer this time. And then there's Zac.... enough said about him, but I'm curious to read the rest of his report and about my date with Miss Swan.”
“"Miss Swan," oh, so the blind chick has a name now????”
“what camera was used for the panaramic shots?...and you used slide film right?”
“Climbing, climbing, relentlessly upward.
"It hurts, but it hurts good."
...to contemplate the smallness of my thoughts and the vastness of the universe.
Woaw Dude!!! That was EXACTLY what I was thinking along the trail! Was I talking out loud?!?
In the col between Wittenberg and Cornell, I catch a glimpse of a large animal hiding between some large rocks not ten feet away. It is a large beast, and strong, but I am not frightened. The beast has spotted me and moves toward me, also unafraid.
(To be continued...)"
That was no animal... It was Me!
And just for the record, because I can already hear yam blabbering on about Bobo being lost, Bobo needing rescue, at no time was I lost or in need of rescue although I did very much appreciate the boys sending out SAR, little did they know that Fritz and I were catching an awesome sunset off Cornell (pics are coming). We did manage to get Pennsy more SAR work (he loves it, what can we say?) by chasing down Fritz when he skirted by the Giant Ledge campsite. And besides, Pennsy was just sitting around bored after pumping 15 liters of water and cutting up a third of the forest with his trusty Sven, so we sent him out to bring back Fritz.
LT - great job putting this hike together, great climbs, good fun, it was well worth the pain!
I think zac should change his name to "zac rabbit", even Bruce Almighty! can't keep up with this kid! Mr. Soul - good ta meet cha, I hope the knee is feeling better.”
“"what camera was used for the panaramic shots?...and you used slide film right?"
It was an Olympus C-5060 digital.”
“In Bobo's defense, he was carrying a lot more than I was.”
“Well Bobo, you ruined my story! Not really, who knows when I was going to finish it...
Yes, I got SAR'd both nights.
Friday night it was just because Pennsy was getting impatient, Saturday night I did indeed walk past the campsite, but I had already turned around and was heading back when Pennsy "rescued" me. :)
I do appreciate the thought, though. Pennsy is a good guy, one of my favorite hiking companions.
For my other favorites, see the "who have you met" thread. :)”
“"I think zac should change his name to "zac rabbit", even Bruce Almighty! can't keep up with this kid!"
Wow Zac, you have a rabbit just like PinPin Junior? ;o)
Bobo, the kid has the speed but the old man has the stamina.
So where are part 2 to Zac's and Fritz's reports?
Great pics Zac and Phantom. Zac, some of those panoramic shots came out great. I just uploaded my pics. Sorry Phantom, there are not any of you since I didn't take any pics after you arrived. However, it looks like YOU took plenty of yourself. haha
“Well, what can I say? It was my first time out with the ultrapod camera stand and I got a bit trigger happy with it...”
“Fritz - you're one of my favorites also, even though all you do is make fun of me and whine. ;o)
And besides, Pennsy was just sitting around bored after pumping 15 liters of water and cutting up a third of the forest with his trusty Sven, so we sent him out to bring back Fritz.
Bobo - thanks for reminding me. I knew there was a good reason why I'm so tired today.”
“what a Motley Crew!!!!!!
“Day 2: The inflatable redhead and Pennsy's Korean girlfriend.
Temperatures dropped off during the night, and while I wasn’t exactly uncomfortable in my 40degree bag, but I could feel the chill of the nights air. By morning the air warmed up some, but it was still no where near the temperatures of the day before. Eventually I was able to pull myself from my sleeping bag. Lt and Pennsy were already up and soon we had a fire going. By the time the fire was at a full roar everyone was up and about. We sat by the flames eating breakfast. Once finished we took down camp and made our way toward Slide, the tallest mountain in the Catskills.
On the trail we ran into a group of four guys from NYC that we would cross paths with multiply times along the trail. We checked out a campsite that sat just below the 3500' mark and took some pictures before making the first real uphill of the day. The trail turned steep and rocky for a ways and then leveled of just before it came to a rock ledge. The ledge was fairly easy to climb, as it had plenty of hand and foot holds all the way up. After some more climbing we made it to a spring where we filled our water bottles (and no Pennsy didn't pee in the spring).
From the spring we climbed a few ladders and made our way to the summit. On the summit sat the four guys we had run into earlier. We all sat and ate some lunch. At some point Bobo asked me to get his food bag from his pack. Insert c&p from Fritz's post: "what are you doing with this inflatable doll in here?" A minute or two later, the other group of backpackers (four guys) with whom we shared the summit turned to us and said, "what was that about an inflatable doll? We have too!"
And to prove it, one of them actually pulled out a lifesized inflatable woman from his pack!
Shortly after, they left for parts unknown. After about 5 minutes of silence I had to ask the question that was plaguing our minds, "what were they doing with that thing? I hope it was just a joke."
We all had a good laugh. And continued eating a lunch that Bobo, the trail gourmet, had made; triskit crackers with cheese, sliced cucumber, and smoked salmon. While we were eating we heard and then saw two raptors flying in the sky (a White-tailed Kite
maybe). We watched the birds for a while and then headed down the trail toward Slide Mountain Road.
On the way down we came to a look out that contained a large group of Korean hikers. We stepped out onto the rock to observe the view. One of the Korean women stood next to Bobo, pointed at Pennsy, and motioned for him to stand next to her (I think she liked you) while one of the gentlemen in their group took a picture.
Soon we were back on the trail heading down the mountain. Once we got to Slide Mountain Road, we walked for about a mile up hill along the road, before a trail cut into the woods toward Giant Ledge. Just below Giant Ledge was a spring where we collected water for camp. The trail ramped steeply upward before leveling off at the top. The top was a mile or so long and about 100' to 150' wide with 70'+ high cliffs on either side. The whole area was really cool and we set up camp on top of the ledge. While we were setting up camp Bobo walked into camp with PhantomSoul. We did the typical in camp thing, ate and drank around the campfire while telling stories and bsing. Slowly everyone retired for the night.
Next installment soon to come: Day 3: Is that a slug in your sleeping bag or are you just happy to see me?”
“don't you hate it when you mess up the html code. ”
“Great photos phantom and pennsy.”
“ Day 3: Is that a slug in your sleeping bag or are you just happy to see me?
Once again there was a chill in the air, but not quite as much as the night before. Some time late in the night the wind started to really whip. I thought it was going to blow my tarp away, but it stayed put. I awoke around 6:30am to a steady drizzle coming down. As luck would have it, it soon stopped. Slowly I pulled myself from my sleeping bag when I noticed a gray mass on the bottom of my sleeping bag. Slugs, and no salt to sprinkle on them. I flicked the slugs off my bag and began packing. Fritz, Lt, and Pennsy were already up and ready to go, and waited as I finished packing. Soon we were on the trail heading back to Woodland Valley. The trail was mostly a moderate, but constant slope all the way back to the parking lot. Once there we got in our cars and went our separate ways. Yet another great TT trip.
Thanks LtHiker for organizing such a fun trip, it was great meeting you as well as Fritz and PhantomSoul.
Pennsy and Capn Bobo, it was great hiking with you guys again.
Hope to see some of you on the Dix Range in two weeks.”
“Nice trip report zac! Sorry, I haven't had a chance to look at any pictures yet and I'm still trying to get my pics uploaded.
Almost forgot -- Regarding the Korean woman who summoned Pennsy... Fritz told me on the trail that he understood some Korean language and that what the woman said (These folks spoke no english) was that Pennsy had reminded her of her long lost brother, who had run away to become a Buddhist Monk in the mountain region of Naejangsan, but had died from eating some undercooked fish through improper use of the pepsi-can stove. I know, it's a sad story.”
“I thought she was just after his gear.”
“Lol Bobo, It looked like she wanted to rub Pennsy's head for luck.”
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