Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trail Collapse in Palisades

This begins the second chapter of my Blog.  The first series of entries are on one long page, (Linked  here) and it's time to begin the next chapter.  My trail now sits almost two hours away, including shuttle time, so anyone wishing to pursue a hike with me is most welcome.  I woke up early on Sunday and hiked with Jeff in NJ as a fathers day outing prior to my essential time with the family.  Jeff is a great guy and recently became interested in hiking and backpacking.  He is ahead of me on his personal Long path adventure and found my blog in his on-going research.  He kindly wrote me as a consequence.  I was honored to walk with him and learned about several previous hikes that challenged him as a person and tested his own tolerance for pain and survival.  On one hike, his hiking partner succumbed to a sudden fear of heights, wandered off trail in search of another way down, and soon became a casualty of misdirection.  This occurred deep in the heart of the Catskills.  He was later found wandering out of the park the next day, shaken, but no worse for wear.  On another backpacking trip to the Adirondacks, Jeff was heavily laden-ed and he slipped during a stream crossing on mossy rocks. He dislocated his elbow in the fall and was in terrible pain.  His two friends carried his pack out while he walked a large distance in the type of personal discomfort that can only be coupled with an injury that requires surgical intervention.   I was most impressed that he went back to both trails that caused the pain and confusion and rehiked them to their logical conclusion.  Like Chris, Jeff is part of the trail conference and maintains a section of trail near the Wanaque reservoir.  I'll close this entry by describing the second most unusual act I ever saw while walking on a trail. During our walk, we came across a dude pretty high up the trail mountain biking the trails. Yes I know what your thinking, that is a common sight. But here what struck me as unusual was this guy was riding a unicyle. Yes, that's right, a unicycle - a one wheeled bike with knobby tire.  I noticed he had recently crashed.  Probably more than once in fact. His knees were lightly bloodied and his shirt stained on the upper back from a blunt fall. We came across him while he was nursing his wounds.  He may have been crazy, talented, or (most likely) he simply has a bit of both attributes. God bless him as I personally admire the eccentrics among us.  Before I end this you may have been wondering about the most unusual act I ever saw on a trail (yeah - I alluded to it didn't I). Since this blog is being written for polite company only, let me best describe it as the unfortunate discovery of a pair of lesbians set in a compromised position. I recall thinking "live and let live" as a philosophy while remembering to add "excuse me" as a practical comment.

Collapse caused Seismic event
Here is shown a section of the Palisades Long Path in Alpine NJ that collapsed on May 12 and cause a shutdown of the trails here.  I recall standing on top there a few months back wondering if I were in danger of a collapse.  I'll never doubt my intuition again. The slide was huge and even cause a seismic event, picked up by the local earthquake center a few miles away.

Link to Next Blog Entry


  1. wow, good stuff. that rockslide must have been loud!
    I'm sure the surrounding landscape was cropdusted with airborne debris. Thankfully no one was up top at the time.

  2. Thanks - Your 100% right, all the local trees were covered in fine rock dust, aka "cropdusted"