"Stashes"

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  1. #1

    "Stashes"

    With regard to hiking trails, I am coming to the same mindset that skiers have about "stashes." I have had a delightful time this year "discovering" wilderness areas in New England that aren't marked, may or may not be mapped and most certainly don't have any posts or guidebooks written about. Being one who enjoys wilderness environments, I am loathe to post any information about them in a public forum or publication. Thus, these are my "stashes."

    I used to achieve the wilderness escape goal by hiking many of miles in from a road, so as to shed myself from "crowds." But in my advanced age, with less stamina than before, I began to seek out the lesser-known, unpublicized, un-organized or not obvious areas. They tend not to be peaks, it's kind of hard to hide a mountain peak. They tend to be known by locals and a few others, but that's about it. On most of my treks, I can go the entire day without seeing another soul, reach a ledge, a pond, swimming hole or other destination.

    Publicity and convenience kills the attraction of trail for me. For instance, a wonderful path suitable for a ten-mile bike traverse served me well for the last few years. I'd see more wildlife than people. Well, it's now been found out, and very well-marked. Last time I went, it was my last time - there were dozens of folks, small and large, young and old, even a stroller, yes, a baby stroller on the trail. That's also one of the reasons I avoided the White Mountain high peaks - I'd find a veritable party going on top, including boom boxes and beer.



    I'm not criticizing those who gravitate towards these trails or even marking them. There is something for everyone. Most folks don't have the time or inclination to figure things out for themselves and appreciate the security of a well-marked and described trail. I am saying that for me, who has a very basic need for an entirely back to nature experience, there are trail stashes to be had. As crowded as the northeast is, there are still plenty of places to retreat to and recharge, without becoming a full blown A/T trekker.

    While I've been hiking for 35 years, I'm finding more and different enjoyment today in backwoods experience as I learn to slow down and look for the local stuff. It's one step shy of bush-wacking or orienteering and makes for very enjoyable day-tripping. It does however take a lot of advance planning.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  2. #2
    We all hike our own hike & that's the best part, some bushwhack (I'd say if you are bushwhacking to a peak on the NE 100 or on the Cat or ADK list that what you are doing is less traveled then that kind of bushwhack.) some just walk in the woods.

    Some of the old trails can still be folllowed & a Wednesday afterfoon in April or late November early December can be walked on most trails without seeing a soul. .
    Happy Trails, be safe & Good Luck
    Mike P.

  3. #3
    bigbog's Avatar
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    ...Nicely put!...

    Well put billski.... and bless us the health of our urban centers as well...so that millions can stay there...and on occasion, we'll have fun times there as well....

    Brotha Bigbog

  4. #4
    Jonni's Avatar
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    I hear ya Bill and Mike. We do all hike our own hike and that's what makes it fun for all of us. Right now being only 22 and having only actively hiked for the past three years or so I really don't have any "stashes" that I know of. I'm mostly looking to get some hiking experience under my belt with hiking all the NH 4Kers. Hopefully once I have that achievement I will most definitely begin to find some of the more trails less traveled.
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    Curved Ski Poles n. 1. Expert skier's poles bent at the factory to fit around the body and thus improve control and reduce air resistence. 2. Beginner's poles bent during use to fit around trees, trail signs, snowmaking equipment, lift towers, and other skiers.

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  5. #5

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    Yes and no.

    Crowds, especially the baby stroller or mis-behaving, screaming 5 year old type, can be maddening if what one seeks is "wilderness" solitude.

    On the other hand, my understanding of trail building is exactly to "concentrate" the human impact to limited trails so to minimize impact to the wilderness. If everyone branch out on their own, there will soon be no wilderness AT ALL, just a lot of un-maintained parks.

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