Saturday, July 21, 2012

So long, Rothrock.

I thought I'd write a little something as a thank you and a goodbye to Rothrock - the forest that I've fallen in love with over the last two years. Below are some of the most memorable hikes that I've done with commentary taken from the document I use to track my adventures.  

2011.05.05: Alan Seeger - BC and I took the loop and then hiked up the ridge. We climbed the fire tower and it was AMAZING. I tried climbing it on my own and got too nervous; BC came down and helped me and then it was NBD! We were at the highest point around for miles.

2011.05.29: Penn Roosevelt - The trails we took hadn't been used frequently; they looked like deer paths. BC and I guessed that the only time the trails had been hiked is when they were blazed, haha. We climbed a tree to get a better view at one of the lookouts and I got more sunburned. Great hike - very challenging but very awesome. I have never enjoyed sweating so much. LIFE IS GOOD. SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING.

2011.06.02: Tussey Mtn. - 9.5 miles! We tried to do Tussey Mountain Ridge Trail but missed the trail. We ended up walking a long way. We saw some deer and a porcupine family - bats were flying all around us while we walked along the road.

2011.07.31: Alan Seeger - I was so tired on the way up; I had to keep stopping. I didn't see the beehive while climbing the tower but saw it on the way down! It scared the crap out of me! A bee landed on me but I knocked it off and sprinted away before it could sting me. I had a lot of difficulty following Russ tr. and finding Preserve tr. I ended up turning around and following Alan Seeger Rd. Finally I flagged down a passing car and asked if I was headed in the right direction (I was!). 

2011.08.04: Tussey Mtn. - We went on a night-hike on Tussey mtn. ridge trail. It was a gorgeous evening. We saw lots of toads and insects! On the way down there were TONS of blueberries and huckleberries and we got really distracted! After the hike we went to the ag. fields and stargazed. It was absolutely perfect.
2011.09.10: Tussey Mtn. - I thought this was going to be a solo hike but then BL ended up coming along. It was so nice to get out - my mood improved by leaps and bounds. This was the first time I saw Tussey mtn. trail in the daylight - how beautiful! We saw lots of HUGE birds flying over us but we couldn't figure out what kind they were...We got ice cream at the dairy after. 

2011.10.16: Bear Meadows - We wanted to see the last of the Fall colors so we tried to go on a short loop. As always, a short loop turned into a 2.5 hour hike - but it was beautiful! We ended up having to walk along the MST until we got to Fleetfoot. Then we took Bear Gap Rd. all the way back to the car. I'm pretty sure ES and KR were a little disgruntled about how long it took but I had a blast and got a good workout!

2011.12.07: Shingletown Gap - BL and I decided to go on a hike around 8:30pm. It had been snowing the whole evening. Rothrock was breathtaking! We didn't use our headlamps until the descent. It was so, so still and quiet on the way up. We walked to the outlook - and it was incredible. The trees were all white and the sky was a dull gray and the effect was really eerie. We both agreed that it felt like we were on the Wall - from GOT, haha. We hiked to Roman Tower and looked out over Boalsburg - saw Mt. Nittany (obviously, lol) and then went down Downer. It took us a LONG time to go down - it's such a steep, tricky path and with the snow it was treacherous! I fell on my butt a handful of times... my knees hurt a bit but not too terribly. The stream was a LOT more intense than usual so we couldn't cross it at the normal place. Brian crossed via a mossy log but I was too scared. I stood on it for about 2 minutes and TRIED to cross but I couldn't do it - paralyzed by fear. It was right over a little waterfall and the water was rushing beneath me. I ended up going around. Brian and I got separated but eventually we were reunited. GREAT HIKE. I will miss this place with all my heart.

2012.05.10: Bear Meadows - This was absolutely beautiful. A new route for me which was exciting. A bit wet on Bear Meadows loop - but it was fun navigating it. GREAT MORNING (aside from the whole 'locking my keys in the trunk business'!)

2012.05.27: Laurel Run Rd. - The gnats were just terrible. I was very close to turning back when BL suggested I use his head net! IT WAS AMAZING! I have no excuses not to hike because of the bugs now. It was extremely hot and humid on this hike - I'm pretty sure I've never been so sweaty in my life. I was wearing a hat and sweat was dripping off the brim. Owl Gap tr. was a bitch. It was not blazed and we took a wrong turn and ended up on a random and no longer used trail called Bard Tr. (not on Purple Lizard map).

2012.06.20: Shingletown Gap - We wanted to do Sand Spring but couldn't find it... and then we did. It was a completely different trail than we had been hiking for the last year and a half. BC called it a trail 'highway'! I got bitten by a tick!! I tried putting some hand sanitizer on it but BL ended up taking it out with tweezers. It was gross!

2012.06.23: Shingle Path - Another epic hike with BL. This hike took us 3 hours and 51 minutes. However, we stopped countless times to pick blueberries and black raspberries along the way. I used Endomondo to track the route but my GPS turned off at the end of Shingle Path to conserve battery. Wow. Shingle Path was such a bitch. I mean, ok, it wasn't really a trail. I've NEVER been on such a tricky trail. It was very steep and very prickly. I wore shorts which I regretted - my legs ended up getting scratched the whole way. BL and I spent a long time on this short trail because there were so many blueberries and raspberries. And even though it was horrible... it was awesome. When we got to the top of the ridge, we planned to take Filmore down. Instead, because we somehow missed Filmore (I blame all the blueberries), we ended up taking Kettle trail. We walked along Longberger to get back to my car. At some point along that trail, we took a 'road' down to Bear Meadows road. On the drive home I found an inchworm on my leg!

2012.07.21: Bear Meadows: It's been two weeks since I hiked! Yikes! BL and I did Kettle to MST and took that all the way back to Bear Meadows. It was very cool and cloudy - the overlook was incredible as usual... but it was even more amazing because it was so eerie with the mist and clouds. We saw a horse in the woods! Well, I mean, it was tied up and everything. The Amish were picking high-bush blueberries so I guess they had to leave their horse somewhere. BL and I spent a while figuring out all the types of blueberry/huckleberry bushes... lots of grazing on this hike. We got pizza and ice cream afterwards. I felt a little sad on and off... I can't believe I'm leaving in five days. Wow.

I will see you, again, Rothrock.
Much love,