Ascent to Hiking East on the FLT on 2012-04-29

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:alone
Date:Sunday, April 29, 2012
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Place:Hiking East on the FLT
    Elevation:649 m / 2130 ft

Ascent Trip Report

This was my first hike in what I'm calling the Western portion of the State. Travel distance and time is now ever increasing This hike was 87.8 miles away so I am looking more towards weekends and the summer vacation time when Chris can be there for the kids.
I'm also considering overnighters with back to back hiking days, to cover more ground (we'll see).
Up at 6:30 this Sunday, with a planned meet with Bob Dickey, my car spotter, for 9:15.
On the road at 6:53, car was gassed up but I needed to make a quick stop at the bank (ATM) and then Dunkin' D for breakfast.
Everything accomplished and I was on the Highway at 7:10.
At 8:00 I hit Corning and at 8:21 I took a driving break to locate "the facilities". My hope was to get to the meeting spot early enough to get all the prep complete before Bob arrived. At 8:54 I reached the meeting area, I was ready by 9:05. Bob showed up soon after and we were quickly off, headed for the trailhead. Our conversation was mostly about our health, and also about the trail and what I might expect to find. At 9:34 Bob dropped me off and as he pulled away I wished I had taken his picture.
I got the GPS out and while it was searching for satellites I snapped a picture of the trail sign, BELTZ RD. I was soon on my way.
At 10:17 I took a break to remove my windbreaker, gloves and wool hat. Time for the old hiking hat. About 15 minutes later I was at a high point having gained 580'.
The cool air, kept me from being hungry or thirsty. First I was on a road, then in the woods after gaining most of that elevation I came out on a farm road and walked that over the first of several hills. After losing some elevation, some pine forests, streams and a few roads, I gained another 310' and met a skunk searching for lunch. He reminded me that I had already seen a raccoon and a large turkey earlier on this day. Soon after, I realized it was noon and decided to take a short sit-down break while I was back on a road section of the hike. I was 4.2 miles into the hike. Continuing the road went down and after .7 miles back into the woods continuing downhill I finally had to get the hiking poles out.
At 2:00 I needed another break. I needed to cat hole, drink, and consume a second nut bar. The map had me at 7.1 miles into the hike. After a couple of short road crossings, I have again gained another 580'. I enter a red pine plantation. As I look forward to search for blazes I see this eerie swaying and movement all around me. The trees are about 8" in diameter and their lower branches have died back from lack of sun while the tree tops are green but form a blanket 60 feet over my head. The shadows and light are dancing all over with the strong movements from the winds high above me. It's hard to describe and I can't recall ever seeing a forest dance and move the way this one did. This plantation was the beginning of a short State Forest (Burt Hill S. F. with a lean-to) After the State Forest its back to the road and this time the elevation goes up to 2130' a gain of 370'. From this hill top I am in the middle of a Wind Turbine Plantation. There are 25 Turbines and at one point I can see 23 of them as I turned 360 degrees. The last two were hidden by a stand of trees to the North. The trail drops from here almost 600' most of it road some of it woods. Then after Stephens Gulch Road I'm going up again for a 260' gain.
The last two miles of this hike was fairly level but had lots of twists, ditches, plowed fields, woods and the sound of a turbine blade whooshing behind me. The final .3 miles of road back to the car, I believe, were listed as part of the FLT miles back in 2003 when I was last in this area. I arrived at the car just after 6:00PM.
I did stop in Bath for a Sub Sandwich which I ate in the car. I was home somewhere around 8:10. By that time of the day I was no longer looking closely at any kind of timepiece.
Stats: 2100' elevation gained, 13.3 miles hiked with 13.0 miles of FLT covered.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:640 m / 2100 ft
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Porters
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
40's and 50's Clear and Sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:640 m / 2100 ft
    Extra Loss:368 m / 1210 ft
    Distance:20.9 km / 13 mi
    Trailhead:Access #3 Beltz Road  377 m / 1240 ft
Descent Statistics
    Trailhead:Access #9 HughesRoad  

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