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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Seward Range Traverse

Saturday, I put the “labor” in Labor Day weekend by tackling the Seward Range to nab Seymour, Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons. I now have six more peaks left to finish the New England 115. This was one of the toughest hikes I’ve done because of the terrain, excessive mud, distance and elevation gain (22mi and 6450' gain). I started at 8am and got out of the woods barefoot (long story) at 10pm. I met some cool people along the trail and spooked a bear. All in all, it was much worth it! 


Pack Demonstration Forest - Virgin Eastern White Pine-Hemlock

Today, I took a trip to Pack Demonstration Forest in Warrensburg, NY on my way back from bagging peaks in the Adirondacks. After seeing Elders Grove in Brighton - a naturally occurring even-aged forest resulting from a microburst - it was great to see an uneven-aged stand with similarly aged 300-400 year old eastern white pine and hemlock. Although there were giants on the perimeter and throughout the property, they had lower epicormic branching. I knew I had entered virgin forest when I came across these 150’+ trees with little to no lower branches. The site had snapped trees, nurse logs, an abundance of fungi, and tip-up mounds typical of old growth woods. Very few eastern white pine stands like this exist in the world as they were highly sought after for ship masts among other uses. Tomorrow, I hunt for the oldest hardwood trees in North America - the blackgum - in southern New Hampshire’s perched wetlands.