Summer vacation has officially started and I've been enjoying my free time. On Friday, my uncle and I headed down to the Catskills to tackle a few more on the Catskills 3500 list. Initially we were going to do Bearpen and Vly but we couldn't find a map with those mountains so we decided to go to Peekamoose and Table. We left my uncles house at 7:30 and made it to the trailhead at 9:30. (I drove otherwise it might have taken longer) We were the first ones to sign in for the day. I had left Marcy at home since my uncle is a lot more lenient with his dogs running in the woods. (I prefer Marcy stays on the trail) we were laced up and on the trail by 9:45.
Like most of the catskill hikes I've done, it starts ascending immediately. Its a nice trail, with lots of chipmunks that the dogs loved chasing. Around the two hour point we reached the balancing rock. We tried to push it down the hill, but failed. Shortly after we reached a great lookout. Since there is no view on the summit we sat there for a bit enjoying the view.
We reached the summit around noon, which was perfect timing to eat. We lounged for a while, enjoying the summit to ourselves. Unlike (most) Adirondack hikes, there were no bench markers or mountain identifiers at the top. Had my uncle not told me, I would have kept going. There is a massive boulder, that I did climb up so that I could be sure that I officially reached the summit.
|view from the top of the boulder|
|the view down looks a lot farther than it actually is|
We left around 12:45 to head on over to Table Mountain. It was just a little over a mile before we found ourselves at a cairn and the summit. Again, no benchmarks or signage. If I ever get around to becoming a girl scout troop leader, this will be a gold award project for my girls. (if the club/ state allows it of course)
We didn't hang out for too long since it was completed wooded. But enjoyed a bit of water and then began the 4.5 mile walk back to the car. After we left Peekamoose for the second time, we ran into our first fellow hiker. He wasn't sure if he'd have enough time to summit both, it was not yet 2 so I gave him an idea of how long it had taken us. Being nearly summer solstice, I though he'd have enough time, but don't know what he decided. Shortly after we ran into our second solo hiker, we chatted very briefly before moving along. The third & forth were planning on camping on the other side of Table (along with a beautiful dog - I was sad that I left Marcy at home) The fifth and sixth were a cute couple with a small boston terrier. I was't surprised to notice that the man had taken off his shoes because they did not look ideal for hiking. By then we were back at the balancing rock, and my uncle and I sat and relaxed and chatted.
My favorite people that we ran in were the last couple - the woman was wearing what I would consider sneaker flats. By now it was 3:30 They were roughly one mile in (of 3.5 total to the summit of peekamoose) and were asking us how far to the top. My uncle strongly encouraged them to stop at the balancing rock. We did let them know that there was no view from the top and said that any lookout that they find will be a better alternative. I'm not generally one to impose advice on others, I like to assume that people are well prepared for the challenges that they take on, but I didn't quite get that vibe from these folks. Regardless I hope they enjoyed their day as much as I did and were able to make their way out of the woods safely.
I keep hoping that I'll love the Catskills as I do the Adirondacks, but I have to accept that my love for the Catskills will simply be different. I am excited for the journey and to challenge myself with each mountain that I climb.
Trailhead: Peekamoose Road
Mountains: Peekamoose Ranked 11th (3,843)
Table Mountain 10th (3,847)
Mileage: 8.6 Miles
Time: 6.5 hours including breaks
Gear used: 72 oz of water (hydroflask 40 nalgene 32) Asolos, Smarwool Socks (new thin and awesome) Deuter Pack, ems pants