Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Indian Trail at Big Pocono State Park

Monday, November 24th, 2008

On Saturday, Sarah and I hiked at Big Pocono State Park. It was cold, with the high temperature for the day in the 20s, and quite windy — with gusts to about 30 mph. We felt every bit of it, too, as the park is at the very top of Camelback Mountain, and that is where we parked, completely exposed at around 2100 feet. The wind was so strong that it kept blowing the trunk closed as we tried to get ready for our hike. The road going to the trailhead was closed, so we parked in the main lot, I snapped a few photos of the views, and we started our hike.

panorama4
Panoramic view to the north

panorama3
View to the south

DSC_0165
The Delaware Water Gap is visible in the distance

This hike was also a gear test for my new GPS. I had one previously, but at some point it stopped working, and it never worked very well on my bicycle. The new GPS, a Garmin eTrex Venture, worked incredibly well. It gets a much stronger signal and seems to be more accurate than my old GPS. This will allow me to do some cool things like geotagging my photos, and posting maps of our activities. For example, see this hike on motionbased.com, or this interactive Google map:

View Larger Map

I have a lot to learn about that stuff, but I think it will make for some interesting ways of presenting photos combined with maps. Another fun way to look at it is in Google Earth. Here’s an example.


Google Earth view

Since this hike starts at the top of the mountain, there’s nowhere to go but down. It started with a smooth, gradual hike down the side of the mountain, and once we got away from the mountaintop and into the woods, we weren’t as exposed to the wind. Eventually we warmed up from the physical activity, but for the first 15 minutes or so we were quite cold.

DSC_0167
Easy hiking through birch trees

DSC_0182
You can see how cold Sarah felt

DSC_0194
Snowy moss

DSC_0199
Me

DSC_0203
Sky

The trail got perpetually rockier as we hiked. After a while, we reached the edge of a cliff, which the trail followed, quite close to the edge. This afforded us some great views of Tannersville below us in a large valley, with the Delaware Water Gap and New Jersey in the distance.

DSC_0219
Rocky trail

panorama2
Panoramic view — worth viewing large

DSC_0228
Unidentified building

DSC_0245
Big rocks, part of the trail

DSC_0276
Delaware Water Gap

DSC_0283
Sarah

DSC_0284
Precipitous trail

The trail turned back away from the edge, and now it was time for some climbing. The rock-to-trail quotient increased further. It was slow going, but we were having a lot of fun. The sun was getting low in the sky, the trees throwing long shadows, and we enjoyed the quiet and beautiful hike back up the mountain.

DSC_0288
Hiking into the sun

DSC_0295
The trail climbed this rock wall. If you look closely you can see an orange blaze on a rock.

DSC_0298
More rocks

We reached the connector trail that went back to the car, but we hadn’t had enough. We looked at the map and figured out a way to extend our hike by about another mile. It looked like it would be mostly flat, but there was still significant climbing ahead of us. In a way this was preferable as the more we climbed, the warmer we felt. And as the sun followed its downward trajectory the sky took on new hues.

DSC_0301
Climbing

DSC_0308
Looking back at Sarah, and the elevation we’d gained

We reached a power line right-of-way, and peering down we had a great view of the valley below us to the south. There was a small lake that appears to have been Mountain Spring Lake, and another, Trout Lake, behind it, and the whole scene was illuminated by nearly-sidewise rays of sunlight. I fought my way through a bush to get a good shot.

DSC_0319
Looking toward Mountain Spring Lake

A short while later I discovered that my efforts to find this clear view were not necessary. We found a vista, complete with a rock on which to sit, or stand. I stood atop this rock and gazed down on the land below, the lakes, the Delaware Water Gap in the distance, and who knows what, beyond that. I watched as the clouds caught the sunlight and refracted it erratically. I took a deep breath, drinking in this crisp mountain air, and held my wife close to me. It doesn’t get any better than this, peering out over the land in our new home, with my beautiful wife. When we lived in Indiana, we grew to feel a sense of ownership of the land. We were familiar with every twist and turn of many roads, the topography of the land, and many of the sights and sounds. I knew, standing here, that soon we’d feel the same way about this place. But more importantly, that we would discover this new land together.

DSC_0337
Taking in the view

panorama1
Panoramic image of the view (view large)

DSC_0343
An even better view, if you ask me

We had a little hiking left, but we were almost back. It wasn’t the longest hike we’ve done, or easiest, or the most challenging, but it was quite beautiful, and even more memorable.

DSC_0349
Sunlight

DSC_0354
Solitary tree

panorama5
Back in the parking lot; one last look to the north before heading out

DSC_0368
Sarah again. If she ever runs for office, maybe she can use this shot.

8 Responses to “Indian Trail at Big Pocono State Park”

  1. Myles/ rattrappress Says:

    Beautiful! How far is that from your new home town?

  2. Apertome Says:

    It’s a little over an hour’s drive, or about 50 miles.

  3. Eric Says:

    I love the distance views! I’m looking forward to seeing how you figure out to combine your GPS maps and photos. I haven’t found a good way, really.

  4. Doug Says:

    Looks like a beautiful park with all the great views. Cool shot of Delaware Water Gap. Brought back some memories of our AT thru-hike back in 2001. We had a very nice stay at a church run hiker hostel in the Delaware Water Gap.

  5. furiousball Says:

    sweet! love the panoramic shots… and maps! i love maps.

  6. Tim Says:

    Great entry. Great pics and I’m interested to see who you use the new GPS. Very cool stuff.

  7. Mike Says:

    Have been stopping by from time to time. Just gotta say I think your photos are wonderful. They always make me want to hit the trail. Keep up the good postings.

  8. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Deep Lake, Wolf Swamp, Sand Spring Says:

    […] and I hiked in State Game Lands 38, which is adjacent to Big Pocono State Park (where we’ve hiked before). I’m going to keep the commentary brief this time around, but suffice it to say that it was […]

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).