Highlands Trail, Hike #3: Windbeam Mountain

~6 miles, ~6 hours (give or take), Grueling

 this shiznits is for realz

this shiznits is for realz

Go to West Brook road and Townsend Road. 

Park your car here. Order your Lyft, which you should have ordered ten minutes before you arrived, so you minimized your wait time.

You're starting at 99 Lake Riconda Drive. You'll remember this serene, family-oriented lake. This is not for you, these dreams of suburban utopia. You must head into the woods.

 Lake Riconda kickoff

Lake Riconda kickoff

Follow the white trail to get to the Highlands Trail. You'll have to re-scale Harrison Mountain to do this. You need the exercise, so don't complain. Think of it as a warm up. Plus, you get to see the power lines up close again.

 see that blaze on the pole behind you? yeah, that one.

see that blaze on the pole behind you? yeah, that one.

On Harrison Mountain, take the Highlands Trail headed south. It will take you a while, but you'll eventually be walking along the reservoir.

 artistic rendering of trail along the reservoir

artistic rendering of trail along the reservoir

Then you'll get to the street and will need to cross it.

When you get to the other side, reconnect with your Highlands trail here.

Ever see a river flow under ice? I didn't. Until today!

Keep going. It will probably take a few hours to get to your second mountain, which is really the first, as far as I'm concerned. You don't get credit for climbing Harrison Mountain again. Anyway, you will arrive at the foot of Board Mountain. This is what it looks like. Take a break. Have a snack and hydrate. Then find your courage and go!

This is what it looks like when you kick a mountain's ass. Give big ups to that mountain and show mad respect. And, for god's sake, tuck your back pocket in.

This is Bear Mountain from Board Mountain. You will be going there soon. Don't get scared.

On the way to Bear.

There are deer here. Tread lightly.

Shout out to Sandy for excellent cheese and avocado sandwich which I consumed on Bear Mountain.

I'm not going to belabor the point. This is an endurance festival. Smile. It makes it feel better. And stop periodically for water and a snackie poo. 

On top of Windbeam Mountain. Trifecta, biatch.

on windbeam.JPG

Pain may be setting in. Perhaps you are seeing an oasis in the Jersey valley. A hot tub perhaps. With a glass of Barolo. Or whatever people drink in hot tubs. But don't mess this up, you must stay focused. Windbeam is long. The descent is multiple ups and downs: a nasty trick to get you to let up and get excited. Don't do it. Stay goddamn focused, goddamn it. Smack yourself in the face a few times.

Somewhere along the way you'll see an American flag. That means you should stop for a moment and say the pledge. Do it. 

After you are done with Windbeam Mountain, you have Little Windbeam, which I'm also not going to count (remember: I did not count your second ascent of Harrison Mountain, sucka), since it has the word Little in its name.  

 one of the later blazes before you finish this hike

one of the later blazes before you finish this hike

Take your time and come down the mountain into society again. Get on the street.  Head back to your car.

 this is my car

this is my car

Pull out your flask. Drink some whisky. You personify outdoors(man)(woman). 

Complement this reading with trail map #115 from the NY/NJ trail conference.