Highlands Trail #7: Buckabear

~5 hours, ~5 miles, lightly strenuous

Hike #7: Trekking between waters

 Definite bear den. You just know it sometimes.

Definite bear den. You just know it sometimes.

Great parking lot, one of the best I've experienced.  Super easy to find. Right off the highway, route 23 and Canistear Road. Unfortunately, nearest Lyft driver was 25 minutes away. Ordered it, then checked the app after ten minutes and saw he hadn't made it any closer. I called him and he proceeds to tell me that he was actually on an Uber run and got confused. So, I had to order another Lyft. All in all it took me 35 mins to get a Lyft. You have to roll with these types of punches on the highlands endeavor. An endeavor implies hardship along the way. This endeavor is no different.

 turning off route 23 to the parking lot

turning off route 23 to the parking lot

 like I said, so abundantly amazing, this parking lot

like I said, so abundantly amazing, this parking lot

Another hardship is the cost of the ride. It was $18 to go from the parking lot to the starting point at parking lot #4 on Clinton Road, right near Cedar Pond. The bebop playing on the car radio during the ride somewhat eased the pain of the expense.

This time we go northwest on the highlands trail. You are starting on the other side of Clinton Road now.

At some point (you'll figure it out), you will turn left to the south to take highlands and yellow trails.

 teal for highlands, yellow for yellow

teal for highlands, yellow for yellow

 here's that left I mentioned or at least  A  left

here's that left I mentioned or at least A left

Hot damn, you'll arrive on a fantastic ridge overlook of the north end of Buckabear Pond. It is a splendid place to rest and get your bearings. Marvel at this massive boulder that was ripped out of a mountain by a glacier 10,000 years ago.

 making it clear where Buckabear Pond is

making it clear where Buckabear Pond is

 making it clear again where Buckabear Pond is

making it clear again where Buckabear Pond is

 what a rock

what a rock

Follow the trail south, come down the ridge, and follow along the pond.

 tree hugging in public, a very friendly pine

tree hugging in public, a very friendly pine

Still heading south, Buckabear Pond feeds into Clinton Reservoir. 

Close to the southwest corner of the reservoir, you are going to hang a right turn and head to your third body of water, Dunker Pond. From time to time, you will cross over and along old stone retaining walls or walls that demarcated separate properties/farms. Imagine the farmers tending to their crops, living by the light of the moon and the sun, struggling to survive, then popping on down to Dunker's Pond for a little skinny dipping and/or jet skiing and/or deep fried turkey on pontoons. 

 See? Right turn, just like I said.

See? Right turn, just like I said.

 Retaining walls. Say it. Retaining walls.

Retaining walls. Say it. Retaining walls.

While at Dunker Pond, stop under this tree and have a bite and have a rest. You'll need to muster up some strength for the final ascent and descent. 

 You know the drill. Avocado and cheese sandwich. Toasted whole wheat bread in your face. Where you think I'm looking? Look below.

You know the drill. Avocado and cheese sandwich. Toasted whole wheat bread in your face. Where you think I'm looking? Look below.

 That's where I'm looking

That's where I'm looking

 I'm telling you that I know, deep in my soul, that there were bears in these caves. I just know it.

I'm telling you that I know, deep in my soul, that there were bears in these caves. I just know it.

 Show no mercy, sensei.

Show no mercy, sensei.

Now climb that shit. Great little baby mountain for you to scale. Slogging my way through it, cursing it, I realized I had no way to curse it by name. It was unnamed. So, of course, I named it. Mount Maxwell, after me and my middle name. $100,000 for a year sponsorship and I will rename it after you or your company. Will also produce a separate Mount [your name} event for extra $25,000.

Keep taking this puppy to the top, then drop down the other side to your car, which is waiting for you on the other side of the train tracks.

 You're right, that's Route 23

You're right, that's Route 23

 American industrial might

American industrial might

Open up your car trunk.

Pop a bottle of wine open. Have a glass. Raise your glass to Route 23 and all the suckas coming home from work. 

Play this loudly while you drink:

 

Use NY/NJ trail conference map #116.