The Adventures of Frank & Stein Part I

July 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Every year is an anniversary of “The Adventures of Frank & Stein” played by myself as Stein, and a college friend and roommate Frank Falcione. The name really has to be credited to Thomas Dudek, another college friend. Tom was a somewhat streetwise Philadelphia fanatic that played a great game of pool, and lived in the same student housing slum as both Frank and I. We were in the same small Engineering Science department at Penn State, and we spent a lot of time together in class, at the Rathskeller shooting pool, at The Hub shooting pool, and drinking lots of beer. Somewhere along the line in this friendship Tom gave me the nickname Stein. Pretty soon that was how my circle of friends knew me. Very much the same way that I am known today amongst my cycling contingent as Bird (yes, it is short for Big Bird). I don’t really recall how Tom came up with stein. It was not like we were all looking for nicknames. We weren’t sitting around drinking and smoking dope thinking out loud “We should all have some nicknames….Eric you be stein”. Suddenly it was there, and that was who I was. So the following (and subsequent posts) is a recollection of an adventure that was hatched by me, and drew in Frank so that by the time we left for this adventure it was already being called “Frank & Stein’s Big Adventure” or something like that. “What route are you taking?” “It’ll be the Frank & Stein route.” “What the hell is the Frank & Stein Route?” “It will be the route that we travel, where ever that takes us.” Mostly it should end up being a tale of friendship, and the people we meet along the way. What are stories, but the recollection of past events shared with friends? So here is the recollection of one of my major past events.

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NJ AT Sectional Hike #3 – Culver’s Gap to High Point State Park

June 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

June 28, 2015

It’s been a month since our last hike (4 weeks technically), my oral surgery is still in recovery mode, but I am under no restrictions other than I am still on a soft food diet. Our plans of camping Saturday night, so that we could observe the Sunrise from Sunrise Mountain, were thoroughly washed away by a near tropical storm that came through late Saturday.

Getting Started Culver's Gap

Getting Started Culver’s Gap

I awoke in a daze. I had fallen asleep in the chair I had last been sitting in watching another episode of The IT Crowd. (Episodes on Netflix!) I hadn’t done anything to prepare for my hike and I needed to get some bed rest before awaking for real at 4:30. I did take some time to put a lunch together and then retired to my bedroom. I wanted to get to bed, so I figured I would just put everything together in the morning and I crawled into bed.

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NJ AT Sectional Hike #2 – Mohican Outdoor Center to Culver’s Gap

June 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

June 1, 2015

As is the custom with these sectional day hikes, I don’t exactly get myself fully together until the last moments the night prior, and then I don’t sleep well to boot. Last Saturday night was no different. On the plus side, at least I had managed to get everything together and ready to go, so there was nothing to do in the morning except drag myself out of the sack and get to the car. Negatives? Sleeping, or lack of it. Thoughts of what I was forgetting, or sleeping through the alarm raced through my mind all the while, side thoughts of “I am not asleep yet” percolate occasionally to the head of my consciousness issues queue.

Stupid issues were keeping me awake as well. It’s warmer weather now, so I wasn’t planning on long hiking pants, however, I don’t really own a pair of short hiking pants. I have shorts, but they are all cotton and even though rain was also forecast, no one wants to sweat-wet cotton shorts and wear them all day. So all I had were some pocket-less gym-style shorts which being pocket-less meant that it wouldn’t be easy to access my iPhone for picture taking, and now that I had spent some cash on a Pic Stick, a phone case with a tripod adapter, and a remote shutter release, I had been planning some hiking selfies! Jeopardy! Then I remembered that I had purchased a waterproof pouch, for my backpacking trip in Utah last year which could attach to my shoulder strap, except I didn’t have the slightest idea where it was, and I certainly wasn’t going to find it at 4:30 in the AM. THAT, and whether I should wear compression calf covers during the hike because I was reasonably certain of sore lower legs in the days after the hike if I failed to do something about it. So, little sleep was achieved.

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Sufferfest 2015

January 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

“Can we go home now?” It was a question on everyone’s mind at that moment. Out of the 7 of us, only myself and two others decided to do the final steep leg killer climb up Takalousa in Holmdel. What was cruel, was I had taken them up the long 3 tiered Telegraph Hill Road climb within sight of the top where my pre-programmed route was to hang a left and descend through a neighborhood cut through to get to the base of Takalousa. By this point we had close to 4000 vertical feet of elevation in our legs, and we had been on our bikes for nearly 6 hours.

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High Uintas Wilderness – Day 7 – Final Day

November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment


The Hike Out….

Our last morning began with the usual queuing for the cat-hole trowel. I was first (as was getting to be normal) and afterwards I grabbed my fly rod and headed down to the pond for one last native trout fishing experience. Forgotten was it that my one week license was purchased through Friday, and that technically I would be fishing illegally, but as they say, ignorance is in fact bliss. I fished the edge for a while until Larry abandoned The Point and then I took up his former location as this was a prime location. I was still fishing the dry cadis, but the morning felt different and I was pretty sure I had the wrong fly. A few casts, and I was about time to hang it up, when a fish took my fly and I managed to set the hook in time. It would be fair to note here that it took me more than a few tries the previous evening to get the hang of “setting the hook”. I could feel immediately that this was no small fry, so I pulled him in and as it turned out he was just barely legal. I was fishing for fun, so catch and release was the name of the game, and after Larry helped me extract the hook, I placed him back in the water and off it swam.

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The fire ring, my poles, no one else, just me. The sun on the young Aspens, they will not survive, the Beaver will make a snack of them soon one day.

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High Uintas Wilderness – Day 6 – Fishing with Andy

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

To the beaver ponds.

My initial focus this morning was what I could see. Facing south because I like to sleep on my right side, my view was open as that was the direction I had set my Tyvek shelter the previous night. In those first moments of consciousness I couldn’t help notice the clouds; The dark clouds; While coming into focus they appeared to be coming our way up the basin. “Rohr Oh” were the only words I could mutter and I jumped out of my sleeping bag with definite purpose. If a storm was coming, then I needed to re-orient my shelter away from the wind. I quickly stiffed my bag, and rolled up my sleeping pad. I decided to take another look. Maybe the clouds weren’t heading right for us. Maybe they were moving right to left across my field of view. Maybe I jumped to the wrong initial conclusion.

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HDR shot in the early morning. Though ominous looking they looked worse when I first awoke.

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High Uintas Wilderness – Day 5 – And it was only 4 miles

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bluebell Pass

The day would prove to be a lot more challenging than the 4-ish miles we calculated we had to travel. On paper it seemed like it might be an easy day. Eighth mile return to the H55 trail, and then 3.5 miles to and over Bluebell. We had studied the lake documentation and we decided to camp on X25, one of the unnamed lakes without camping restrictions, and we hoped some native cut-throat trout. :)

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First one up and went for an 8 shot panorama where clearly the exposure changes dramatically from East to West this time of day.

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