Flow State: Great Piece Meadows Paddle

The waiting is the hardest part.

On Saturday morning, eight of us met behind a deli in the Pio Costa industrial park in Fairfield to canoe the Passaic River where it traverses the Great Piece Meadows. We’d hustled canoes down to the river bank and loaded our gear. Now three of us were waiting for the others to spot cars at the takeout twelve miles downriver.

egret in Great Piece Meadows

If you live in northern New Jersey, it’s almost certain that you’ve driven on Interstate 80. And you’ve probably traversed a seven-mile stretch of I-80 that cuts through the Great Piece Meadows.

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Wildcat Ridge: Dryland Season Comes Early

With freezing rain forecast for Sunday in southern Vermont, I decided to catch up on sleep and stay local. I don’t mind skiing in that stuff, but I’d prefer not to drive in it. After a leisurely breakfast, I set out for a run in Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Rockaway, NJ.

wildcat ridge boulders

Wildcat Ridge covers about 3700 acres. With the nearby Mt Hope Park, Picatinny Arsenal, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, and the Rockaway Valley WMA, you’re looking at around 17,000 contiguous acres of open land. Compared to New York’s big parks, that’s a drop in a bucket, but there are plenty of opportunities to run, mountain bike, and, at times, in the winter, you can even ski. If you’re ambitious,  you can go off trail to look for signs of the old ski jump at Lake Telemark.

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Jonas: Know When To Hold Em

I was in denial last week. As always I followed the weather closely and I knew the storm was coming. But as late as Wednesday I was holding out hope that storm would track west and deliver the goods to the mountains. Heaven knows we need it.

fat-bike

But as the week wore on, the forecast pushed the storm track even farther south and east, and by Friday even the Catskills were getting skunked.

Still, foolishly I clung to my plan: I’d stay home Saturday, weather the storm and if the power stayed on, I get up even earlier than usual, shovel out, and daytrip Plattekill.

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