Tunxis Trail Overnight, Great until I saw my car

8:55 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Saturday morning I dropped my vehicle at a northern trailhead and had my wife drive me back south and drop me off at the southern Ratlum Rd trailhead. The wife dropped me and Juno (siberian husky) off and took a photo of us before we departed. trailheadpic.jpg We hit the trail at 0920. It was a chilly morning at 37 degrees, but nice and sunny. The trail started off at about 600 ft and we immediately climbed to the height of the ridge at about 1400ft. When we got to the top of the ridge we signed in at the little brook trail register and set off northbound. The plan for the day was to hike about 10.5 miles north to the Roaring brook camp area, and then on Sunday to hike up to the summit of Pine Mountain to the ledges for the sunrise and then hike about 3.5 miles to my vehicle.After gaining the height of land the hike was overall fairly easy for the first 3-4 miles. A few short steep sections, but generally fairly flat. The fall foilage was amazing. a lot of the trees have already dropped their leaves so for the first 3-4 miles I had almost continuous views to the west of Lake Mcdonough and the Barkhamsted Resivour. BarkhamstedRes.jpg We stopped for a rest break at a vista at 1,391ft. Juno was looking tired, so I fixed up a soup, and fed her a handfull of treats which she loved of course! restbreak.jpg After our 30 minute rest stop we hit the trail again and made it to the northern Ratlum Rd crossing at about 1200, about the 6 mile mark. As I was crossing the road a DEP ranger was driving by and stopped to see how I was doing. We talked for about 10 minutes about trail conditions etc and then we continued on. After another 1.5 miles I made it to the Hwy 219 crossing. I had to wait about 10 minutes for a break in the traffic before we could cross.After crossing we began an almost steady uphill climb for the next mile or so until we reached the rocky sections leading up to the Indian council caves. trail.jpg Several of the rock sections of the trail were quite wet and slick with moss. I had to take the descents very slowly to not loose my footing with a crazy husky pulling at the leash.I could see a large family up ahead at the caves with quite a few unleashed dogs running around so I decided to avoid the hassle of the dogs jumping all over me and Juno freaking out, and I took a bushwhack of about .5 miles to the northeast and regained the trail slightly past the caves.We continued on towards our campsite at Roaring Brook and just before we arrived we encountered two turkey hunters heading out of the woods. I stopped and chatted with the two older gentlemen for a few minutes. They told me of a black bear and cubs in the area that they had seen a couple hours earlier near the brook.We continued on and set up camp off to the side of the brook a little ways. The brook wasn't roaring, but looked very nice none the less. brook.jpgmeta2.jpg Settled in for the evening and started a little fire in the fire ring, and made some MH lasanga with meat sauce for dinner. It was the first time I had that one, pretty good I must say. Though, the cheese makes a mess of a spoon but isn't too hard to clean off.Juno settling down. campjuno.jpg Stayed up with the fire until about 8pm and then we turned in for the night. I was awoken at around 11pm by Juno growling out the side of the tent. I grabbed my headlamp and lit up the area to see the Momma bear and cub investigating my bearbag about 300ft or so from my tent. They left about 20 minutes later and Juno settled down and we went back to sleep. We slept until about 5am and then hiked up to the summit of Pine Mtn about a mile and a half away for the sunrise. Made some coffee and some granola and blueberries for breakfast and sat back and enjoyed the sunrise. (I then realized I had forgotten to bring fresh batteries for my camera)After enjoying the sunrise in the crisp 33 degree air I headed back down to Roaring Brook and broke camp. I sat around by a fire until about 10am and then hiked out to my vehicle to find it with two broken windows, and thoroughly covered in shaving cream and toilet paper. Made for a pleasant end to an otherwise good trip...

8:57 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Ok so that copy and paste of my TR didn't work so well that time, haha. I'm sure yall can get the gist of it though.

9:23 p.m. on October 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Great trip with an unfortunate and frustrating ending. Juno is beautiful, I almost adopted a 9 month old Husky a few weeks ago, but just couldn't work it out.

9:55 a.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Too bad about the car. At least the hike was good.

I agree with gonzan. Your dog is beautiful.

11:39 a.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Well I think luck is on my side. I was able to find two windows at a junk yard this morning. 5$ a piece I just have to take them out and put them in myself.

11:49 a.m. on November 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Oops. I take it back. I missed that the windows were broken. I just thought you were TP-ed and shaving creamed.

That really stinks. What a bummer end to your hike.

7:30 a.m. on November 2, 2010 (EDT)
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I have talked to the rangers in my neck of the woods and they have told me of this type of stuff happening. They just dont make rounds to all the trailheads. They usually tell me of a saver place to park. This means hiking 1-2 mile further but it is saver for the car.

I always check in at the nearest ranger station and tell them my plans. Sometimes they will tell me alot about the trail, like where to get water, or great views just off the trail. Sometimes they just look at me like "why are you telling me this?" I figure it is about safety.

12:31 p.m. on November 4, 2010 (EDT)
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Makes me miss my Siberian Husky Athena 1990-2003.  Love those dogs!

I have never had my car messed with at the trailhead.  The idea sickens me though.  My trail car is already so beat up that maybe the vandals figure that I have punished myself enough and move on. 

How do you like the Mountainsmith dog pack?

4:31 p.m. on November 4, 2010 (EDT)
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Juno is using a Ruff Wear Palisades pack, but I really like it. Fits very very well, seems super durable, and you can remove the pack bags from the harness. The last pic I posted above shows her in just the harness with the bags removed.

2:12 a.m. on November 5, 2010 (EDT)
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That stinks man, I hope your car is ok going forward.  Some people just don't understand...  

11:07 p.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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Me too had SHs before, and they are surely the most beautiful of the useful dogbreeds for hiking (some small dogs are also nice, but useless on the trail). My present dog is a Border Collie, and he can go freely about, never chases anything bigger than mice. Even pulls as hard as I remember the SHs did, only minus is that in -30c he needs to be inside the tent or the hut. The SHs stayed outside all year, no problem with any weather.

Nice trip and story, too bad with the car.

September 22, 2014
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