Billygoat! Blue Mountain in Peekskill, site of the 2002 BG. Rode down with J-J, Ken, Jeff and Erik, back with all but Erik who was on his way to New York and thence to JFK to Stockholm.
2018 map quite a bit harder to read than the 2002 version. Much darker, denser looking.
Pretty good result, under 3 hours and ran more than I expected to. Pretty sore in the low back during and after, but no damage done.
1. Big group headed out to the R, but I could see the big trail to the left better and went that way, and followed a big pack in that direction. Trying to stay clear of Jim Crawford, who was swinging his hiking poles pretty aggressively, and trying to hang on to Ken, not at all easy. On the trail to opposite the pond, where Ken cut in by the stream and I went on one more hill before cutting in. Steve Tarry was in the area, too. Crossed the stonewall and headed down, pretty good crowd at the control.
2. Across the power lines, across the road W of the bend, up along the edge of the marshes under the hill, and up and in. Still trailing Ken and others.
3. Mostly straight, using the stone walls and coming up from below on the W.
4. First error. Got way too high and too far N, figured out it was wrong and started heading S, saw Ken coming back at me and eventually got there with Steve T.
5. Following Steve around the cliff and down the slope seeing the boulder from a distance.
6. Trying not to lose too much height on the side slope. Steve was a little higher, but I got there first and cut around the corner and in.
7. Plan was to head to 8 and go from there (or maybe even skip 7), but 7 was so short from 8 that seemed better to save it. A little bobble in the circle, too far right, but not much lost. Got together with the Pauls and Eric. Paul Bennett, Paul Regan, Paul Bisset and Eric Smith.
8. Back to 8, straightforward and glad to have already checked it out once. 9. Then Paul Bennett was leading our group and I was trying mightily to hang onto the back. Now I think 9 may have been the best skip, but I wasn't considering it. Instead I was looking at 13, 17 and 19. Anyway, hanging onto the little pack, saw the little pond and took an easy way down the hill, still running last in the group.
10. More or less on compass, picked up some trail near the pond for a bit but resisted going down to the pond, just up and over the hills and in.
11. Out to the trail and back down the way we had come to 1.
12. Through the finish and to the tree.
13. Decided with the group that we would skip 17, so off we went to 13. Easy navigation, but nasty footing following the stone wall across the marsh. Paul Bennett still leading our parade.
14. Along the marsh to the trail, saw a bunch of folks on their way from 17 to 18, including J-J and Kristin. On the trail E then around the hill and up the reentrant, but ran by the flag and lost my group momentarily, but lucky enough to pick up Earl.
15. Struggling to get back, Paul ran the pack ahead into the marsh and had to back up and go around, which allowed me and Earl to catch up. Over a few more bumps and then could see the flag. Earl was a bit left and further ahead, but came back and joined up for a bit.
16. Going well to this one until I hallucinated a flag up in the reentrant to the right. Went up to check, so lost a bit of time before correcting over. At this point we parted ways with Eric, who was resolved to get them all. and we headed more or less south toward 18.
18. Somewhere in there we saw the last of Earl. Saw Susie coming the other way, in the direction of 15. She said "I'm Pygmy", but in my addled state and with my always questionable hearing, what I heard was "I'm pregnant". Took me aback a bit, but after a few more steps I figured it out. Out to the trail across from the smaller trail that we were looking for, and headed down that. Seemed like it took a really long time. Eventually the hill on the right and cut in just past that, got into some really gloppy marshy stuff and had to fight our way down toward the stream where the control was. Not so pleasant, and can't say this was a useful skip.
19. SW to the road, get to a more or less reasonable entry spot and up and it. Not quite as high up as I had thought it would be.
20. By now Paul is getting a bit tired of leading and I'm getting a little sparkier, so I lead for a while up to the ring trail and straight past to the upper trail, R toward the E/W stone wall and along that, counting off features. Went one hill early, figuring we'd go around and have a straight shot up and in, but the marsh was a little bigger than we thought so a little bit of extra climb to get over that hill. No difficulty finding the control.
21. Figured on trail route to the left and executed it well. Down L of the pond, out to the trail corner. Left a bit to the small trail and followed it all the way to the large E W trail. R on that for a bit, cutting in before the pond and then up the hill and in. I had been leading but was a little too high and left and Paul found it.
22. Down the hill, on compass, just pick the right rocky knoll. A little tentative, stopping to look around a bit early, but OK.
23. Left side, although now that I look at it there is a perfectly fine trail route to the R side. Aimed for the pair of larger marshes and hit between them just fine, but it was slow getting there, with lots of marshes and some intricate footwork. Once out to the trail, just stayed with it until the sharp bend and in from there.
24. I got hung up going around the marsh and lost a bit of ground to the others who had gone straighter, to the stonewall and back down the trail we had followed earlier from 19 to 20. Ring road around the bend then up the reentrant and right to it. Turned and headed south with a bit of a head of steam.
Very satisfactory. A good nap on the way home. Thanks to J-J and Jeff for driving!