Sunday, June 25, 2017

Delaware Water Gap NRA, PA - McDade Recreational Trail from White Pines to Schneider Farm

McDade Recreation Trail - National Park Service

White Pines Trail Head GPS Coordinates 41.24237, -74.86404
White Pines Parking
Schneider Farm Trail Head GPS Coordinates 41.20260, -74.88011
Schneider Farm Parking
I had intended to hike from White Pines to Schneider Farm and back but there were some complications along the way so I had to drive from one to the other.

Kittatinny Trails Map #121 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
McDade Trail Map - National Park Service
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I believe it is 4.1 miles from White Pines to Schneider Farm each way.
Our hike:
White Pines 2.8 miles total
Schneider Farm 4.2 miles total

The McDade Trail has been perfect for Shawnee so we have been there often this summer and the intention was to complete the entire trail except the parts where dogs are not allowed.  After this hike we had about 7 miles left to do but unfortunately, no more McDade Trail for Shawnee.  All of a sudden she can barely hike 3 miles in her wheelchair where she was still doing 8 miles just weeks ago and it's not worth the drive for a 3 mile hike.  I got her a stroller and we tried it out on this hike but I got more of a workout than I had bargained for.  Pushing a 60-pound dog in a 40-pound stroller up hills on gravel is extremely difficult.  It's going to have to be flat rail trails for the stroller.
As is usually the case, where the rest of the world was sunny, this early in the morning it's all fog along the Delaware River.
Heading south towards Schneider Farm.
Shawnee doing what she can in the wheelchair while I push the stroller.
Foggy Delaware River
It was shortly after I took this picture that something small and black darted across the trail.
... then something HUGE and black ...
.. then two more babies.
That would be momma bear disappearing into the brush.  Or not...
I don't think momma had seen us at first but one of the kids must have ratted us out because she came back ...
... and stood there and watched until she was darned sure we were heading back from whence we came.  I could not back up like you are supposed to with Shawnee in a wheelchair and the stroller so I had to turn us all around but I kept glancing back at her and she seemed to be OK with that as long as we were leaving.  The bear family was heading towards a very narrow strip of land before running into the Delaware River so there was no waiting for them to move on, had no choice but to head back.
Figured I'd give the stroller a try.  She hates going into it and it is quite a scene but once inside, she seems to enjoy it.
I had a couple of ideas for the wheelchair when not in use.  This is one of them.
Passing back by the parking lot and heading north towards Conashaugh instead.
Trying Plan B for the wheelchair - attaching it to the front.
Going in this direction there is a stretch along Route 209.
The trail goes downhill away from Route 209 then ...
... becomes a more rugged footpath where the stroller just can't go. 
So heading back to the parking lot again.
Decided to drive to the Schneider Farm trail head and head north from there to approach from the opposite direction.
That involved breaking the stroller down but it is doable.  Wheels and handlebar pop off and it folds flat just barely fitting in my car.  The wheelchair has to ride in the passenger seat.
At the Schneider Farm trail head and back in the wheelchair for a bit.
There is a gravel road of about 1/2 mile before actually reaching the McDade Trail.
A swallow in flight.
This stretch has no shade and even though it was not that hot out, it was getting hot and she was getting loaded with ticks again even though I doused her legs with neem spray in addition to having put Advantix on her the day before.
At the McDade Trail and making a left to head north.
Ruins of something.
She was done so back into the stroller and Plan C for the wheelchair - stashing it to retrieve on our way back.
I attached a note so nobody would think it was abandoned.
Definitely easier this way without dealing with the wheelchair.
In full sun I can close her sun roof to keep her in the shade.
Makes for convenient water breaks.
And snacks.
Oh.  Hadn't planned on encountering this and it took some creative maneuvering to get over it.
The front wheel has to be pulled over from the front.
Then the back wheels can go over one at a time.  Taking her out was not an option unless absolutely necessary because it is so hard to get her in.  Old girl has a lot of fight left in her.
I had already decided that once we ran into another hill we would be turning around since I did not have it in me to push this back up another hill.
It doesn't look so steep from here but it was steep enough not to want to take the stroller down and back up again so just shy of Dingmans Ferry, we turned back.
An added bonus of being in the stroller is not picking up any more ticks.  It is a tick-free zone.
Here we are back at the wheelchair right where we left it.
Turning right on the gravel road to Schneider Farm.
This would be dad.
This might be mom.
And I think this might be the child.
Back at the parking lot.