The Gordon Pond Trail will always be a favorite hike of Half Ass Expeditions. The HAE team has hiked this trip in every season. It was the very first hike Marcus Needlemeier and Timur Novasch walked together. Representing a life of true hiking enthusiasm, Marcus and Timur are an integral part of the Half Ass Exeditions team that this very website depicts. When Vincentoli headed off to study advanced wave dynamics at a leading university, Marcus and Timur remained behind printing newspapers and becoming a well known trail duo. Of course, Blanteev returned with Bruce McAnus in tow creating the powerhouse wilderness guide team that is Half Ass Expeditions.
This particular expedition to Gordon Pond was very special as it was the 30th anniversary of that first hike which eventually led to the formation of Half Ass Expeditions and an epic hike of the Appalachian Trail. Good weather was on tap and Gordon Pond was only 4.5 miles in so Marcus and Timur were pretty fired up. These guys have seen the absolute worst weather on Gordon Pond over the years and this trek looked more like a vacation than a survival test.
Even though the weather was perfect, it was still a moist world from the previous week’s series of torential rains. HAE has never seen the streams so swollen and the river fords we made on this trip were the most challenging ever.
A few hours hike from the car and a pile of bear shit later finds Marcus and Timur at Gordon Pond’s side. The team get to work setting up camp. A pair of moose stopped by to check out what we were up to during the traditional HAE Happy Hour.
The pond was full, a far cry from Timur’s last visit when the pond was merely a weak trickle though a damp swamp. There was more growth than expected yet there was very little wood for burning. A fire meant hiking to find hardwood, not an issue with Half Ass Expeditions and their friend Sven. Another perfect HAE chicken fire was the result.
Both nights on the pond were crystal clear and the lack of “light noise” presented a dazzling starscape with the Milky Way clearly spliting the sky. There were no animal visitors as we slept even though I suspect a bear or two could smell the aftermath our recently consumed chicken.
Of course we couldn’t resist a hike up to the overgrown overlook to check out the foliage. The Kinsman Ridge Trail, a part of the Appalachian Trail, is well known as one of the more difficult and endless climbs of the 2100 mile foot trail. We did about 4 miles round trip and it nearly killed us.
Another flawless backpacking trip with Timur and Marcus. Thirty years together conquering the wilderness and enjoying the best of backwoods New England and beyond. The real Walk In The Woods…, HAE Walk In The Woods.