The Crooked Canes Journal


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Xmas Eve Berry Pd Hike ~ Dec 24, 2015

Journal entry by Ken Gericke



Happy Holidays Everyone

An even dozen Crooked Canes took advantage of the unseasonable weather, hiking to Berry Pd. Our route starts at the Lake George Recreation Center, making a loop, 1st up to Berry Pd via the old road, and then continuing to our lunch stop/overlook (more on this later)....then descending and returning to the cars via the blue trail for a RT of approx. 5.5 miles with an elevation change of about 1100'. Pretty standard fare for a CC outing....right?

It's Xmas Eve and by noon it is in the mid 60s. There is no snow anywhere, the streams and brooks are rushing, full from recent rains...the whole scene more like spring than winter. We even saw a few dandelions blooming on the field near the parking area. As we head out it is overcast, foggy, and in a short way a little misty rain begins. With the 'balmy' temps, the drizzle isn't really uncomfortable, no one complains, a few don rain gear, and we tramp merrily along.

After skirting one side of misty Berry Pond, we climb a little further to our lunch stop/overlook....which is no overlook at all upon arrival. We are completely socked in, with no view of the valley. No problem, still a great spot for lunch and Xmas cookies, and what the CCs are most famous for, fun and camaraderie. And then, almost on cue, the fog and clouds start to lift, the sun peeks through, and the familiar view materializes....Berry and Butler Ponds off in the distance. The old adage 'If you don't like the weather around here, wait a minute'...never more true.

We head down the blue trail, slippery with shiny leaves, rocks, and running water in a few places. On the lower end we follow along the downrush of West Brook, with beautiful cascades and torrents. Sunny skies have taken over as we return to the parking area....about 65*....an oddly wonderful day!

Today's attendees: Tom, Don, Jack and Lenore, Kurt and Diane, Steve and Mery, Linda, Ray, Peter, and Ken

12/29/15 - RayB Bouchard added 4 photos.

12/30/15 - Wanderer . added 8 photos.

26 photos



Peter is prepared for an Adk winter hike!



Heading out



Full streams....no snow!



Amigos in the mist at Berry Pd



A little rain doesn't bother Peter Poppins!



Fogged in but comfy at lunch



Lunch #2



And then the sky began to clear!



Lake George



Berry Pond - added by RayB



It looks like the beavers have been eating from their outdoor larder. - added by RayB



Ken, waits patiently for the sky to clear. - added by RayB



The comings and goings of the mist created an ever changing scene during lunch. - added by RayB



I'm not quite sure what it is, but clusters of these dark, bead like growths were present on several rocks in this area. Perhaps it's a lichen, but I would love to hear from anyone out there who can identify it. - added by RayB Well, I think Peter may be on to something. He looked at it and called the shot as he saw it. In this case what he saw reminded him of pepper corns so he Googled "pepper lichen" and came up with a very close match called "Pepper Spore Lichen". Amazing! How did we ever get along without the internet (and Peter)? I'll let you Google it and see if you agree. Keep in mind that age and the fact that everything was well hydrated on this soggy day could affect the appearance. Thanks Pete.



A Fruticose Lichen, belonging to the genus Cladonia. I don't know if its the true "British Soldier" lichen or one of its close relatives - added by RayB



Rock art along West Brook... - added by RayB



...which I might add, was really rippin' due to the recent rain. - added by RayB



Peter and the dandelion; two sure signs that winter has been delayed this year. - added by RayB



Ken has their attention - added by Wanderer



Diane in the lead - added by Wanderer



Someone must not like hikers - added by Wanderer



Lunch in the mist - added by Wanderer



The outcasts - Lenore, Jack, Steve, Mery and Ray - three happy ones and two not-so-happy - added by Wanderer



Lake George from the overlook - added by Wanderer



Jumbled rocks - added by Wanderer



More rock art along West Brook - added by Wanderer



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