The Crooked Canes Journal


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Vanderwhacker Mountain Hike ~ Oct 14, 2014

Journal entry by Diane and Kurt



Checking weather at lunch on Monday, the forecast for Tuesday had improved quite a bit and Diane's thought was "Hey, let's hike tomorrow!" The choice became Vanderwhacker Mountain since neither of us had been there and though the notice was short, we invited all of the Canes. Gretchen, Donna and Peter almost immmediately said "We're in!" but Sourpuss Peter Fedorick responded that he thought the weather was not going to be verry good and that the road was VERY rough. He forgot that Kurt had rubbed his head for good luck during his recent Giant Nubble hike when, after a drizzly start, a cruddy morning turned into a spectacular day. The luck stuck to Kurt. A dreary early morning evolved into a spectacular day with mixed clouds and sun. The VERY rough road to the trailhead had magically transformed itself into a smooth cruiser. The temperature rose to 70+ degrees. The foliage was still spectacular. There were plenty of mushrooms for "This one's for you, Ray" fungi photos, requisite when Mr. Bouchard is otherwise entertained. Having cogitated four hours on whether Kurt, having rubbed his head, would benefit from good luck or whether he should stay home and work on his car, Peter finally relented and agreed to come along enriching our day with his company and bringing the number of our party to 6, which as recent history has taught us, is about a half a car full of Canes.

2.5 miles off Route 28N, Vanderwhacker Mountain, with its 3,402 summit, is southeast of Newcomb and nearly due east of the Goodnow Flowage. The trail from the Moose Pond Road trail head rises gently at first, then is a bit pitchier for a while and near the summit flattens considerably over its ~2.7 mile (one way) length. The first mile or so features a picturesque steam, frequently dammed, a Ranger's cabin in pretty good condition and open hardwood forest, transitioning over the next mile or so to mixed conifers and birch as one nears the summit. A very nice trail, in very good condition. Most of the views are from the fire tower. At the summit, under the fire tower are three of Colvin's rings, with a bit of original wire still attached, and a rare original Colvin survey marker dated 1880.

10/16/14 - Wanderer . added 18 photos.

37 photos



Priceless facial expressions during packing the truck: from left to right, Giddy, Guilty and Astonished.



At the trail head.



Ye Olde Sylvan Stream





Just below center, to the right, an old beaver lodge is available for occupancy. The stream pictured previously feeds at least four dams in various stages of habitation and all near the trail.



Steps with a railing! What's next, indoor plumbing?



At the summit, an original Verplanck Colvin marker, labelled "NO 55" and dated 1880. Very cool.



Today, Gretchen and Donna were charged with memorizing the names of 37 peaks Peter points out from each of four sides of the cabin. There will be a test!



From the fire tower, looking roughly south at the peaks "marching off into the distance."



At first thinking he had found a rack of horns, Mr. Wood finds remnants of an old phone line to the summit. Can you imagine the ranger's calling in a fire on the party line -"Oh, hello there Ethel, how's the family; Oh, good, I'm glad to hear that; Your garden still doing well?; Oh that's nice!; Do you suppose you could let me have the line for just a miinute to report to Ray Brook that your woods are on fire?"



From the Ranger's cabin porch.



The Ranger's cabin.





Is Diane looking fondly back at Vanderwhacker or being amused at the antics of the monkeys in the back of the truck?



And finally, These are for you, Ray!











The Motley Team - added by Wanderer



Off to a good start - added by Wanderer



Trailside wetland - added by Wanderer



Beaver flooded area - note the large felled tree - ambitious critters - added by Wanderer



Well maintained beaver dam - added by Wanderer



Our path - added by Wanderer



Root art - added by Wanderer



Lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Gretchen and Kurt - added by Wanderer



Donna and Peter - added by Wanderer



Looking west with Blue Mt on the far left horizon - Essex Chain of Lakes below and Goodnow Flow to right of center - added by Wanderer



Looking NW - Newcomb water tower for reference (very difficult to see) - added by Wanderer



Looking NE - View of High Peaks with Algonquin on left to Blake (?) far right - added by Wanderer



Peter and Kurt - added by Wanderer



Doesn't get much better than this - added by Wanderer



On our way out - added by Wanderer



You have to love it! - added by Wanderer



Active beaver lodge - dead center - added by Wanderer




Thanks to all for a great day!

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