The Crooked Canes Journal


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Jay Mountain Hike ~ Nov 29, 2015

Journal entry by Diane Wisell



In August Gail started asking when we might return to Jay Mountain. Fortunately she didn't stop asking. Though eager to go, I just couldn't manage to fit it into my schedule. I knew Gail would be disappointed if we didn't go and as November wore on, I lamented the late date, watched weather forecasts with ever fewer opportunities for nice fall hiking and become more certain by the day that Jay would wait until next year. A forecast the week before Thanksgiving piqued interest and when Sunday's forecast rolled into view following a few days of weather with some potential to set conditions up nicely, it was time to take a chance.

Last year's excursion with Peter was spectacular and, as viewed through our rose colored memories, set high expectations for the day's adventure. Could we possibly have as good a time there again? At this time of year? As it turned out, yes, we certainly could! As usual, the trip to Keene was lovely. We let the GPS take us to the trail head a different way than any of us had been before and were delighted with the new scenery including a magnificent old farm with a number of large barns and a huge stone farmhouse, all in apparently great shape.

Arriving at the Jay trail head about 9.30 the geography was just as those of us who had been there before remembered it though the warm sunny day and spectacular foliage of our first trip was replaced by an invigoratingly cool, mostly clear day with spectacular strokes of Old Man Winter's fickle brush later to reveal themselves as both broad and in very fine detail. With chilly fingers we quickly hurried up the trail and it was not long before we warmed up enough to be comfortable as we passed through an area with a healthy dusting of snow. Further on we encountered only oak leaves on the ground while high above us we could see there was a whole lot of glistening going on. "Hmm, could get interesting." Fortunately the viewing was interesting and concern for traction pleasantly boring as we made our way up to and along the rocky ridge toward the summit. Some of us frustrated ourselves (especially the one guilty of performing a classic ID-TEN-T-IC error in leaving the camera's memory card at home!) in their quest for perfectly focused macros of varied patterns of frost and taking delight in capturing fleeting beauty in broader views.

Making our way along the ridge we had great views punctuated by the surrounding peaks and Lake Champlain. We noticed how interesting and variable the geology is, composed of varying mixtures of stuff including iron and shredded plastic bleach jugs among lots of other things. Lori later found in a book she has that the mountain is composed of gabbro, aka black gabbro or Jay Mountain gabbro. One could spend many a winter hour enriching their knowledge of the solidified geologic 'soup' comprising the majority of the mountains we enjoy so much.

Hunger set in at the last (in Lenore speak and it was well after noon) kaknobber before the summit where we found a sheltered spot for lunch and by now well-deserved rest. With the beckoning summit in the not far off distance we checked our watches, pulse, fatigue-o-meters, creaking joints and the all too quick movement of the once distant clouds and apparent snow showers and decided getting back into the woods below the ridge a prudent thing to do, leaving the summit for another day. Our last stop was to take in the views at the lowest overlook that we had passed by on our way up and then it was time to head back to the trail head and home.

Lori, Barbara, Gail, Diane, Kurt and John enjoyed a mighty nice late fall day and left with good incentive for another trip next year.

12/1/15 - John Rourke added 8 photos.

18 photos



Hallmark conifer.



Frosty ground.......



.....frosty brush.....



....frosty twigs.........AND!....



.....a cute little Bird checking out icicles



Gail at one of our first really nice winter views.



A view looking up the ridge at Jay's summit. Note there's not a bit of snow or frost, though the puddle in the foreground is frozen solid.



From the top of the ridge, an adjacent valley.



Whiteface in the background viewed as one looks down the ridge from near our lunch time kaknobber.



A Hallmark greeting at the beginning of the trip and another on the way back.



Only Mother Nature can do this! - added by John



Couldn't resist! - added by John



Enjoying the sunny snack break. - added by John



Full 215mm zoom. These ladies were on a mission! - added by John



Hurricane Mountain fire tower. - added by John



"Iceface" - added by John



Photo added by John



Lunch time - added by John



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