The Crooked Canes Journal


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Prospect Mountain - Not Just A Hike But An Adventure ~ Mar 22, 2012

Journal entry by Wanderer



What do you have if you mix 15 energetic people, including one Saint, gorgeous weather with temperatures in the high 70's and blue skies, cameras, mud, lots of mud, old hiking boots, Velcro, nylon rope, duck tape and an extra pair of socks? The ingredients of an Adventure with Pete of course - with pictures to prove it! The day started as planned with the meeting of hikers at the WCMC, quite a bit more than I had predicted but who knew back in February when the schedule was being decided that we would be having this type of weather. On to the Warren County Rec Center where we picked up a few more people and dropped off a couple of vehicles and then shuttled to the trailhead at Big Hollow Road for the 10 o'clock start of our thru hike. Nancy Kimball was there to greet us and our group was complete -15 in all. Kurt was originally designated leader but he volunteered me to take his place when he found out he had to work and close up Gore for the season but I didn't mind - what could go wrong on a hike up and over Prospect - after all, I had done the trip twice before, both times on a snowshoes. The trail, part of the Warren County Snowmobile Trail System, would lead us up, 3 miles and 1400' gain, to the parking lot immediately below the summit where, if everything went as planned, we would be having lunch at noon. The trail was in great condition and everyone had time to visit and enjoy the views of Big Hollow Branch as we continually gained elevation. The stream was full of cascades and mini-waterfalls as it meandered down the ravine, eventually emptying in to English Brook which empties into Lake George just north of the Village. The effects of hurricane Irene last year didn't spare the Big Hollow area and caused the breach of the dam at Big Hollow Reservoir, the destruction of beaver dams, and the washout of the trail above it. In an attempt to repair it the snowmobile club brought in a bulldozer to level it but it will need lots of time to dry out. Kurt had scouted out the trail on Tuesday and sent me an email about a suggested by-pass around a very muddy spot so I knew that we had to look out for his markings. We eventually saw where he marked a tree but the trail looked passable and everyone voted to continue on. Depending upon your ability, you either missed all the mud or got sucked down into a quagmire. Saint Linda was one of the unfortunate ones and lost the sole of her hiking boot in one - yup, that's right - the complete sole! She was able to recover it but it was little more than an ornament that she carried to the parking lot; there wasn't much anyone could do at this point so on to the summit she went. As planned the noon whistle was going off in the Village just as we were finding seats for lunch under blue skies and brilliant sun. While some of the conversation was about the beautiful weather and the gorgeous views most of it was focused on Linda's boot problem and suggestions on how to repair it enough for her to get down the mountain without calling in for a helicopter rescue (must run in the family) - I immediately rejected Dave's suggestion that I carry her out on my back. Some suggested that I had sabotaged the boots but I categorically deny that those suspicious knife cuts all around the perimeter of both boots were my doing - I suspect it was the devil testing her since being elevated to a Saint last week by Ken. I assessed the damage and saw that the sole of her other boot was ready to fall off so this had to be a double repair and adequate enough for her to hike down another 3 miles. Time was of the essence because the turkey vultures had already started circling, hoping that we would simply abandon her and she would become their next meal. Out came the duct tape, Karen supplied some nylon rope and Jim gave up the remainder of his famous 2"- wide Velcro - (I think he is going to have to buy a new roll after this hike). The repair looked fine but something was missing - something to bind all the materials into one - socks of course - what a brilliant idea (I am glad that I thought of it). Within a few minutes the socks were placed over the boots and she was back in business. Not so fast everyone said - we must document this event and out came the cameras. OK, enough already let's continue lunch and enjoy the views. Southern views included Darling Mt and a shimmering surface of Butler Pond; easterly were views of the village, the southern basin of Lake George and Million Dollar Beach, French Mt, Pilot Knob, Buck Mt and in the distance the outline of the mountains of Vermont. To the north and west were good views of Crane and of course Gore (everybody waved to Kurt) and far off, some of the High Peaks as well views of the Lake George Narrows. The hour we spent at lunch went by fast and it was time to head back to the cars - a rather straightforward descent thru beautiful woods - NOT! Crossing the lower parking lot we entered the unmarked trail and made our descent along a drainage area before hiking thru a beautiful stand of hemlocks. Their cooling effect was welcomed after the heat of the summit and everyone was in their visiting mode and the tempo was set - surprisingly, Saint Linda was doing fine with her newly soled boots, the Fox River socks were holding up quite nicely - perhaps I have come up with a more "green" sole that is less damaging than Vibram. I had been on this trail a couple of times and knew we had to make a left, taking a short cut but wasn't quite sure how far down the trail it was. We came to a flat area with a nice trail to the left and as we waited for everyone to gather I made the decision to take it and off we went down the mountain. It was only a few minutes into the descent that I realized that we were not on the short-cut but headed for Prospect Mt Road. I didn't have the nerve to tell everyone to stop and turn around but admitted my mistake and started to think of a solution as we continued to the road. The woods were pretty and we descended quickly and soon the road was in view. Checking the map I decided to take the road down to where it crossed West Brook and follow it upstream, thru the woods a quarter mile to the cross-country ski trails near the lean-to. During the rest stop Ed Valla said there was a service road that connected Prospect Road with the ball fields where we were parked but wasn't sure how much further it was so I stayed with my decision to follow the stream. Unfortunately, Nancy wasn't confident with my judgment and said she was going to the nearest Stewart's and get rescued by her husband. Her mutiny didn't spread but Ken did offer to walk out with her. The rest of the group followed me into the woods and along the stream. As we gained some elevation the stream tumbled into a ravine below us with spectacular cascades and mini-waterfalls. We followed it upstream to the West Brook holding reservoir where we saw a pair of Mallards swimming. We continued on a logging road in the direction of the lean-to but eventually it dead-ended and we had to follow the service road to the x-country ski trail system. I really wanted to continue to the lean-to and show Karen and Barbara (Barb wants to take her grandkids for an overnight) but the attraction of the parking lot was too great so the visit to the lean-to would have to wait - besides, some of the hikers were getting tired (imagine that). As we arrived at the parking lot, low and behold were Ken and Nancy sitting in lawn chairs drinking Gatorade - both with big grins on their faces - you know the type of grin that I am referring to. It seems that the connecting road was only a hundred yards further down the Prospect Road, which they followed to the parking lot. Thanks to Karen Burka, Barbara, Jim, Sam, Dave, Karen Burke, Nancy, Ken, Katie, Anita, Ed, Liz, Lynn, and of course Linda for making this a very special day. Tickets are now being sold for next week's event - buy them soon because they are going fast. Also, coming soon, patches and bumper stickers "I survived an adventure with Pete" 

Peter

3/24/12 - Ken Gericke added 7 photos. 3/24/12 - Jim Israel added 2 photos. 3/24/12 - Jim Israel added 1 photo. 3/24/12 - Anita Dingman added 5 photos.

28 photos



Cascade on the Big Hollow Branch



What can I say!



I do not know how many times I have told her that socks go on the inside!



French Mountain



Lake George Village and Million Dollar Beach



Butler Pond and Darling Mtn (R)



Crane Mt(L) and Gore Mtn(R)



Turkey Vulture Circling - duck Linda!



Trailside Rock



She's doing fine



Cascade on West Brook



Just Another Cascade on West Brook



The Mutineer and guests from L to R: Jim, Ken, Ed and Nancy



Mist on LG around 9am before the start of the Prospect Mtn Adventure. - by Ken



Nancy checks out her roots. - by Ken



Lunch and shoe repairs on Prospect summit. - by Ken



Dave, Linda, Karen Burke, Peter...Geppetto cobbling new boots/slippers for Linda. - by Ken



Linda modelling her new hiking slippers.."What the heck has he gotten me into now?!"



Prospect Mtn...Karen Burke, Peter, Barbara, Jim, Dave, Nancy, Sam, Linda, Anita, Katie, Ed, Liz, Lynn, and Karen Burka



Lynn, Karen Burka, Karen Burke and Barbara back at the LG Rec Center parking area....at last!



Ken Karen Peter Barbara Dave (Dave) Nancy (Sam) Linda Anita Nancy Ed Katie Liz Lynn - by Jim



Google Earth Prospect - by Jim



Ken Karen Peter Barbara Dave Nancy Sam Linda Anita Ed Katie Liz Lynn Karen - by Jim



Photo by Anita



King of the hill. - by Anita



Found when we were lost.... - by Anita



Lunch - by Anita



Photo by Anita




All of our outings are fun and we always seem to have a good time but this hike was a memorable one for many different reasons. I am sure that some of us will be checking the contents of our packs to make sure we carry emergency repair items and some will have a renewed appreciation of a compass and map instead of a fancy GPS or some other electronic device. Some will even appreciate what Linda has had to put up with living with me for all the past decades (truly a Saint) but rest assured, everyone will certainly think back and remember the laughs and good times of this hike. Peter

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