The Crooked Canes Journal


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Hackensack "First Day" Hike ~ Jan 1, 2016

Journal entry by Kurt Wisell



The later months of 2015 certainly can hardly be considered to have had 'normal' weather and that weirdness bled over into 2016 for our first outing of the new year. Hoping our First Day Crooked Canes outing on the newest Hackensack Mountain trails in Warrensburg would be a pleasant snowshoe, we wondered for days before the outing if we would get the snowshoe on nice poofy snow we had wished for or a hike or some kinda miserable soggy slog. Receipt of several inches of very dense snow a few days before our outing was welcome but forced a change in our original plan to embark on our adventure from the Prospect Street trailhead. We moved to the high school trail head on Horicon Avenue where parking conditions were a whole lot nicer. Peter and Kurt headed off to spot a car at Hackensack Avenue for our return trip to the high school and along the way found Katie and Ray at Prospect Street which fit into our plan perfectly, enabling us to double the number of vehicles spotted for our return. Finally, with everyone back at the high school catching up on Yuletide greetings, we were soon off to the woods where it was apparent that Old Man Winter had been trying out his new Ronco "Freeze-And-Thaw-O'Matic" received from his boss, Mother Nature at the office Christmas party.

Though not the poofy snow we had hoped for, nor enough of it to make snowshoes practical, we had enough to ease our footing over the trail's varied surface and provide us opportunities to easily see the recent work of wood peckers and the tracks of a variety of other critters that had recently been roaming around. A number of our group of twenty had been to Hackensack before, traveling the trails we had chosen for the day; others had been there before via other routes and we all had the pleasure of people sharing a new experience. Nearing the northern end of Hackensack's fairly long summit ridge and anticipating the broad views to the south, west and north, we paused to add layers as the west wind began to make its presence known. We soon arrived on top and for most, the thrill of the view overshadowed the effect of wind which for the most part was really was not as brisk as anticipated. Touring the ridge and enjoying numerous overlooks, we soon arrived at "the flag" on the southern end which just happens to be at the intersection of a trail that is Linda's all-time New Years Day favorite. Her intense, almost violent, desire to head off solo was was diverted by Peter's tender coaxing and cajoling and by others breaking out delicious holiday treats. She finally settled down, much to everyone's relief, for lunch with the group, her mouth full of Joanne's mesquite smoked turkey and crackers (on a serving tray!) and cheeks smeared with chocolate from Jo Ellen's buttery pecan/caramel/chocolate bark.

Fed, fat, happy and with Linda placidly in tow, we retraced our steps along the ridge and headed along the pleasant trail toward the Hackensack Avenue trailhead and vehicles spotted earlier in the day. Drivers hustled into the waiting vehicles and everyone else headed off along roads in the sorta general direction of the high school setting the stage for a wonderful game of holiday hide-and-seek for returning drivers.

1/24/16 - Wanderer . added 9 photos.

15 photos



Nineteen of twenty Crooked Canes ready to roll on Day One of 2016. Happy New Year!



Peter showing off his Christmas gift from Linda: long sleeves for his tee shirt. Just in time!



Ready for lunch - and treats! - at the top of Hackensack.



....and you think a badger gets cranky when somebody messes with it? Linda's priceless expression says it all about being told she can't hike her favorite New Years Day trail!



A view to the south. Warrensburg in the foreground, French Mountain beyond.



This is a view to the west of Hickory Hill and two other nearby peaks.



No Kurt - I don't think that is what they meant by a "red" maple - added by Wanderer



Beaver pond near the trailhead by the school - added by Wanderer



Boardwalk along the beaver dam - added by Wanderer



Linda must be thinking ahead! - added by Wanderer



Yes there was some "up" - added by Wanderer



View of Crane Mt from just below the top - added by Wanderer



Hamlet of Warrensburg - added by Wanderer



Just chillin - added by Wanderer



Happy New Year! - added by Wanderer




Happy New Year to our twenty strollers: Claire & Kirk, Donna & Peter, Katie & Ray, Linda & Peter, Jan & Jim, Ed, Barbara, Jo Ellen, Don, Cathys G & C, Nancy, Gail and Joanne and myself!

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