The Crooked Canes Journal


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Hill No. 8 through Hike and So Much More! ~ Nov 8, 2018

Journal entry by Tim Ward



Our belated Halloween hike started in a cemetery (memorial to the dead), walked the Blair Cross Road into an extinct farming community, climbed No.8 Hill with its grave and finally descended into the darkening, brooding, wet, confusing, Desolate Brook Valley with its craggy headstone (Pharaoh Mt). We all did temporarily survive but it’s doubtful any of us will soon willingly walk this route again.  Here we witnessed a world (mostly) without us, a glimpse of our civilization’s future. All things must be lost in time.

We, however, I believe (except the last few miles) enjoyed ourselves. The cemetery’s memorial “kiosk” was eerily a synopsis of what we witnessed. Why did it have to be the Blair Rd (“Blair Witch Project”) leading into Gregoryville? Why wouldn’t the oak let go of the increment borer (never saw that happen before)? Why No. 8 Hill (eight deadly sins if you include stupidity)? Where did Desolate Brook and Pharaoh Mt (pyramids are tombs) get their names? Basically this area is a little much to fathom, so why keep coming back? Do you want to return to these mountains?

Of course, what’s most enjoyable is how the Caners entertain each other while walking thru Nature’s garden. We learned of Pete’s pet hornets, spiders, and baby mouse, Kurt’s attempt to blow off a mountain side, Diane’s discovery of tiny details on the DeGregorio memorial, a bloody nose after taking a dive, everyone so intent on keeping dry crossing a beaver dam, acrobatics climbing a small cliff, enjoying a panoramic view and carrying on with each other on a great variety of subjects.

How will this outing be remembered? Stay tuned.

Tim

11/16/18 - Margie Litwin added 7 photos.

11/16/18 - Margie Litwin added 1 photo.

11/16/18 - Margie Litwin added 1 photo. 11/16/18 - Margie Litwin added 1 photo. 11/16/18 - Margie Litwin added 5 photos.

11/22/18 - Wanderer . added 26 photos.

11/25/18 - Scott Anderson added 4 photos. 11/30/18 - Diane Wisell added 4 photos.

45 photos



Our adventure begins at the North Brant Lake Cemetery – Tim holding class - added by Wanderer



Tim pointing out some of the “curiosities” contained on this headstone – eerie to say the least - added by Wanderer



View from the cemetery with Number 8 Mountain’s ledges in clear view (not our destination of No. 8 Hill) - added by Wanderer



Plaque on top of No. 8 Hill –origin unknown. Perhaps he had his ashes spread on top? - added by Wanderer



Tim had located for us several old foundations, traces of past residents carving out a life in this now remote area. - added by Margie



3 Crooked Canes vs. a wise oak tree. Who won? - added by Margie



One strange little mushroom. - added by Margie



A fallen European white oak, with it's tight grain which Tim tells us is wonderful in use for durable objects (as for barrels to age fine cognac). We saw many of these as live trees during the day. - added by Margie



Chicken of the woods mushroom (likely). - added by Margie



Tim directing our beaver dam crossing -Caners with varying degrees of confidence- we all made it fine! - added by Margie



Mosses took over to claim this stump, long ago created by a beaver. - added by Margie



Shelly checking our route - added by Wanderer



Rays of sunshine on the Canes - added by Wanderer



One of the cellar holes in the Gregoryville area - added by Wanderer



This is the largest of the cellar holes – circa 1850’s? - added by Wanderer



Tim in the process of taking an increment boring on this European white oak – a rough estimate was about 80+ years - added by Wanderer



The Canes Train! - added by Wanderer



Lunch with a view …. - added by Wanderer



…. the larger of the beaver ponds …. - added by Wanderer



…. a double-decker! - added by Wanderer



An ambitious beaver …. - added by Wanderer



…. past successes! - added by Wanderer



The top in sight – looks impassable …. - added by Wanderer



… but Tim knew the way. - added by Wanderer



We made it! - added by Wanderer



A couple of happy hikers – Margie and Claudia - added by Wanderer



View NE of Pharaoh Mtn. and its cliffs …. - added by Wanderer



…. and to the W - Schroon Lake - added by Wanderer



View E of Pharaoh Lake Brook – Desolate Brook (our next destination) is hidden in the trees closer to our location - added by Wanderer



Caribou Moss (lichen) - soon to be covered with snow - added by Wanderer



Large patch of oak leaves holding on - added by Wanderer



Interesting fungus – anybody with an ID? - added by Wanderer



Desolate Brook – we’re looking for a place to cross …. - added by Wanderer



…. found it – a long, windy, beaver dam! - added by Wanderer



Fran thought it was easy! - added by Wanderer



Phew! – we’re safe now – made it to the Pharaoh Lake Trail …. - added by Wanderer



…. and just in time to welcome the darkness - added by Wanderer



An exceptional beaver terrace on Sucker Brook - added by Scott



A fun little climb to the summit of Number 8 Hill. - added by Scott



At the summit of Number 8 Hill. - added by Scott



Now to find our way back out! Thanks Tim for the great bushwhack! - added by Scott



Peter looks for the left overs from a red squirrel's dinner. - added by Diane



Pete's view of the left overs. - added by Diane



Two brilliant jellies and a beetle. - added by Diane



From the summit of Hill No. 8, growling sky to the north. - added by Diane




Attendees:  Diane, Kurt, Peggy, Sandy, Mary, Jeff, two new comers – Neil, Sue, - Claudia, Margie, Lynn, Fran, Lori, Scott, Jayne, Shelly, Mike, Peter and of course our leader – Tim.

Route details:  8.3 miles and roughly a 1,550' accumulated gain.

I think I speak for our entire group that Tim’s hike this day was a wonderful, variety filled, adventure into an area few of us have ever heard of (No. 8 Hill, Desolate Brook Valley), let alone thought we would ever explore.  We often find it easier to stay within our comfort zone rather than risk being hurt or disappointed when pushed or led beyond our self established norm.  However, it isn’t until we go beyond those limits that we are able to savor the rewards and we realize we are capable of much more than we thought we were.  From “I can’t do that” to “Oh yeah, I did that” – thanks Tim for showing us the way.  Peter

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