The Crooked Canes Journal

Viewing 34 of 57 - 2013


Ross, Whortleberry and Big Bad Luck Ponds Hike ~ Aug 22, 2013

Journal entry by Wanderer

It isn’t often, if ever, that none of the participants of an outing, including the leader, have ever visited the destination – or in the case of Don, it has been so long ago that the only thing he remembers about the hike is that it didn’t involve climbing any mountains – not really any help. That was the case this past Thursday when 12 of us headed off on an adventure to Ross, Whortleberry and Big Bad Luck Ponds near Indian Lake.

The original plan was for Karen Burka to lead but she wasn’t able to make it so I volunteered knowing that Kurt, along with his GPS, would be there to back me up. The weather forecast was a little iffy with possible showers in the afternoon but the plan allowed for options of visiting one or more ponds so we could adjust the length of our hike depending on the skies and the willingness of the participants. It had turned warmer and more humid the last few days so there were a few more mosquitoes and deer flies to deal with but as long as we kept moving they were manageable.

The main trail is marked with red markers but there has been so little maintenance on these trails that most had turned white and there were quite a few blowdowns, some rather large, that blocked the trail as well as some wet areas – lots of TLC needed. With some effort we managed to skirt them all and the woods were really nice – mature and lush. In a little over an hour we reached the junction to the trail to Ross Pond and arrived at its shore at 15 minutes past noon – probably not acceptable to the Rebers had they been with us. The pond is quite a gem and the approach takes you thru some beautiful hemlock/pine sections with fern covered glacial erratic near the shore. A large rock out-cropping served as a super lunch area, just down form a very large designated campsite situated amongst the pines.

It didn’t take long for everyone to find their favorite spot with Kurt diving in for a swim before anyone had started eating. The view from our perch was perfect and it became apparent that one of the options would be to stay here longer and take a nap rather than to go on to any other pond. However, after about 45 minutes we had to make a choice and the decision to visit Whortleberry Pond was made with Don electing to go back, joined by Kurt. We split up at the junction and on to Whortleberry we went.

It is slightly less than a mile to Whortleberry Pond but the trail doesn’t take you to its shore. Instead, the markers end abruptly at a large clearing with no indication of which herd path to take. Reading the trail description gave us a couple of choices but the sky was turning gray and the decision to return was made. One final attempt of persuasion on my part, at the very last moment, convinced the group to give one of the herd paths a chance and it brought us to the shore. While we were only able to get a glimpse of the pond it certainly looked inviting and we could see the outcropping on the eastern end that would have given us a view of the length of the pond – reserved for a future visit.

I did manage to follow some survey markers that took us off track to the trail to Big Bad Luck Pond but soon realized that we needed to be on the red trail rather than the blue and within a few minutes were back on track and headed out. The skies were getting darker and we soon had a light shower to deal with – enough to require some to cover their packs but it actually was a welcome relief and it didn’t last long. We arrived at the cars at around 4:00 and just as we were leaving the skies opened up with a rather heavy shower – great timing. Some of decided to reward ourselves with treats at the North Creek Stewart’s while others returned directly to the WCMC.

My story ends here but I am hoping that Kurt will add a little about his hike out with Don – please check back later – perhaps in the epilogue section. Thanks to JoAnne, Cathy, Jim Dolen (new), Don, Katie & Ray, Liz, Rose, Kurt, Karen Burke, and Jo Ellen – glad you could make it – and thanks to Karen Burka for offering this outing, we missed you.


15 photos

At the Trailhead

Ross Pond Monster - very rare sighting

View of Ross Pond

Island View

Cool Tree

Lunch on the Rock

Lunchtime Visiting

Steep Section

Departing View

"Chia" Rock

Glimpse of Whortleberry Pond

Destination Too Far - Next Time

Trailside Pond

Abandoned Beaver Lodge - Once Under Water

Ross & Whortleberry Event: The Cast of Characters - added by RayH

Peter asked that I update the entry with info on a special sighting I had on my way back to the cars with Don. Maybe 10 minutes after the group separated, a bear crossed in front of us, maybe a hundred feet, maybe a little less. Amazing how they can go so fast so silently through the woods. It was a short, quick sighting but I'll take every one I can! Kurt

Viewing 34 of 57 - 2013


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