The Crooked Canes Journal


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Mt. Van Hoevenberg Thru Hike ~ Sep 27, 2018

Journal entry by Pat Desbiens/Jayne Bouder



The weather could not have been more perfect for this hike of Mt. Van Hoevenberg - the temperatures were in the sixties, the sky was a bright blue with a few white puffy clouds and much to our delight, the foliage was near peak.  The first stop was one mile down the trail at a beautiful marshy area with a spectacular view of our destination.  It was then onward and upward with a number of "wow's" being uttered as one by one we broke out of the woods and onto the open rock of the summit.  It was lunchtime so we all found the perfect spot to sit, enjoy our lunch and admire the panorama of the High Peaks spread out before us and the woods ablaze in color all around.  Following an extended lunch break it was time to head down the mountain and reflect on the history of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area.  Arriving at the top of the 1932 bobsled track, we decided to walk down the track marveling along the way at the apparent fearlessness of the early bobsledders.  The next stop was at the top of the current bobsled track facility.  After admiring the spectacular views from the deck of this facility and then taking in the view that all the bobsled, luge and skeleton competitors have of the track as they begin their runs, Kurt explained how they actually finish their run by looping around and ending as they come back uphill returning almost to their starting point in order to slow down enough to come to a stop.  We then finished our journey by walking along the 1980 bobsled track - not quite as primitive as the 1932 track but no comparison to the modern track - and as every good tour should end by visiting the museum and gift shop.  Days in the woods don't get much better!  

Bob Powell contributed this YouTube video link to the USA bobsled winning run at the 1932 Olympic. Turn on your speakers for this! Thanks Bob!

9/28/18 - Wanderer . added 3 photos.

9/28/18 - Diane Wisell added 5 photos.

10/1/18 - Wanderer . added 20 photos.

10/2/18 - Barbara Zuccaro added 3 photos.

33 photos



Combined group pic at the South Meadows Rd. trailhead – including the cross–eyed Kurt behind the sign (you may have to enlarge the pic a little). Not in order – Pat, Jayne, Joanne, Shelly, Barbara & Rich, Lynn, Sandy & Bob, Diane & Kurt, Lori, Licia & Steve, Joani & Dean, Ed, Margie, Linda & Peter, Cathy C. - added by Wanderer



View of our destination from the beaver pond (the cliffs) – colors are changing! - added by Wanderer



Leaf of the ever present hobble bush (some refer to it as the witch hobble) - added by Wanderer



Peter and the Beaver Pond - added by Cathy



Turkey Tails on a stump. - added by Diane



Jayne enjoying a pretty day in the woods. - added by Diane



We haven't had a pincushion moss picture in a while, so here's one from the top of Van Ho. - added by Diane



These mushrooms are definitely getting under somebody's skin! - added by Diane



Black cottonwood getting ready for winter. - added by Diane



Prehistoric Land - added by Cathy



Golden Jelly fungus (aka Witch’s butter) - added by Wanderer



Part of the beaver pond alongside the trail – quite the mix of trees and vegetation - added by Wanderer



Obviously it doesn’t take much to entertain Canes – Cathy is just putting on her pack! - added by Wanderer



It’s a hard life for this tree – yet it survives - added by Wanderer



Lunch with a view …. - added by Wanderer



…. some of the rest of the group …. - added by Wanderer



…. and quite the view at that – View N of the Olympic Ski Jumps, Village of Lake Placid with Mt. McKenzie behind on the (L) and Moose Mtn. on the (R) …. - added by Wanderer



…. view S with South Meadows below, Mt. Marcy (L), Mt. Colden (C), and Algonquin (R) – Wright Peak is in the front of Algonquin but its summit is hidden in the shadows …. - added by Wanderer



…. more of Algonquin on the (L), Mt. Jo in the foreground (R) and Wallface Mtn. in the background (C) …. - added by Wanderer



…. and we don’t want to leave out the view of the beaver pond where previous pictures were taken from. - added by Wanderer



Pat leading some of the group down the 1932 track – quite different than the video shown above. - added by Wanderer



Colors are changing – even on the kayak! - added by Wanderer



Regrouping on the deck at the top of the combined tracks and its spectacular views …. - added by Wanderer



…. of the current bobsled, luge and skeleton tracks …. - added by Wanderer



…. and the view N of Whiteface Mtn. …. - added by Wanderer



…. and its summit cone with the castle and weather center and the Castle Café on it L shoulder. - added by Wanderer



Sandy “on” the 1980 bobsled track - added by Wanderer



Oops! – Kurt forgot to duck – imagine him driving a sled! - added by Wanderer



View of the top of Cascade Mtn. from the track area - added by Wanderer



Diagram of the 1932 /1980 tracks (not showing the upper section included in the 1932 Olympics but abandoned soon after the games). The “new" track was built in 2000 and not shown here. - added by Wanderer



British Soldier Lichen - added by Barbara



A jovial group walking up the trail! - added by Barbara



Where are we? - added by Barbara



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