The Crooked Canes Journal

Viewing 41 of 79 - 2016


Black Mountain Hike & Boat Ride ~ Aug 4, 2016

Journal entry by Wanderer

I love it when a plan comes together, especially the logistically more challenging ones - it also helps if Mother Nature cooperates with nice weather.  Ed had suggested this unique hike/boat outing, a first for the Canes for Black Mountain, and was in charge of the naval operations.  The thirteen adventurers assembled at the WCMC for a review of the plans for the day and began the caravan to the Black Mountain trailhead off of Pikes Brook Road near Huletts Landing – a 50 minute ride.  Although there was an Around-the Mountain option to visit three ponds and avoid the elevation gain to the summit, everyone chose to do the Over-the-Mountain option to Black Mountain Point.  This helped somewhat since there would be only a single group to be deal with rather than worry about figuring out the timing of the boat transport back to the Washington County Park at Huletts if there was a second group.  After a quick shuttle to drop all the cars off at the park Ed took the group picture and we were off and Ed returned to deal with the boats. Although I was the designated hike leader I think that was because it is customary that the leader write the trip report and no one stepped forward – whoever was in front at the time was actually the leader.  It wasn’t long before the group spread out but we regrouped every so often to make sure no one had strayed.  The trail is wide and relatively flat for the first mile, leading to a seasonal camp, before it turns off and heads deeper into the woods.  From this point the trail narrows and continues through a forest of mixed hardwoods but remains mostly flat for another ½ mile before bumping up the steepness quite a bit, gaining 1000’ in the last ¾ mile to the summit.  The thick canopy of leaves helped keep down the temperature but we could tell that it was getting warmer and no one escaped sweating.

The faster hikers had already reached the summit and checked out the views before returning to a shadier spot just below the top where we all gathered for lunch.  There were already two college aged “kids” having their lunch when our group sort of took over - we adopted them temporarily so that made it seem OK.  It was hot in the sun so any shade helped as we ate our lunch and visited. The wind turbine was nearby but silent – a windless day which made it seem hotter.  After a time, without too much prompting, the group packed up and we were on our way again. Some checked out the summit overlook one last time before we all started down to Black Mountain Point (BMP) and our waiting water taxis.  This section of the trail is steep and although it contains many switchbacks it was eroded and you had to watch your step. There are a couple of overlooks on the way down with very nice views of the lake and we seemed to linger at the lower one.  To our surprise, just as we were headed down again, Ed and Paula showed up!  They must have become bored waiting for us at BMP or perhaps just wanted some exercise.  In any case it was nice to see them and they joined the group, making sure we didn’t get lost.

Eventually, we reached the intersection that led to BMP and made the turn.  In the many times I had hiked the loop trail back to Pikes Brook Road I had never been on this part of the trail – part of an old carriage road.  I was impressed – lots of hemlocks and more open woods.  The hiking seemed a little easier, perhaps because it was less steep, but the trail still had lots of obstacles and didn’t seem well maintained.  As we descended the trail began paralleling a stream and an impressive gorge which required some exploration by Kurt and a few others but we knew we were the stragglers so had to get our act together and head down.  Finally, glimpses of the lake could be seen through the trees and before we knew it we were at BMP, with the hustle and bustle of arriving and departing boats, people swimming or just lounging.  I can’t imagine how crowded this must be during a summer weekend.  Kurt couldn’t wait to get back to the beach in Hulett’s – he had to check out the water immediately while the rest of us gathered at a couple of picnic tables to meet the boat captains and find out which boat we were going to hitch a ride with.  BMP is a very pretty location and we wished we could stay longer but the clock said to get going and we did.  The boat ride was quicker than I expected – perhaps because of some competition between the captains – George was our captain and made sure that neither Ed nor John would come close to him but it was Carolyn that beat everyone back thanks to starting 15 minutes ahead of them!

Once back at the Washington County Park most changed into their swimming attire and enjoyed a pleasant swim while some chose to sit at one of the picnic tables and visit while watching them.  WOW what a great day!  Thanks Ed for making this outing possible and many thanks to Carolyn, John, George and Ed again for providing the boat transport – it was most appreciated.


8/8/16 - Diane Wisell added 8 photos.

8/10/16 - Carolyn Curren added 7 photos.

8/10/16 - Wanderer . added 24 photos.

39 photos

Either somebody's loaf of bread or a big bolete, the size of which is put in perspective by Cathy's size 16 hiking boot. - added by Diane

Some kind of coral mushroom. - added by Diane

Koffee Klatch on the western slope of Black Mountain. - added by Diane

The Narrows from Black Mountain. - added by Diane

Diane in Ye Olde Sylvan Stream. - added by Diane

Black Mountain Point day use area. Really nice. - added by Diane

Flamingos and swans! - added by Diane

Black Mountain from the water on our way to Hulletts Landing. Thanks to Carolyn, John, George and Ed for our ride! - added by Diane

Margie, Fran & Lynn - added by carolyn

Margie & Captain John - added by Carolyn

Ed sending off the first boat. - added by Carolyn

Stu and Rich working on a crossword puzzle as they wait for hikers. - added by Carolyn

Ed with Captain George Enny. - added by Carolyn

Carolyn preparing boat for motoring. - added by Carolyn

Cathy C & Captain George - added by Carolyn

Let the adventure begin! - added by Wanderer

Nancy & Linda on the way up - added by Wanderer

Trail junction - Around-the-Mountain to the left, Over-the-Mountain to the right

Regrouping and a rest - added by Wanderer

Fran, Cathy C, Nancy, Diane, Linda at summit of Black Mountain - added by Wanderer

NW view from the summit with Harbor Islands and Vicar Island (center) and Deer Leap and its rocky cliffs above and slightly to the right of Vicar Island - added by Wanderer

Lunch spot just below the summit - our group pic includes two young adults that we temporarily adopted - can you pick them out?

Remnant of the past - a pole used to carry telephone lines to the tower

Wind turbine on top of Black Mountain - added by Wanderer

Black Mountain Pond (?) from the descent - added by Wanderer

There are always signs! - added by Wanderer

Trailside stream - added by Wanderer

Small portion of the gorge along the trail - added by Wanderer

Just another mushroom (can you identify it?) - added by Wanderer

Tree with a plant growing from its trunk - added by Wanderer

Water taxi loading hikers - pic by Ed - added by Wanderer

Paula - ready to cast off with Nancy and Cathy C relaxing - pic by Ed - added by Wanderer

Paula - Captain's mate in training - pic by Carolyn - added by Wanderer

Linda & Diane - added by Wanderer

Kurt (napping) & Cathy G - added by Wanderer

Black Mountain fire tower from the boat (you may have to look close) - added by Wanderer

Ed trying to catch George's boat - "Eat our wake Ed"

Cooling off at the Washington County Beach in Huletts Landing - added by Wanderer

A local from Huletts Landing visiting & hoping the next time we will bring food! - added by Wanderer

Attendees:  Nancy, Gail, Linda and Peter, Diane and Kurt, Cathy G, Fran, Lynn, Margie, Rich Z, Linda, Cathy C

Boat volunteers:  Fellow Caners Carolyn C and friend Stu, Ed, Paula, Ed’s friends and neighbors at Huletts Landing John and George.  A special thanks to them for providing the boat transportation from Black Mountain Pt to Huletts Landing.

Viewing 41 of 79 - 2016


Update entry