The Crooked Canes Journal

Viewing 3 of 78 - 2016


Moreau Park hike ~ Jan 14, 2016

Journal entry by Fran Herve

We are so fortunate to have Moreau Lake State Park so close by! If you only have a few hours to hike or if the driving or trail conditions elsewhere make a change necessary Moreau will save the day. This is precisely what happened on that day. The planned ski at Santanoni Camp had to be cancelled due to the lack of snow. In spite of disappointing winter weather 21 CC's met at the park office. We drove to the spring parking off Spier Falls road. Microspikes were slipped on and off we went up the moderately steep Western Ridge( yellow) trail. At the first junction we switched to the dark blue Eastern Ridge trail. Only an inch of snow had fallen the previous day and it just dusted the layer of ice that covered most of the trails so indeed microspikes were essential. After about a mile the path leveled and we took the time to enjoy this beautiful mixed wood forest, study the wildlife tracks in the snow and chat. Ray B. had a surprise for us. Thanks to his trusted GPS he had recorded the location of several tupelo trees. This particular variety grows in swampy areas and can live for 300, 400 years or longer. To avoid the deep slush and mud we admired their interesting shape and bark from a safe distance. After joining the white blaze Cottage Park/Eastern Ridge trail for a short distance we followed the orange (Cottage Park) trail back to the yellow trail. The day had started cloudy and gray but improved with some blue sky and sunny intervals. As we arrived at the ridge we admired the views of the summits in the distance and the dam below, regrouped for a few photos and quickly went in search of a place out of the wind for lunch. Another mile completed the loop and brought us back down to the trailhead.
The hikers were: Lenore and Jack, Ray, Sam and his granddaughter Rachel, Margie, Linda P., Liz, the 2 Rich's, Craig, Donna and Peter, Jan and Jim, Karen and Leon, Joy, Shelly and Judith. Thank you all for joining me for another most enjoyable day in the woods and special thanks to Sam, Ray and Lenore for helping me stay on the right trail!

1/16/16 - RayB Bouchard added 10 photos.

2/3/16 - Fran herve added 3 photos.

13 photos

Fran failed too mention in her brief introduction that the real reason she won't have time to write the trip report for another two weeks is because she had to pack and catch a plane to Florida. Now it's customary for a trip report to have a picture of the leader. Unfortunately Peter was too sick to join us so the usual "people pictures" weren't taken this time. I might add that Kurt has been down and out for the past couple of weeks too. My excuses for not filling in are simple. One, I spent so much time talking with friends that I forgot. And two, my fingers refused to leave the comfortable confines of my heated mittens. To solve the dilemma I pulled a picture from my archives that shows what she might look like, now that she's able to bask in the warm Florida sunshine. - added by RayB

We did take a short side trip off of the Eastern Ridge trail (Blue trail markers) to visit the Black Tupelo trees, but my fingers still refused to be exposed to the cold air so...back to the archives (3/11/14). This picture shows just how unique the limb structure of the tree is. Notice the lack of lower branches, and the splayed appearance of the upper ones. - added by RayB

Photo added by RayB

3/10/15 taken at Lincoln Mt. State Forest. This picture does a better job of showing how the branches grow out horizontally from the trunk, then bend up like an arm reaching for the sky. - added by RayB

3/11/14 The largest Swiss Army Knife made easily fits into the deeply furrowed bark of the Black Tupelo. - added by RayB

3/11/14 And yet it may not be deeply furrowed all the way around, or even all the way to the top. Notice how this tree has deep furrows on the right, but a checkered pattern on the other side. For more information, Google "Black Tupelos of Saratoga County"- added by RayB

I don't believe I mentioned that the Black Tupelo trees tend to be found in swampy area so you have to walk on or through water if you want to hug one. Well the conditions weren't perfect today so I had to resort to one that I took on 3/11/14, just a few feet from where we stood today, looking up at a magnificent specimen. On that date the water surrounding the Tupelos was frozen solid without any snow to cover up the beauty trapped within. I suspect the water slowly froze over time, from top to bottom, trapping gas that was rising from the bottom. It's possible that some of the trapped gas is methane from decomposing vegetation? - added by RayB

One of the Ice Walls near the southern most overlook on the Western Ridge Trail. - added by RayB

Photo added by RayB

Fortunately the one "people picture" that I did manage to take was of Sam Lantz and his lovely granddaughter, Rachel. Rachel came all the way from Ohio to spend time with her grandparents. Sam mentioned that the two of them usually go ice fishing on Moreau Lake during her winter visits, but the ice was too thin this year so the fish get a temporary reprieve. - added by RayB

Taking a layer off. - added by Fran

Ice formations - added by Fran

Views from the western ridge - added by Fran

Viewing 3 of 78 - 2016


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