|Posted by kathy miles on July 14, 2017 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Our group of 13 had a beautiful day for our Wild Center Adventure. We arrived around 11:00. We found a nice picnic area. Once nourished, we were off!
The center is divided half indoors and half outside. We divided into small groups and headed in different directions to enjoy the day.
Outside we explored The Wild Walk, the spider web and the eagles nest! We could see Whiteface Mountain in the distance. The summit was in the clouds, still breathtaking. Many exhibits were interactive making it fun.
There were a few trails down to the Raquette River bringing us to Oxbow Overlook with an uphill climb on the way out. I was proud of my Alpiners, they marched right up that hill passing people half their age. We then walked around a lovely pond to the new iForest. An immersive sound experience created by composer Pete M. Wyer. It was created specifically for this forested area of The Wild Center.
Inside the main building, called The Great Wolf Hall, we were able to view many exhibits featuring wildflowers and wildlife that we see hiking. There was also theater presentations on The Adirondacks from land and air. Many photographed and produced by photographer Carl Heilman, just beautiful. I only wished it was twice as long.
Now tired and hungry, well mostly hungry, we headed home stopping at The Adirondack Hotel for dinner. We enjoyed visiting and eating while overlooking part of Long Lake. Great way to end our adventure to The Wild Center.
|Posted by kathy miles on June 27, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Trip Report – Tassell Hill Hike
Sunday, June 25, 2017
9 Alpiners and 2 guests attending
Following some hot and humid weather earlier in the week, we were greeted with a much cooler morning, with the threat of some rain showers later in the day. The coolness made for a perfect day for a hike, and the sun was shining brightly on us through some puffy white clouds.
We started off from a parking area on White Street (which is really just a gravel town road where we were), and walked down the road, to where one of the mountain biking trails headed off uphill. The first ascent was a moderate grade, enough to get our blood flowing and muscles stretched out. After that, the rest of the trail was a fairly easy “walk in the woods”.
The Cardinals, Robins and Wood Thrushes sang to us and we meandered up and down switchbacks on the trail, passing by remnants of old foundation sites and crossing an old town road. We had a few Mushroom hunters in our group, and the area did not disappoint for any lack of fungi! We paused quite a few times to admire the mycological wonders.
We passed over the first, unmarked summit of Tassell Hill (there are two summits), and then finally reached the more well-known open summit. The area had once been home to a communications tower, which is long gone, and now an open grassy area, with some spotty apple trees, and vernal pools. The view wasn’t the greatest from the top due to trees having grown up over the years, but still, we had reached the highest point in Oneida County!
We ventured back into the woods after some group photos and some yummy treats from Marilyn, and then sat down to a communion of chocolate covered strawberries and Bailey’s Irish Cream. After our short respite, we started off again, heading down a different mountain biking trail on the way back. This time there were slabs of bedrock strewn here and there along the path, which were cool to check out.
With all the switchbacks on the way down, we decided to cheat, and cut across many of them (they are more geared towards the mountain bikers). This pleased Lucy greatly! We also decided to take a slight detour, off-trail, to a beaver pond that we spotted in the woods. That turned out to be a real treat. The beaver dam was an impressive one for its height, about 5 or 6 feet tall. Pooniel spotted a large turtle that descended into the depths as we approached the pond. Just a very neat and peaceful area.
We then headed out the rest of the way, dodging one mountain biker on the way out. And followed an old town road back to White Street, and our awaiting vehicles. Feeling a bit hungry, we all drove down Route 20 to Bouckville, and then proceeded to chow down on some very yummy Ray’s Brother’s BBQ, sitting outside on a pleasant afternoon. With our post-hike and post-lunch coma coming on, we all said our good-byes and parted ways, satisfied that we achieved our goal of a most pleasant way to spend a Sunday.
|Posted by kathy miles on June 26, 2017 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
June 21, Wednesday.
12 members and one guest attending
Our day started with a great lunch at Grapevine Farms in Cobleskill, a charming place..restaurant and gift shop. ...wonderful soup , salads, and sandwiches were enjoyed by all.
Next stop was Howe Caverns. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, sharing the history of the cave and its evolution . 156 feet down via elevator to the Vestibule of the caves...52 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
We walked along brick pathways to see amazing stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone in this growing cave. Visited the largest room, Titans Temple, Grottoes, the Bridal Alter...where 2 of our group have been before ...and even the Bronze room...where they took a nice group photo . ( attached )... We had a short boat ride and wandered the serpentine passage of the Winding Way.
Our tour ended with a visit to the cave candy store and gift shop.
The Traditional tour brought back memories for many of us...a step back in time.you could say..but Howe Caverns offer other interesting tours ...lantern and flashlight tours, adventure tours and mining.
|Posted by kathy miles on June 4, 2017 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Saturday, June 3, 2017
14 members, 5 guests attending
Finally, we held our zipping experience at Mountain Ridge Adventure in Glenville. The day was cool and windy but at least it wasn't raining. Participation was high and eagerness was evident as we broke into 2 groups to get harnessed up and ready to attend ground school. We learned how to always be locked in to prevent any mishaps. It seemed confusing at first, lock, unlock, lock? But after a few times we got the hang of it and could move along. We began the course by climbing a few 20 foot plus ladders to get into the tree canopy. Then our zipping began. It was scary to take the first step off the platforms and be comfortable up high. Soon we were crisscrossing the ravine, and landing at the stations with finesse. It was fun to be with the group to cheer each other and assist when we could. For some this was an opportunity to shorten their bucket list. Of course it ended way too soon! But being the mighty Alpiners many reconvened at Wolf Hollow Brewery just up the road. Flights were sampled and good BBQ food enjoyed.
|Posted by kathy miles on May 7, 2017 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
Ambrose Clark Tower
Shorty Event No. 86
10 members and 1 guest attended
It was another day just like any other of late…drizzle,light rain, cool and
breezy. There was an air of optimism as a dozen Alpiners started out on
the main trail up to the Irish Tower. A special feature of the trail system is
its website like loops,so once we reached a split in the trail we took the path
less traveled and did several interconnecting trails until we decided it was time
to see the tower itself,after all it was our destination. It is always special to me
to see the quarried stone tower. It is surrounded now with a high iron fence
because vandals at one time stole the stain glassed windows.It is nonetheless
quite beautiful. The large markers for Kellsboro Jack and Buttons are also there
in the same area where Ambrose Clark is interred.Photos were taken and then we
meandered down the hill on several more trails to our cars and lunch at Council
Rock Brewery. All this with little or no rain.!!!!!!!! A great day with friends
|Posted by kathy miles on May 7, 2017 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
April 26, 2017
11 members attemded
A nice east breeze and some mallards greeted the Mohawk Valley Alpiners as we headed to Moss Island, a designated National Landmark.
Our first ooh and ahh was the new, spacious vault toilet, strategically placed at the beginning of the 35' climbing walls. Soft new growth on European Mountain Ash and shad blossoms said it was spring. Our group took its time exploring the many paths that meandered the rocky island. Some ventured deep into the chasm and ravines. There were many potholes large and small carved into the gneiss by the Mohawk River. We crossed the barge canal, getting a look at the massive lock walls.
Our hike continued west on the bike trail, past a nice waterfalls. Lunch was delicious at Piccolos.
|Posted by kathy miles on May 7, 2017 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
Trip Report – Twitchell Lake Paddle / LaBastille Hike
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Leader: Scott Healy
8 members and 1 guest attending
After starting off with a very crisp morning, Mother Nature decided to bless us with a beautiful, sunny and warm day! We gathered at the Eagle Bay Visitor Center briefly, to make sure we had everyone, and then set off down the bumpy and windy Big Moose Road. Another turn up Twitchell Road brought us to the DEC boat launch on Twitchell Lake, which was pretty much empty this time of year.
We launched our crafts into the blue water of the lake, noting that for all of us this was our first time paddling for the year, though for some it wasn't the earliest they had ever paddled. Winds were calm, and almost immediately we saw a Great Blue Heron fly into one of the magnificent pines along the lake shore.
As we guided our crafts up the lake, a pair of Loons graced us with their presence. They would keep us company the rest of the day with their beautiful calls, echoing through the Twichell Lake valley.
After a little over a mile of paddling, we reached the dock at the former property of Anne LaBastille, famous author, whose estate had donated her Twitchell Lake property to the State. We checked out the site where her cabin once stood, which was painstakingly disassembled and has been reconstructed at the "Adirondack Experience: The Museum On Blue Mountain Lake" (formerly the "Adirondack Museum").
We then began our short half-mile hike, along Little Birch Pond (where some of us saw a beaver swimming around), and checked out Anne's "Little Birch Cabin", which she used in her later years for writing, and being able to fax her writings from. The not-so-obvious trail continued through about every variation of Adirondack woods, winding its way over some still snow covered ground, and finally ended at the "Thoreau II" cabin, which was also called "West of the Wind". Anne had built this far-removed cabin to escape the noise of the lake while writing, as well as hide from any obsessive fans who figured out where her property was (in her books she didn't reveal the exact location, though some fans figured it out). We also took in the view across Lilypad Ponds, and tried to figure out the species of two birds that were on the water at the far end of the lake.
A return hike brought us back to Twitchell Lake, and Anne's old cabin site, where we started a fire, cooked some hot-dogs, and munched down on various yummy snacks. Scott blew his Conch shell, which used to belong to Anne LaBastille, and then we toasted Anne with a communion of Irish Cream. Throughout our lunch, warblers and loons serenaded us with their songs.
Two more short jaunts took us to two lean-to's that were on the shoreline, on either side of the cabin site. Then we got back into our boats, and did some exploring further up the lake, as well as a scoping out of the various camps along the shoreline. A lot of the camps here incorporate the "Covey" style of architecture, which is named after Earl Covey, who built the Twitchell Inn, as well as the Big Moose Chapel.
Finally, we headed back to the boat launch. We paddled against a stiff breeze at times, but most didn't care, because the day was so perfect, especially for late April! Satisfied with a full day of hiking and paddling, we loaded up our gear, and drove the long ride back to our houses, the spirit of the day remaining with us all.
|Posted by kathy miles on May 7, 2017 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
Trip Report Event No. 84: Shorty Hike to the waterfalls on a tributary of Panther Creek.
Seven brave Alpiners trusted the Weather Underground forecast for the rain to hold off until the afternoon and were not frightened by the very steep trail rating.
We started up the trail along Looking Glass Pond. We were hit by a very damp cold wind but when we started our decent along the stream the trees protected us, and we were soon rewarded with an old stone mill and our first waterfall. We continued down the trail and viewed and photographed waterfall after waterfall. In some places you could see ten or more falls and cascades at a time. Eventually the trail leveled out and we were able to cross Panther Creek on a foot bridge. Panther Creek has a historical falls downstream, Bouck Falls, over a 100-feet high and on private land.
We were able to view the falls again as we walked and rested going up the trail. Luckily there was no rain until we were leaving the Carrot Barn after a great lunch. The group agreed that this was a very steep hike! Earned the difficult rating! I still think it is a Shorty because it was only two miles.
|Posted by kathy miles on April 12, 2015 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
Let me tell you about the first Alpiner hike I went on, although you will get this too late to share with the others today. It was on 12/5/10, Cindy McF and I went with you and 10 others plus 2 dogs to Hall Falls in Stratford. Trisa was there and I already knew her thru the HealthLink hikes. I remember all the Alpiners as being very friendly and welcoming. You shared a Peppermint Pig and that was the first time I heard about the pig. It was supposed to be a 4 mile R/T hike but ended up being 6 miles because we couldn’t cross a wet area. It snowed lightly all day and it was very muddy on the trail. It was the first of many memorable adventures with the Alpiners. TB
My first hike with the Alpiners was 1990, give or take. It was a ski trip. I’m not quite sure what our intended destination was but we were starting from the McKeever trailhead. If you’re not familiar, that's off Route 28, a few miles south of Thendara. You come to a cluster of a few houses/camps, continue on past the old train station, cross the tracks and soon come to a good-sized parking area. That’s the summer parking area. In winter you have to park about a half mile back, just before the old train station. This was early winter and snow was adequate, though not plentiful. Our leader, Dick, had gone up the week before to check on conditions. At that time he had had no trouble driving his Buick all the way to the summer parking area, so come what may he was going to park there on the day of the trip. He’s a stubborn man, not that there’s any other kind. So the day of the trip he continued on past the old train station and the driver of the other car (Jim L.), not pausing to consider, followed along. Well, it had snowed sometime during the previous week. The cars got maybe 50 yards before getting stuck. Really stuck. We spent the rest of the day digging, pushing, and gunning the engines (in reverse) trying to get out. We’d work for a while, then take a break while Dick and Burt had a cigarette, then dig/push/gun some more. Eventually a few kindly snowmobilers came along and, with their added pushing muscles, we were able to get the cars back to where they could get traction.
Did I ever go out with those people again? Sure. GG
In the fall of 1997 I took a computer class at BOCES, Herkimer. I learned plenty at the class but the luckiest thing for me was that I was seated next to an Alpiner, Dick. He invited me to attend an Alpiner hike. My first hike was Nov. 9 of that year. Walt O was the leader. We hiked near Salt Springville. The schedule says that we were to hike the Ohissa State Forest & Otsquaga State Forest. “Amazing examples of “deep wilderness” right in our own back yard. We may do just one of the forests if time presses or fatigue weighs heavy.” I don’t remember if we did both forest or too much about the hike but it was the first of many Alpiner hikes and events for me and my introduction to Walt O, one of the most colorful individuals I ever had the pleasure of knowing. KM