The Crooked Canes Journal


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"Moxham Mountain" ?? Hike ~ Dec 13, 2012

Journal entry by Kurt Wisell



Thursday, December 13 was about as perfect a day as December delivers: clear, no wind and the temperature hovering a bit below or above freezing. It was made more perfect by the camaraderie of 20 Crooked Canes on an outing not possible before this year and that proved to be a gem. The trail opened in August, 2012 after its construction by the Student Conservation Association under the auspices of NYSDEC. First, a little history. What is now referred to as Moxham Mountain has had a number of names, the last of which is an apparently confusing one. It was originally known as Jones Mountain and then, as in the present day, locally referred to as Signal Mountain for reasons obvious to one standing at the summit or points along the way. Later it became Moxham Mountain in memory of a surveyor, Robert Moxham, who died when he slipped off the edge of one of the cliffs. Moxham is noted in a 1907 book titled "History of the Lumber Industry In America, Vol. 2" by James Defebaugh as having surveyed the Dominick Patent, a tract of 12,600 acres in Essex granted by the State of New York to Francis Dominick in 1789. Moxham is referred to by Verplanck Colvin on page 175 of his "Third To 7th Report," published in 1880 as "Mount Moxon or Maxham" which Colvin states he had previously visited in 1872. Confusion continues into the 1900's when in 1942, the USGS placed a marker at the top of the mountain inexplicably using the name "Maxim." We were very fortunate to be accompanied by Jim Harvey who lives only a couple miles from Jones/Signal/Moxon/Maxham/Maxim/Moxham Mountain and who shared with us his knowledge of the area. He has deep roots there, going back to his great-great-great grandparents who lived there and referred to the the mountain as being in the "14th Country" an area comprised of the Moxham Range and its surroundings where the trail head is located on 14th Road in Minerva. A rugged fellow, Jim rode his motorcycle to the trailhead and it was a crisp morning. Jim, thanks for coming! The roughly 2.5 mile trail ascends about 1200 feet from its beginning over rolling terrain with constant views starting at a half mile and which get better and better from bottom to top stretching better than 180 degrees. The trail passes through open hardwoods, over a couple small streams, along an active beaver dam (where a new Crooked Cane, Charlie Beach) observed a beaver whose tail swatting many of us heard and along the sharp edge of the Moxham Range to the summit where it's easy to imagine Yosemite's Half Dome. Speaking for myself, all of you made my day very special. I can't imagine a better way to spend one's first day of retirement than with Lenore, Gail, Shelly, Fran, Diane, Susan, Dale, Joanne, Barbara B., Linda, two Karen B's., Peggy, Ray B., Charlie, Ken, Jim H., two Peters and a partridge in a pear tree!

12/14/12 - Ken Gericke added 5 photos.

12/16/12 - Wanderer . added 8 photos.

12/18/12 - Ray Bouchard added 8 photos.

28 photos



Beginning to get a serious view of the summit.



It's starting to look Half Domey!



Our climbers contemplating routes and rocks.



Looking back to where the first views were found and northwest toward Blue Mountain.



At the summit.



Note "Maxam" on the marker.



Thank you all for your kind thoughts in the card shown here and especially to Lenore for making it happen and BROWNIES! The card shows me in retirement with Diane on my back and mother-in-law egging her on! Seriously, I love them both dearly but couldn't resist the caption as the ideas came up during our outing.



Bicylce sculpture near trailhead to 'Mocks Em Mt'. - by Ken



Stream crossing. - by Ken



This boulder seems to be wearing a toupee! - by Ken



From shade to sun along a rocky spine in the trail. - by Ken



Karen Burka looks right at home...a new Adirondack 46er. - by Ken



Group at the Trailhead - by Wanderer



Glacial Erratic Along the Trail - by Wanderer



Silhouette of Gore in the Distance - by Wanderer



Tree Shielding a Rock on a Blanket of Reindeer Moss - by Wanderer



Moxham or Half Dome? - by Wanderer



Along the Ridge - by Wanderer



Just After Lunch - by Wanderer



Ponds Below the Summit - by Wanderer



The trail was clearly defined and easy to follow through the open woods. - by Ray



"Princess Pine", a type of Club Moss provided a touch of green accentuated by a fresh dusting of snow. - by Ray



We met a gentleman hiking the trail with his gentle, well behaved companion, a Bernese Mountain dog. - by Ray



Fran & Joanne taking a short break. - by Ray



Such a serious expression Peter. Was it something I said? - by Ray



Charlie B. joined us for the first but hopefully not the last time. - by Ray



Shelly just itchin' to start hiking again. - by Ray



Kurt, our very capable leader, suggests that we head back down the trail. Some immediately comply, but Gail responds with a defiant shrug and a toss of her hair. (Note: Actually I made that up. It just seemed appropriate when I looked at the picture. I'm sure she wasn't being defiant.) - by Ray



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