The Crooked Canes Journal


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Return to Nun-da-ga-o Ridge and Weston Mountain ~ Oct 1, 2013

Journal entry by Wanderer



This year is proving to be a banner year for fall outings and from recent emails, “bonus” outings abound. Today’s hike of the Nun-da-ga-o ridge and Weston Mt is one of those and did not disappoint Diane and Kurt, Lenore and Jack, Don, Margie and me. Despite reaching the summit of Weston Mt back in February 2012, our group was unable to complete the loop because of heavy snow and thick ice covering the rocks and roots. We were determined that this time it would be different and scheduled it early enough in the year so that crampons would not be needed. What we didn’t predict was how warm it would be – especially for October 1st. At the start, nearly everyone had a jacket on but within the first few minutes of “up” a stop was made to shed and a few minutes later another stop to take of removable leggings for those lucky to have them – poor Diane.

Continuing climbing the steadily steep trail we reached the first intersection with a sign indicating only .2 miles to the summit of Big Crow Mt. Lulled into thinking we were making good progress we elected to visit the bare summit and take an extended break before returning to the intersection and begin following the unmarked, but well trodden trail over Nun-da-ga-o Ridge, to Weston Mt. For anyone who has hiked the trail connecting Cat and Thomas mountains the next few miles was like that, except on steroids. Ups and down, in and out of the sun and into spruce, hemlock and aromatic balsam woods – it seemed like it would never end. The temps were in the low 70’s and every overlook was a different view of the surrounding peaks in all their glory. Occasionally, we were lucky to feel the welcomed breeze funneling over the trail - often following us into another woodsy retreat, but overall it was warm – too warm for this time of year. Views from the dozens of overlooks were mixed – the distant peaks looked like silhouettes - their summits darkened from the shade of the numerous clouds and slightly hazy because of the humid air not completely burned off yet – still beautiful. We were approaching the noon whistle and the Rebers reminded us that it was lunch time. I pointed to a highpoint, Coal Dirt Hill perhaps, and convinced the group to go on for a few more minutes with the promise of panoramic view – one that we deserved.

Everyone found their little nest and out came the sandwiches and drinks as well as maps and several GPS gizmos. The views were outstanding in all directions with one peak dominating – Weston Mt it was assumed – and it wasn’t long before it was determined that we still had nearly a mile to go before we reached it! A slightly hastened lunch brought us to a descent and then a longer ascent to Weston and really great views. We would have liked to stay longer but it was still 3 miles to the parking lot and already after 1. The trail is very steep coming off the summit, filled with lots of loose rocks and roots but also quite a few hand holds and everyone made it down safely. Those that were here back in 2012 recalled it quite well – just without the snow and ice. The trail continues on a moderate decline then levels off before reaching the Biesemeyer Memorial lean-to and then on to lost pond with nice views of the shoreline. From here the trail continues gently downward and reaches the new Gulf Brook lean-to (the old one was dismantled, moved to a new location, reassembled with a new roof). In a short distance the trail reaches an intersection with one that takes you to the summit of Hurricane but we chose the right fork along Gulf Brook back to the cars – a wide forest service road perfect for visiting with your hiking partners. Great day!

Peter

10/6/13 - Margie Litwin added 1 photo.

27 photos



At the Start - sans Kurt



NW View From Big Crow Summit - Whiteface in center



Trailside View



We Went Around



Steep Steps



Kurt and Don - Don "Damn that Pete - where is he taking us?"



Don - "I forgive you Pete"



More "Up"



Looking Back



Lunch - "And miles to go before I sleep"



Pitchoff Ridge



High Peaks in Silhouette



Hurricane Mt (L) and Giant Mt (R)



Cool Tree



Caribou Moss (Is that correct Ray?)



Margie, Lenore and Diane



Jay Range



Summit of Weston - Finally!



Lost Pond



Having Fun



Lost Pond with Hurricane Mt in background



Looking Back at Lost Pond



"New" Lean-to



Take Five



Ahhh - isn't that cute!



Almost Out



Lenore enjoys the view from the Soda Range. - added by Margie




Reflections

Early Tuesday morning my mother died, caused by complications of a recent fall – she was 93. During the last week of her life she had suffered some but medication and the care of health care professionals made her as comfortable as possible and the last couple of days she was very peaceful. It was during this time that Linda and I said our goodbyes – we knew the end was near. Some may question my decision to go on a hike so soon, but those that really know me would have guessed that is exactly what I would do, and had my mother been able to do so she would have approved. I am not a religious person but consider myself spiritual nonetheless, and being out in the woods is where I seek solace – if I am with friends so much the better. Besides, memories of my mother were with me all day and the hike of Nun-da-ga-o Ridge will always be a special memory.

Take advantage of each day that you have been given and celebrate life!

A friend of mine summed it up best -

“No matter how much it is expected and how thankful that we are that suffering has ended - death of a loved one still hurts. Mother Nature has a way to help heal those hurts.”

Peter

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”

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