The Crooked Canes Journal


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Lyon And Catamount Mountain Hikes ~ Oct 5, 2015

Journal entry by Ghostly Writer For Peter Fedorick



On Monday, October 5th, Peter Fedorick's Fall Foliage Tour 2015 (or Pete's Flying Circus?) continued, with an overnight road trip to Lyon Mountain, just west of Plattsburgh, followed on Tuesday the 6th by a casual stroll up Catamount Mountain, just north of Whiteface in Wilmington - a stroll complete with a celebrity appearance! Peter, Gail, Cathy C., Diane and Kurt made their way to Frontier Town, meeting Karen B., then continued on to the trail head where Lenore and Jack arrived, cruising in from Indian Lake. This was all new country for most of us, and it sure was nice. Agricultural country on the edge of mountains with very good color everywhere and a perfect Fall day for hiking.

A very fine and moderate trail with relatively consistent grade (so fine that Karen did not throw her poles, not even once!) led us on a playful trek of a little under 4 miles (one way) and 2,000 vertical feet to the summit of Lyon and its broad flat summit with a fire tower and 360 degree views, even without the tower, that included large portions of Lake Champlain, the High Peaks, Vermont and the St. Lawrence River. No wind, two BIG wind farms, the recently rebuilt tower, a soaring eagle and tales of adventure from the "Chronicle Of Ancient Rural Auditing" added spice, fun and knowledge to an already wonderful experience. Just a terrific hike!

Once all of us were playfully down the mountain, Karen, who on the morning's ride to the trail head felt near hopelessly lost, headed out of the parking lot after our hike armed with instructions to easily find her way home from where she would travel the next day to catch up with us at Catamount. After one little mistake that we will remember for years to come, she was spotted heading in a different direction by Peter's car full of charitable and caring folks who couldn't catch her to help her find the prescribed path. For the rest of the day, at every intersection between Lyon and Wilmington, someone would say "Hey, there goes Karen!" Fortunately, she got home just fine and in good time.

We arrived at the North Pole Resort in Wilmington after an adventurous hour long ride (that seemed like minutes) with many more tales from the "Chronicle," lovely scenery, rafter after rafter of turkeys and thought-to-be glimpses of Karen furtively disappearing around corners. A family run lodging that runs as smooth as a Swiss watch, the North Pole Resort accommodates folks at their inn, cabins, store, campground, RV park, beach, fishing hole and restaurant where we continued to collect highly amusing, memorable moments in addition to enjoying clean and comfortable accommodations. When you go there, tell Mary Ellen that Peter sent you. She'll remember. Hungry for trout, the "Hungry Trout" was our dinner destination where we found a great meal and a huge helping of hilarity.

Morning started with someone spotting Jack having breakfast by himself at a picnic table. His alone time was quickly and efficiently ended by the remaining six of us as eager to play and as full of energy as month old puppies. Off and running a little after 7.00 am, Peter treated us to a visit at one of his favorite stops, a VERY scenic flume on the West Branch of the Ausable River with recently completed trails and parking just a mile or so from the NPR. Then on to breakfast, a short five scenic miles away at the River's Edge Emporium where Arlee, a "retired" (yeah, sure, just like most of us) pastry chef greeted and treated us like family with great coffee, breakfast sandwiches and blueberry scones. Fully buzzed, we were ready to meet Karen back at the NPR and head for Catamount.

A short ride from Wilmington, passing by the Whiteface Memorial Highway entrance, led us to a grand view of Catamount rising out of the valley, a view that gave rise to more than a few thoughts of "Uh-Oh, now what have I gotten myself into?" More fun, good memories, good exercise, more great views, meeting a celebrity, record distance for pole throwing, a little character building, a surprise surplus of chocolate at the summit, meeting a remarkable 13 year old dog who looked and sported around the mountain like his age was 13 months, a few more adventure stories from the "Chronicle," that's what we got into! Catamount is shorter on distance, about four miles, but longer on challenge, about 20 miles, with steep climbs, good rock scrambles and pole throwing opportunities. Very pretty and rewarding. Our celebrity encounter was with Tom Meissner, Plattsburgh's WPTZ Channel 5 chief meteorologist. Peter groveled and begged for a 24 x 30 glossy autographed poster to put over the fireplace but, darn, Tom didn't bring any with him up the trail!

Done with this short, casual stroll at about 3.00, it was off to the Jay Bridge, then into the cars and on the road for home everyone taking with them a bit different experience and all far richer than before.

Special thanks to Peter "The Incredible Trip Planner" Fedorick for his thoroughness, thoughtfulness, encouragement and friendship in making this two day fun filled trip so completely gratifying. Which, if any specific aspect of this trip, considering newly acquired memories, enjoyment of Peter's reminiscences or Peter's obvious joy in sharing his experiences is stronger, we'll never know. And it makes no difference, as this trip, for all of us, was very special indeed.

10/14/15 - Wanderer . added 12 photos.

10/14/15 - Wanderer . added 26 photos.

10/16/15 - Jack & Lenore Reber added 1 photo.

57 photos



Full of excitement and READY TO CLIMB LYON!



The Yin & Yang of growing up Viburnum.



Oh yeah! The Crooked Canes Prom Photo!



Small leaves near the summit, illuminated from behind.



What a view. Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains in the distance, Celotex ceiling above.



Everyday's Christmas on Lyon Mountain!



What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? A root ball full of Canes!



A nice view at the North Pole Resort



At the West Branch of the Ausable, new trails and parking. Nearby are flumes.



Not a Hudson River School painting, but it sure could be one. Flume on the West Branch of the Ausable.



First view of Catamount.



A mushroom with an identity complex. It's tough being a daisy in a mushroom body.



Peter is not looking for Santa in the chimney but this will give some perspective on photos he posts.



From the top of Catamount looking toward Esther and Whiteface. Cloudsplitter is doing its thing.



Photo by Diane



One of the last flowers of the season, especially on mountain summits.



The Jay Bridge. Lots of info on line related to this recently restored bridge.



The Jay Bridge, as straight and square as it was on day 1, many years ago.



Showing their "other" side - added by Wanderer



Our trail - added by Wanderer



Trailside stream - added by Wanderer



The trail had some rough spots .... - added by Wanderer



.... but the view was our reward! - added by Wanderer



Wind farm NE - near Altona .... - added by Wanderer



.... with a larger wind farm NW - near Chateaugay - added by Wanderer



Lyon Mountain fire tower - added by Wanderer



Looking east - Lake Champlain, South Hero Island and the old Plattsburgh AFB in view (horizontal tan line in the center) - added by Wanderer



Lunch perch - added by Wanderer



Looking south over the the tree covered summit - added by Wanderer



High Peaks silhouette - added by Wanderer



Pre-Catamount Mt stroll - beaver pond near Whiteface Mt - added by Wanderer



View of the Wilmington flume - it really screams in the spring or after a heavy rain - added by Wanderer



The challenge - added by Wanderer



On our way - added by Wanderer



Some color to brighten our spirits! - added by Wanderer



I think they see the summit - added by Wanderer



Yep - too bad it's the false summit - that trickster Pete! - added by Wanderer



Winding our way up .... - added by Wanderer



.... and up - added by Wanderer



Karen at the top of the chimney - if she can make it .... - added by Wanderer



.... the rest can .... - added by Wanderer



.... and they continue to climb .... - added by Wanderer



.... perhaps by a different route .... - added by Wanderer



.... to the safety of the false summit and beautiful views - Yippy! - added by Wanderer



Looking NE from the false summit - added by Wanderer



Jack pointing out that we have to go down that chimney - added by Wanderer



View of the true summit - added by Wanderer



View from the true summit - looking N - Union Falls Pond - added by Wanderer



Esther Mt and Whiteface Mt (in the clouds) - added by Wanderer



Taylor Pond (foreground) and Silver Lake (left of center) - added by Wanderer



Mountain Ash just below the summit - added by Wanderer



Treasure missed by the squirrels? - added by Wanderer



Summit team - Karen, Kurt and Lenore - added by Wanderer



The rest of the team on the false summit - added by Wanderer



Was going up easier? - added by Wanderer



Cascade at the Jay Covered Bridge (taken the week before) - added by Wanderer



S'More happy hikers - added by Jack



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