The Crooked Canes Journal


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St. Regis Mountain Hike ~ Oct 5, 2016

Journal entry by Ghost Writer For Mr. Fedorick



Following a terrific day on Pitchoff Ridge, Diane, Peter and Kurt headed into Lake Placid, checked into a hotel all were familiar with from years past, washed the stink off and figured out a dinner plan. Fellow CCs had recommended a low key, terrific local restaurant in Saranac Lake, so off we went. The Belvedere was exactly as Peter had heard it was and a perfect fit for an evening of reminiscing the Pitchoff hike and getting excited about our hike on St. Regis Mountain the following morning.

At breakfast Diane waited while the high tech boys, completely bewildered, got the coffee machine to work but not before positing and testing numerous theories on its operation. Finally, the geeks got it, woke up and to Diane's relief, the day got underway. The half hour drive to St. Regis was a feast for the eyes with constantly peak foliage and crystal clear reflections on glassy water, reinforcing the adage that getting there is half the fun.

A heron greeted us from a stream adjacent to the trail head upon our arrival and soon after our departure for the St. Regis Mountain summit it rose and circled overhead a number of times calling loudly all the while. The first two or so miles of our 3.5 mile hike to the summit was a delightful walk through generally open hemlock and hardwood forests, the trail in great shape with mushrooms everywhere as it passed over rolling terrain. As the pitch steepened, we encountered numerous stone stairs making the ascent very easy. Some minor water courses were bridged with large flat stones. About half way up, at a stream crossing, a lady and her dog caught up with us. The dog searched the stream for just the right rock, found it and they continued on.

Our first view came a short distance below the summit, was spectacular and put spring in our steps for the remaining short distance to the summit. Peter arrived first and as usual struck up a conversation with the first stranger he saw - the lady with the dog who still had the stone picked up in the stream. As Kurt approached, Peter looked up and said "Kurt, have you ever heard of a group called the Crooked Canes?" It turned out the lady was from Troy (and an acquaintance of Margie), had been considering joining the Canes and wanted to know all about us.

The St. Regis summit is broad, relatively flat, has a recently refurbished fire tower and 360 degree views. With foliage at peak, the sky clear with a few clouds standing nearly motionless above and with views of so many places nearby that we had visited, we remained for about two hours. Neither of the three of us wanted to leave, but the thought of another adventure to follow lured us down the mountain to our car and almost too warm temperature. Time for a foliage ride to show Diane more new scenery.

Our ride took us back through Saranac Lake, then Franklin Falls, Union Falls, past Catamount (one of last year's P3FT hike locations), the Memorial Highway, Wilmington and on toward our hotel in Lake Placid. The hour getting late, we decided to forego going directly back to the hotel, showering and then figuring out where to eat. That the Hungry Trout, scene of a very enjoyable dinner on last year's P3FT tour, was soon to come into view and in spite of our sweaty hiking clothes, we decided to see if we could at least get in the door. Quickly changing into formal dinner attire right there in the parking lot and hoping noses wouldn't curl from our delightful post hike aroma we were soon seated at a table with Whiteface and the West Branch of the Ausable River as a backdrop and enjoyed a terrific meal as the sun set and the moon and stars lit the clear sky. A perfect ending to a perfect day - and time to start thinking about the next day's hike at Giant's Nubble, an outing very easy to get cranked up about.

 

10/10/16 - Wanderer . added 6 photos.

18 photos



Signing in with high anticipation!



Huge nugget. Note Diane standing at the base of the biggest part of the rock, next to the tree. 10 "little" pieces have flaked off the largest piece.



One of two stone bridges. Kudos to whoever most recently did the awesome stone work on this trail.



Turkey Tails



Peter near the top of a long flight of stairs.



Diane in the midst of another jumble of nuggets.



The dog with the rock and his mom, Diane and others at the summit.



Brilliant foliage everywhere.



Peter stares away in disbelief as Diane tells him she really can fly and "I start out just like this."



Talk about a room with a view!



Paddlers at Union Falls



Feverishly donning "formal dinner attire" in the parking lot before dinner consisted of Peter zipping legs on his shorts and Diane rooting a "less stinky fleece" out of her pack.



A great playground! - added by Wanderer



Still alive - how does it survive? - added by Wanderer



Upper St Regis and Spitfire Lakes below with Whiteface on horizon, center. Catamount Mt to the far left and lesser peaks to the right (Stewart, Kilburn ?) - added by Wanderer



St Regis Pond, nearly due south with Little Clear Pond to the left and behind and Upper Saranac Lake to the right (please correct me if I am wrong) - added by Wanderer



The beautiful views were never ending, regardless of which direction you looked - added by Wanderer



The recently renovated St Regis Fire Tower - cab open - added by Wanderer




There's a nice panorama shot from St. Regis at www.crookedcanes.org/Pitchoff/Pitchoff.html

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