The Crooked Canes Journal


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Owl Head Lookout ~ Mar 6, 2012

Journal entry by Wanderer



Yet another successful hike! Only a week after the challenging hike to Weston Mt. five hardy souls had a super day hiking to Owl Head Lookout on the north trail to Giant, down the road from the main trail to Hurricane Mt. Having never hiked this trail I was pleasantly surprised how hiker friendly the route was and the unique views from the overlook. When I checked the weather for Keene Valley earlier in the morning the temperature was reported at 15 below! However, the forecast was calling for high 20’s so I knew it would be a quick warm-up but didn’t realize how quick. Linda and I met Lenore and Dennis at the WCMC and then picked-up Donna Wood in Warrensburg and were on our way on schedule or perhaps a little earlier. Of course there was lots of visiting during the drive and most of it had to do with how beautiful the day was turning out and how the temperature was rising all the way to Keene Valley where it was 24 at 9:30. Although the temperature decreased as we gained elevation to the trailhead it was still a balmy 17 when we started. The biggest decision of the day turned out to be whether to wear snowshoes or Microspikes. We carried the snowshoes on the private drive portion and although the trail was broken, decided to wear them. That didn’t last long – only five minutes later we changed our minds and put on our Microspikes. The snow wasn’t deep but covered the forest floor as we meandered on the trail – first through a short section where there was evidence of logging, next into a beautiful hemlock and pine area and finally into the hardwoods. Sunglasses were the rule of the day with abundant, bright sun creating shadows throughout the mixed hardwoods on both sides of the trail broken by the occasional rock formation with frozen waterfalls of ice clinging to the surface in a desperate attempt to hold on to winter. We crossed a few brooks along the way and we could hear the water flowing beneath the snow and ice with occasional open pockets allowing unique ice crystals to form on nearby surfaces. It was a little past noon (yes Lenore mentioned that we hadn't had lunch yet) when we reached the spur trail to the overlook. The trail description described the last tenth of a mile as “eroded and steep” but was nothing compared to what we faced last week hiking to the summit of Weston Mt. It wasn’t long before we were at the top and were treated with blue skies and the warming of the intense sun as we all found our seats and had lunch, taking in the views of Bald Peak, Rocky Peak Ridge, Rocky Peak and the eastern slides of Giant to our south, Hurricane Mt. with its fire tower to the northwest and the tip of Whiteface on the horizon, over the shoulder of Hurricane. On clear day we would have been able to see the Lake Champlain Valley and the mountains of Vermont but the sun was so bright that it washed out the eastern views completely. As always, lunch had to come to an end and we retraced our route back to the car, enjoying a new view of the woods, the streams and the rock formations on our way. More visiting on the way back to Warrensburgh and the WCMC finished out a beautiful trip – back at 4:00pm. Wish you all could have joined us. Peter

16 photos



Slide Brook Waiting for Spring



Ice Vail



On the March



Just Some Rocks Along the Trail



Future Waterfall



View Along the Trail



More Ice



Ice Crystals



Rocky Peak (far L) Rocky Peak Ridge (C) and the East Face Slides of Giant Mt.



Rocky Peak Ridge (L) and Giant Mt. with its Slides



Linda (L) and Donna Wood



Summit Pic - L to R - Linda, Lenore, Donna, Dennis



Whiteface (L) and Hurricane Mt.



Which way do we go?



The Trek Out - Lenore in the lead doing a snow dance!



Who's the Happiest?



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