The Crooked Canes Journal


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Casey Mountain Snowshoe ~ Feb 19, 2015

Journal entry by Diane and Kurt Wisell



In spite of a cold, snowy, windy weather forecast, we opted not to cancel our trip to Casey Mountain and its 115 year old vesitiges of garnet mining, an industry very important to the North Creek and North River area, but did discourage folks from coming along and scheduled it again for April 9th when it will surely be a sunny, windless day in the mid thirties.

The day dawned about 15 degrees warmer than forecast with not a breath of wind. We thought uh-oh, our decision to discourage folks from attending may not have been so good. An hour later, passing through North River with the temperature hitting 8 degrees, the wind howling and blowing snow obscuring the road, we thought uh-oh, maybe we bit off too big a piece and should have cancelled!

Onward, into the woods with our enthusiasm fueled by significant trepidation, went our band of seven! What a lovely introduction to the beauty and serenity of snowshoeing in the Adirondacks it appeared to be for Joy, in town from North Carolina who was well dressed for the occasion after about two weeks of coaching on proper attire (heckling, really) from Kurt.

On our departure from the trailhead, there was no doubt we would do the shortest possible route, see the sights and get out of there as quickly and warmly as possible. To our amazement, after a two hundred or so foot elevation gain, and at the first trail junction where it had to be decision time, the wind had all but died and there was sun! Okay, let us risk the longer route because there is still a bail out not to far along! At the second intersection, everyone was warm, happy, there was still no wind and the trees made shadows. Okay, let us head toward the summit! A short time later, Linc Marsac, who with his parther Lori Phoebe, operate Square Eddy Expeditions and whose home we were priveleged to use as a trail head, caught up with us and added a most jovial air to our party, now eight strong.

We soon arrived near the summit, saw mine tailing piles all around us, evidence of trench mining, an old ore car, rails the ore cars ran on, garnet deposits, evidence of ruffed grouse habitation and unusual vents through the snow created by drafts through the tailing piles. Now, time for another decision: go to the summit of Casey where the views are not too good, we can hear the wind howling and is sure to be real cold, or head toward the spectacles promised at lower, more sheltered elevations? Okay, let us head down the hill - via a route other than the one we had ascended. So, downward we went, not knowing that a new Crooked Cane LOVED going downhill in deep snow on snowshoes and was about to show us how it can be done in style. Jayne, now known as All Terrain Jungle Jayne, was a pleasure to watch as she gracefully flowed down the steeper sections in unbroken four foot deep snow with a grin from ear to ear. It was a pleasure to watch and gave we who thought we had some experience on snowshoes some lofty goals to aspire to.

Now off the mountain, we traveled to what is known to be one of only two shaft mines for garnet in New York State. We told folks they would see 40 to 50 foot icicles (a derided estimate at the time) and were soon observing them at the Miller Mine. From there, it was on to the second shaft mine, known (we think) as Mine #1 where Adirondack Lava Lamps grow from the ground, one inch frost grows down from the ceiling and ice stactites and stalagmites grow to about four feet in length in an ever changing display. Kurt was there on January 16 and on a trip on February 14 noted very different patterns of ice. Six days later, on February 19, the ice was completely different than it was only 6 days before.

Okay, now there is only one place to go and if it is warm it does not matter much where! After another mile or so we had done a bit of uphill (still with no wind) and begun our final descent to where we began. The wind greeted us with enthusiasm as we returned to the point of beginning and it did not take long for us to find the keys to our cars and get the heaters cranking.

All in all, a very fun day despite the chilly toes, fingers, faces and everything else, too!

Special thanks to Linc and Lori and to Joy (first time on snowshoes and first time with the Crooked Canes), Jayne (first time with the Crooked Canes), Peter, Lenore, Jack, Diane and Kurt.

2/21/15 - Wanderer . added 15 photos.

2/23/15 - Kurt Wisell added 5 photos.

3/21/15 - Kurt Wisell added 2 photos.

22 photos



Can you tell that it's cold? Kurt, Joy, Lenore, Jack, Diane, Jayne - added by Wanderer



Welcoming woods - added by Wanderer



Linc (owner of the property where we parked and one of the owners of Square Eddy Expeditions) - added by Wanderer



Newly broken trail - added by Wanderer



Jayne playing in the snow off trail - added by Wanderer



Diane - added by Wanderer



Jack and Lenore - added by Wanderer



Joy and Diane - added by Wanderer



Short rest - added by Wanderer



Lots of ice at the end of a mining trench - added by Wanderer



Inconspicuous mine entrance - added by Wanderer



Hoar frost at the mine entrance - added by Wanderer



Icicles and frost formations just a few feet into the mine entrance - added by Wanderer



Glimpse of the sun - added by Wanderer



Kurt, our leader ..... wait one moment - isn't the leader supposed to be in front? - added by Wanderer



On the way to Casey. Looks wintery and it is cold and WINDY. Photo by Jayne. - added by Kurt



Turning out to be a really pretty (but cool) day in the woods near the top of Casey. Photo by Jayne. - added by Kurt



Joy and Diane grimace as Peter once again taps his toes and pats his head. This is usually the harbinger of something steep ahead as he thinks "There's no place like home." Photo by Jayne. - added by Kurt



Dashing in from the back of the pack, Lenore gazes with disbelief at Peter, just finishing up his click and pat ritual. Photo by Jayne. - added by Kurt



Joy and Diane share a smile with photographer Jayne somewhere near the summit of Casey. - added by Kurt



This photo and the one below came from Jayne Bouder and are very nice additions to the many others. - added by Kurt



Another photo by Jayne with a bit different perspective on ice in the mine. - added by Kurt



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