The Crooked Canes Journal


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Bald Mt. Preserve Hike ~ Nov 6, 2014

Journal entry by Diane And Kurt And Peter



Scheduled by Tom, who was unfortunately unable to be with us on this trip, there was serious doubt that the trip would happen due primarily to a generally awful weather forecast with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain. Fortunately, storms due to arrive from the southwest and west became mired in construction traffic at Fort Ann, opening a 4 hour window of dry opportunity for eight adventurous Crooked Canes to explore some of the 3,500 acre Nature Conservancy Helen W Buckner Memorial Preserve At Bald Mountain, allowing us to reach our intended goal for the day, the summit of Bald Mountain via the 2.5 mile Susan Bacher Trail and a bit of poking further into the dry oak-hickory-hophornbeam forest.

Fauna and geology along the trail proved very interesting. There were lovely woods, wetlands, rugged rocky areas and overgrown fields providing habitat for varying creatures and flora. We even found wild flowers in bloom. A flat stone surface was discovered with what some thought were fossils and others thought were our reflections. We passed by a cemetary, in consideration of impending damp weather, that we hoped we would have time to explore on our return.

Arriving at the summit of Bald Mountain shortly after noon, we were presented with terrific views of the richly historic southern Champlain Valley including South Bay, Whitehall and summits of a number of familiar Adirondack peaks on Lake George's east shore. To see all that passed below that summit's view in the past 500 years..............

From our viewpoint atop Bald and the weather having so far been more than accomodating, we could see the effects of the Fort Ann gridlock diminish, allowing skies to thicken and produce an occasional sprinkle. It was time to get beyond the steeper pitches of our descent to the valley. However, before departure, another historic event occurred involving treachery! The Case Of Peter's Pilfered Confection Collection. Fortunately, a monk in our midst intervened, settling everyone's high emotions. He soon thereafter provided an opportunity for giggles as he bounced around for a while in the limbs of a fallen tree blocking the trail, an obsticle lept in a single bound by one of our taller members.

Shortly before passing the cemetary we hoped to explore, we found an interesting water course that ran occasionally above ground, occasionally in eroded limestone bedrock channel and occasionally out of sight under the ground. Finally, we arrived back at cemetary. Perched on a small hill, it was as interesting as anything else we had seen on this trip and perhaps far more intrigueing. The cemetary, having been surveyed by the Nature Conservancy recently, has a large number of graves, some with headstones in varying condition and some indistinguishable but for blue painted survey stakes. Two headstones, somewhat legible, showed deaths of of each of the 85 year old people buried here as having occurred in 1813. Born in 1723, they were in their 30's during the French and Indian War and in their early 50's when Benedict Arnold built his fleet in Whitehall (one of five towns claiming to be the birthplace of the US Navy) during the Revolution.

Back in our cars and headed for WCMC at around 3.00, the generally dry day with occasional drizzle became a rainy and cool November day. And the word "cool" describes well our trip to the Helen Buckner Memorial Preserve. Really, really COOL!

Thanks so much to Barbara, Ray, Dennis, Liz and Margie who joined Diane, Kurt and Peter on this adventure!

11/10/14 - RayB Bouchard added 12 photos.

11/11/14 - Wanderer . added 11 photos.

38 photos



We are curious as to whether the Buckners and Bachers are two families or there is inconsistency in use of the names.



Fossils or reflections?



Ray ascends a ridge.



A bit of fire remained in this fall's foliage.



Take heed all Ye who pass this way!



Peregrine-ations on the cliffs of Bald Mountain.



Interesting nugget for our geology addicts.



Own your own cedar log dream condo with views of the Champlain Valley and Adirondacks!



Peter and Margie enjoy casual conversation on a casual stroll through various evergreens, oaks and grasses.



South Bay from the top of Bald Mountain.



"Thick as thieves" Barb and Diane retreat into the forest to formulate an evil scheme to relieve Peter of his remaining chocolates.



Being challenged by Peter, victim of chocolate theft, Barbara The Perpetrator is challenged to jump this tree in a single bound while our resident monk lurks in the background, ready to play on the Bounce House.



Inspecting and respecting.



This is where we spent our day. - added by RayB



We followed this trail until we reached the point where we were able to bushwhack to our destination, the overlook on the shoulder of Bald Mt. - added by RayB



The group pauses to examine the fossils in the exposed bedrock. Refer to Kurt's earlier photo to see one of the fossils. - added by RayB



It's hard to believe that a wildflower would still be in bloom on November 6 but we managed to see several Herb Robert plants in bloom along the trail. It's a member of the Geranium family but unlike its domesticated cousins, this one has a very strong, unpleasant odor when the leaves are crushed. It is frequently found in rocky areas where limestone is present. - added by RayB



Kurt and Margie pausing briefly on the trail. - added by RayB



The local lunch counter for the resident Pileated Woodpeckers. - added by RayB



3 patches of Greenshield Lichen growing on a rock. Lichens are rather interesting organisms in that they consist of an algae and a fungus growing together in what some people believe is a symbiotic relationship. The algae is green therefore it can produce sugar through photosynthesis. The fungus is nourished by the sugar and it in turn provides a physical structure for the algae to grow on. - added by RayB



Kurt, our leader for the day, standing on the overlook. - added by RayB



Here is Peter strumming his "Air Banjo" and singing while Barbara tries to eat her lunch. I only heard a little bit of the song but I think it went something like this, "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain when she comes, she'll be comin' round the ...". At that point the rest of us got up and left ;-) . - added by RayB



The pitter patter of rain drops encouraged us to finish our lunch, don rain gear, and head back down before it started to rain for real (which fortunately never happened). The descent was steep in places, made even worse by the oak leaves covering up the pot holes. - added by RayB



Some folks take a moment to look back up at the cliffs where we had just eaten our lunch. It was still sprinkling which is why almost, I repeat almost, everyone had rain gear on. Everyone, that is, except you know who. - added by RayB



A memorable misty scene off in the distance. - added by RayB



At the trailhead - added by Wanderer



Ascending one of the switchbacks - added by Wanderer



Fossil Rock - added by Wanderer



Still on the trail - added by Wanderer



View of Bald Mt. - added by Wanderer



South Bay sans people - added by Wanderer



Village of Whitehall with oncoming weather - added by Wanderer



Candy thieves at lunch - added by Wanderer



Was Barbara really the ringleader or - perhaps Ray? - added by Wanderer



Looking west with Black Mt. dominating - added by Wanderer



Lonely Cedar - added by Wanderer



Watch your footing! - added by Wanderer



Montreal Express - added by Wanderer



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