Sunday, June 22, 2008

An Appreciation of the Nature Conservancy and Adirondack Mounatin Club

I hiked Algonquin Mountain yesterday. To read about the experience click on this link Bakers Outdoors Page. One thing that I would like to briefly mention here is my increased appreciation for the Nature Conservancy. Volunteering for the LGLC I see first had the effort and the commitment that the Nature Conservancy has for preserving out natural resources. On top of Algonquin Mountain they, partnered with the DEC and the Adirondack Mountain Club have worked to restore the extremely fragile alpine environment that exists on this and other mountains in the Adirondacks. What I like about the Nature Conservancy and Adirondack Mountain Club is they provide a conduit to channel many people's desire to help into action. Not only by directly reseeding and working on the top of the mountain, but even in the simplest of ways by asking hikers to bring up a couple of fist sized stones. These stones are then placed by the more experienced volunteers and professionals in critical locations to create barriers and paths, that direct people where to place their feet and stop the erosion of valuable soil. The Nature Conservancy and The Adirondack Mountain Club pay to have a Summit Steward hike up and stand on the top of that mountain to educate people about the alpine environment, the Adirondacks and to generally help people, while politely keeping people off the delicate alpine fauna. Simple but a task that is gargantuan in execution and impact.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I checked on the Pilot Knob Ridge Preserve today after the storms we had the beginning this week. The trails are clear. There is one tree down on the blue trail above the falls, but it really is not obstructing the trail. I will take care of it the next time up. I may be able to use the tree as part of a water bar that I need to install near where it fell... nature provides.

Although I brought a camera with me I didn’t take any pictures. I was too caught up enjoying the sites, sounds and smells that fill the air. There was, however, an orange newt that was all but begging me to take its picture, but Jake, my dog and trail companion was a little over heated and I had to hurry off the trails at that time.

I hope that you came up and enjoy the sites and sounds at the PKR.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Went to Cat and Thomas again!

I only went up to he PKR this weekend only to check on the kiosk. I didn't walk the trails. I had another urge this weekend to go back to Cat and Thomas mountains to attempt and finish what I began two weeks ago dealing with all the blow down on the orange and blue trails.

Let me say that I overestimated and underestimated some things. I overestimated how in shape I am (for 45 I am ok), and I underestimated how much wood I had to chop. I know have a little cheese with that whine.

I decided that I would work up the orange trail to the cabin and try and clear the road so hikers can walk in unhindered. I should have realized what I was getting myself into when the first log was a 14 " oak that I had to make two axe cuts in to clear. My first chop from my new razor sharp Snow Neally axe bounced off. I eventually (20 min later finished what I was set out to do) and lets just say that I was all warmed up. Fortunately, the rest of the dozen or so trees that blocked the path to the cabin were either pine or maple, both woods cut well and many were one cut removals.

I took a water and food break at the cabin and decided that even though the temp was about 88 and humid, that I had a little more to give and started down the blue trail. This is where the blow down was the worse. Many small trees and tree tops down across the trail, blocking the treadway. About 2 hours later, with only 0.5 mile left to clear I had too call it a day. It was real hot, I finished my fourth qt of water and was out and I was literally drenched in sweat. I thought that before I got hurt or sick that I had to give this one to the mountain. On my way to that point I even passed by some larger trees that can easily be stepped over and one that you have to duck under unhindered in order to save energy to remove those trees that blocked the tread. These I will get after the last half-mile is cleared.

Anyway, I was happy with the work that was done and I think that other then a couple of snags, that the blue trail will be more enjoyable for the hiker.