Category Archives: Hiking the High Peaks

Evolution

February 11, 2018

Grafedie In The Library has been a learning, growing experience for me over time. At first, I wanted to use this blog as a vehicle to share my reader advisory skills, hoping that I could improve my writing skills in addition to promoting books that we had at my library. That was the intent, and I was perfectly happy blogging in my own little world. My opinions were not controversial, or political or witty so there was no reason for any one particular group of readers, or library user to even notice.

But as time went on, I let go of the Library related posts and concentrated on adding my GardenSpot page and documenting our Hiking trips. Two things that have come to be my passion. This post is just a bit of retrospect, looking back over a few years how I have changed and continue to learn new things. Recently I have been listening to Podcasts. My favorites are on Sustainability, Horticulture and Gardening.

Just a bit of rambling

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Filed under aging, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Hiking the High Peaks, Wildlife

First 2018 Trip to ADK!

January 25, 2018: Baker Mountain, Saranac Lake

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Good to be back in the ADK! Hiking today was one of those days where the challenge is to keep your nose. 2 degrees with a high of 14. The sky was a clear, cornflower blue (like Crayola)  and everything had permafrost ice crystals on it. We chose the trail for its simplicity, and length, no scrambling and round trip over in 3 hrs or thereabouts. We opt not to attempt summiting in winter, rather be safe than sorry. We are not that familiar with the Saranac area trails and so today was expanding our horizons! Well worth the extra distance.

January 26: Cobble Ledge, Wilmington NY

IMG_7275Another day of exploration! Bill read about this trail from our 2014 hiking book, at the time it was “just opened and not thoroughly marked” however, by 2018 the trailhead is marked, and the foot trail clearly visible. It was level 3 mile round trip with a beautiful view of surrounding mountains (never know which is which) and the summit of Whiteface peeking through (look carefully and you can see it). It was still, and silent as we sat and had our coffee and hot cider. It actually felt warm (14 degrees) and so we took in the view and headed back.

 

Every now and then, we choose to do something touristy. We wanted to take the road up to Whiteface summit, but when we got there, it was closed for the winter.

IMG_7289Instead, we went to High Falls Gorge an old classic Café Souvenir type spot, that supplies yak-tracks and has a 1/2 mile round trip enclosed boardwalk trail that tours the beautiful roaring waterfalls below the Gondolas of Whiteface. The staff there was warm and welcoming.  With a cup of coffee and the yak-tracks on our boots, we did the gorge trail (like tourists) and had a great time.

Added signage explaining flora and fauna added to the fun of the path, and for a bit of trivia, we learned that a 20-ton slab of Adirondack Basalt was laid as the corner of the Freedom Tower.

 

January 27th: Heart Lake Loop

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Final full day in the Adirondacks this time around. Overcast, light snow, we took it easy today and decided to do Heart Lake Loop. Easy peasy, just a nice hike, level snow covered and still. Great way to wrap up the vaca.

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Filed under ADK, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks, Whiteface Mountain

Fall Harvest Time!

Stop by Gardenspot and see how the garden is shaping up this season!

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Filed under fungi, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking

Help! Gardeners advice

Does anyone know what is going on at the base of this Peony? the picture does not look as yellow as it is in reality. Is this some kind of fungi?  is helpful or harmful?

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Update: This photo was taken last night. After a bit of research it looked as if it was “vomit fungi” nasty name

I wasn’t totally sure because it wasn’t exactly

IMG_6635like the images I saw.

However this morning I looked at it and noticed  how it had changed and now appears to look like the images seen on the internet.

Commonly appears when thick layer of mulch is present and can be scraped around, thin out the layers and I think all will be well. Thank you for input, you were spot on.

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Filed under fungi, gardening, Hiking

July 4th-Mohansic Lake

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It was an early morning trip to Mohansic State Park. Families were gathering and setting up for the day, grills, hammocks, flags, music…all picnic stations were buzzing with life. A bit further down the road, past the last parking lot there was the boat launch site quiet and serene.

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This was our third kayak trip this summer, the lake was still and the launch was an asphalt drive with a rubber mat half in / half out of the water. It was clean and easy entry, no murk or pebbles to stick in my water shoes.

There were only a few other boaters, some were fishing but most just coasting around. Lilly pads were lining the edges of the lake and appeared around the outcrops. I am still uneasy seeing plants under water so I paddle into the center of the lake to face my other fear, which is deep water (getting better with this as long as I keep my eye on the horizon)  I did see a water snake making it’s way across the lake. Happy to say it looked to be only about 18 inches long , Anaconda comes to mind and I remind myself that this is not the Amazon.

It was a great two hours. Bill did some fishing, I paddled about learning how to maneuver  the boat.  We had coffee and breakfast on the lake “alfresco”

Good Day, but I really need to take a class for safety sake.

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Filed under Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Mohansic Lake, Paddling, Roosevelt State Park, State Parks, Summer Kayaking

Trading Hiking for Kayaking for the Summer Months

June 25, 2017 Croton River

Summer is not hiking weather for us, however we have taken to the water. Two weeks ago we went to Croton point park, Today we went to Croton once again, but we tried the Croton River Tributary.  Certainly quieter than the state park, and some serene calm to begin the day. It was fairly shallow in places, and fairly clear as well, however there were pretty murky spots with lots of Hydrilla or Water Thyme.

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This is pretty much what my summer boating outfit will look like. New hat, new PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and a beautiful new Wilderness Systems Pongo 120 Kayak.

Two times out so far since we got them. My comfort level has gotten better, although I still focus on the Horizon rather than looking down.

Funny, I have less issue with looking down when I am rock or ice climbing  than I do looking into water.

 

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Filed under Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Paddling, Summer Kayaking, Wildlife

Springing into action again

Hopkins Mountain via Mossy Trail-March 2, 2017

First hike since last September!  I have always been a bit nervous on the start of this trail as it runs parallel to the Ausable River. If you remember Hurricane Irene tore through NY State in 2011, besides doing major damage to the roadways and the community of Keene, it cut deep into it’s banks, tearing through the forest and dragging , bolders, trees, bridges and pipes along with it. Early into this hike the trail is on the edge of the wall, with the river raging below. Fallen trees, tubing and wire fences still litter the forest. We have avoided this trail in the icy winter months because of this, however we attempted it this time and successfully, albeit tenuously, navigated this area. The trail skirts some private property and turns deeper into hemlock forests traversing up to 3800 feet. Winter hiking is slow for us, we tend to respect our turnaround time rather than worry about summiting, so we packed in a solid 4 hour hike and called it a day.

Van Hovenberg Mountain-March 3, 2017

Beautiful trail ,snowy, but not enough for snowshoes we used micro spikes up… but crampons down. Got to the ledge and had a nice snack with hot cider and trail mix. This is the second time here, last time was not snowy. Beaver activity really floods the lower area and makes for challenging footing. Another 4 hour hike.

Car Trouble-March 4, 2017 Engine light really put a damper on our hiking day. Certainly don’t want to be stuck on a remote trailhead up here. So we stayed put, knit, read, relaxed and enjoyed the cabin..Plan B.

 

 

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Filed under Adirondack Club, ADK, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks, Van Hovenberg,, Wildlife