"Foolish" Hike to Deer Pond, April 2
Ann & Armond Spencer; Participants: John & Susan Omohundro, Darcy Derouchie, Alicia Schantz. Since no one was foolish
enough to go out on April 1 we went out on April 2 and the weather was nice. Our backyard was clear and dry, and the foolish
thing we did was forget to take crampons, since the trail was icy and snowy for a fair amount of the way. We had a
good time anyway.
Red Dot Trail, April 8
A snow covered trail
and warm sunshine made an early spring trip
feel more like late winter. We shared hot drinks
at the Little Osgood Pond Lean-to, enjoyed
the Cathedral Pines and tromped back to Paul
Smiths. Kids, parents, ersatz grandparents, and
dogs all enjoyed a great hike together. There was snow and some ice on the
trail but kids, parents and dogs all had a wonderful time in the sunshine. Adults L to R - John Barron, Joel Foisy, Gretchen
Koehler, Margaret Madore (TL), Blair Madore (TL), and Mary Jo Whalen. Kids L to R - Niall Barron, Rebecca Miller, Gaetan Foisy,
Sylvain Foisy, Cole Madore. Dogs L to R - Ocean, Gromit, Maggie. Photo Jeff Miller.
White Water Paddling on the Grasse River, April 15
In what has become an annual rite of spring, Brad Pendergaft (in the stern in photo 1, with son Kyle Pendergaft in the bow) led a
paddling trip on the Grasse River below Lampson Falls. The week
before the trip had been beautiful. The day of the trip the weather predictions were not perfect.
Water levels were low. Under partly cloudy skies with some sprinkles, the temperature was
in the 60s. Despite the cool, cloudy weather and a few showers, a record turnout of two
canoeists, four kayakers, and ten shoreline hiker/spectators took part this year, coming from the Potsdam/Canton region and as far
away as Vermont and Ontario.
Photo 1: Brad & Kyle Pendergaft. Jim Bullard.
Photo 2: Matt Scafidi-McGuire (left), Grayson King. Photo John Barron.
Brad (TL) & Kyle Pendergaft (in canoe), Matt Scafidi-McGuire (in kayak), Lampson Falls in the background. Photo Jim Bullard.
Other boaters: David Brouwer, Roger Millers.
Hikers: Jake, Evan, & Laurie Pendergraft, Jeff
Blanton, Cindy Adams, James Bullard, Kelsey & Kayla Blanton, John & Niall
Moose Mountain, April 22
After a bit of a scramble getting our bearings at
the hike's start, it was clear trekking as we hiked on these recently reopened and freshly tagged
Lake Placid SOA trails that flank Moose and McKenzie mountains. The continuously soft,
uneroded treadways, winding for most of the way through magnificent, primeval-like boreal
forest, put a bright accent on an otherwise dull and dank day. Our brief visit to the windy, soaking, snow laden Moose summit
accentuated the day's rawness, as did our lunch stop at ghostly
Loch Bonnie's ramshackle leanto, the decaying walls of which
sported engravings dating back to 1948. L-R: Gloria Daly (TL), Ed Moczydlowski,
Cliff Daly (TL), Arthur Boni, Susan Omohundro, and Duncan Cutter. Photo: John Omohundro.
Red Sandstone Trail Maintenance, April 23
Rain held off, allowing five teams to finish the tasks of side
cutting, blowdown removal, and trash pickup. The trail is in good
shape now. Spring flowers are beginning to blossom.
L to R: front: Don Potter, John Omohundro (TL); in back: Dick Mooers, Tom Wheeler, Ron Johnson, Susan Omohundro (TL), Tom Ortmeyer,
John Barron. Missing from photo: David Brouwer.
Everton Falls Cleanup, April 29
TLs: Duncan & Lois Cutter;
Participants: Paul Cutter, Ann & Armond Spencer,
Ed & Stephenie Moczylowski, Jim Bullard,
Shelia Cerwonka, Doug Monroe. Cleanup went
well - less trash every year. Lunch by the falls
was sunny and bug-free! Our crew of 10 later canoed
and bird-watched, taking advantage of the
beautiful weather. Doug Monroe from the Nature
Conservancy was a big help in removing trees
that were blocking trails.
May 6, Grasse River Canoe Trip
Whalen; Participants: John Barthelme, Susan
Omohundro. On our short trip the three of us saw
ducks with ducklings, lots of birds, and lots of
rain. The cold and rain caused us to cut our trip
short, but we had fun.
May 13, Spring Wild Flower Walk
Johnson and Martha Grow (Substituting for Nancy
Eldblom) Participants: Evelyn Riehl, Tom &
Ann Ortmeyer, Janice Clark, Joyce Watson, Melissa
Burchard, Susan & Sam Merrill. The weather
turned out to be fine despite predictions of
constant rain and even thunderstorms. We spent
three hours slowly walking to the pothole area of
Stone Valley, looking at spring wildflowers, other
plants and some birds. Evelyn Riehl provided us
with much interesting historic information about
Spring Cleaning at Lampson Falls, May 27
Lampson outing always provides a surprise or
two, and this year it was deciding which were
more numerous: the mosquitoes or the pink lady
slippers that seemed to greet us everywhere we
turned! Little litter made for quick work, so we arrived
at Dick and Joan Kepes's earlier than usual
to enjoy their gracious brand of hospitality at the
traditional post cleanup social. L to R:
Amond Spencer, Cliff & Gloria Daly (TLs), George, Rianna, & Lyne Dutch. Photo: John Barron.
Cycling Loon Lake, May 28
beautiful sunny day, we began our ride by putting
the black flies under control with bug spray. A few
hills gave us a good aerobic workout, helped
along by the delightful smell of balsam forests.
We had a super bike ride that was just the right
amount of challenge and just the right length. The weather was perfect and the views of lakes and mountains were spectacular.
L to R: Jonathan Putney, Armond & Ann Spencer, and Eloise & George Leedom. Photo: TL Geri Ames.
Nature Walk at Chaumont Barrens, June 4
Tom & Eileen Wheeler led a large contingent of hikers on a nature walk at Chaumont Barrens, northwest of Watertown.
The area is an alvar - an unusual limestone formation famous for hosting plants & birds that are rare in the northeast.
The group saw prairie smoke, yellow lady slippers, and many birds including rare prairie and golden-winged warblers.
L to R: Melissa Burchard, Lee Sandefer, Patty Burchard, Roevena Miller, Marie Steinbeck, Ann Spencer, Niall Barron,
Armond Spencer, Tom Wheeler, Sheila Cerwonka, Eileen Wheeler, & Elizabeth Eno. Photo: John Barron.
Paddling Trip at Crooked Creek, June 17
With the official start of summer less than a week away, 5 paddlers launched canoes and kayaks and took to the waters of Crooked
Creek, which joins the St. Lawrence River near the Jefferson/St. Lawrence County
Line. Crooked Creek provided a relaxed paddle with numerous twists and turns, rock walls, iris, water lillies, herons, cattails and
several picnic spots. L to R: Allison Charles, tl Tom Ortmeyer, Betty & Don Peckham. Photo: Ann Ortmeyer.
Wednesday Evening Paddle at Rainbow Falls, June 28
Taking a Wednesday evening break in the recent streak of rainy weather, Alison Charles, Kathie Colarusso, Geri Ames, John &
Sue Omohundro, Louise & Bob Bixby, and TLs Dick Mooers & Tom Ortmeyer explored Rainbow Falls Reservoir in Colton by canoe
and kayak. On a quiet backwater of the lake they observed a Bald Eagle, a Hooded Merganser and her ducklings, Common Loon calling,
deer watching from shore, and colorful sheep laurel and blue flag iris blooming, then drove home into a vermilion sunset.
All agreed, a good way to spend a Wednesday evening.
June 17 Crooked Creek Paddle
Tom & Ann Ortmeyer TLs Alison Charles, Don & Betty Peckham. We paddled Crooked Creek upstream from the point where it joins
the St. Lawrence River near the Jefferson/St. Lawrence County Line. The Creek
provides a relaxed paddle with numerous twists and turns, rock walls, iris, water
lilies, herons, cattails and several picnic spots.
June 24 Mt. Marcy Hike
Nancy Skiff TL Carolyn Durant, Nancy Derouchie, Alicia
Schantz. This was a memorable trip. After rescheduling because of rain, this
day was blue skies, low humidity, few bugs and black flies, great trail, and
beautiful views on top. A good time was had by all.
June 28 Wednesday Paddle and Picnic
Dick Mooers TL Geri Ames, Bob & Louise
Bixby, Alison Charles, Kathie Colarusso, John & Sue Omohundro, Tom Ortmeyer.
The first of the Wednesday Evening Paddle and Picnic series set a very high
standard! We nine had fine weather for paddling at Rainbow Falls Reservoir
south of Colton, and saw an immature Bald Eagle calmly watch a Hooded Merganser
lead its brood in a parade not three feet below its lakeside perch at Dead
Creek’s inlet, plus calling loons, deer, a mystery spider and a variety
of wildflowers, including unusually vivid sheep laurel. We drove home under
pink and mauve clouds lit by a vermilion sun.