Backtracks Archive


April - June, 2005

Armond Spencer

April 9, 2005 Slide Lake Loop TL John Barron  Participants:  John Omohundro, Susan Omohundro, John Barthelme.  We had perfect conditions- warm sun and dry trails.  Interesting geology, many kinds of birds, good views over still frozen lakes and plenty of history (both on the trail and on the drive).  The rough terrain gave us a good workout.  Supper at The Mill in Brockville on the way home finished a good day.

April 22, 2005 Earth Day Picnic TLs John and Susan Omohundro  Participants:  earthdayHelen Harrington, Carrie, Sabrina and JoAnn Whitford, Jonathan Barney, Joyce Chambers, Ann and Armond Spencer, Tom and Ann Ortmeyer.  A washed out road and occupied lean-to caused us to walk farther than planned on to  find a new picnic spot further east on Huckleberry Lake’s shore.  Some walked on to Moon Lake while others prepared a cook fire.  After our gourmet picnic we took turns reading aloud from nature writings.  On the way out, we picked up a lot of litter.

Saturday, April 30  Blue Ledges of the Hudson  TLs Ann and Armond Spencer. Participants:  Eileen and Tom Wheeler.  Because of the weather, and the interests of the participants the Blue Ledges trip was replaced by a birding trip on the Sabbatis Road and a hike on the railroad from Sabbatis.  Saw a lot of birds and got very wet.

May 7, 2005 Everton Falls Cleanup TLs Duncan and Lois Cutter.  Participants: Ann and Tom Ortmeyer, John Barthelme, Bruce and Rosalie Smith, Armond and Ann Spencer. Jim Bullard showed up to take some pictures. .Trash got all picked up, lunch got eaten up, canoes got paddled up, and then we drifted down.  Sunny skies, lots of smiles, at Everton Falls .One fun day.  P.S. The first aid kit was initiated.  We patched up one participant  who latched onto something sharp in the course of  trash pickup.

May 8, 2005 Whiteface TL Bill Romey.  Participants:  John Omohundro, Susan Omohundro, Linda Moerschell, Nancy LaBaff, Ken Coskran.  The six of us took off from Potsdam on a sunny, warm Mother’s Day. We left the trailhead at 9 A.M and got into packed snow within an hour.  It was a good chance to compare types of crampons.  Heard Winter wrens and saw much damage to fir trees caused by insects. Near the top, there was a lot of rime ice and up to four feet of snow on the trail. Had a nice lunch at the top socked in by mist and clouds, most of the time in 30-degree temperature reminding the Omohundros of the Maine coast.

May 14, 2005 Lampson Falls Cleanup TLs Cliff and Gloria Daly. Participants: Armond and Ann Spencer, John and Niall Barron, John Barthelme.  Our spirited party of seven showed up on this overcast, showery day to find the usual litter souvenirs populating the nooks and crannies of the Lampson Falls surround.  Afterwards we headed to the Spencer’s home where we enjoyed refreshments on the backyard veranda among the swooping rose breasted grosbeaks, hummingbirds and finches.

May 15, 2005 Red Sandstone Trail Work Day TLs John and Susan Omohundro. Participants:  Ann and Armond Spencer, John  Barron, DL Thomas, Sandra McCloy, Blair Madore, Darrell Rimbert, Daniel Romlein, Daniel, Andrew, Dianne, Nathan, Peter and David Brouwer, David  Trithart.  The sun came out and so did 17 people to build bridges, clear blowdown, put up signposts, hack back weedy bushes and remove troublesome obstructions in the footpath.  A productive afternoon.

May 21, 2005 Bird and Flower Walk TL Betsy Tisdale   Participants:  Elaine Kuricana, Alexander Brehn, Bobbie Hawks, David Tisdale.  A rare beautiful day, violets, bellwort, centaria, unfolding ferns, rattlesnake plantain, musical streams, along an exquisite old woods road.  Two immature bald eagles soared right in front of  us on our perch overlooking Snake Den Harbor above Lake Champlain.  A truly divine day.

May 28, 2005 Massawepie Mire Bird Walk TLs Peter O’Shea and Eileen Wheeler.  Participants:  John Barthelme, Sheila Cerwonka, Mary Jo Whalen, Carolyn and Gene Kaczka, Ann and Tom Ortmeyer, Ann and Armond Spencer, Harold Ellington, Mary Beth Warburton, Tom Wheeler.  We joined forces with the High Peaks Audubon group (who had scheduled an outing at the same time) for several enjoyable hours of birding as we walked the old railroad bed and the Mountaineer Trail at Massawepie.  59 species were heard or seen, including 12 warblers and 4 raptors.  Peter pointed out an unusual butterfly, the Jutta Artic, and the blooming bog laurel.  On this beautiful day, the bugs weren’t too bad – although it was obvious the birds had plenty to eat!

May 29, 2005  Silver Lake Mountain and Bog TL Sandy Hildreth  Participants:  John and Sue Omohundro, Holly and Ron Chorba, John and Niall Barron, Ann and Armond Spencer,  Mary Ann Hebert, Jane Subramanian, Dick Mooers.  12 hikers summited this easy mountain, saw the first pink lady slippers of the season, enjoyed a great panoramic view, and after descending, walked the trail through the Nature Conservancy’s Silver Lake Camp Bog – with just a little bit of rain and hail.

June 11, 2005  Two Country Bike Trip TL John Barron. Participant: Tom Ortmeyer. We acknowledged an extreme heat warning by starting an hour earlier than planned. The circular route was quite level and easy. Both border settlements were scenic gems. We checked out a Canadian National Wildlife Refuge ten minutes from Fort Covington and decided it was worth a return visit, bringing canoes instead of bikes.

June 19, 2005  Bear Mountain Hike and Swim TL Nancy Skiff. Participants: Paula Skiff, Robin Einbinder, Russ Mastling, Michael Tessier, Elaine Tessier, Marc Tessier, Lorraine Chapman, Kenneth Williams. The hike to Bear Mt. was sunny and bright, the trail was wet and muddy in spots. The views of Cranberry Lake were brilliant. Marc (5 years old) and his family enjoyed a cool swim. It was a great day.