Sunday, November 2, 2014

Street and Nye. 2014-11-02

Know thyself!

It was now November 1st and I had not hiked or exercised since September. October's chilly wet weather dampened my ardor for both hiking and exercising outdoors. Sunday's weather looked very promising; a lovely sunny day with little chance of rain yet cold enough to freeze some mud. All that remained was to choose a kind and gentle destination that wouldn't overtax this couch-potato.

My remaining objectives for 2014:

  • 18 peaks for the Fall round of the ADK Four Season Grid (4SG).
  • 3 peaks for a 5th round of the ADK 46.
  • 2 peaks for the NE 115.

I chose to hike to Street and Nye  because they combined two objectives, 5th round and 4SG, plus it's a short and sweet hike. It seemed just right to ease my torpid body back into the game.

This was not a trip with a bleary-eyed 4:00 AM wake-up. I woke up at 6:30 AM Eastern Standard Time (gained an hour's sleep overnight), re-checked the weather, and whispered to my wife "I'm going." Truth be told, earlier in the week I had planned to hike but, after checking the weather, crawled back into bed. However, today was the day and I was out of the house at 7:00 AM. I rolled into the Loj's sunny parking area at 9:15 AM and was on the trail ten minutes later. Three hours from bed to trail; not too shabby.

The air was crisp, the wind was gusty, and everything was dusted with snow. An uneventful half-hour's walk brought me to the bank of Indian Pass Brook. I hadn't bothered to bring garbage bags or wading shoes. I figured persistence would let me to find the proper combination of stepping stones. The fall-back would be a very chilly wade through the brook.

A fresh dusting of snow.
A quick test confirmed that all 'dark rocks' weren't just wet but sheathed in ice so they were off the menu. I found nothing that suited my skills at the designated crossing, so I headed upstream, about a hundred feet, and found a suitable chain of 'light rocks'. I regained the herd-path and continued west. Despite the leaf-litter, the herd-path was very easy to follow.

Somewhere around 3500 feet, the trail became icy. The footsteps I had been following had developed holes from microspikes. Owing to a blend of being stubborn and lazy, I chose to forego donning traction and just hauled myself up the icy bits. Eventually I caught up to the mother and daughter team responsible for the footprints, wished them well, and continued to the junction. Deciding that this was a nice level bit of ground, I stopped to put on microspikes and then headed south to Street.

My aching fingertips signaled it had grown colder. The mud was crunchy and the puddles were skimmed with ice, but only just so. A few spots fooled me and had me banging my boot against a tree to knock off watery muck and slush; "Should've seen that one!"  Two hours after leaving my car, I tagged the summit of Street. Since my last visit (May 2014), it has gained a shiny new summit-sign.

Late-model sign on Street.
I ambled over to the southern lookout, climbed a tree, and snapped a few pics. From the crow's nest I had an unobstructed view of the MacIntyre Range, Lost Pond Peak, MacNaughton, the Santanonis and Sewards. Looking east, I could resolve several peaks in the Great Range and, of course, the very obvious Marcy and Giant. Not a bad haul for a treed summit.

The color palette of cold weather.
I replaced my thin liners with fleece gloves, aspirated half a Clif bar, and headed off the summit. I passed the mother and daughter team during the descent and, twenty minutes later, emerged on the summit of Nye. After a quick pic with its new sign, I descended to its lookout rock for one last good view of the MacIntyres.

Tagging Nye's new sign.
After a ten minute descent from the junction, I met the first of three groups ascending the peaks. Two young men made up the first group (whose sudden appearance came as a surprise), the second was a couple with a friendly dog (unleashed as it seems most dogs are), and the third had a little story behind their venture.

When I had arrived at the Loj's toll-booth I noticed a group of hikers crossing the road and heading in the direction of the Indian Pass trail-head. I assumed they were heading to Street and Nye and would be ahead of me. However, their footprints disappeared at the junction of the Old Nye ski trail. After I had hiked both peaks and descended for a half-hour, I met the group making its way up the path. One individual, ostensibly the leader, asked if the junction was near and I reported my descent time. He explained they weren't certain where the herd-path began and had proceeded towards Indian Falls. A slip of the tongue; I assume he meant either Rocky Falls or Indian Pass. Not finding a junction, they bushwhacked and eventually connected with the herd-path. It certainly explained why they weren't ahead of me! There wasn't much to say other than "You're on the right path now. Have a good one!"

The path had grown noticeably muddier since my morning's passage. I paused at the brook crossing to look at the discarded logging gear. Maybe I didn't look hard enough but I think some items have disappeared since the last time I photographed them in 2010. I wondered if this stuff isn't better off in a museum instead of in someone's garage.

Number of logging artifacts seems fewer than 4 years ago.
Recrossing Indian Pass brook was easier because the rocks had shed their veneer of ice and I was able to rock-hop at the designated spot. The remainder of the trail was an easy-peasy repeat of the morning's walk. I emerged from the woods at 1:30 PM, just a tick over 4 hours from departure. Thoughts of bagging Porter and Cascade danced in my head. I certainly had enough daylight but the mild discomfort in my hips and right knee convinced me to leave them for another day. Easy does it!


See all photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment