|Forum Rules||Statement of Purpose||Membership||Disclaimer||Site History|
|Adkhighpeaks Foundation||Donations and Online Store||Adkhighpeaks Wiki||visit ADKForum.com|
|12-03-2006, 10:24 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Stumbling up Leavitt
This is a trip I’ve been meaning to make since summer. Ann Clapper, Will Leavitt’s daughter, was nice enough to give me some of Will’s ashes. What better place to scatter them than the mountain recently named for him?
I started hiking from Notch Lake at 2:30 pm. I was the first person to sign the register in three days. Several other people had signed in for Southwest Hunter and I thought, “If they can find it, I can find it.”
My navigational skills are shaky, my bushwhacking experience is zero.
The first 20 minutes of this hike is never easy and I took it slow. Once I reached the hemlock grove the grade eased. It was warm; I hiked in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Several times I clambered down into the brush to retrieve beer cans, victims of target practice. I found three cans in all – recent discards, all Bud Light. I stashed them along the trail to pick up on the way out.
The Devil’s Acre lean-to was deserted. After getting water, I spent some time poking around looking for old discarded stuff and found a dump just south of the stream near a restored campsite. As I continued on the Devil’s Path I was vigilant, looking for paths or any marks off to the left.
When I did find the herd path, it was very obvious, though not marked by a cairn or anything else that I saw. The railroad bed was easy walking; even I couldn’t get lost. In about 20 minutes, with the light fading fast, I came to an area where use of the RR bed dwindled. To the left, heading uphill, were signs of passage.
It was too dark to continue so I found a flat spot off the trail and pitched the tent. It hadn’t rained for days, but everything was wet up there. The mountains had been in the clouds.
I left the fly off and watched the clouds roll across the moon. I strained my ears and didn’t hear a single sound except for the occasional plane.
I had a lot of memories of Will that came flooding back. Good memories. Bike rides we took from Hudson all the way down into Dutchess County (he was 80 at the time.) For many years he was my best friend. No one was ever nicer to me.
In the morning I field-tested my latest alcohol stove, 2 grams, made from a tealight holder. It worked just fine.
I broke camp and headed up. It was 7 am. The directions said to follow the small drainage.
“Will, you know I don’t like to bushwhack,” I said.
He did know. I’d said it many times.
I had no aspirations of finding the canister; I’d heard it could be tricky. Just getting up there was my goal.
At a nice spot I stopped, took off my pack and brought out the white envelope. Inside was a small plastic bag that contained the ashes.
“How many people get a mountain named after them? You’re the only person I know.
The ashes drifted to the ground, in contrast to the brown forest duff.
The walk out was peaceful. I flushed grouse three times. I stopped to read the trail register in the lean-to; there was a nice entry by two guys from Binghamton who obviously loved being up in the mountains.
Back down the trail, I picked up the stash of beer cans. I turned the 90-degree corner in the hemlock grove and suddenly there was another hiker. He was puffing under the weight of a pretty big pack. I asked him where he was going. “Up to the tower,” he said. “How about you?”
“I spent the night on Leavitt Peak and I’m heading out now,” I said.
“Leavitt Peak,” he said. “Cool.”
|12-03-2006, 11:40 PM||#5|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Lake Katrine, NY, just inside the Catskill Blue Line
A beautiful report.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.” Henry Ford
My Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/CatskillHiker
|12-04-2006, 02:40 AM||#6|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Paltz, NY Avatar: Autumn in the Catskills
Glad you were able to spend one more night with an old friend.
"Why so many want to read about the world out-of-doors, when it's more interesting simply to go for a walk into the heart of it, I don't fully understand." -Edward Abbey
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|
DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the Adkhighpeaks Foundation provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.