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A little of everything

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  • A little of everything

    The plan for this two-day adventure that would cover 3 ADK 100 peaks was to drive into the Moose River Plains area of the central Adirondacks early Wednesday AM and proceed to hike Cellar and Wakely that day. Wed then stay in one of the pull-in sites in the area and bushwhack Little Moose on Thursday. THAT WAS THE PLAN, this is the story.

    Cellar We hit the Moose River Plains Road by Limkiln Lake at about 8 AM and proceeded to drive the 18-20 miles along this unimproved road to the turn off for Cellar. We turned on this VERY RUSTIC 2-rut jeep trail and were able to follow it about to 1/2 mile up. (CAUTION Dont try it without a 4 WD vehicle).

    From there we got out and headed up towards the SE ridge and which we would then follow NW to the summit. The woods were open and the going was pretty easy, but it was steep, HOT, HUMID and BUGGY. Now the last few hikes, Ive been having some intermittent power problems with my GPS unit. I was afraid it was going, and about 3/4 of the way up, it failed totally. I wasnt real concerned and we made the summit easily. The summit area was totally wooded and there were NO views. I reversed course and without much struggle came out about 100 ft. N of were we were parked. Hike Details - 1 mile bushwhack (RT), 700 climb, total hike time 1:10.

    Wakely We drove from the Cellar Road crossed over the Cedar River Flow and arrived at the trailhead for Wakely at about 11:00 AM. We considered driving further up the road (you can save about 2 flat miles doing that), but ultimately decided to stretch our legs and walked the whole way. It was a moderate hike and we booked right along, despite the 87-degree heat. We felt like we were going slow, but ended up covering the 3.2 miles (~1700) in 1:20. We went up into the tower, but could not go into the box as there were 2 planks missing from the top landing, and we didnt chance it. We hung out on the 2nd to last landing and enjoyed what view we had. Being so hot and muggy, the view was pretty hazy. We could see the nearby peaks like Snowy, Buell, Panther, Blue Ridges (all 3 of them), Little Moose & others.

    All in all we spent 45 minutes up top and them left as the bugs had re-found us. It took 1 hour to get back to the car.

    I had been futzing with my GPS during the Wakely hike, but it was having still having some dependability issues and after discussing the situation with Nick, we decided that given the GPS issues, the horrible bug situation (in the woods) and oppressive heat, we thought that it might not be a great idea to push for a long 7+ mile bushwhack of Little Moose. We soon developed a back-up plan.

    Wed drive around to Indian Lake down to the Lewey Lake Campground, spend the night and then hike Pillsbury the next Morning. We decided to do just that, and as it turns out, we got lucky and got into site number 1. It had direct access to Indian Lake (our own private beach and a wonderful view to boot). We spent the rest of the afternnon (we got in at about 4 PM) kicking back, swimming and grilling. It was an awesome way to spend the hot summer afternoon.

    Pillsbury This was supposed to be a consolation prize for missing out on Little Moose. No loss, since we needed this one for our 100 highest anyway. It rained for a portion of the night and we heard distant thunder from time to time. When we got up, there were low clouds and overcast conditions. We took our time in hopes that it would burn off. At about 10:30 AM, we turned off onto the dirt roads at Mason Lake and drove for an eternity till we reach this very rustic ADK 2-rut jeep trail (again 4 WD strongly suggested). This would take us the final mile up to the trailhead. As we turned off onto this road, we noticed it got real dark.

    We got out after the 10-minute drive right at the register that proclaimed 1.6 miles to the summit. Right then, I saw a flash and immediately heard the loudest thunderclap ever and I hastily retreated to the truck. I almost dove for cover it was so loud. For the next 20 minutes, it rained, hailed, gusted, thundered and lightning as hard as Ive ever seen. Me and Nick were both a bit shaken and pretty much decided that climbing up a to a steel firetower on a tall peak just did not appeal to us anymore. Pillsbury would wait till another day. Now we still had to get out, and the rain was still coming down in sheets. Driving out was pretty scary indeed, and I actually was worried that there wed find trees blocking the route out or that one would come crashing down on us.

    I attempted to stop at the clearing at Sled Harbor (the rain had slacked) to change into my drive home clothes but again had to retreat quickly upon seeing a brilliant flash of brightness and another loud crack. We eventurally made it out to the paved roads and headed home. Typically, by the time we reached the Adirondack Park border near Poland (45 minutes later), the sun had started to come out along with the oppressive heat.

    Both and Nick reached peak 64 in our quest and 65 eluded us not just once, but twice on the same day. Its all good, Im excited to go back and spend some more time at the campground, climbing Pillsbury and re-climbing Snowy.

    PICTURES soon.
    "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

  • #2
    Mavs, great report I am glad you enjoyed Cellar Mt. You did it a bit different than I did but the result is the same. Pillsbury is ok but you really need the tower for views. I havn't done Little Moose so I have nothing there to contribute. All in all it sounds like you had a successful trip.


    • #3
      Nice report. Sorry you didn't get all the peaks you set out for but hey they ain't going anywhere. Sounds like some solid decision making. Well done.
      This post is for entertainment purposes only.


      • #4
        There are semiprimitave campsites for no charge along that road that borders Mason lake. It's where I stayed when I hiked Pillsbury. I was socked in with clouds, and the tower did not enhance the views of grey matter. The trip sounds great though.
        set the gear shift for the high gear of your soul...T.A.


        • #5
          Once again, the mountains give you what they're willing to give and not what we wish to take.

          Good trip report Tim
          Walk Softly


          • #6
            -PICTURES- are up now.
            "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb


            • #7
              Good pictures.

              I had forgotten that Wakely was the highest tower. That was the first tower (other than climbing Blue Mtn when I was three) I climbed and was shaking in my boots looking down. I worked real hard after that at conquering my fear of heights. Thankfully it takes an awful lot now to shake me up.
              Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
              It's about learning to dance in the rain.


              • #8
                okay, okay...... I admit, I might have been a touch nervous on the higher portions, even with a mild 10 MPH breeze

                Which reminds me, there are several planks missing up higher the top landing, so you might opt, like we did, to hang out on the stairs just below the box.
                "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb


                • #9
                  missing planks??? I wouldn't go past them! No way.

                  And even though I can now walk up and down fire towers without any problem I still prefer good old fashioned granite. The hardest part when I first started climbing the towers was taking my son who was only 3 or 4 at the time. Running thorugh my head was this fear that if I couldn't save myself how could I possible save him, who of course had absolutely no fear and just wanted to scamper up the stairs and definitely didn't want to be held by his shirt.
                  Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
                  It's about learning to dance in the rain.