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Cascade. Yeah, Cascade...

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  • Cascade. Yeah, Cascade...

    They say you never forget your first until the dementia really digs in, so, yesterday, while all the cool people were flocking to Hoffman, I decided to do my part to contribute to overuse in the High Peaks by visiting Cascade. By the trail, not the slide. Really do some damage, know what I mean? Five cars in the parking areas gave me the inkling that the crowds wouldn't be around today, and after a visit to the Foundation sponsered Porta Potty, where I sat, with my chest puffed with pride, knowing what a simple, yet meaningful and practical contribution to the cleanliness of the Cascade Trail that this little hut makes, I was off...

    The traditional gift for a 30th anniversary is pearls. As usual, Cascade gave me many...

    As I hiked up the trail, I reflected aloud on the changes I have seen over many (uncountable, really) visits to Cascade I have made since 1988, and imagine my delight when Cascade not only answered but seemed quite willing to have a personal chat with me...

    "Cascade, your trail has gotten much wider and deeper over the past 30 years."
    "Charlene, you, too have gotten wider. I seem to remember you being 30 pounds lighter at age 25. And don't get me started on deeper! Don't you use cream on those wrinkles??"

    "Cascade, in parts of your trail, your roots are showing!"
    "Charlene, really? Do you think you're fooling anyone with that Clairol Shade #13?"

    "Cascade, over the past three decades, at times, I have felt the weight of the world crushing me, and some days, I feel like I get sh*t on more than I deserve."
    "Charlene, try 600 people on your back at one time. And don't get me started on sh*t...."

    "Cascade, looking here and there on this trail, I'd say you've had a lot of work done..."
    "Charlene, a social media star like me has to keep herself in good shape. I have great people helping me out, protecting me and keeping me in great shape. After all, I am SO popular these days..."

    I had the summit to myself for a good long time, and I hung out, hoping that the weather would clear, but, as in 1988, it did not, and I was rather pleased by that. Our 30th anniversary would be much like our first time together, socked in, damp, windy, but not cold . A nice couple from St. Louis arrived, on their first visit to the Adirondacks, and after friendly pleasantries, I decided to leave them and let them enjoy some solitude, so I headed over to Porter.

    Once on the now sunny summit of Porter, I realized that I hadn't brought anything to eat. Seized by panic, I hoped my mother would call. When she didn't, I knew I had to do what I could to survive. I gathered as many salamanders as I could. The salamanders screamed in rage (although in incredibly, barely audible, tiny voices) at my act of microaggression against them Now, the only civilized way to eat a red eft is to blacken it with a little Cajun spice. Lacking dryer lint with which to make a cooking fire, I lifted my shirt to search my bellybutton for lint. It was then that I discovered that I not only had enough stored fat to walk back to the trailhead, but that I could probably walk to Sacramento if I had to. I let the salamanders go, and they quickly retreated to a safe space, but not before one grabbed my cellphone and called PETA. I decided to make a speedy descent.

    Back at the porta potty, I thought about how fun it would be to come back in another 30 years...

    Trail Conditions: For all the buzz about overuse, the trail is spotless. Not even a wad of gum to be seen. In spite of the recent rain, my feet didn't even get wet (but the trail to Porter has, as usual and as always, a few hog wallowing, good time muddy bits!). I saw two dog owners on the way down, and they had left purple dog poop bags at the side of the trail in two different places. I'll just have to believe that it was their intent to grab them on the way back.... but still.... Sigh.... and ugh.

  • #2
    One of the best TR's that I've ever read.

    And, agreed 100% that trail is spotless considering it's "overuse."

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    • #3
      Do you have a tracklog you can send me? I might want to go there after reading your report.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm all about all things paleo these days. Keeping it simple. Nothing but path integration pour moi.
        (And stairs never scared me. I don't need to be forewarned about them.)

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        • #5
          Brava Señora!

          Your writing always brings the trails to life (as they will 30 years on).

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for giving a truly insightful and inspirational account of the effects of being loved to death and proper preparation of food sources for survival in the wild.
            It is nice to know that people still enjoy all the good the Foundation has done for Cascade over the years from providing the finances to have regular Steward coverage to provide funding to let folks poop on us!
            Unfortunately we will have no choice but to duplicate those efforts in the Hoffman wilderness and most likely the Sentinels and Sawtooth ranges due to our leaders commitment to the “dispersion is the answer”, what was the question tirade of the last few years.
            "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
            Ed Viesturs

            Comment


            • Charlene 2.0
              Charlene 2.0 commented
              Editing a comment
              I've been following various steward volunteer accounts on FB... what they are doing is clearly working. My last trip up Cascade was via the slide, so I only did a walk down that day, maybe two years ago? I'd say the trail is cleaner now than it was then. The rock and drainage work alone is fantastic. And it's the cleanest of the easier summits going, in my worthless opinion. The couple from St. Louis were definitely hooked on their first visit. As was I, so many years ago. Cascade is a beauty. The Foundation is to be commended for its efforts here, and I have the greatest esteem for the volunteers... but good luck getting them for H, S and S....
              And Happiest of Birthdays to you....

          • #7
            Fantastic trip report, Charlene!!! You may or may not recall, but I had chatted with you and Pete last fall, off and on, over the course of climbing Street and Nye, and also on the way back to the Loj. I just wanted to add that for sparing the salamanders, when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness...Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga

            Comment


            • Charlene 2.0
              Charlene 2.0 commented
              Editing a comment
              Hey there! Of course, I remember you... you and I had a nice chat about forum legends and lions, once I cornered you on Street at that gob smackingly, gorgeous viewsite of the Macs... As I recall, you were on a little hiking holiday and had indeed pounded a great deal of ground in a very few days. I'll be back to Nye and Street in a few weeks to give them a fall freshening up... maybe I'll see you again sometime. And a be bop a lula to you, dear sir.

            • Groundpounder
              Groundpounder commented
              Editing a comment
              Indeed, that was me. Great memory! Aside from the stifling heat, I had a great trip, and I think I might have mentioned in my trip report last year that the trails to Street and Nye were in amazing shape with zero blowdown (thank you!). p.s. the ending of my initial post was borrowed from "Caddyshack", in case you just thought I was speaking gibberish

            • Charlene 2.0
              Charlene 2.0 commented
              Editing a comment
              Gibberish is my second language, I recognized at once that you weren't speaking it. Anyway, I hope you have gotten more trips in... fall is the best time for it. Nice chatting with you again!

          • #8
            Absolutely delighted to see you back, as I sorely missed the beta Charlene. Now where is Rik?

            Comment


            • #9
              I'd say the trail is cleaner now than it was then. The rock and drainage work alone is fantastic. And it's the cleanest of the easier summits going


              Yet the whole thing is slated for history's dustbin because the plan is to replace it with a new trail running from the Van Hoevenberg Olympic Ski Complex (or whatever the actual name is). Ostensibly it's to improve safety because the current parking areas are along a busy highway.

              Originally I thought it would be similar to what they did ~2 years ago (for one weekend), namely connect to the existing Cascade Mtn Trail about a third of the way up. Nope, it'll be all-new according to the latest UMP. It's supposed to run up the western valley leading to the col between Cascade and Porter. From there I imagine it'll use the existing Porter Mtn Trail. The overall length of the trip to Cascade will be approximately twice as long as the current one.


              When will all this happen? Next year? The year after? Never? I don't know but the trail may evolve from a walk down memory lane for some to a distant memory for all.
              Looking for Views!

              Comment


              • Trail Boss
                Trail Boss commented
                Editing a comment
                FWIW, the last time I checked, the plan was to make the Ski Complex the trailhead for Pitchoff as well. The parking areas would be eliminated (how? I don't know) and the old Cascade trail would be brushed in.

                The 'brushing in' part is no easy task when one considers the trail's width!

                Your fun-loop is currently complicated by the closure of the Little Porter Mtn Trail (i.e. the trail running from Porter to the Garden). A portion of it runs across private land whose owner barred access to it a few months ago. Tony said a reroute is in the works. Until then, the fun-loop requires an off-trail detour around the periphery of a sizeable chunk of private land. Of course, that doesn't mean it can't be fun, just a different kind of fun.

              • Charlene 2.0
                Charlene 2.0 commented
                Editing a comment
                I had heard about the Little Porter Trail being shut down, wondered if it was an Owl's Head kind of thing. Alas. I'm old enough to remember the Interbrook trail being shut down, idiot hikers making a mess of it. Sigh. Nothing new under the sun... Don't suppose you have a link to that UMP site, or is it somewhere here on the forum? I look at the map and can't help but thinking it's a massive undertaking they are contemplating... which makes me question if they will indeed undertake it.

              • Trail Boss
                Trail Boss commented
                Editing a comment
                Sure thing, it's the the first link in this post about the end of 'free-range' camping:

                http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/f...e-central-hpwa

            • #10
              I "have" Cascade-Porter for every conceivable list I will ever do. Reading this thread I'm glad I NEVER have to go back.

              Comment


              • Charlene 2.0
                Charlene 2.0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Not me, man, I've been wanting to go via Laramore for a long time. Walton Brook Basin looks SO messy!

              • Neil
                Neil commented
                Editing a comment
                Very nice bushwhack of Laramore from Owls Head. I've done it twice, once up and once down. There were game trails that looked like herd paths.

              • Charlene 2.0
                Charlene 2.0 commented
                Editing a comment
                The beautiful and talented Mr. K and I spent some fun days in the Walton Basin area, but for whatever reason, I drifted away from the Laramore thing. I'd just like to walk down it, end up at the Pitchoff East parking area... if I had a list I'd add this to it. Maybe someday...

            • #11
              I do think that two years of the 46ers TH stewards are having a positive effect, getting people to just take a bit more care for the trail and others around them! I loved the report!

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              • #12
                Nice report! Cascade & Porter, like so many others, where my first HP hikes. Way back in... hmmm have to dig up my records. Wait, did I miss an anniversary? Yes I am the typical guy always forgetting things like birthdays and anniversaries it seems. Well nothing special about those, I guess I forget everything OK dug up my list, May 1994. Yes! I can celebrate a 25 year anniversary next year! I've not been on it since. Actually, since I'm down to one remaining hike for my 46, I'll be finishing that too on my 25th anniversary of hiking the high peaks well at least the year, not down to the date as I'd really like to avoid super popular holidays like Memorial Day. Cascade was crowded back then too, of course.
                44/46 Almost there!!
                26/46 barefoot ;-)
                ~Tristan

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