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A Movie and a Mountain Review. (Detective Pikachu & Lyon Mountain) 8-12-2019

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  • A Movie and a Mountain Review. (Detective Pikachu & Lyon Mountain) 8-12-2019

    On Sunday our family put on a Birthday Party for Pokey Moonshine in Willsboro. It was a very nice time. We took a ride in my Uncle's Checkmate around Willsboro Bay in the "shadow" of Rattlesnake Mountain (one of our favorite peaks). We saw a few eagles and their huge nest hanging above the bay and later enjoyed good food and fun with family and friends. After we got home from the party, we sat down to watch Detective Pikachu.

    Both Kailee and I like Pokemon but neither of us knew what to expect in this live action/CGI film. It turned out that we were in for a treat... and a change of plans.

    If you or your child are fans of the world of Pokemon then definitely give this film a shot. It's fun and does a nice job of "tipping the cap" to both the games and animated series while exploring and creating a new "world." The casting is great. Ryan Reynolds is the Pikachu that no one expected but everyone needed! It's a well done modern Film Noir that any "Pokemaniac" can appreciate. We were laughing from the gut non-stop and rooting for the heroes throughout the entire film. We give it four thumbs up!

    The change of plans came as a result of letting Pokey staying up late to watch Pokemon... We were going to hike a High Peak today. I awoke at 4 AM and finished packing our backpacks and was ready to go. Afterwards, I woke her up. All she needed to do was eat breakfast, change and brush her teeth. She sat down for breakfast, took a few bites and began crying.

    "What's the matter?" I asked.

    "I'm so sorry. I think I'm just too tired to hike today..." she replied.

    I could see it. Her heart wanted to hike a High Peak but her body said "No."

    "It's OK. Finish your breakfast and you can go back to bed... Maybe we can hike Poko or something this afternoon," I said.

    She smiled, finished her meal and retreated to the comfort of her bed.
    She slept until almost Noon. Awaking refreshed, we decided to return to the "High Peak of Clinton County" Lyon Mountain (3860') for a nice Alternative hike... After second breakfast.

    It's funny, Lyon is very close to home. I look at it every day as I drive to work... But, we've only climbed it once (last year) and were completely socked in at the summit. Nevertheless, we had a PokeBALL during our first time there. And, despite heavy cloud coverage in the area we were hopeful that today we'd get a view.

    Lyon Mountain is very popular among locals, Canadians and those pursuing the Fire Tower Badge. It was one of the first recent "big" trail re-routes that the "New DEC" undertook. I was a big fan of it's switchbacks. However, many locals that I know HATE the re-route and long for the days of Lyon's straight line up the mountain trail.

    On this excursion, I could see why so many locals don't approve of the new trail. That doesn't mean that I personally don't like the trail... I just was able to wrap my head around their perspective this time around.

    After signing in at the register, the trail basically follows a contour line and swings you far from the start. You're not even climbing... Just going up and down some small hills for almost a mile before finally switching to the right and gently climbing (if you can call it that) some more. The footing along this stretch consists of quite a bit of loose rocks. Don't get me wrong, it's easy but it does feel a little pointless.

    Once it finally starts to feel like you're climbing, the switchbacks come in clutch. You cover a lot of ground but do so very quickly. This, we enjoyed. A nice break from the OH-So-Steep trails that we've encountered in the High Peaks this season.

    Pokey Moonshine led the charge for the entire ascent (that rarely happens - we usually end up trading off a few times). I was OK with that as I noticed some Right knee pain about halfway up. I questioned if it was a result of some of the loose footing earlier in the hike (To mention, the knee pain disappeared shortly after hitting the summit ).

    Don't expect any views along this trail until you hit an intersection with the old "abandoned" trail. From there, you're afforded a view of the Altona (Bud) Wind Farm. After that, you pick up your biggest elevation gain of the climb (albeit with some more small switchbacks).

    We charged through the final push towards the tower and summited in an hour and a half. Not bad! Pokey improved vastly on her previous time.

    Scattered clouds and haze covered the sky... Hey at least we weren't socked in this time! We checked out the view to the North first. Everyone claims that you can see Montreal from this vantage point but that was not the case today. However, we got a nice view of Chazy Lake and the Northeastern-most ADK.

    We climbed the tower and took in the view of Lake Champlain, Giant, the Great Range and Whiteface... Makwa - in case you're wondering. The tower still lacks chicken wire fencing.

    The summit area itself is rather interesting. Although you're only at 3860', it's almost alpine. Even Kailee mentioned this.

    "It really looks like an Alpine Summit," Kailee said.

    The only trees that grow there are spruce - compare that to McKenzie- a peak of the same size with a variety of trees at the top. No sight of any other hardwoods. On top of that, Lyon's summit zone is large and quite flat. There's plenty of places to hang out and have space even on the busiest of days. That being said, we had the place to ourselves.

    I did a little wandering and noticed planks over some mud. Another trail! I quickly checked my GPS and it confirmed what my eyes saw. I called Pokey over and we followed it. After we crossed the planks we hit something sorely lacking in the ADK: a Brown ribbon of PERFECT trail surrounded by a green tunnel! This folks, is one thing that I love! Brown soft trail in a sea of green!

    The brown ribbon deposited us on to an attractive forest road... I checked the GPS again. Turning left, we followed the forest road for a short stretch to a large clearing. We saw a cairn which brought us to another brown ribbon of trail. We walked it's soft surface to a crop of rocks that gave us a better view than the tower and an astounding view of Averill Peak (Clinton County's 2nd Highest Point). Whenever we see it, we often joke that the duel peaks of Averill Peak looks like the lips of the the kissy face emoji turned on it's side when viewed from town. But, from this perspective, it looked fantastic and imposing (Hey, I know you can drive up a radio tower road and walk a little ways to bag it - just roll with me here).

    If you're climbing Lyon... You'd be amiss to skip this little side route. On that note, I'm very curious to where the forest road starts. It's on my GPS map but it doesn't show a road or any indicator to "where" the forest road begins (i.e. a trailhead, lot, locality) It just shows the forest road starting in... The middle of the forest. I realize that Lyon has been cut up throughout it's history. The dang mountain literally built the Golden Gate Bridge! You see signs of old forest roads even from the new trail. But, I'd love to give this particular forest road a shot!

    We snapped a number of pictures and agreed that this lookout was superior to the area around the Fire Tower. However, we didn't linger too long before we retraced our steps back to the tower.

    We grabbed our packs and... Hit the old trail for the descent... Until it linked back up with the new trail at least. This little stretch of trail is direct and skips the mini switchback BS near the summit. It's quick and efficient for a down climb (we did this the last time we were here). Once we linked up with the new trail, it was quick walk down.

    I had penciled in another visit to Lyon for this upcoming Fall. Yet, it served as an excellent "Alternative Hike" due to our movie loving circumstances. It was fun. We were happy and give it 3.5 Thumbs Up... We're deducting a half point for the long contour stretch that begins/ends the hike. We took a Magikarp morning and turned it into a Gyrados of an afternoon... Now, it's up to Detective Pikachu to follow our steps !



    Note - Turn your hiking GPS on as your driving to get a good satellite link before you start your hike. Lyon's thick cover makes it hard to get a signal once you begin hiking. Not that we needed GPS for this clearly marked trail... But, it showed us all over the place until we hit the junction of the old and new trails.

    2nd Note- The dirt road leading to the parking lot is in pathetic shape right now.

    3rd Note - Pics to follow!

  • #2
    That missing chicken wire did it for me last time - I could'nt make it passed the 2nd landing! What I like about this mountain, a part from the fire tower, is that it is such a massive mountain - I don't know of any other Adirondack mountain that you can clearly identify from so far - but the hike up is surprisingly accessible, especially using the new trail.

    Comment


    • Learning The Trails
      Editing a comment
      It's a big massif with great isolation. All of it's peaks have big prominence. The peak of Lyon itself is the 8th Most Prominent peak in NY. That's what makes it so easy to spot from afar.

  • #3
    Nice report. Can't say I'll be watching Detective Pikachu anytime soon but I do appreciate you bringing a new element to a trip report. Well done.

    I think what you found there is the actual summit. After taking that left onto the road you're about 100 yards from the high point, which is about 30 feet higher than where the trail exits the woods at the fire tower. Then you go back downhill a little to the overlook. Shoot me a pic of your track and I could confirm if you want but based on your description that must be where you were.

    The road itself (that appears on MapBuilder to begin in the middle of the woods at around 1930') actually goes all the way out to Rte 374. If you switch over to Satellite view in caltopo you can see it very clearly. The road is gated at the bottom. I don't know if you can walk it or not. On the APA interactive map I see that the road cuts through many different areas that are classified as "Town of Dannemora - Resource Management" then "Town of Dannemora - Low Intensity" then it switches back then near the summit it crosses into "Town of Saranac - Resource Management". Where it terminates in the large clearing is directly on the border with Chazy Highlands Wild Forest which is where the fire tower and all of the hiking trail lies.

    Thanks for the info on the tower. Always curious to see what work gets done. I believe there were materials on the ground to fix those landings several years ago when I was there. I wonder why no progress?

    Comment


    • Makwa
      Makwa commented
      Editing a comment
      On the APA interactive map there's a small rectangle of land right at the start of the trail classified as Town of Dannemora - Resource Management. I'd have to search property maps to find who owns it.

    • Makwa
      Makwa commented
      Editing a comment
      It's 2.00 acres owned by an individual. Assessed at $6,600 if you're curious.

    • Learning The Trails
      Editing a comment
      Makwa that pretty much answers the question.
      Funny spot to own for a seasonal plot.

  • #4
    View toward Chazy Lake:




    View towards the High Peaks from the Tower. Note how "flat" Lyon's summit area is:


    The Tower:



    Perfect brown ribbon:



    Nice forest road & clearing:



    Hazy view towards Whiteface & the High Peaks from the "hidden lookout":



    The dual summits & radio tower of Averill Peak:


    Hanging at the hidden lookout:









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