June 17, 2009

Blue Mountain

Work has been busy, life with the kids has been busy and it has been tough finding time to hike. My cousin is visiting from Maryland as she has done for the past couple of years. She too fell in love with hiking and usually reminds me several times as her trip is approaching that I need to figure out which mountains we will hike when she arrives. Well, it was nearing her last few days here and she had only done Hadley Mountain (again) with my mother early in her trip. Good time to mention that she is my mother's first cousin and actually the cousin that my grandfather dubbed his 3rd daughter. Therefore, she could (and should) be considered my aunt. So....my mother was supposed to come with us but wasn't feeling well so I had a rare day alone with my "aunt" jane. Turns out that it was not only the hiking that brought peace and serenity and but the great talk we had too. Lots of serious stuff but in all that seriousness was also the chance to talk about our important people. I will treasure our day together for a long time.


The choice to climb Blue Mountain was an easy one. Except that it is another firetower that I have now climbed without my father. He was at work. But, I would be willing to climb it again. Maybe in the fall. Driving up route 28 I was excited to see what Blue would have in store for us. I have to say that the guide books are quite accurate. Steep middle section...yup...a lot of smooth rock slab that was wet and slippery in some places. That smooth steep rock coupled with the several stream crossings, boardwalk planks to walk on while avoiding mud and the rocky sections very seriously mimic a high peak. After all Blue Mtn is only about 400 feet shy of 4,000. The four mile RT took us just under 4 hours with more than 20 minutes spent at the summit. We climbed the fire tower...all the way to the cabin of the tower and enjoyed 360 degree views. Colden, Algonquin and Marcy were distinguishable to the North. I especially enjoyed the scenery that included many bodies of water to the southwest. Blue Mtn Lake, Raquette Lake and the Fulton Chain of Lakes that are actually below Bald Mountain. Wakely fire tower is also visible. The black flies were in swarms most of the way up the trail but didn't cause any huge distress. At the summit while trying to sit and eat they posed a bit of an annoyance. Just standing up took care of that problem as there was a slight breeze. I applied deet in an attempt to avoid a street and nye experience. We made our way over to a southern facing cliff (near the cell tower). There was a nice view on that side. The observer's cabin is still standing, locked and barred, but possible to sit on it's porch and enjoy the view to the south that I just described. We met about 15 people either at the summit or on the trail. Still it was quiet and the people were pleasant. The journey back down was a bit anxiety provoking. We sought out some herdpath routes through the forest to avoid sliding down the rock slabs out of control. This is the cousin that turned her ankle on Mt. Jo. But she was a champ climbing this (almost) high peak. No camera on this hike...I know, CRAZY. I can't believe it either. I jacked a photo from flickr just to give her folks back home an idea of what their mother is "up" to......

4 comments:

smallpines said...

Gorgeous. Looks like an awesome climb. I'm going to have to start working my way up, start easy. Cloest I've been is the views from the museum. Awesome.

Cedar ... said...

for sure it does look blue! Love that area there, never climbed it, I think it's well beyond my capability and endurance now. Glad you got there....

Jennifer W said...

That sounded great. What a nice way to spend the day with family.

Aunt Jane said...

Corin, I'm sorry I didn't get to give my proper good-byes to you and the kids. We thought (hoped) you might stop by this morning for coffee but I was able to spend a few extra minutes with your grandmother. I thoroughly enjoyed our outing and again must say I was pretty proud of us(me)for having made the climb. Looking at the picture here, I'm now even more so. I look forward to our next climb that I hope includes your mother.