Sunday, September 19, 2010

Colvin and Blake

I joined the Central New York Hiking Meet Up Group when I saw they had a group going up Colvin and Blake. We met around 9am at the DEC parking lot on Rt. 73 by the Ausable Club in Keene. Half the group split to head right up Colvin and Blake, but the rest of us took a side trip to Cathedral Rock and Bear Run.

We passed Cathedral Rock and continued on to Bear Run on a flat to small grade incline terrain. We had to climb up a narrow crevice between some rocks, and at the top Bear Run was waiting for us. There was a nice view where we stopped for some picture taking. Returning to Lake Rd from Bear Run we decided to take the Pyramid Brook Trail to pick up the Lake Road Trail again. We thought we saw the Lake Road Trail on the other side of the river, and we were trying to find the bridge to cross but nobody was sure how far back we would have to go to find it. We rock hopped across the river, I lost my footing and fell in. This was my first time wearing my new boots hiking, but this was a bad situation to test their waterproof abilities since the water had gone over the top of the ankles and down in. After zipping off the wet bottoms of my pants, pouring the water out of my boots, changing my socks and making linings with plastic bags to keep my extra pairs of dry socks from getting wet from the soggy interior, we were on our way. My pride was bruised but I felt a little less embarrassed knowing two others went in as well. The whole side trip took longer than expected and it was now noon as we began to pick up the pace.

Once we found the real Lake Road Trail we took that to the Bypass Trail and decided to save Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs for the end if time permitted. We (the front half of the group) made it up Colvin in good time, took a brief rest on the summit with views of Haystack, Marcy, Basin, and the Ausable Lake.

We continued on to Blake before some of our group had caught up. Going down Colvin was steep in spots, a couple ladders have been built to make going down the steep bare rocks easier. We met those who skipped Cathedral Rock and Bear Run, including the barefoot hiker, just as the trail was starting to ascend Blake. Blake is probably my least favorite peak so far. It was a difficult climb up only to get a little peak through the trees at the summit. Only a tree carving indicates that you are on the summit.

Leaving Blake we had to go up Colvin again and at the summit we could see the rain clouds closing in. The weather forecast was for 30% chance of showers all day, but we had been blessed with blue skies and perfect temperatures up until this point. The rain storm coming towards us looked pretty fierce but we only got a little rain at the top of Colvin, and a little more once we were down.

We skipped the plans of Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs and headed back to the AMR gate via the seemingly endless Lake Road Trail. We arrived at our cars just before dark. Though my feet were sweat soaked in the non-breathable plastic bag inserts in my boots, I was pleased to see that I may not have a knee problem after all! Every hike I had gone on this year my knee would be aching on the descent, if not earlier. I attributed the pain to my dystonia and the way my foot naturally turns out when I walk, figuring that over time it was taking it toll on my right knee - but maybe it was all in the footwear.

To see all the pictures from this trip click here.

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