ADIRONDACKS: A SHORT BUSHWHACK IN THE DIX MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS, 6/19/13
Carol and I decided to take a Wednesday-Friday mini-vacation in New York's beautiful Adirondack Mountains before the summer season really kicked in. The forecast looked great, and we were able to obtain a last-minute cabin rental that turned out to be a great choice. After driving across Vermont, we rode the Charlotte-Essex ferry across Lake Champlain. In good weather, this half-hour ride is always a highlight of the trip, with views of the Green Mountains and Adirondacks. In the photo below are several Adirondack peaks, L to R: Hough, Dix, Nippletop, Rocky Peak Ridge, Giant and Green.
Mid-afternoon, we arrived at "Random Scoots," the wonderful cabin we stayed at in the village of Keene. It was built by well-known Adirondack hiker Tom "randomscooter" Haskins. Tom and his wife Doreen were friendly and gracious hosts. A great place to stay for a hiking vacation! Check it out at randomscoots.com.
Carol settled in to an Adirondack chair in the yard for some reading, while her husband set off for a late afternoon/evening bushwhack.
The view of Hurricane Mountain Carol enjoyed from her chair.
From Keene, I drove 12 miles down NY 73 to the unmarked start of a herd path that leads up along the South Fork of the Boquet River into the Dix Mountain Wilderness. My objective was a ledgy knob Carol and I had visited on our honeymoon in the Adirondacks in 2000. The area east of the Dix Range was burned in a huge 1903 fire. As a result, the area is filled with ledgy bumps offering great views. The woods between the ledges are generally open hardwoods and birch. This herd path offered good walking for the mile or so that I followed it.
The whacking up to the knob was generally through open woods.
The view from the knob was as good as I remembered it, looking west up the valleys to (L to R) Wyman Mountain, East Dix, SW Spotted, Spotted Mountain, Hough Peak and the mighty Dix Mountain.
Dix and its slide-scarred eastern cirque.
A glacial erratic perched on the ledge.
A jumble of summits to the NW, with Noonmark Mountain in the center and Round Mountain on the R.
A zoom on Wyman/East Dix/the Spotteds/Hough.
A wider shot showing the long NE ridge of Dix with Dial Mountain peering over.
After an hour or so enjoying the views in the evening sun, I descended to cross the South Fork of the Boquet.
A short whack led me to a sunlit beaver meadow.
Nearby was a sizeable beaver pond, with Spotted Mountain rising in the distance.
I spent some time wandering along the shore of the pond.
Weathered root sculptures in the pond.
The beavers have been gone for a while - the dam was grown up to shrubs. The Dix Mountain Wilderness is a bushwhacking treasure chest. I hope to return for more extensive explorations.