Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hunter Mountain - June 26, 2011 - Rip VanWinkle

We met Rip VanWinkle on this firetower trek! He fell asleep near here in the late 1700's and slept for twenty years. completely missing the American Revolution. Then woke up to a whole new world. At least that's the fictional story according to author Washington Irving in his short stories book published in 1819. Located at about the 3200 foot level of Hunter mountain, just off the high point of the Colonels Chair lift, is a memorial to good old "Rip". It took 14 years to complete this monument out of a chunk of 8 tons of blue sandstone by sculptor, Kevin VanHenteryck. Oh, yea, we found it at the END of our 4 mile, RT hike, up about 900 feet to the Hunter Mountain Firetower. Did we mention that? The photo is of Rip, not Roger; although they are about the same age. :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Hill Firetower - Re-do - June 12, 2011

In December of 2010 we climbed this mountain in 6 inches of snow. But.... Someone forgot to get the GPS reading at the summit! And since we ALWAYS do what we write about, it had to be done once again. But this time it was even better. On top, we met "Vince" hanging out 8 stories high on the tower. He was the volunteer "Tower Guide" according to his sign in at the base. And, he had the keys to get up into the "cab" at the top where the observers watched for fires. Even Roger, who hates heights, couldn't resist climbing up the nine stories to the top and looking out. It was the first time he has climbed to the top of one of these firetowers. It was a limited view on a foggy day, but Roger remembered to get his reading this time! It was a fun trip, no matter what the reason. And Vince was a good "Tower Guide" for us.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Balsam Lake Mountain - June 11, 2011

The downpours had passed when we began our trek up this Catskill mountain. And, we were pleasantly surprised when we completed our 2.7 mile climb in a relatively dry condition. We were met by Mike, the volunteer firetower guide and "keeper of the keys" to actually get up into the top of the tower where the fire observers actually stood watch for about 100 years. Sadly, the "view" from the top was almost non-existent due to heavy fog. Kate and Mike could barely even see Roger from the top of the tower. But we made it up the mountain today, enjoyed learning from Mike and had a great day! The photo to the right, with Mike and Kate at the base of the tower puts the tower in perspective.