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October 23, 2011 - 8:50am
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, adirondacks.

This is a view of the Moose River as seen from the Route 28 bridge in McKeever, NY. Bill Moon and I arrived in Old Forge on a Thursday to do a bit of sightseeing and picture taking before canoeing the north branch of the Moose the following day. 

We drove further north to Inlet where Bill had bow hunted in the past. Old logging roads offered access well off the beaten path, with numerous campsites along the way. Here the late afternoon sun illumines towering spruce trees.      

Dead timber, colorful maples and spruce frame the shoreline of a placid pond.

A totally calm surface on Nick's Lake provides a mirror image along the shoreline. 

These canoes no doubt saw a good deal of use this year, but on this day not a soul around. 

Winterberry -- we would see plenty of this stuff growing along the north branch of the Moose River. There we would find it in huge clusters and already minus much of its leafy growth. Stay tuned -- the canoe trip was quite breathtaking.

October 23, 2011 - 8:48am

We hadn't traveled very far when, from the stern of the canoe, I heard Bill Moon say, "Listen to that." Except for the sound of his voice, there was absolute silence. He was referring to the solitude of the Adirondack wilderness. At the time we were paddling the north branch of the Moose River where it winds through brushy banks lined with winterberry and distant hills in the background

Downstream a ways, we would enter green corridors of spruce and pine, and finally stretches of river where the evergreens and maples mingle, splattering a predominantly green shoreline with red and yellow.

"Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiul to values as yet uncaptured by language." 

                                     Aldo Leopold, "A Sand County Almanac"

With the hardwoods already having lost much of their foliage, the evergreens had lost a bit of their backdrop...

yet they towered above the river bank, as aesthetically pleasing as ever.

Except for small birds flitting and rustling in the winterberry, these mallards provided one of our few glimpses of wildlife. Occasionally, the sound of geese could be heard, though they were nowhere in sight. Once or twice we heard the guttural squawk of a raven - it too was heard and not seen. 

The day was sun-filled and warm, the setting serene. The  leaning sycamore pictured above seems to be whispering to the trees on the opposite bank.

Clusters of winterberry  

The sound of water rushing over rocks and around and under sizeable boulders indicated it was time for our lone portage of the trip, a canoe-tote of approximately 200 yards. The portage trail was well-defined, though there were numerous tree roots spanning the path which tested our agility -- and patience.

Bill has made this trip a number of times - here's  "ol' man river" and his understudy!

October 28, 2010 - 3:15pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, Mountaineering, adirondacks.

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Biking, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing and mountaineering. To one extent or another, all the Marchese brothers -- Dave, Tom, Russ and Bob -- partook of these activities. It was 1995, after brother Dave invited his three siblings on a backpacking trip, when they first had a go at hiking up a mountain. 

"We hiked into Johns Brook Valley and camped at Bushnell Falls," said Bob Marchese. "The next day we climbed Mount Haystack in the rain and fog. At times you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Mt. Haystack (elev. 4960 ft.) was the first high peak for Russ, Tom and me."

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Left to right are Tom, Bob, Russ and Dave.

Despite the weather on their first climb back in 1995, the Marchese brothers began frequenting the high peaks when time permitted.

"Nearly 10 years passed before it entered our minds to climb the "trailess" peaks," said Bob, "and go for the '46.'"

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