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Old 05-19-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
Conk
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 71
The Moshiers

May 12-17 2018
Paul Conklin (Curtis Mayfly)


This report may seem similar to a trip I made last fall, indeed, I was in the same area but little of my route was traced. One of the joys of bushwhacking is finding new ways to get to the same place. On this trip, I would concentrate on the Moshiers: the reservoir, creek and ponds.

Day 1: I began early in the morning at the end of public access on the Necessary Dam Road, where it intersects the Beaver River. This is the beginning of an impoundment known as the Moshier Reservoir. It is three miles long and varies from 500 to 2000 feet wide. With the exception of the Brookfield Power Co. dams at each end, all of its shoreline is state owned. At a little over a mile west of my put-in, I stopped to investigate an unnamed tributary from the north. The slope angle shading on my map indicated inclines of up to 40 degrees. I scrambled only a few hundred yards up the creek, which was a jumble of broken granite. Most of it, the typical dark gray we see so much of in the Adirondacks. I found a small chunk of pink and laid it on the gray for a comparison photograph.

South of the Moshier Dam, the power company provides a take-out. I was not going to continue down river but stopped to take a walk. I wanted to investigate the serious whitewater below the dam and some of the power company's infrastructure. It was near noon by the end of my excursion, I had my lunch under an aqueduct of the Beaver River.

On the reservoir, I backtracked to the north where I would begin a paddlewhack up Moshier Creek. The first mile would be an arduous carry but worth it in the prospect of the ability to paddle deep into the Moshier Ponds. I gained 140 ft. of elevation pulling the canoe up the eastern rim of the first of two chasms. Looking down I knew I had to spend more time exploring. I found a suitable camp (two trees without widow makers) and erected the tarp and hammock. I would have ample time left in the day for chasm reconnoitering.

Day 2 did not require much climbing. At 180 ft. above the reservoir, Moshier Creek leveled and became a pleasant walk, sometimes paddling. I stopped in one of the meadows to have coffee and watched a Magnolia Warbler sing from the top of a spruce tree. Pressing on, it wasn't long before reaching the first in the chain of ponds known as the Moshiers. I dallied as much I could in each of the ponds. I saw Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Wood, Black and Mallard Ducks, a Broad-Winged Hawk carrying a squirrel, lots of amphibian eggs and some fresh bear tracks. It was mid afternoon by the time I arrived at the largest and northern most Moshier. I found the hammock trees I needed at the base of the hill west of the pond. With camp established, I ventured as deep as my enthusiasm would allow into two of Big Moshiers swampy inlets. That evening before retiring, a Barred Owl was called into camp. It perched in a tree over my hammock and gave me a quizitive stare in the beam of my headlamp.

Day 3 was planned to be a long walk west without the canoe. I wanted to spend the day exploring the environs of Pepperbox Pond. I was up early and climbing the hill west of camp by six o'clock. I like being high on a steep hillside when you are level with the tops of the trees below. You can look for birds by looking down. At the very summit of the hill was a curious balanced boulder, a large glacial erratic that looked like it might topple with the touch of a finger, but alas, it would not move.

Before leaving the summit, I checked with the map and set course for Pepperbox. I wasn't half way before it started to rain. This is where my report begins to sound familiar to the trip mentioned earlier. I was on the other side of the mountain last fall during a similar meteorological event when I sought shelter in a cave. The rock wall where I found the cave was not far away. I turned north thinking I could find it again but not before donning my rain paraphernalia. I found the granite wall and followed it to the right, which proved to be the wrong way. I was nearing the point where a rain suit doesn't feel dry anymore and my misdirection had become obvious. Before turning back, I gave one last look forward and spotted a delta shaped grotto that appeared as if it might be large enough to tuck myself out of the elements. The granite floor sloped downward at a 25-degree angle, which was quite comfortable with ones elbows resting on their knees. I settled in for what became a long sit, I was very grateful for my new Dutchware folding sit pad. There was room enough between my legs to brew coffee. The grotto acted like a parabolic big ear enhancing the songs of a Winter Wren and Black-Throated Blue Warbler who entertained before me. The rain lessened after about an hour, it was decision time, push on or return to camp. I elected for the latter as the gray sky showed no signs of clearing. By the time I reached camp the lull ended. I would have another extended wait… this time lying in the hammock, listening to the patter of raindrops on a taughtly stretched tarp. I jumped the gun and got an early start on that evening's allotment of bourbon.

It was after three before the rain stopped. Birds, especially Thrushes like to sing after a rain, I delighted in some post precipitation birding before taking the Mayfly out for another paddle. Spicy Chicken was the Hawk Vittles entrée of the evening. By 7 o'clock the sun was out, giving promise to a better tomorrow.

Day 4: I was packed and on the water before 7 o'clock, the sun felt warm on a glass smooth Moshier, a foggy mist offered some unique photographic opportunities. I did not lament the Pepperbox failure; the pond will always be there. I turned my interest to the east and some unfamiliar territory north of Sunshine Pond.

There is a rather tight bushwhack getting from the lower Moshier to the first of a series of beaver meadows enroute to Sunshine. I tried something new and believe I have improved on my past choices. I had coffee on a Deer Pond island by 9 o'clock.
I was quick to establish a camp on Sunshine. I wanted to have the whole of the afternoon for bushwhacking the canoe into Twin Pond north of Sunshine. There is a watershed point between Twin and Sunshine, an inlet source for both ponds. There were some colorful moments pulling the canoe through the tightly spaced vegetation. The Tizzle tazzle twizel tone incantation may have been on the tip of my tongue several times, but I can honestly say that at no time did I resort to wizardry on any of these bushwhacks. I busted through the thick spruce to a spectacular view of a new pond.

After an hour or so of exploring Twin I began the return to Sunshine. I stayed to the east on higher ground. I was rewarded with easier travel and some interesting rock formations, another opportunity to spend time climbing amongst granite crags. There was a brisk wind out of the south on the mile long paddle through Sunshine. Late that evening I began to experience my first hatch of black flies, swarming but not biting they dissipated when the peepers started to sing. I retired late at 9 o'clock.

Day 5: The only thing on the agenda was to safely make it out of the woods and back to the Genesee Valley. I made another improvement on the route choice to Raven Lake so except for the Kettle Hole Carry not much of this trip was in the footsteps of past adventures. There's always something new in the same ole places.

A smoker at Millers Meat market was wafting full bore but I passed on the opportunity to check it out so to make it home in time to mow the grass and get started on the report of another excellent Adirondack adventure. Come to think of it, I passed on barbeque options in Mexico Point and Oswego, What was I thinking?

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/paul.conkli...7457177&type=3
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:31 PM   #2
Justin
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I always enjoy reading about your adventures & viewing your photos. Nicely done, thanks for sharing!
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