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Old 05-21-2017, 06:31 PM   #1
malexander
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Siamese Ponds Wilderness and Photogenic Moose (No bull!) 5/20-5/21/2017

In my mission to explore all areas the Adirondacks have to offer, I took a short trip back into the Siamese Ponds Wilderness this weekend. I started out from the Thirteenth Lake TH where I ran into a couple guys from a trail crew on their way to Peaked Mountain. They were nice enough to warn me of certain blowdown on my route. In the first mile or so I passed a couple day hikers. These were the only people I saw the whole trip!

I took a side trip up to Hour Pond. This was well worth it! It's a nice area with a great Lean-to and fairly open forest. I spent a couple hours exploring the area and taking a lap around the pond.

I continued on to Puffer Pond where I intended to camp. The trail out to the pond had a fair amount of blowdown as I had been warned but nothing unmanageable. Neither of the lean-tos on Puffer Pond were in stellar shape. Since there was no rain in the forecast, I settled on the water front lean-to with holes in the roof (as opposed to the lean-to with a tree on it). Not being in an ambitious mood, I spent the evening fishing, reading and relaxing by the campfire. It was nice to have the whole area to myself.





Saturday night ended up being pretty cold. Perhaps close to 35F. Needless to say I think I found the lower limit of my warm weather sleeping bag! Had to get a little creative to keep my feet warm and comfortable during the night.

I awoke around 4am to something sloshing through the pond - it was making slow rhythmic strides through the water and sounded fairly large. It was like nothing I had heard before. It was still too dark to see anything so I stayed in the comfort of my sleeping bag and went back to sleep. I woke again at 6:30 to the same exact sound. This time I looked up and clearly saw movement on the other side of the pond. Despite the cool air, I shot out of my sleeping bag grabbing my camera in mid stride. What a way to see my first ADK moose!

For the next couple of minutes I watched a cow and calf moose walking the shallows of the pond mirroring the shoreline. Every once in a while the cow would stop and wait for the calf to catch up. I snapped several pictures and watched in awe. Eventually the cow was about 50-75 yards from me headed straight in my direction and completely oblivious that I was there. Not wanting the moose to get any closer and not knowing what to do, I spoke up to alert them to my presence. The last thing I wanted was to surprise them when they got too close. The cow finally saw me and paused, the calf looking to her for guidance. I calmly walked out of sight and listened to them as they passed. Did I do the right thing? What should I have done in this situation?







It was hard to shake the excitement for the rest of the hike. The walk out was fairly uneventful. I spent a few minutes trying to find the remnants of the trail to Twin Ponds. Not being able to find anything definitive I gave up, not wanting to bushwhack with a full pack. Does this trail still exist or is my map being generous calling it a trail?

I opted to save Peaked Mountain for another day and stopped at Oscars to stock up on the essentials (i.e. Smoked bacon).
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
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Good trip. I've never found the old trail to Twin Ponds either.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:14 PM   #3
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Awesome moose experience!

Still waiting for my first ADK Moose.

Twin Ponds is on my list too. My Mom's cousin used to go in there back in the 60's and 70's. When we would visit their house, he would always take out the photo albums that showed the huge fish they would catch there. Their "boats" were made from welding two 1940's Ford truck hoods together with a plank for a seat. I need to see the place for myself someday.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:20 PM   #4
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BMcM writes about the large white pine saw logs that were still there when she did her guidebooks in the 80's. Wonder if they are still findable.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:24 PM   #5
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awesome!! thanks for sharing!!
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:52 PM   #6
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I'm not an expert on this but I think you handled it well. Get the photo/video (if at a safe distance) then make your presence known. Ideally, most wild critters won't be startled and will choose to avoid humans. I've been near a few moose, but in WY or ME. Have not seen one (or even a bear) in NY yet.

I had two Fl panther sightings this winter with similar outcomes. I got a video of one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPZjWeXpEcU

I pass by many gators in my SW Florida outings (bike or boat), some very close by. Without absolute assurance however, most people in the field agree that if you don't threaten their space, or act aggressively toward them, (or have a dog with you) they don't want an encounter that isn't easy, desirable food from their normal diet (and if they are hungry). I have detoured a few times when a big one seems to be pointedly blocking the trail and it isn't possible to pass by without avoid being near their mouths.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Consider yourself fortunate to have had so much time to observe the moose. My own sighting was far more fleeting. I think you handled the situation well. Everyone parted company unscathed by the chance encounter ... and you left with some great pics and memories.

FWIW, the advice I got in Maine was if you extend your arm and can obstruct your view of the animal (bear, moose, etc) with your thumb, you're a safe distance from it. Otherwise you might be too close because a (belligerent) bear or moose can cover a lot of ground in a hurry. Or that panther in Bob's video! Very cool!
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:31 PM   #8
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Great moose pics. Just gives hope that we have a good breeding moose population in the Daks.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:24 PM   #9
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Twin Ponds not Lakes

Malexander,
Thanks for sharing your report & photos, and congrats on your first moose sighting!

I'm no expert either, but I would say that you did the right thing making your presence known, and not wanting the cow & her calf to get any closer.
I had a similar encounter with a bull last September.
However, once he was aware of my (& my dog's) presence, he started walking towards us, even swimming across a narrow channel then proceeding in our direction when I saw him again the next day. I did like you did, quickly & quietly became invisible and thankfully there was no further incident, but needless to say I did need to check my shorts a little!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dundee View Post
BMcM writes about the large white pine saw logs that were still there when she did her guidebooks in the 80's. Wonder if they are still findable.
It's been about 10 years since I've been to Twin Ponds... back then the turn for the path was by no means obvious, but discernible if you knew where to look for it. A couple old blaze scars on a tree at the junction were the only markers for the turn. Once on the path, it was pretty easy to follow for most of the way to the ponds, with a little bushwhacking the remaining distance towards its end. The 2014 edition of Discover the South Central Adirondacks mentions that "the route has nearly vanished" while doing the field check for the '14 update.

Last edited by Justin; 05-22-2017 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:28 PM   #10
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Great photos and congratulations on seeing the moose! I'm not really sure what the correct thing to do is but if it were me I'd have remained silent and out of sight. I have never actually seen a moose in the ADK's though. I've seen fresh tracks and have heard a bull calling nearby during mating season but couldn't spot him through the brush. Not sure I'd want to either from close range...
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:48 PM   #11
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Thanks y'all. I realized at the time how lucky I was to see them at all, let alone for that long of a time with nothing blocking my view. I really wasn't sure what the best course of action was at the time when they turned towards me. Figured it would be better not to surprise them. I don't think I would have done the same thing if they were on land or if the calf was between me and the cow. I was quite prepared to add some separation and disappear from their view in a hurry!

Thanks for the feedback on Twin Ponds as well. I explored the area where my GPS said the trail started, looking for obvious signs of the trail (cut logs, blazes on trees, firm trail bed, etc). I found a promising start but figured I'd save the adventure for when I had more time and knowledge of the area.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:05 PM   #12
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thank you for the nice pics and TR!
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob K View Post

I had two Fl panther sightings this winter with similar outcomes. I got a video of one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPZjWeXpEcU
I noticed you were extremely polite. "Mr. Panther"
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:55 AM   #14
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Reminds me of the time many years back when my wife and I were backpacking in Yellowstone. While in our tents a calf walked by the front of our tent as close as she could be without actually hitting it. The calf was followed by her mother a few seconds later just as close. A minute or so after that the baby calf started to lick the dew off our tent. Like you, I thought if she continues to move forward as she licks the tent we are in a world of hurt!!! Couldn't be subtle so I banged a pot. Fortunately for everyone they both took off in the opposite direction!!!
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:09 PM   #15
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Reminds me of the time many years back when my wife and I were backpacking in Yellowstone. While in our tents a calf walked by the front of our tent ....Couldn't be subtle so I banged a pot.
So you had cooking equipment in the tent with you while backpacking in Yellowstone?
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:10 AM   #16
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I had a pot that was used strictly for boiling water. Nothing other than water was ever put in it.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:56 PM   #17
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I had a pot that was used strictly for boiling water. Nothing other than water was ever put in it.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:58 PM   #18
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Not fair, not fair, not fair!!!! I'm still waiting to see one, much less two....
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