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Old 07-02-2011, 09:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Cranberry 50 Trip Report

June 26-30 2011

On Sunday, June 26th, a group of 3 approached the Brandy Brook trailhead at approximately 9:30 PM. A 3.5 mile nighthike soon commenced, and it was during this stage of the trek that we discovered that our member new to backpacking did not have waterproof boots. We trudged through the mosquito-ridden mud-slick trails until we reached the primitive campsite on the Burntbridge Pond Trail.
Hastily we set up our respective bivies and tarp shelters, and got to bed before midnight. We awoke the next morning to the sight of a Merganser floating down the waterway close to our site. It was at this point that we also noted the cloud of several thousand mosquitos that descended upon us when we left the shelter of our bivies. We choked down a brief breakfast of oatmeal, jerky, and Chai.
We hurriedly broke camp and departed on the Dog Pond Loop Trail. We took a long break at the primitive campsite on Brandy Brook flow, where we discovered that it was surprisingly trash-free for its front-country local. We did however discover a single EMS brand hiking boot, apparently worn very little and cast aside some time ago.
That night we arrived at the campsite directly before Dog Pond, where we mistakenly thought we were heading. We built a small fire to ward of the bugs, and quickly retired to bed after a dinner of re-hydrated Devil’s Gate Casserole. We got a relatively late start the next morning, not departing the campsite until around 10:00 AM.
Over the course of a muddy, bug-ridden 10 mile death march, we arrived at Olmstead Lean-to just as a substantial thunderstorm dumped a moderate amount of rain on us, a welcome respite from the hordes of mosquitoes. The rain stopped before 9:00 PM, allowing the bugs to return in full force. We fumigated the Lean-to liberally with DEET. After working on several lean-tos in the High Falls Loop and around Stillwater, we were pleasantly surprised at the well-kept clean condition of the lean-to. Minimal trash made for less we had to pack out of the campsite the next morning. We awoke to the beautiful sound of several loons calling on Olmstead Pond. It was at this lean-to where the one member of our group new to backpacking achieved here trailname: “Wetfeet”, due to aforementioned boots. We signed the logbook and departed that morning for High Falls.
We stopped for lunch at Cowhorn Pond Lean-to, and explored the sight we had not visited since last year. On the way to Cat Mountain Jct. we met up with a pair of hikers who were also completing the Cranberry 50, traveling in the opposite direction we were. After a brief conversation we parted ways and our own party proceeded to the Cat Mountain/Olmstead Trail junction. It was here that we dropped and stashed packs and hung a bear-bag before briefly summiting Cat Mountain. Conditions on the summit were cloudy and windy. We appreciated the stiff breeze, as it gave us a chance to cool off from that morning’s hike.
After returning from the summit, we re-shouldered our packs and continued to the High Falls lean-to, a favorite location of the two veteran hikers in our party. We met one more hiker wearing Komodosports at the dreaded High Falls Log Of Death. After crossing the log, we had a brief conversation about Five-Fingers, as two members of our party had Treksports strapped to out packs. We parted ways at the High Falls trail junction, where we re-affixed the sign to High Rock, which was lying broken in the ground. 10 minutes and 5 feet of paracord later, we departed for High Falls. We arrived at the lean-to in time to shelter from an impressive rainstorm. The campers who had stayed at this site previously had left a good supply of cut evergreen boughs, which we quickly utilized at the fireplace. After gassing the mosquitos, we enjoyed a cup of tea as we enjoyed the fire.
That night, the temperature dipped into the low 50’s. This felt heavenly, as the mosquitos were frozen into the ground. The night was enjoyable, and we arose early the next morning. We broke camp, and briefly inspected the Falls before moving on. Not far from the campsite we encountered a pair of hikers heading toward the Falls on a dayhike from Wanakena.
We marched all morning to reach Wanakena around noon, where we gorged ourselves on sandwiches, Stewert’s Sodas and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s apiece. Our intention was to continue hiking and spend that night at the Peavine Swamp Lean-to. However, due to the large number of boaters close to this frontcountry sight, we assumed the Lean-to would be taken and continued on to an unofficial overflow sight beyond the First Loop. After discovering less than ideal conditions at this sight, we made the decision to simply hike out the remaining seven miles to our car.
The remaining five miles were on Route 3, where we succeeded in making 3 semis and one pickup honk at our roadside antics. After hobbling the few last painful miles, we made it to our car at the parking area, having completed an unexpected 21 mile day. It was at this point that “The” Hair and myself agreed that “Wetfeet” was an extraordinary hiker, and had impressed beyond all expectations. We treated ourselves to a customary dinner at the McDonald’s at West Carthage before making drive home.
On the drive home we reminisced about the good and bad of our hike, the terrain, weather, and simple natural beauty of the Adirondacks that never fails to amaze. It wasn’t our first time out there. And it certainly won’t be our last. Hooty-Hoot.

“The” Hair
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Albany, NY
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Nice report. Thanks for sharing.
High Peaks: 14/46
NPT 2011
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Thanks bigfoot. You've brought back many fond memories of a great backpacking trip with my daughter. (including the bugs) I had never experienced mosquitos and deer flies like I did in the CL50.

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