Recap: Fall Hike Weekend 2022
As you will see, the Fall Hike Weekend has grown in number of participants and in the activities that are undertaken. This year’s event was attended by 21 Association members, at one time or another.
In addition to hiking, activities included fishing on Rogers (Buckskin) Lake, walks around the reservation, exploring sites where staff alumni used to work, and what was thought to be a hike up Paradox Mountain turned out to be a tour of a well-known local brewery. You’ll be surprised at what was learned on that “hike”.
The weather was perfect for hiking and all outdoor activities. Pleasant, cool and crisp Adirondack air with a gentle breeze and frost warnings for each day. It was 32 degrees at 6 AM on Friday morning and one night had heavy winds but we were safe in our lodgings.
So lace up your boots and enjoy another Camp Read adventure!
(L to R)
1st Row: Tom Dietz, Jim Morgan, Rich Lutomski, Will Langham, Bill Daley, Bob Neely, Denise Boland.
2nd Row: Greg Pitonza, Tim Haag, Dick Trier, Mike McCabe, Ron Green, Peter Oberdorf.
3rd Row: Bill Brucker, Simon Riker, Liam Montgomery, Jonathan Hall, Ron Phillips.
Thursday September 29, 2022:
Hurricane Mountain Hike
It was a beautiful day for a hike in the Adirondacks as Ron G., Bill D., Tim, and Jonathan traversed about 6 miles, climbing 2000 feet to the 3,694-foot summit of Hurricane Mountain and its fire tower. Scanning from the fire tower, no fires spotted, but plenty of beautiful scenery and fall foliage from the Green Mountains to the High Peaks.
Fire Tower, Hurricane Mt
Hurricane Summit, 3694
That evening, the 8 early birds were welcomed at Peter’s boat house on picturesque Schroon Lake and gathered for pizza al a mode just in time for the sunset. Thanks Peter for the salad, for hosting, and sharing such a beautiful site!
Schroon Lake @ PSO's
Friday September 30, 2022
Pharaoh Lake Hike
Hikers: Bill D., Bob, Jonathan, Peter, Ron G. and Tim. From Beaver Pond Rd to the Pharaoh Lake first lean-to. Return trip to Whortleberry Pond to Crab Pond (Appachedotte) back to the Pharaoh Road via the “new trail” (which has been there for a few years) to the car. This is a form of the “classic hike” (in reverse) that never gets old. This hiking from the Pharaoh Road approach is easier on some of the more senior hikers with minimal negative physical impact and huge, picturesque reward at the Lake.
Half the group (Bob, Peter and Tim) decided to return back on the road, while the other half (Bill, Jonathan and Ron) continued on towards Whortleberry Pond. The trail markings were good in some spots and non-existent in others. Fortunately, familiarity with the trail and a good team-effort kept them on track while having to negotiate some tricky areas on the way. Reaching the State-marked (new) trail at Crab Pond, they figured the hard part of the journey was over. The trail Gods had other ideas, as just before the intersection with the Pharaoh Road, a blow-down tree had completely obstructed the trail. The group once again had to use their bushwhacking skills to negotiate their way back. One would question who made the better decision that day.
Pharaoh Hike Patrol
Last Fall, (see 2021 Recap), Russ Borner took a hike down memory lane in Olde Camp Tomahawk to the places he camped out and worked in. He attempted to find the Tomahawk Chapel and campfire area but to no avail. Tom had promised to take Russ there since he and Rich had worked in Camp craft which was located nearby. (Shower house adjacent to the Butler building replaces the Tomahawk Camp craft area where 2 lean-tos and a 9x9 tent platform were located.)
As luck would have it, Russ injured himself on the job and could not attend this year’s weekend. So as to not disappoint another “Camp Read Staff Man”, Rich and Tom ventured up to their old haunt and entered the woods from behind the new shower house. They walked ENE about 60 feet into the forest and turned right following a deer trail. After another 100 feet, they could see a clearing filled with ferns on their left. There they could see the stone altar and podium of the Chapel. Continuing another 80 feet, there was another fern-filled clearing that was the campfire area.
Both Rich and Tom could remember attending Sunday Mass in the Chapel with the sun rising up behind Third Brother Mountain and the rays of light beaming softly through the trees behind the altar. What a peaceful and reverent sight!
Pictures were taken and sent to Russ with a “rain check” promise that Tom would guide Russ to the Chapel the next time they were both at camp together.
Chapel looking up towards entrance
Campfire Area, standing at stage looking up towards entrance
Trail Marker for Chapel
Dinner at O.P. Fredericks
(A.K.A: the Alp Horn) For many good reasons, including folks just arriving from a long drive or those returning from a challenging hike, we met once again at O.P. Fredericks for dinner and to officially kick off the weekend! Besides; the food, drink, and service is great.
We were honored to have Reservation Manager/Ranger Kris O’Connor and Mo, his charming bride of 3 years, join us for the festivities. As one can imagine, the stories, tales, and assorted banter filled the room just like at the Camp dining hall.
Saturday October 1, 2022:
First Brother Hike
Hikers: Bill D., Bob, Jonathan, Ron G., Simon, and Tim. This year the starting point was from Palisades Rd. just at the top of the hump going towards the Pilgrim Camp. What hump? There must be a half dozen dips and humps! Anyway, that is what this scribe was told.
This hike and view is on the list of ten best for this area and is used by the public. It is less steep a climb than the trail from the camp road in Waubeeka. The view from the summit struck the group as somehow underwhelming & slightly obstructed by trees. Nonetheless, the hikers stopped to enjoy the vantage and take pictures. It wasn’t until they carried on that they realized they’d been at a false summit, not encountered on the trail from Waubeeka, and now jokingly dubbed “Half Brother”. Ultimately, the view of Brant Lake, and Gore Mountain to the southwest were perfectly magnificent!
Once again, bushwhacking skills were needed as the group decided to return by following the ridge down towards Second Brother and then follow a stream down to camp. Fortunately, some of the group had done this route the previous year and it was relatively easy to follow. They all made it back to camp safely and a good time was had by all!
View of Brant Lake from First Brother
Rogers Lake Fishing
There were Three Jolly Fishermen ……… (Bill “Mustang” Brucker, Ron Phillips and Dick Trier) and they caught Large and Small Mouth Bass, Perch and fresh Mackerel. Disregard the last one. There always has to be a fish tale.
So as the Jolly Fishermen were fishing, Mike McCabe was scouting out locations on Rogers and Waubeeka Lakes for fishing docks. He had consulted with Mustang Brucker and Ron Phillips, who are both avid fishermen, as to the prime locations for the docks.
Ron P. with BIG Fish!
Mustang with his catch!
Dick with his catch!
Paradox Mountain Patrol
Will "Just Call Me Bill" Langham
October 3, 2022
"While the younger Brothers’ Mountain Patrol went up 1st Brother and the older brothers went fishing, Peter, Denis, Ed and Will “Just call me Bill” Langham ventured up the Northway in Denis’ new Outback AWD, the one with an interesting story, on Saturday for pizza and brews at Paradox Mountain Brewery in North Hudson.
At the trailhead, we learned that there is no Paradox Mountain. But there is Paradox Brewing Company, a craft brewery on the site of the old Frontier Town. The brewhouse's dining room offers marvelous views to the west where the nearest quasi-mountain was ablaze in early fall colors. Our Trail Guide led our group on a tour of the many offerings made onsite by Paradox Brewery - and the list of craft brews was extensive. Peter and I, as the Old Guys in the group, selected the age-appropriate “Get off my Lawn” amber lager. Denis and Ed opted, I believe, for the Beaver Bite IPA, Paradox’s original brew for their first round.
Our lunch orders arrived - Peter & I shared a Paradox pizza, an amazing concoction that included White Garlic Sauce, Cheese, Chicken, Bacon, Broccoli, Sliced Tomatoes, & Caramelized Onions - No Substitutions Allowed!
Denis and Ed chose “Sammy’s”, Bratwurst served on a German Brotchen Bun with pickles and or sauerkraut on the side and chips or fries as options. Ed took down the Leaf Peeper Supreme Special, a half liter limited edition Leaf Peeper Supreme souvenir glass filled with Leaf Peeper Supreme, with a hot IPA pretzel.
Mike caught up with us after mapping the “best” fishing spots on Rogers Lake, having cajoled Mustang Bill out of revealing them for the fishing dock project honoring Mike’s dad, long-time ardent supporter of Camp and Council Scoutmaster of the Year back in the day.
Round II, Peter had a second Get off my Lawn, just to make sure there’d been no mistake. I tried the ParaHelles - German Style Helles Lager, Crispy-Balanced-Sessionable 4.5%. I meant to find out what Sessionable means. If you want to know too, it’s a lower alcohol brew (less than 4% ABV or so) that you can drink lots of if you’re so inclined.
I took a stroll around the Tasting Room that led to an overlook of the 25,000 sq-foot brew floor, a cavernous operation that produces 50,000 barrels per year using pure Adirondack water and the finest hops and grains. Paradox has a canning line and does custom contract brewing for other brewers. During my stroll I met the Tasting Room Manager. We got to chatting and Peter & I learned a lot about which cherries are the best to use in a Manhattan. From the Beer Guy!
Afternoon well-spent. I would recommend a visit to Paradox Brewing next time you're in the area."
* * *
Saturday evening brought us together at the picnic tables on the Buckskin Trading Post Porch; in 45 degrees with a slight breeze. Chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni salad and coleslaw were served to a hungry crowd. All prepared by President/Chef/and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer Bill Daley. Will (call him Bill) Langham prepared a most delicious Peach Cobbler and Apple Dump Cake. Peter led the group in 3 “How’s” for the Chefs, Bakers, and all the helpers.
Jon & Will doing dinner, Tom getting ready to Serve
Fishing Dock Project
After dinner, Mike McCabe spoke about the aforementioned Fishing Dock Project. The vision and objectives of this project are to give the scouts and leaders a place to learn about fishing, the equipment, and how to fish. Fishing contests can be held each period to support healthy competition and team work. More information, including how you can help, is forthcoming and will be published on our web-site, campread.org, and in our Newsletter.
Service Award Presentation
From time to time there are Association Members who go above and beyond in performing their roles and responsibilities. They not only make our Association better but help us serve our membership and support the Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation.
In 2022 we had 2 members whom we recognized. What makes this year’s award extra special is that they are Father and Son:
Bill (Will) Langham – VP Membership, who has kept Camp Read in our minds and hearts thru COVID and beyond with the “Stories Page” on our web-site, in addition to his membership duties.
- And -
Simon Riker – Web Master, who has maintained and improved our web-site and was instrumental in publishing the story page and event announcements and recaps.
Together they make a great team and exemplify the same teamwork and work ethic that we used at camp.
Congratulations Bill & Simon! Do they get it? And HOW!
Service Award Presentation: Simon, President Bill, Tom, & Will
Tribute to Ken D’Apice
Ron Green led a tribute to Ken D’Apice who passed away suddenly on July 25, 2022. Some of those who worked with Ken came forward and spoke about Ken’s contributions to scouting and Camp Read as a Read Staff Member, Reservation Director, Professional Scouter, and Association Board Member.
Ken was part of the “core group” that was instrumental in organizing the first reunion at camp in 1979 and in the formation of the Camp Read Association in 1989. He has provided professional support and guidance to the Association for the 33 years of its existence and his leadership and example will be sorely missed. Ken was a mentor to many, including Ron Green. His influence was always positive and for the betterment of the scouts and scouting. The programs he implemented at Camp Read helped it survive and prosper through some tough times and challenges.
His brother Ed spoke of his positive and loving relationship he had with Ken. No matter what, Ed felt he could always go to his brother for help and advice, and Ken would always be there for him. Maybe they learned this comradery and support at camp or maybe they bought it with them: either way, all were winners who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Ken.
All gathered around to tell tales, sing songs and get warm as the temperature was dropping and wind was picking up.
Softly falls...… as we ended a most enjoyable and reflective day at camp.
Sunday October 2, 2022:
Camp Grace was said at all meals. Sunday mornings was led by Peter and the harmony from this year’s group was outstanding!
The food was delicious; juice, fruit, pancakes, sausage & bacon. Very special thanks to President Bill Daley who shopped, prepared and cooked all the meals at camp. We ate very well!
Unfortunately it was time to pack up and retreat back to our other world. A great time was had by all! Hope you can join us next year! Or, next Spring. We just may have some docks to put in the water.
On his trip home, Ron Green boarded his plane at the Albany Airport. A gentleman sat next to him and noticed the 100th Anniversary Camp Read cap that Ron was wearing. He asked Ron what was his affiliation with the Curtis S. Read Reservation.
Ron told him about the Association and our web-site, and that he was coming back from an Annual Hike Weekend at the Reservation. Turns out this gentleman was Scoutcraft Director in Buckskin in the early 90’s and asked how he could join the Association. Coincidently, he told Ron that he almost stopped by Camp to climb Stevens over the weekend. Small world.
As Ron says: “It’s important to wear our Read stuff, hats, t-shirts, etc.” You never know who you will run into. And by all means behave yourself while wearing the “Read Stuff!”
……Until we meet again!
Here’s to “hikes” we will remember; with friends we’ll never forget!
The Fall Hike Committee,
Brucker, Daley, and Dietz