Carpet Spruce Swamp: Losing My Way Bushwhacking to Middle South Pond

Waking up to a little depression on the last day of an Adirondack backcountry outing is pretty common. At least it is for me. My morning at Sitz Pond, after five days in a rarely visited part of the Park, even by the northwestern Adirondack standards, certainly is no different. The idyllic experience at Sitz

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1995 Microburst 20th Anniversary: An Experience Revisited

A previous version of this article appeared on the Adirondack Almanack on July 13, 2011. Today is the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Microburst. Twenty years ago today, this devastating storm blew through northern and eastern New York State, severely damaging over one hundred thousand acres of forest land in the Adirondacks, killing 5 people,

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Frittering Away the Afternoon at Sitz Pond

It is a rare treat to get an entire afternoon off on a bushwhacking trip. Usually the days are long and the going too arduous to allow for a lazy day of relaxation and reflection. My trip through the remote western Five Ponds Wilderness is no exception, especially after a rain delay at Lower South

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday Outdoor Gear Sales not to be missed

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here again. It is hard to believe they have gotten here so soon, but another year has zipped by. One of the more positive aspects of this time of the year is the numerous discounts that come along with the high holidays of the shopping season. The outdoor retailers

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Arriving at Sitz Pond

The area just north of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River in the Five Ponds Wilderness of the Adirondack Park gets very little loving. It is remote, with limited access (it has but a single trail to Upper South Pond), and few outstanding draws; small unnamed ponds are as common as trees. Yet, these

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Visiting Another Unnamed Pond on the Way to Sitz Pond

A chilly morning greets me as I awake near the shore of an unnamed pond deep in the western Five Ponds Wilderness Area, uncharacteristically cold especially for late June. My little thermometer indicates a temperature in the lower 40’s just as the sun clears the eastern horizon. The chill is probably one of the reasons

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Struggling to Find a Level Campsite at an Unnamed Pond

Unnamed ponds are always hit or miss when it comes to camping. Perhaps that is why they remain without a name. The pond halfway between Crooked Lake and Sitz Pond is no different in that regards. So, when I reach the swampy outlet of this unnamed pond, the thought of camping in this slop is

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Continuing West Over Blowdowns, Through Wetlands and Along Unnamed Ponds

Unnamed ponds appear to be the norm here in the western Five Ponds Wilderness just north of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River. Although three of the South Ponds are bestowed names, as are the irregularly shaped Crooked Lake and the oddly named Sitz Pond, my journey through the area has brought me to

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Debris of Ancient Civilizations Along Crooked Lake

It is easy to forget the history of the Adirondacks. The large trees, standing tall and reaching for the sky, the thick understory, waiting for its chance to ascend to supremacy, and the birds nosily announcing their desires to procreate, the sights and sounds of the remote backcountry fool us into thinking as it is,

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Carpet Spruce Swamp: Bushwhacking Straight to Crooked Lake

Reaching the midpoint of any bushwhacking trip always comes with a good dose of ambivalence. The early trip jitters are finally gone now, leaving the realization that every remaining day brings you closer to your departure and the inevitable return to the so-called real world with its numerous pressures and frustrations. So as I finish

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