Saturday, 19 July 2008

Picking Berries

Late June and then July are berry season. First strawberries, then raspberries. There are several you-pick-em berry patches that I frequent at this time of year. Now when it comes to blueberries I am not sure when the season is but it is always a good time to hike up to Porter and Cascade via the Blueberry mountain trail from Marcy Field. While Porter and Cascade are considered lightweight hikes by 46er standards, this route has as much elevation gain (3200 ft) as a hike to Mt Marcy from the LOJ. Along the way you get some unique views along the Keene Valley. The trail is relentless and steep as it makes its way up Blueberry Mountain and then up on to the Porter ridge. From there it is flat to slightly uphill with a short uphill section to the wide open summit of Cascade mountain. Cascade is a great spot to rest after the long hike and has excellant views on a clear day.

When you reach the summit ledges of Blueberry mountain there are blueberry patches everywhere and they sure are tasty. By the time you reach the berries you have hiked up some steep trail and are ready for a rest and a snack. We did not see any signs of bears but if you think about it, what bear wouldn't want to sit there gazing at Giant or Hurricane mountains while chowing down on some tasty blueberries! Shortly after you get to the blueberry patches you reach the summit of Blueberry mountain where there are more berries and a huge round rock (glacial erratic). Ken scrambled up on it and claimed King of the mountain.

Some more steep hiking to the Porter ridge and some flat muddy sections of trail. When we arrived at Porter summit the rain was coming down sideways and hard. Luckily the storm blew over and it was at least clear on Cascade although a but too hazy for good photos. A large bird provided plenty of entertainment as it swooped from one side of the peak to the other on the winds that were blowing pretty hard.

A great day to be out on the trails and for sure the best way to hike to Porter and Cascade. Mmmmmm, blueberries!

bigslidefromcascade blueberrycairn berrypicking

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