second-highest peak in the Kingston West Quadrangle Tuesday, September 9 2003
Today Eleanor and I got separated from Sally somewhere along the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and we headed southwestward along a ridge that I knew from the topographic map to be the site of the highest peak in the region. It's only 769 feet above sea level, but that's more than 600 feet above the adjacent Esopus Valley floor. I later learned from the map that it's the second highest peak on the Kingston West Quadrangle. (The highest peak is the 780 foot tall Gallis Hill, four miles to the northeast.)
Despite the elevation, the drainage on the ridgetop was evidently poor, because there was a pond near the summit. Eleanor waded out into its potentially leach-infested waters and found the murky water to be elbow-deep.
On the ridge's southwestern tip, I came upon a crude hunter's blind fashioned from old weathered pieces of wood. This was actually the third hunting structure I've found in the woods so far. The first had been a triangular platform in a tree and the second had been a hollow among the rocks in an abandoned bluestone mine (a small one apparently used by local farmers).
Just to the south of the latest hunter's blind, the slope drops away steeply and I could see a pile of stones covered with yellow paint, what experience tells me is the corner of State Park land, the terminus of a line I cross near the end of the Stick Trail. I followed the line of yellow-marked trees back to the Stick Trail across an interesting terrain of rolling hills. Most of the valleys between the hills were semi-wetlands.
My path along the ridgetop past the second highest peak in the
Kingston West Quadrangle and then over to the Stick Trail is marked in yellow.
The ridgetop pond is marked in blue.