On Thursday I picked up Dad in Pulaski and we headed up to the West Canada Creek area of the Adirondacks for a “family day” of hiking and exploring. First up, Morehouse Mountain, located near the Town Of Morehouse, named after an early settler Andrew Morehouse. This was to be a bushwhack, the whole way, no trail exists. Using some topo maps, I located a high point in the road going by the base and made that our starting point.
Picked a direction which took us around a set of cliffs and up the right side of the mountain. Could have just gone straight ahead, if we were feeling adventurous that day, but decided not to.
We did see signs of animal activity though didn’t see any. Eventually we reached the coordinates for the summit. There’s a flat area surrounded by a series of small bumps, and limited views through the trees.
We took a different route down, heading more towards Morehouse Lake, but avoiding the private property on that side. Part way down you get a partial view of the lake.
We got down to the road and followed it to the car. Along the way found a pull off for any future hikers wanting to climb this mountain.
After getting back to the car, we drove down towards the lake, but only went as far as the private property sign. Even though the gate was open, we didn’t go any further.
We then headed over to West Canada Creek and Haskell road, looking for Trum Haskells old camp, where my grandfather and father had stayed at when my father was young. Dad had a little 2 inch black and white picture of the camp and knew it was located by the creek. Should be easy to find. The road was in rough shape, it was slow going and several times I considered just turning around and heading out. Eventually though we found a spot large enough to pull over safely and just start walking. After a quarter mile the road split, and we took the one that was heading down to the creek. Turns out it was the driveway for the camp.
A little further down the creek is an old cable chair that was once used to get across the creek. It is currently taken apart so it couldn’t be used, but still looked in good shape.
One of Dad’s memories of staying at the camp….
In late October of 1951 (during deer season) my father, retired New York State Trooper William F. Wheeler, Dad’s Brother Trooper John Wheeler, Uncle John’s son Vince, and I were invited to Trum’s camp for a weekend of deer hunting. I was 8 years old and I think my cousin Vince was 12.
Dad and I left Pulaski, NY around 4 or 5 o’clock on Friday and drove to Oneida to pick up Uncle John and Vince. We then drove up to the road into Trum’s camp. A short distance down the road was a bridge over a stream and a gate which was locked. There was a gate keeper’s cabin the other side of the bridge, but no one was in it. Dad and Uncle John looked the situation over and decided that it was possible to drive the car around the gate, through the stream and then back onto the road. They thought that this was the best option because it was an 8 mile walk to Trum’s camp to get someone to unlock the gate.
They drove the car into the stream and made it about halfway before getting stuck. Dad and Uncle John then spent an hour or two trying to get the car out of the stream without any luck. So they checked the gate keeper’s cabin and found it unlocked. Uncle John started a fire in the stove while Dad looked for a lantern. There were no lanterns but there was a can of kerosene and an empty 1 pound coffee can. Dad took his hunting knife, put a slit in the top of the coffee can and poured some kerosene into the can. He then cut a strip off our wool blanket and pushed it through the slit to make a wick. Dad lit the wick and I was surprised how much light that homemade lantern provided.
Uncle John decided to say at the cabin with Vince and I while Dad took his Winchester and flashlight to walk to Trum’s camp for help. Uncle John, Vince, and I laid the blanket on the floor to sleep on it until around 3:00 am when Dad came back to the gatekeeper’s cabin with one other person and a doodlebug. They pulled the car out of the stream and we drove back to Trum’s camp.
I don’t know what time I woke up the next day, but Dad had already gone out hunting, so Vince and I played in the snow on the hill behind the camp. I don’t remember much about Trum, except he was very nice and he looked like a grandfather. I don’t recall how many people there were at the camp that weekend, but there were other hunters that I didn’t know.
That Saturday night we had a very nice dinner, there was meat, potatoes, gravy and carrots. I finished everything on my plate and Trum asked me if I knew what kind of meat we had eaten. I told him I didn’t know and he told me it was porcupine. Then he asked me if I liked it, I told him it was very good and could I please have more with some gravy. Years later my father told me the meat was a doe that had been shot for camp meat. Dad said that if I had been told it was a doe I might have told my friends and it might create a problem for Trum, and that is why I was told it was porcupine.
On Sunday I went out hunting with Dad in the morning for a while. As far as I know there were no deer taken that weekend. In the afternoon we all packed up and went home.
- 1.44 miles
- 603 feet elev gain
- 1 hour 53 minutes
To see all my pictures from today, CLICK HERE