Adirondack Guide, Adirondack Mountains, Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson, Alvah Dunning, Blue Mountain Lake, Boreal Swamp, brook trout, canoe, Charles Hallock, Chateaugay, Dr. Joseph Stickler, Dr. Trudeau, Durant, Eagle Lake, fly fishing, Fred, French Louis Seymour, geese, Herr Jagger, Indian Pass, John Leaf, loggers, Marion River, Mission of the Transfiguration, Monsieur LaPineaux, Nobleboro, Old Ralph, Railroads, Raquette Lake, saranac, Thomas Tahauwas, Utowana Lake, Wallface, West Canada Creek, William Henry Harrison Murray, Woodcock
Wallface Mountain is one of the most awesome sights that I have ever seen.
My first look at Wallface was purely by accident. Oh, I knew it was there, I just had not looked for it. Once again I was on a fishing trip up Calamity Brook. The trout were not behaving that day. That is the way those little devils are. Sometimes they agree to play, others, not. That day was a not.
So I broke my pole down into its component parts and put them in my backpack. The backpack I hid in the bushes. Then I headed for Wallface.
Someone told me that Wallface was the highest precipice east of the Mississippi.
Now don’t get me wrong – – – it isn’t the highest mountain east of the Mississsippi; it is supposedly the highest sheer drop.
I don’t know if that is the truth. If Seneca Ray Stoddard told me that I would believe him. Seneca Ray knew his facts and figures. Seneca Ray did tell me that he knew how it was created. He obtained his information from a geologist who had been working the nearby iron mines.
It seems as though, eons ago, a terrible earthquake had shaken the Adirondacks so bad that the original Wallface Mountain split in half. The half that did not make it was supposedly lying at the bottom of the valley below. That had to be one hell of a big valley!
But enough of what I have been told; you are here to listen to what I saw. The first thing I saw was the actual wall’s face. It was quite smooth and a perfect precipice from top to bottom. That is not quite the truth because I could not see the bottom due to all the rubble.
Someone had made a trail with blazed trees. I followed it for a while but it lead away from Wallface. I saw a course of ladders leaning up against a series of tall natural steps.
The ladders were made of hemlock with the notches cut for footholds. Each step that these log ladders leaned against was eight to ten feet tall.
I guessed that these steps were also the remnants of the great earthquake. I have no idea if my guess was correct or incorrect. Seneca Ray could tell me if he were there.
After about forty-five minutes of climbing I was only a quarter way up the mountain. That was far enough for me. I searched for a better view of the valley below.
It was amazing. They were correct. Resting at the bottom of the Wallface precipice – – – between there and the mountain that I was standing on – – – were boulders of various sizes. Some were as big as a buckboard. Others were bigger than some of the new lodges that were being built on the lakes of the Adirondacks.
The sight was hard for my mind to grasp. Even with the knowledge of how this came to be – – – the sight was so amazing that I could not absorb it. Of course it was panoramic so I could not fit the whole thing into one gaze.
Turning my head to one side and then another allowed me to gain a better idea of what I was looking at. I hoped that I could memorize it but after a few years the memory faded to one degree or another. The rubble looked like a good place for bears to hibernate.
I made a mental note to go bear hunting there some day.