Notes from the Adirondacks

Some random notes from a recent trip to the Adirondacks, the purpose of which was to make progress on climbing the 46 high peaks.  This trip bagged me 8 more, bringing the total to 37 out of 46, and hopefully I’ll be able to make a couple more trips this summer and complete the goal…. Continue reading “Notes from the Adirondacks”

Notes from the Adirondacks

A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

For a long hike in the Adirondacks, a big breakfast and real espresso would provide a good start to the day, but they would also necessitate a long drive out of the way, so a good start was also a late start, with the trailhead not reached until a little before 9 AM….and it wasn’t until 10 PM that I finally straggled out, having covered 15 miles, climbed three mountains, and waded through several thousand gallons of water and mud.  This may well have been the most taxing Adirondacks hike I’ve ever undertaken, but it bagged three more peaks, leaving me at 29 out of the 46 High Peaks complete without shoes.

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A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

Seven Adirondack High Peaks

The week before Labor Day is typically pretty quiet in New York, and with nothing much on the calendar, I couldn’t bear sitting around idle, so I threw together a quick jaunt up to the Adirondacks with the goal of making progress on the 46 high peaks (as a result of the trip, I’m now at 24/46).  Here are some quick notes…

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Seven Adirondack High Peaks

3 Days 30 Miles in the ‘Daks

With a week off from work and the weather turning unseasonably warm for late September, I decided to forsake the Catskills and head to the Adirondacks, with the goal of climbing a few more of the 46 high peaks barefoot.  Three days and almost thirty miles later, I returned with six peaks bagged, bringing the total to 17, and an even deeper appreciation for this lush, wet, rugged, steep, fragrant, unnerving, spectacular wilderness.

Continue reading “3 Days 30 Miles in the ‘Daks”

3 Days 30 Miles in the ‘Daks

Some Adirondack Lichens

During a recent visit to the Adirondacks, I couldn’t help but admire the lichens.  These diminutive vegetative creatures (a mix of fungus and algae or cyanobacteria) thrive in the boreal forests that cloak the high peaks.  Why lichens?  Once you learn to focus in on very small scale, you discover a world of beauty and mystery.  This idea was expressed by 13th century Zen Master Dogen using the metaphor of the moon reflected in a drop of dew (“there are mountains hidden in hiddenness”) and 600 years later in the opening stanza of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself:  “I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass.”  Appreciate the small patterns of nature, and you will never suffer from a lack of beauty, which is why Henry David Thoreau wrote that the “lichenist fats where others starve….his provender never fails.”

With thanks to nature photographer John Franklin for helping me identify the species, here is a sampling of what I encountered:

Continue reading “Some Adirondack Lichens”

Some Adirondack Lichens

Three more ADK high peaks

Emboldened by the successful completion of Rocky Peak and Giant Mountain, I laid out plans for an overnight hike that would bag me three more of the ADK High Peaks:  Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois, with an option to bag a fourth, Mt. Colden, if all was going well.

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Three more ADK high peaks