Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Marvelous Memorial Day Weekened

What a fantastic holiday weekend! Wouldn't you all agree?
(Yes, I know, this post is just a few days past due, but at least I got it done!)

The weekend started out early for us, Thursday evening, and what a better way to start out than with a moose sighting!! I took it as a good omen for the wonderful weekend that was in store for us, as we had such great weather, good company, and an overall marvelous time up at camp.

We arrived just after 7PM, got the car unpacked, camp set up and settled in for a quiet, relaxing night. The peepers were peeping, the air was cool and crisp and it was perfect sleeping weather!

Friday dawned a beautiful sunny day, so we slathered on the bug spray, packed some snacks and set out on an adventure into the High Peaks Wilderness Area to hike Mt. Adams.

Mt. Adams - Friday, May 28th

We've been up Mt. Adams before, in the middle of the winter, but were not fortunate enough to have any views on that cold and blustery day, so we've been aching to go back for the views we have been told of. The fire tower is in a state of major disrepair, and if you read any information on it you will see that it is technically "closed", but they have not removed the stairs so it is climbable, but more on that later.

The trailhead is located south of the Upper Works parking lot, approximately 9.5 miles from the turn off of Blue Ridge Road. It is on the right hand side of the road, just past the old blast furnace.

The trail starts out nice and easy, crossing the Hudson where it is only a small stream on a rather old and rusty looking suspension bridge. It then winds it's way through the woods to Lake Jimmy and another somewhat sketchy water crossing over a custom built log bridge. It still floats, and other than one board near the shore, there is no need for getting the feet wet. The dogs enjoyed the lake for a short swimming adventure and we were on our way.

At 0.7 miles you reach a trail junction that points hikers up Mt. Adams to the left.

At this point you still have 1.6 miles to climb, and a lot of elevation to gain. From this junction, the trail starts out gradually climbing, but quickly gets very steep and very similar to the trails of the high peaks. It was a slow and arduous climb, but we made it, and the view was well worth it!

View from the top of the tower. From right to left the main peaks are Marcy, Colden, and behind the window frame on the far left Algonquin.

As I mentioned previously, the fire tower is in a state of major disrepair, as in, you probably shouldn't climb it, but I did anyway. The stairs are all in tact, but there is no longer any wire mesh around the outsides, no cap at all, and no support wires. So on a windy day, I don't think even I would climb this tower for a view. There is a group of people working on the restoration of the tower. I found this forum thread that states that DEC has given approval of the restoration plan, but getting supplies into the tower may delay some of the work until the fall. At least it is a work in progress. I would hate to see this tower get abandoned, the views are just phenomenal.

After returning back to camp after our jaunt in the woods, we settled in for a nice afternoon of book reading, napping and snacking! A fire was built outside on which we roasted hot dogs over for dinner and enjoyed the starry skies.

One of the best things, in my opinion, about being at camp is getting to stay in bed for as long as I want in the morning! It's wonderful to wake up and laze about listening to the birds chirp, all the time knowing there aren't any pressing matters to attend to (except breakfast perhaps, but that can also wait). It's wonderful, until... the dogs start barking, and you look out the window to see your sister-in-law, her boyfriend and 4 year old son pulling up! (actually, I was excited they were there, but wasn't really expecting them at 9AM on Saturday morning)!

While they unpacked, we eased ourselves out of bed and snacked on some fresh fruit and other breakfast items. The socializing was moved outside where we relaxed and chatted and Braden enjoyed playing in the swamp. Braden (the 4 year old) proclaimed that he wanted to go swimming, so Shawne (the sister-in-law) and I changed into our suits to head into the water with little B. He was reluctant to go in, but Shawne and I went for it and while it was a bit chilly, it was much warmer than previous years at this time, and was rather enjoyable.

After our refreshing swim, and a bit more socializing, Braden and Shawne wandered into their tent for a nap, Greg took off in their canoe, and Jake and I got on our bikes for a ride up to the Great Camp Santanoni. We biked this route back in September when we were at camp, so I took very few pictures this time. To see a detailed account of the ride and the great camp from our fall excursion, check out my post here.

As I said, I took very few photos, but here is one, where Jake is looking rather sleepy, or grumpy, or something other than happy! But hey, at least I have a smile on my face :-)

That's it for the excitement of the weekend. After the ride Saturday we all just hung out and had fun around the campfire. Sunday morning Shawne and Greg packed up and left early, and we weren't far behind.

As always, Good times were had by all! (including Baxter, who is thoroughly enjoying his head scratch in the photo below)