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Posts Tagged ‘adirondacks’

Whiteface Mountain at the Top of the Adirondacks (Day 70, Part 2)

September 27th, 2009 No comments

Awful, awful headline.

They charge you $10 to drive up this road that goes to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. If you don’t want to pay $10, you can take a six-mile hike to get there. I paid the money and drove. It’s a well-maintained road. The person who takes your money is pleasant. When I got to the parking lot near the top, the elevator was broken. Happy day! I got to walk up the rest of the way. Steep stone steps. Lots of people going up them. Trail was 0.2-miles long, but I wonder whether they measured the base or the hypotenuse. Talked to a German couple from Berlin a little on the way back down. A little cold and windy. The day, not the couple. The couple were average-temperature at least in demeanor. Book said this was the highlight of many visits to the Adirondacks. Maybe.

whiteface_colorIn real-time, I’m kind of done with fall foliage. And only New Hampshire and Maine left to go!

whiteface_elevation-signGettin’ close to the top.

whiteface_trail-to-peakTrail to the top.

whiteface_the-road-upThe road up.

whiteface_top-of-whitefaceThe top of the mountain.

whiteface_lake-placidLake Placid — yes, it’s shaped like a horseshoe. Who knew?

whiteface_watchtowerThe watchtower, watching.

Inasmuch as paying to go on any 8-mile stretch of road is worth it, this was worth it I guess. Better than hiking it — can’t standing hiking somewhere that other people have driven to (see: Vermont) (once it’s posted).

And then I left the state.

bkd

US Olympic Glory, ca. 1980 (Day 70)

September 26th, 2009 2 comments

I kind of think that the guy who asks my brother questions at work is right: the 1980 US hockey team defeating the Soviets and winning the gold medal is probably the greatest (American) sporting event of all time. Granted, I like the romantic idea that the victory was what started the country’s overall turnaround from, well, the 1970’s — but still: morning in America.

So, went to Lake Placid and checked out a couple venues. I think ski jumps make for good photo subjects.

lake-placid_ski-jumps-behindSki jumps, where no miracle happened in 1980. At least, not for any American.

lake-placid_top-of-the-jumpKind of doesn’t look that imposing from on top.

lake-placid_jump-looking-upLooking up the ski jump.

lake-placid_ski-jump-colorsColors, viewed from ski jump. Woo!

lake-placid_ski-jump-stripEh. I’m kind of bored of my own photos. Maybe I just need more sleep. Sort of reminded me of a film strip or something.

lake-placid_1980-arenaInside the “1980 Arena”. No, you can’t go in (it’s still used as an arena). And the “olympic museum” at the “Olympic Center” isn’t worth the $5.

lake-placid_churchThe Olympic church, with double-parked Hummer.

Lake Placid is a pretty area. I didn’t go to the bobsled run. People are a little reserved, but friendly when you talk with them. Parking costs $1 an hour in town. Downtown Lake Placid is located on Mirror Lake, a mile away from Lake Placid. It cost $10 (IIRC) to go to the ski jumps. It came with a free chair lift and elevator ride, though.

bkd

Adirondacks: The Brothers to Big Slide Loop Hike (Day 69)

September 25th, 2009 5 comments

“Big Slide Loop” is not a thing. “Big Slide” is a peak. “Loop” refers to the hike being a “Loop Hike”. “The Brothers” may be a peak or several peaks or some other undisclosed feature. And the whole thing is in a part of the Adirondacks called the “High Peaks”, even though the highest is only 5,000 and change. They’re not far from Lake Placid. I camped at a campground called Wilmington Notch. There were showers, but the lines between campsites were indistinct. And though the weather looked sketchy, the guy at the mountaineering store said that I should *definitely* go hike Big Slide that day, because the rain was going to hold off and I’d definitely get the good view from the top.

My route: The Brothers trail to Big Slide, then down by way of the John’s Brook South Trail.

There: the stage is set. Here are the ride-along photos.

big-slide_root-trailPath, uphill, with roots.

big-slide_valley-leavesFirst valley view. Clear-ish.

big-slide_brother-viewView from the First Brother. Maybe First Brother.

big-slide_cliff-trailThis isn’t scenery, this is the trail. It’s at least as steep as it looks.

big-slide_peak-from-brotherThat peak up there is Big Slide. Still looking clear!

big-slide_me-on-brotherI’m going to say that this is me on top of Fourth Brother. If there *is* a fourth brother. If there are any brothers for that matter.

big-slide_walk-through-treesSteps through the trees.

big-slide_brook-with-mossA moss-covered brook.

big-slide_me-climbing-rockFinal assault to the peak and me without my harness. (Fine, it’s only about 70 degrees from horizontal in real life. That’s kind of steep for a hike.)

big-slide_me-at-peakMe at the peak. Not so clear. But I like the idea that the world ends just past that row of trees there.

big-slide_leafy-trailThe way down isn’t as steep, but it’s two miles longer (four up, six down).

big-slide_creek-on-mossA brook-covered moss.

big-slide_cascade-with-leavesA happy cascade. I imagine. It’s probably repressing anger at the cairn in the foreground, come to think of it.

big-slide_big-rockA big rock that looks like it could function as a big slide.

big-slide_red-leavesLeaves, red.

big-slide_chaise-longueIt’s hard to completely disrespect a trail that places chaise longues at various locations.

big-slide_johns-brookJohn’s Brook.

big-slide_more-leavesMore leaves. And then it started raining.

big-slide_me-at-trailheadProof Evidence that I made it back to the trailhead. Plus I wanted to show off my rain jacket that I never get to wear (because it doesn’t rain on this trip, apparently).

Sorry for the narcissism on the photos — I just felt that it was *me* that was making this place come alive.

  • Without the view at the peak, the hike is a little light on payoff.
  • It’s a very different terrain than I as a western hiker am used to. Out west they would’ve found some way to build switchbacks across all those faces. Not here.
  • As such, it’s a ten-mile hike that took me six hours.
  • Also as such, the trail itself was more engaging than I’m used to — although there were also plenty of long stretches but nothing to do but go up steep, dirt trails and peer through the tree-prison.
  • And some of those rocks were pretty slick: yes, I fell once.
  • But: pretty, worth it.

So it was.

bkd


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fall

September 24th, 2009 No comments

adirondack_roadSome random road that my GPS told me to get on.

Driving into the Adirondacks was pretty. Heck, *the Adirondacks* were pretty. And if my transmission would’ve only taken one week longer to get fixed, they probably would’ve been even prettier. ‘Course, the days are already too short, so — you know.

bkd

PS, I know it’s only because it’s part of a headline, but it’s a relief to finally be able to legally capitalize the name of a season.

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