August 29, 2014

Mt. Jo

Mt. Jo 
2,876 feet

Frankie's favorite part of our frequent hikes at Clark Reservation is all the scrambling over rocks, so when it came time to select his next Adirondack hike, Mt. Jo seemed like a good choice: it's short and sweet with lots of rocks to climb.  Before leaving for the holiday weekend in Keene, Frankie and I sat down and looked at photos of his previous Adirondack adventures.  Erwin and I had already been talking up the hike for a few days, but I wanted the visual reminder that the mountains are different from our local hikes.  Looking at the old pictures from Owl's Head also reminded him of 'Murfy, so the smurf came along on this hike, too.  

The hike was slow going, of course.  Like most kids, Frankie is constantly finding treasures (rocks, sticks, leaves, nuts, etc.) that must be clutched in a grubby paw and brought along for the ride.  And having ones hands full certainly complicates the scrambling, so we endured a whole series of negotiations about putting things in pockets and backpacks.  Then there is the recurring need for snacks... it's almost Pavlovian, this boy's reaction to the woods.  Oh, we're hiking?  Let's find a good spot for a snack.  But at least the novelty of going to the bathroom in the woods has worn off, and he only stopped to pee twice, much more reasonable than on our venture up Bald Mountain this spring. 

We went up the Short Trail and came down the Long Trail.  He made it all the way up and back on his own two legs, no piggy back rides, no sitting on the shoulders.  Mt. Jo might only be 2.0 miles* round trip with 700 feet elevation gain, but that's a mighty big mountain for a three-year old.  Great job, Frankie!  We hung out on the summit for at least an hour and a half before heading back down, just lolling about enjoying the views and the beautiful day.  We'd thought about following up the hike with some splashing in Heart Lake or a meal in Placid, but the little guy was too exhausted by then, so after buying a patch, we headed back to the rental in Keene.  He crashed out before we even made it back to Route 73.

* Mileage varies by source.  The map at the High Peaks Information Center says 2.0 miles round trip, but the Adirondack Mountain Club website says 2.4 miles (this discrepancy is most boggling, since presumably both are produced by the same organization).  The National Geographic map depicts 2.1 miles round trip, but that doesn't appear to include the short walk from the parking lot.  Other sites list 2.6 miles round trip.  Apparently the precise distance is up for debate?     

And we're off...
Happy to see all the nice rocks
Returning to the trail after a pee
Not quite a walking stick, but any old stick will do
Notice the smurf in the mesh pocket of his backpack.
Site of the first snack break (orange pepper sticks)
Rejuvenated scamp
More snacks (pretzels)
Gorgeous section of trail

These bridges were a BIG hit
Trail marker
The last scramble up before the summit.
Snacking on a summit ledge (apple)
Playing with Smurf in "the sand trap"
Breathtaking views of Heart Lake, Colden, Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois, Indian Pass
Me and my boy... I'm so proud of this kid!! 
Summit kisses
'Murf on the summit
We three
Descending
Toad
Patch and map, all tuckered out