May 18, 2014

Bald Mountain Fire Tower

Bald Mountain is under 2 miles roundtrip, with about 500 feet elevation gain, and was a natural choice for Frankie's next Adirondack hike.  I've been up Bald before, most recently in 2010 when pregnant, so knew the trail was something Frankie could handle.  The summit ridge has beautiful views out over the Fulton chain of lakes, and an open fire tower – always fun.  Plus, the Old Forge area is much closer than the High Peaks, just a 2-hour drive each way, so within reach for a day trip.  I had this notion we could squeeze in a hike before the bugs came out.  Unfortunately, that part of the mission was not entirely successful, as the black flies were out already.  However, despite the early fliers, we had a great day in the woods.

Erin met us at the usual Thruway park-n-ride, and rode up with us.  We hit the trail about 11:30 am.  Progress was slow, as expected.  We've been out hiking a lot already this spring, but not in the mountains, and we wanted to move at a pace comfortable for the smallest in our party.  We were slowed by the usual diversions, but also by a new skill Frankie has been learning this spring: going to the bathroom in the woods.  Of course he thinks this is fantastic, and seized the opportunity four (!) separate times, twice to pee and twice to poo.  After the second poop break, I couldn't help but think of something Jen wrote over at Adventurous Moms, "It seems my mission to make her comfortable with peeing and pooping in the woods worked – perhaps a little too well.  I think my next goal is to teach her that just because you can poop in the woods, doesn’t mean you have to."  Yes!  I might have to work on that, as well.

We spent about 2 hours moving generally upward, an hour on the summit, and another hour moving generally back downward.  I am so proud of Frankie!  No carrier, no piggy back rides, no tantrums.  He climbed the mountain (and the fire tower) all by himself, and we all had a great time.  Oh, the places we'll go!

Just starting out – the cars are still visible in the lot behind, but Frankie already found some treasures

 

 




painted trillium (Trillium undulatum)






 







Benchmark

serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.)
Returning to the trail after a potty break



hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides)
Always the path of most resistance: if there is a rock, he must go over it
Back at the trailhead -- success!

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