August 30, 2018

Saddleback Mountain via Johns Brook Lodge

4,515 feet  |  ranked 17/46 in height  |  32nd peak climbed 

I have long been curious about Johns Brook Lodge (JBL), the backcounty hut run by the Adirondack Mountain Club.  I thought I might walk by it last summer when I hiked the Gothics-Armstrong-Upper Wolfjaw loop from the Garden, but I turned left by the second register and passed by the rangers cabin instead.  After hearing a favorable report from friends who stayed there with kids, I told Frankie about it and asked if he wanted to go.  Of course he did!  Erwin was less enthusiastic; he was deterred by the prospect of shared sleeping quarters and no showers.  However, he said he didn't mind if Frankie and I went for a few nights - he would meet us in Keene for some shared adventures afterwards.  So I booked Frankie and I for two nights, with the rough plan of driving up and hiking into JBL on Wednesday, hiking a high peak on Thursday, then hiking back out to meet Erwin on Friday.

August 19, 2018

Lick Brook Figure Eight Loop

A friend told me about Lick Brook after she and her family hiked there this spring.  They are big hikers, and like me, are chipping away at the Adirondack High Peaks and the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), so the recommendation definitely carried some weight.  I looked it up online and knew Erwin would be interested as well; waterfall hikes are his absolute favorite.  We were both surprised to hear of this hidden treasure, as Ithaca is well known for its waterfalls (Ithaca is gorges) and we've hiked all the state parks down there, multiple times.  Lick Brook is literally right in the thick of it: it is located between Robert Treman State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park.  In fact, it is possible to hike between those two state parks, by passing right through Lick Brook Gorge.  And part of the trail system through Lick Brook Gorge is the FLT, which carries the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT).  As a huge fan of these long-distance trails, this was just an added bonus.

August 15, 2018

Monument Mountain

Erwin's family moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts when he was middle-school aged, and he lived in the Berkshires for several years after high school, as well.  These were formative years, and he still adores the region, getting all swoony whenever we drive through the area.  Monument Mountain was "his mountain," the one he climbed 30 or 40 times, in all seasons, in all conditions.  I have heard many, many stories about this place.  When I looked it up and realized it was only a 3 hour drive, and that it's a fairly short trail to the top, I decided we should make a day trip there and see what it's all about.  Erwin could play tour guide and show us his mountain.

August 3, 2018

Donaldson & Emmons

4,140 feet  |  ranked 33/46 in height  |  30th peak climbed 
4,040 feet  |  ranked 40/46 in height  |  31st peak climbed
Erwin and Frankie are off in South Carolina visiting my mother-in-law; we've decided to make these single parent trips to visit with grandparents an annual tradition, with me taking Frankie camping at Memorial Day weekend to see Mary and Keith, and Erwin taking Frankie to play in the ocean in August to see Ellen.  It just works so well for everyone: Frankie gets more time with his faraway grandparents, I don't use up precious vacation time, the boys get to enjoy more beach time then I could handle, and I get the chance to sneak off to the Adirondacks.  I worked Wednesday, so I would have Friday off, and drove up to Tupper Lake last night, setting up camp in the dark in one of the primitive sites along Corey's Road.