How to start? I feel the need to repent for all the years that passed without seeing or knowing. Simply put, the Adirondacks have the boldness and beauty to fill you with love and awe. There were moments on those trails, when my heart and chest weren’t pounding and heaving, that my prayers really opened up. For that I am eternally grateful. What’s left to say? I long to get back there very soon. Rachel does too.
Rachel: You think you should write about such deep, personal thoughts and feelings here?
Barry: What should I write about?
Rachel: I don’t know, what we did, what we saw...
Barry: Well, it’s done. I said it. It had to be said.
Rachel: OK, but could you try to be a little more down to earth?
Barry: A little more down to earth? She wants a little more down to earth!
Rachel: Yes, please.
Barry: OK, OK, but I had to say it.
Rachel: OK, but that’s enough.
Barry: OK, OK, here we go...
So, we left Brooklyn early enough on Sunday morning to get past the city and onto the Palisades Parkway without hitting any traffic. From there it was clear sailing, taking us about five hours to arrive at the trailhead of Baxter Mountain. I chose Baxter after doing my research on AllTrails - looking for a nice warmup hike with great views. AllTrails came through again with all the reviews, pics, and trail data to make it easy to find what I was looking for.
We learned from a local we met in Saranac Lake that the trail originally went straight up the mountain and that the switchbacks that made the trail what it is today, a moderate climb of 629 feet over just under a mile, only came later. Some, or many, I’m not sure, of the shorter hikes are still straight up. For us, Baxter was perfect the way we found it.
Atop Baxter we met a friendly family of four up for the day from Saratoga Springs who know the Adirondacks well. They told us about the drive and short hike up to the observatory at the summit of Whiteface Mountain. We weren’t crazy about the idea of driving to the summit but they assured us that the 200 foot climb, straight up from the parking lot would make us feel like we earned the views, at least a little. It seemed the perfect way to finish the day before the sun went down so we drove over and up. It was well worth the $9.00/head, the crowds, and the climb to the top.
At night we drove over to Lake Placid from our hotel in Saranac Lake and strolled around and looked at the shops and Mirror Lake. We slept well and woke up early to meet the challenge of Cascade Mountain, our first and perhaps the easiest of the Adirondacks 46 High Peaks.
Barry: Think it’s OK if I stop here and continue on our next post?
Rachel: OK, think it’s a good place to stop?
Barry: I think so. Maybe just one more pic of me with Wade, the bearded mountain man and Summit Steward?
Rachel: That’s it? Just a pic?
Barry: Well, there’s plenty to tell but how about just saying for now that we shared some hiking, camping and beard talk and he revealed a bit of his knowledge about the Adirondacks?
Rachel: Sounds good!