Keene, New York, Thursday, Oct. 2
For all of the hiking we did today, the chocolate mousse for lunch dessert should have tasted better. Today was perfect. Sunny with a few clouds. Mild breezes. Temps in the 60s.
So our plan to climb Mt. Jo was a go. Mt. Jo is classified as a moderate hike. The peak is at 2876 feet, which is a 700 foot elevation gain. The round trip is 2.5 miles but the hiking up and down time took us about 2.5 hours. Once again, the trail reflects the Canadian Shield topography. Rocks, boulders, exposed tree roots, etc combine to make the hike an effort and watching one’s footing is critical.
The forest is a mixed hardwoods with coniferous and deciduous trees. The pine scent was not quite as noticeable today, maybe all of our senses were directed at our feet. Several times, we said, Are we on the right trail? Hasn’t it been a while since we saw a trail marker? Why does the trail go over all of these large boulders? Why when the summit is just a short ways does the trail disappear onto huge boulders without a clear means to ascend them?
There was a constant refrain of “Are you sure this is the trail? Yes, I am. How do you know? Because the leaves are more smooshed down than they are off to the side. What, we are basing the direction of our entire hike on smooshed leaves?? No response.”
But we persevered and succeeded. When we reached the summit, we were numbers five and six there. We spent about 30 minutes there resting and chatting with the other hikers who preceded and followed us. New arrivals kept coming and taking pictures for others was a popular past time. Chris had to work hard to get one family into focus with the parents, one young child held in the arms of a parent, and an infant riding in the back sling of the second parent. When a group of 20 school children (how in the world did they make it up here??) arrived for lunch and picture taking, a large number of the adults decided it was time to head down.
Most of the return hike was spent in the company of a couple from Houston. Going down was no piece of cake either. Footing on boulders and tree roots was a constant concern. I do not mind admitting that others passed us.
After that, a good lunch was definitely in order. We stopped at the Lake Placid Brewpub on the recommendation of a couple from the top of Mt. Jo. The meal was good. The chocolate mousse, chocolate for me and cookies and cream for Chris were not noteworthy enough to even finish them. This is the second time in a row that chocolate mousse has not been up to expectations. One in Montreal before we left was also not up to expectations.
After lunch we found the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails along Lake Placid. This area is sponsored by the Garden Club of Lake Placid and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. Lake Placid does not allow motorized boats. The water is very clear and it turns out it is the source for the city’s water system. This trail was pretty level and not as rocky, although not as smooth as yesterday’s trail at the V.I.C run by Paul Smith’s College.
Our final hike was back by Mt. Jo around Heart Lake. The trail here was again rocky and rutted. We finished up the hike and since by now it was after 5 PM, we made a stop at a small store and picked up a few sandwiches for dinner.
A good day, tiring but rewarding. We can see that the leaves are starting to pass peak. It is likely to be rainy on Saturday, that may be the end of color here. We did meet a couple from Lake George NY, our destination for Monday-Wednesday night. They believed the leaf color there was likely to peak next week.
Ed and Chris 10/2 8:15 pm