Adirondack summer vacation. If there are no black flies, does it still count as summer? In August, my family returned to Lake Placid. A different kind of vacation, where I went out on dawn patrol most mornings so we could do family stuff together later on.
On Thursday morning, I doubled poled 20 km in a light drizzle. Later in the morning, the skies brightened for our trip to Plattsburgh and Keeseville. Plattsburgh center features a used book store adjoining a coffee shop that’s not part of a chain: it doesn’t get much better than that. We skipped some attractive downtown restaurants to stop at Clare and Carl’s for Michigans, the North Country’s awesome take on hot dogs.
At day’s end, we repaired to the Ausable Brewing Company in Keeseville. Out in the country, sunny skies, six fine beers available on tap,and couple of food trucks to slake your appetite. We met up with some Peru Nordic teammates, an added bonus. While I’ve found that hybrid – for want of a better term – beers are often disappointing, their red IPA was great. If you travel to the High Peaks, it’s worth a special trip to seek them out.
The next morning was dawn patrol to Jay Mountain. I got within half a mile of the summit before I turned back: I really try to get back at the time I tell my wife I’m gonna return. The mountain will be there another day. Great views to be had from this under appreciated mountain.
Another morning featured an aborted skate roller ski workout. I warmed up on Route 9N before turning up Trumbulls Road, where I planned to just go for it. One of my roller ski wheels separated, so that didn’t work out.
Hopkins Mountain was also on the itinerary. Hopkins isn’t big enough to make the list of 100 highest Adirondack mountains, let alone the vaunted 46. But it’s been on on my list for a couple of years. One day, we all set out for Hopkins, but Laurel felt poorly and we turned back. Two days later, it was another solo dawn patrol, via the Ranney Trail to Mossy Cascade.
The Ranney Trail features a stretch of mature hemlock forest and quite steep bits. Mossy Cascade brought me to the col between Hopkins and Giant. For about five minutes, I thought about making for Giant, three miles off. But I’ve been on that several times, and I’ve never been on Hopkins. Off to Hopkins, with a fabulous view of the Great Range as a reward.