Another great day in the Adirondacks we had!

Seven of us met at the Starbuck’s on the Shelburne Road at 6:45 am, piled into 2 cars, quick stop in Port Henry at the Stewart’s, then back on the road to The Garden trailhead, arriving around 8:45 am. It was by pure luck that we were able to park here, right in front of the attendant booth, creatively creating two parking spaces! And luckily, too, Jim and Richard were already there, arriving from NY and NJ, respectively. Anyone coming after us would have had to go elsewhere for the day. After parking, hellos, getting our gear squared away, intros, run down of the day and the start of January 20 trivia, we were on the trail by 9:30 am-ish.

We headed to the Brothers first, where conditions were hard packed, with some ice blobs here and there but nothing that was so serious that was worrisome. All wore either spikes, shoes or alternated during the day. Met some here and there along the way; weather was spectacular (not dealing with the frigid temps of late was SO nice!) with the clouds breaking and clear blue skies en route and full-on over all three Brothers. This changed before the intersection to head up to Big Slide, where clouds and wind moved in. No view at the summit, a bit of chit chat, a group photo, then back to the junction where we ate lunch, then headed on our descent via the Johns Brook Valley trail.

At the first intersection, Jim mentioned he wanted to say hi to a friend who was working at the Lodge and if anyone else wanted to come along. Seven of us said yes, Tom and Tracy headed back to The Garden.

The Lodge is spectacular with a huge deck, new signage, plenty of cleared land around it. Nice fire awaited those who popped inside for a bit, with a very clean appearance. It was well worth the 1 mile diversion.

The rest of the outbound was smooth and we returned to our cars around 4:15 pm. Some changed clothes, then we headed to The Ausable Inn for eats and adult beverages, back at the Starbuck’s for the Vermonters around 8 pm. A great way to end a great day!

Participants: Richard Dabal, Dave Churchill, Mark McLane, Tom Smith, Tracy Sweeney, Jim Schneider, Jody Dunkley, Dave Hathaway (photos), Robynn Albert (leader). View of Gothic from the rail up the Brothers (above).