As has been the case the last few ADK outings, some folks sign up way in advance and others a few days before. Makes no matter to me, I am just happy others want to head across the pond to my old stomping grounds! Most of us met at the Shaw’s parking lot on the Shelburne Road then headed to Shelburne to pick up Ted, with a brief pit stop at the Stewart’s in Port Henry before we met the last of our group, Richard, at the Rooster Comb trail head on Route 73, Keene Valley. Geared up, signed in, intros and this trip leader announced it was “February 15 Trivia Day” meaning candy would be offered up as the prize for answering correctly questions about this date in history, whether 50, 200 or perhaps thousands of years ago!
Rooster Comb here we come! Everyone wore spikes to start. Mark, in his usual very strong pace, led the pack and once we all hit the intersection with Hedgehog, he asked if we wanted to go to the lookout first or the summit…the lookout won out and of course, did not disappoint. NO wind and perfect views. We hung around for a few minutes, then made our way over to its summit. There was a little wind storm whipping up off Haystack which was really neat to see. And Giant was, well, Giant, in all its glory! Hung around our first peak of 3, looked at maps, took pics, more trivia, then back down to the intersection where we all swapped out the spikes for the shoes. Hedgehog was broken out but not much.
If you’ve been on this trifecta of trails, you know there is a lot of up and down … repeat a LOT of UP and DOWN! Not complaining one bit but this trail network is “all there”. The sky got bluer, the snow deeper and whiter and when we hit the view-less Hedgehog summit, still no wind. Onto our final (kinda as we needed to hit Hedgehog coming back one more time!) summit and the only one of the 3 that’s a 46. Lower Wolf Jaw was Dale’s first 46 and Kevin and Marcus’ 3rd or 4th but their 1st winter 46. And Richard and Mark combined likely made this their 500th Adk. summit! We hit it at 2:30 pm and the sky did not disappoint but the winds had suddenly kicked up. The descent (and ascent) back down to the trailhead was a long one. Most were back at the intersection of RC and HH by 4:30 pm (and some well before this) so there was no way we were going to make 2 miles in 30 minutes to hit our 5 pm reservation I’d made at The Ausable Inn mid-week. Called them and cancelled which they were grateful. Once we were all back at the trailhead (around 5:40 pm), we headed to Baxter Mtn. Tavern since the trip leader was 100% sure there would be no problem whatsoever in walking right in. Uh huh…that didn’t pan out well, as there was a 2 hour wait. Onto Plan C, which was to head back to VT and stop at the first place that was open for casual pub food but this meant that Richard who’d driven up from Jersey the day before and planned to stay in Keene Valley would not join us. We were sorry to be missing one of the group. The Bridge Restaurant in Addison, just over the Crown Point Bridge on the VT side, welcomed us with open arms with 22 minutes before their closing time…we were so relieved! Helen, our server, and Isaac, our cook, had us in and out in less than an hour, maybe even 45 minutes.
A truly perfect day! And if you’re interested in a few important Feb. 15 facts, here you go!
Participants: Dale Schmit, Ted Albers, Richard Dubal, Mark McLane, Kevin Burke, Marcus Keely, Beda Beeli, Robynn Albert (leader). Photos: Dale, Ted, Kevin, Marcus, Beda. Way too many great photos to include all of them, but you can see them here.