Sunday, March 9, 2014

Haystack and Big Slide. 2014-03-09

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The third day of three days in the Adirondacks.

I was achy on Sunday morning, plus the switch to Daylight Saving time had stolen an hour's sleep. I scrambled to vacate the hostel and get to the Garden by 7:00 AM.

Today was Brian's (Pathgrinder) Winter 46 finish. He and I have hiked many times together and he had accompanied me on my W46 finish last winter. Although I had forewarned him that fatigue may force me to bow out, I didn't want to be a $hit-heel and skip out on his big day. Game face on and out the door!

Brian, Sam and I had a great hike to Haystack. The cloudless day gave us the best views Haystack can offer. After congratulating him on the summit, we dropped into the lee where he treated us to apricot brandy. The next thirty, forty, fifty or whatever minutes were spent mellowing out in the company of friends, fresh air, and mountain scenery. Not too long after the bar ran dry, we leaned into the wind and made our way down the mountain.
We met a couple on Horse Hill and that was the sum total of other hikers we encountered.

Shortly past Johns Brook Lodge, we said our goodbyes and I turned uphill to tag Big Slide. Along the way, I developed my first-ever leg cramp. Maybe the booze played a role or possibly the previous two days of hiking. Whatever the reason, my lower left leg signaled its unhappiness. I stopped every now and then to apply snow on my sore leg muscles. Seventy-five minutes from the junction, I topped out on Big Slide. Wow! Haystack looked very far away!

Now walking mostly downhill, I ambled along over the Brothers, being careful not to aggravate my left leg, and enjoyed the scenery as it slid by. It was a very rewarding day of hiking but I must admit I was happy to see my car. A few days of R&R and then I'll head out again. It looks like a mid-week snowstorm will freshen up the peaks just in time for me to finish my Single-Season Winter 46 (SSW46).

Brian and Sam descend Little Haystack.
Success! ADK Winter 46!

Late afternoon on the Brothers.


See all photos.

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