[at-l] Trip Report
jim.bullard at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 19:19:25 CDT 2008
It is not on the AT but there haven't been a lot of trip reports so here's
one from the ADKs.
8 to 10 years ago I did a bushwhack from Gray Peak to Mt. Marcy with my
friend Rick. It was a memorable trip in several ways, one being that when we
came out on the side of Marcy above tree line I spotted a Mountain Azalea.
It looked just like the florist variety except for size, a perfect miniature
version of the ones sold in pots. I shot a photo at the time with a 35mm
point & shoot camera but I couldn't get really close and vowed to go back
someday to get a better photo.
Yesterday was finally the day. I set out from South Meadow a little after
8AM figuring I could do the trip over Marcy to the Gray herdpath, get my
photo, come back over Marcy and be back out around 6PM. That turned out to
be optimistic. On the way I planned to take a break at Indian Falls but the
black flies were ferocious and the only practical thing to do was to keep
moving. I hadn't figured on black flies so late in June. They had been gone
at home for around 2 weeks. That wasn't my only miscalculation.
The weather was warm and sunny but there was an occasional breeze. When I
reached the point where the trail opened and I could see the summit I
spotted a few patches of white. There was still snow on the mountainside
near the summit. Fortunately there was none on the trail and when I got to
the summit there was a stiff cool breeze that kept the black flies at bay
and I could finally take a break without being lunch for other creatures.
After eating my lunch and talking with the summit steward for a bit I went
down the other side in search for my Azalea. Although I found the end of the
herdpath quickly (by a stroke of good fortune a group of hikers was emerging
from the herdpath jsut as I was looking for it) I could find no trace of the
Azalea. The Western slope of Marcy above tree line is an extremely rugged
environment so it is quite possible that it didn't survive. There are very
few plants on that side at all but I did spot one small white flower that I
did not recognize. It was sheltered behind a rock. I took its portrait but
was unable to find it in my flower books or on the Internet when I returned
home. Photos of my trip are at <
The trip out was a bit on the grueling side. I was not as diligent about my
exercise routing over the winder as I coulda/shoulda been and was not really
in shape for a 15+ mile hike up the highest mountain in the state carrying a
heavy camera kit. Self talk during the last 4 miles coming out "Umm Dude?
Did you forget that you are over 60 now? Your next birthday is a Beatles
song". Other self (the one that planned the trip) replied "Yeah, yeah, tel
me that now. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and it will
work out". It did, but I didn't get out of the woods until almost 8PM very
tired and sore. A double dose of vitamin I was required immediately and my
feet are still sore.
I did meet a lot of nice folks. It seems like I almost always do meet nice
folks in the woods. I also learned from the summit steward where I can find
a Mountain Azalea. Unfortunately it is on the second highest peak and I'm
not up for a repeat for a few days at least.
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