Patrick and I, and our little Golden Retriever Sammy decided to go on a little hike while camping in the Lake Placid region. Turns out we got a bit more than we expected.
Without much hiking experience, we parked at the Adirondack Loj where we had heard there were several trail heads to choose from. The man at the help desk suggested that Phelps Mountain was an easy half-day hike, so we we set out on the trail to the summit.
The beginning of the hike was beautiful scenery, and a slow but steady incline up the mountain. We passed Marcy Dam about 2.5 miles in where we saw some campers setting up for the night, and continued on a steady wide path with a few rocks and tree roots.
After another mile or so, the trail to Phelps Mountain began. The trailhead read 1 mile to the top, not so bad you would think? Well we didn’t see it coming. Thus began the most difficult 1 mile hike of my life. The steep, rocky trail of death had me beat. This is like climbing up big uneven stairs that are each at least two feet high. We had to pull ourselves up by tree branches, and sometimes even hoist Sammy up some of the bigger rocks.
The incline did not let up until the very end, and the view along the way was never above treeline. Never the less we continued, and despite wanting to quit, and MANY MANY stops for snacking/ water/ and catching our breath, we kept on trekking.
We finally made it to the top, approximately 2 and a half hours after starting at the trail head that read 1 mile. That’s right, 1 mile… 2.5 hours… As you can see, my face was all red, I had almost exhausted my supply of water, and my legs were turning to jelly. Sammy whoever, was still full of energy, despite being covered with mud and other gunck.
The top of the Mountain was breathtaking. We found a nice flat rock with a great view to eat our much deserved sandwiches on, and although we couldn’t name them at the time, we knew we were facing many of the high peaks of the Adirondack Region. It was a very private peak with no one else at the top, and we had only crossed a handful of people on the trail.
This hike was the first Patrick and I had as a couple, and it opened my eyes to the adventurous life I am living and looking forward to. This is the beginning of our journey- we are Hikesters.
For more photos of this journey, see our image gallery here.
Nutmeg May 19th, 2013