Adirondacks 3.0

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On the Victoria day weekend I went for my third time to the Adirondacks! This time I went with Matt, Leah, Neil, Benissa, Nate, Ali, and Amelia from Grace Toronto. Because it was so early in the year and we had an eight month old Hannah with us, we decided to do AirBnB instead of camping. We stayed at a spacious cottage in the town of Jay in the High Peaks region. Six of us carpooled down together in Nate and Ali’s mini van on the Friday evening and arrived at 1:30am. Matt and Leah had gone earlier then us and were already asleep when we arrived. They were ambitiously planning for us to be out of the house at 8am the next day because our plan was to hike Algonquin, the second highest peak in the Adirondacks. It is the same peak that I hiked last year with Vikkie, Rachel, and Jacky. An 8am goal meant we left at 8:30! There were so many hikers there for the weekend that the parking lot at the trail head was full! Matt wore a big carrier bag for Hannah, but she fell asleep in the first five minutes of walking and so they strapped her in a smaller carrier on Leah’s back. As a result we did a swap and Matt carried my small bag like a child in his bag while I took Leah’s bag. The trail up Algonquin looked quite different at this time of year. Most of the trees didn’t have full leaves and there wasn’t a lot of undergrowth. This meant you could see a long way through the trees and also take more notice that most of the trees were birch. We had not predicted how much ice would still be at the top of Algonquin, so we got to a point where we decided it would be safer to turn around. Luckily there was a fork on the trail where we could take only a short detour to get to another nearby peak called Wright (the 16th highest peak at 1,398m), that was low enough in elevation that it did not have any ice. The views were beautiful, but we didn’t stay up there long because we could see an oncoming raincloud in the distance!

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The second day we chose to hike Ampersand Mountain based on some feedback we got talking to other hikers the day before. It was a much easier hike (Ampersand is not included in the high peaks), but was equally beautiful. We all decided the views were richer, perhaps because the other mountains around were slightly closer. The weather at the top was gorgeous and so we hung around up there for just under an hour! Everybody had a great time taking epic photographs such as child sitting on ledge (don’t worry… Leah is propping her up from behind…), or trying to spell ADK in the reflection of big puddles. It was so beautiful I didn’t have any other thoughts except for the magnificent view before me. I love hiking as a way to relax the mind because all you can do when mounting or descending a mountain is to focus on where to place your foot next. I definitely plan to keep doing hiking trips and maybe even do a two day trip!

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