Introduction

This blog is our diary with no puffery.

We do not participate in facebook, forums, discussions groups, tweets etc. We just enjoy hiking and write about our experience here ©.

ADK Glens Falls - Saratoga Chapter Firetower Challenge (completed 1 Jan 2016...37 Fire Towers)

ADK 46er Challenge (completed 5 Oct 2016...all 46 peaks as day hikes...read the most detailed High Peaks hike reports here by entering keyword in search area)

Mohawk-Hudson Erie Canal Trail Kick Scooter Challenge (completed 29 Sep 2018)

WARNING: Hiking can be very dangerous - Plan your hikes well - Do not gamble - Know when to fold

© 2014-2020



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Arietta Balancing Rock Hike 11/17/19


shows parking and our destination
 really nice in the woods today

Read there would be road closure on Route 10 in Arietta starting Monday for replacing/installing guard-rails. They really need that stuff there? If people drive too fast to negotiate those curves, they deserve to plunge into the lake/stream/river. Drive responsibly!  Before they closed the highway, I figured we'll hit Arietta's Balancing Rock.

 sometimes this stream is impossible to cross in winter

Got there at 1045, 28F, perfect temperature for a hike under blue skies. We wore bright colors, since it is hunting season. One car there, an Audi. The woods had about 2" of snow...neat. We carried micro-spikes just in case, but never needed it the whole time. This is a nice hike in a nice forest. Saw fresh footprints. They knew where they were going and did not miss a beat. We followed those prints all the way to the stream crossing.

 that's the Balancing Rock below

Luckily, the stream was manageable today. Sometimes it is too wild to be crossed. Those prints continued to the other side. Wonder where to? Then there was no more. Must have turned around. BUT, another set of prints turned toward Trout Lake Mountain. We've been there before. We got on Sherman Mountain cliff herdpath for a while, then made a hard right and headed toward a stream where Balancing Rock is located. 


It took us about 45 minutes to reach it today. In deep snow, it could take 2 hours or more. We took hot lunch (cup noodles) to warm us up. Within 10 minutes, we were ready to head back. On our way back, we visited 2 sections of the Chub Lake. Hey, that Audi still parked there. About 10 minutes into driving, I saw that Audi tailgating me. Looks like he was getting irritated, as I am a careful driver. It was a really nice hike on a beautiful day!

 my lunch spot near the rock looking at Chub Lake Mountain

 Chub Lake

Mad as hell! Gotta call from Fedex on Friday telling me the item I ordered will be delivered Saturday, and it needs my signature. So no hiking yesterday on such a beautiful sunny day and stayed home. Waited to 1900, nothing. Checked their site. Just reached Syracuse? Now the delivery date is Tuesday? Came back from hike and checked the site. Now it shows the delivery of today. Good thing I came back early. Yup, Fedex just came but still mad as hell! 

12 hours to cover 50 miles! I could do better with my kick-scooter

Hey I learned a new word today: netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz. I will never be able to pronounce or spell it. Many countries have similar laws nowadays. We need it, too. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Willie Marsh Hike 11/15/19

Winter cometh our way! It cometh earlier and earlier each year. Frigid cold the last few days. Time to set-up bird-feeder. Need rain-gutter cleaning of leaves, too. Then we should be all set till spring. 

 pretty in the woods today

No idea on how it is in the mountains. Not a good day for checking things out. Icy and in need of micro-spikes? Or would that just be a magnet for attracting bed of leaves? One thing for sure: ain't muddy out there. Instead of chancing off-trail hikes, thought it best to stick nearby. Willie Marsh is a good candidate.

 forgot my gaiters so tucked trousers inside socks

Now, I also want that hiking feeling, too. "Mood" counts big time. We could easily climb Kane Mountain wearing sneakers and jeans and carry nothing. Or we could climb it wearing hiking boots, hiking trousers, and carry sticks and small backpacks with lunch. The latter choice seems a lot more fun, as it gives off that "hiking feeling" and the "mood." So, at Willie Marsh today, that is exactly what we did. Our title reflects it...not a walk but a hike (in my mind).

odd formation for sure, something large fell in? the ring from water splashing?

Got there at 1245, nobody there, looks like nobody had walked the trail in a few days. We walked on virgin snow for the full loop. Saw tracks of one deer, one squirrel and a mouse. It was all quiet in the woods, except for the sound of the streams. Felt great to be walking in there. Wanted to go off-trail and deeper into the woods, but we did not prepare for that today. Sounds of hunters' guns some distance away reminded us it is hunting season in full bloom now.

 we'll be walking on the entire marsh once it freezes

Believe any distance north of Willie Marsh will have even more snow. How much more? I don't know.  Microspikes may be in order. We'll find out soon.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Little Cathead Mountain Hike 11/10/19

start of trail is pretty evergreen forest...someone stole the plastic binder, so pages are flying all over the place...unable to sign it

I thought we were the only ones who went "forest bathing" in the Adirondacks, until I did some googling. I did not realize it was a big business in the ADK with guided forest bathing hikes (for hire) and realtors selling properties for forest bathing. 


 large boulders
 low water so did not have to walk on this bridge...this is the first stream, at next stream we start climbing
set compass for dead north and start climbing


At any rate, we decided to climb Little Cathead Mountain in Benson today. This is one of our staple hikes after the trees go bare. We got on Route 30N and headed toward Northville. Somewhere between here and there, I forgot to turn left, as we were engaged in small talk. No biggie, will just turn just before Northville. Just before reaching that road, I remembered we ain't going to Mud Lake. Silly me. Kept driving.

Drove passed Northville and headed for the Stony Creek turn to Benson. After driving a few miles, I thought I somehow missed that turn. Did a U-turn and drove back toward Northville. I guess I did not miss it. I did not drive far enough. So went back again. Eventually, we reached our destination. Is that what getting old does to you? Not kidding here either. 



Three hunters' trucks on the lot with another one just pulling in while we got ready. No hikers. Thought we would sign in, since we would be walking off-trail. The trail register was a mess. We moved on. The forest starts out as evergreen forest. Evergreen forests are suppose to be the best for forest bathing. They give off some magic, according to what I read. 


When we reached our spot, we went straight up that mountain. It's a steep mountain with a lot of stuff one has to maneuver around, mostly ledges. Gotta remember it is not the summit we are going for. Ain't nothing there. It is the open space we are after. If you don't hit it climbing up, there is a good chance you won't be able to find it. 

 her lunch spot above...below, mine...I never sit for lunch, as I won't be able to get up after
 head dead south and you will hit the trail below

If you set your compass from the second stream and head dead north, you will hit it. Coming back down, just walk straight south. This is a very nice hike with nice views now, but in snow, this hike becomes a pure winter wonderland. Another great thing is that very few people head that way. Give it a try!

deadly slippery going down...she fell 3 times, this last one most dangerous as she hit her shoulder on rock...acorns, wet leaves on slabs, slippery roots, ice, you name it, they were all there

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Good Luck Mountain Cliff Loop Hike 11/9/19

yellow is the off-trail portion (very approximate)

By the way, this loop is the best way to hike this mountain. We can't be the only ones doing it. Have you done it? Why do we do it? Cause it's a bit more challenging that just plain in/out and a whole lot of fun. AND it is ALL downhill from the cliff. With in/out, once you get down to the lake trail, there is some climbing to do before reaching the trail register. We hate that climb...just can't stand it. 

The best time to do this loop is in deep snow. Think we done it 6-7 times in snow, and another 2-3 times without it (straight in/out perhaps 2 dozen times). We don't really remember on how to go about it in its entire, but she remembers certain parts, and I remember other parts. With two brains working in sync, we do okay. Hope some smart people will come up drugs to reverse Alzheimer's within the next few years. We'll be needing them soon enough.

 in person those icicles were spectacular...photo does not do justice above....below shows a bit of Good Luck Lake from the cliff trail

Got there at 1045. Parking lot full with 6-7 hunters' trucks and one hikers' sedan. We hoped we would not meet those hunters. But they were out today in full force everywhere. Hikers best wear bright colors, especially if hiking off-trail...like us. 

 this is NOT an easy climb, but it's short

Freezing temperature had done some good to the muddy trail. The half mile walk to the trail register seemed like a very long walk today. Cannot understand why. Peeked inside the register. Three hikers signed in for the cliff from Amsterdam. I knew we will come across them sooner or later. About half way from the register to the cliff junction, we met them. The guy wore a 46er cap, so I asked him what was his finishing summit: "Skylight." That's when he recognized me and mentioned my blog. Cool! 


We actually saw him and his wife on Pitchoff Mountain a few years back. I did remember they were from Amsterdam. I believe he was clean shaven then. Now he has a full beard. After exchanging a few words, we all went our way. That's when my wife asked me, "wasn't his wife a nurse"? I don't know where she got that from, cause I sure don't remember.

my lunch...at least it was not frozen

When we made into the cliff turn, more snow. Things were pretty with everything covered in light snow. Real winter on its way! We did winterize our garage so we can park inside now. That's a huge plus when the outside temperature drops below freezing. We still have some outdoor chores to perform before the winter comes.

 into the wild off-trail hike

Got to the cliff...boring as ever. The views are no big deal there. Many hikers seem to love it though. We just enjoy the hike to that cliff, not the views. Can't take nice photos there cause the sun is always facing the cliff. Quick lunch and we were on our way to the other side of Good Luck Mountain. Descending was tricky with wet leaves, roots, snow, and ice. Then we came to the spot where we would go off-trail. But it's never the exact same spot, very approximate just around there kinda deal.


Yup, that it was. She led this tour. Chose a lousy spot. As soon as we go into the woods: thickets. She then blames me for it. We walk circles inside there, but we always manage to get back on track. One down, with many more to go. She then takes us into witch-hobble forest. When they smack you in the face, they really hurt. Because of light snow cover, we could not see what we were walking on most of the time.

we walked mostly on this stuff...felt like walking on carpet

Luckily, she avoided all the ledges going down the mountain. That's a big plus. We wiggle left and right and slip back and forth, descending that steep mountain sideways with our boots. Then we reach the flats. Now she has to figure out which way to walk. She done great with it, as we came out on the Dry/Dexter Lakes trail, right where we wanted to land. That made her happy.

 this is why we go off-trail...just can't beat this feeling !!

I tell you. That side of Good Luck Mountain is really wild and fun, just like Pinnacle Mountain. Hope some of you get a chance to hike them.