Thursday, October 09, 2008

Adirondack Trip Part I

So the Adirondacks? Not so warm. I'm just saying.

On Saturday morning I got on the train at Penn Station. I don't do it to often but I love traveling by train seems so much more civilized than other kinds of long distance public transit. They don't search your bags or confiscate your water and nail file. You get to keep your shoes and belt on and don't have to go through metal detectors or step into those weird explosive detection portals that puff air at you. The conductors aren't uncomfortably friendly; they just look at your ticket and answer any questions and leave you the fuck alone. It's such a relief to take a trip and get to retain your dignity at the same time.

I got off in Saratoga where my father picked me up and we had lunch then wandered around a bit and went to the grocery store for hiking food before driving up to the ADK campground to set up camp. As we drove into the High Peaks region I noted that there was snow on the top of the high mountains. My father claimed that it was just rockslides that I was looking at but I think he wasn't looking very closely because it was totally snow.

Here in New York the leaves really aren't changing yet and even up in Saratoga only some of the them had changed, but up in the High Peaks they were actually just past peak. The valleys and lower slopes of the mountains were all red, orange, and gold and the ground was covered with fallen leaves.
The Adirondacks aren't as beautiful as the Catskills come fall because they are only partially covered by deciduous forest so you always have the green of the coniferous forest, but they're still pretty damn lovely.

We didn't have anything particular to do beyond going to EMS to buy insoles for my hiking boots, so we met friends of his for dinner and then played SNATCH for a bit before going to bed. I'm embarrassingly bad at word games. Anything that requires me to rearrange letters gets ugly fast.

Sunday morning we got up, I put on 5 layers of clothing plus winter hat and gloves, and we had oatmeal (plus tea for me) before getting ready for our trek up Algonquin. I'd never hiked at this time of year or in these temperatures so I added a pair of leggings under my hiking pants and put a jacket in my backpack along with all the food.
Notice the stylish gaiters. When it's not actually freezing out--which it wasn't, at least during the day--mud on the Adirondack hiking trails is as certain as death and taxes and hiking with cold, wet, muddy feet sucks, so they were definitely a good thing to have.

Everything together, we headed up the mountain just before 9 in the morning. And I'll write about that later, because it's time for me to go to bed.


Pookie said...

The leaves look so pretty! Also, thrice now I've taken 3-hour-plus train trips in the US and they've been so wonderful! Just as you described -- travel with dignity intact. I wish I had more excuse for train travel because it feels so exotic and old school!

Meg said...

It does feel old school. It feels a little bit like being a character in a book or old movie or something. :D