Thursday, April 2, 2015

Travel Thursday (April 2, 2015) -- Northville-Placid Trail Part 12

Day 10, Tuesday, August 18

Up at 6:15 & after getting packs & bear bag down and re-packed we are ready to go on to Averyville Rd. & the completion of the N-LP Trail! Breakfast will be the last of the pop tarts, last of the lemonade, & some granola bars. It looks grey and rainy as we head out after major foot repair at 7:50 AM!

Jonathan signals our last day on the trail as we get ready to leave Cold River lean-to 

Jonathan's major foot repair for the last day. The purple is the much loved horse wrap!

Got to the shelter at Moose Pond at 10:15 -- just as it began to lightly mist & sprinkle.  OUR LUCK!

View from Moose Pond lean-to

The trail from Duck Hole to Moose Pond has been the worst ever. Muck hole after muck hole after muck hole. JPT measured one bog at 1 1/2 feet deep. Not only the boot sucking muck, but the trail is all overgrown up to eye level at points & the lead hiker has to find the trail with each step & can't help swiping the following hiker. This has been a most difficult section & we're damn glad it is over! Hope the next section to Wanika Falls where we plan to have lunch is easier, but somehow I doubt it will be. 

Yes, the trail goes right through the middle of this watery blowdown mess

More trail section through blowdown and watery bog

A chipmunk came right up to us here at the shelter & against all the rules we gave him some peanuts & cashews. Humming birds are feeding next to us in a 10 ft. x 6 ft. clump of Jewel Weed going from orange blossom to orange blossom.

The chipmunk that greeted us at Moose Pond lean-to

Patch of Jewel Weed at Moose Pond lean-to where hummingbirds buzzed in and fed while we watched

Back on the trail at 10:30. We made Wanika Falls before 12:00, but lost the trail there! A Northface tent was set up in a clearing on the far side of the river with no one there. It was soaked & had a pack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag & moccasins inside. We called several times, but no one answered. Searched for the trail & the Wanika shelter for over an hour. We even blew our emergency whistle but no response.  Tried several false trails & bushwhacked to try & pick up the trail, but couldn't. Finally, we got out our compass, oriented the map, & backtracked to find we missed a sign post that was not obvious. Lost over an hour with these exercises & all but skipped through lunch -- though we filled water at the falls. Had some gorp & granola bars.

Wanika Falls

The 13 miles today was worse than the 18 yesterday & the trail was abysmal. More muck than ever & the trail was overgrown for miles so that one had to push aside immature maples & spruce to find the trail.

Reached Averyville Rd. at 4:03 PM.  9 days 7 hours and 43 minutes after starting north on the trail! 

John at the Lake Placid terminus on Averyville Road

Jonathan at the Lake Placid terminus on Averyville Road caption

For only the third time on the trail, we got a cell on the phone & were able to call G&G for a ride home. [Oddly, when we tried the phone at G&G's camp we could not get a cell.]

JPT and I relaxed with our packs off and briefly discussed our trip & the trail with a gentleman whose wife was from Northville & wanted to check the register at the trail terminus to see if anyone from Northville she might know had arrived!? 

We sipped water, munched the last granola bars & sat there feeling our feet throb. Much sooner than we expected, G, G, Molly & Christopher arrived with a pizza & a six pack -- half cold cokes & half cold Saranac beers. In minutes the packs were in the trunk, we were all crammed into the car (JPT and I still in our muddy, sweat soaked rain suits) and off to G&G's camp on Lake Placid. After hot showers & intermittent trail stories we sat down to a wonderful hot dinner of macaroni & cheese, tomato & lettuce salad, wine & cake with vanilla ice cream and champagne toasts by John. 

The sign that Christopher made to greet us on return to Grandma and Grandpa's camp on Lake Placid

Clean-up of the gear will just have to wait until tomorrow but . . . WE DID IT -- ALL 122 MILES!!

John lost 8 pounds while on the trail and JPT lost 10 pounds!

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Additional Glossary terms:

Camp -- in the Adirondacks, a vacation home on a lake, pond or river is not called a cottage or a cabin. It is referred to as a "camp" and the large, old, historically luxurious camps (usually with multiple buildings) are called "Great Camps." 

Bushwhacking -- refers to travel in wild or uncultivated country especially where one has to push one's way through often times dense vegetation to make any headway.
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All images used are from originals in the family collection.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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  1. Excellent trip and a great blog series! Glad you wrote it all down each night while we slept...

  2. Hi John. Just stopping by say I hope all is going well and that you'll be back with us soon.