Thursday, July 9, 2015

Travel Thursday (July 9, 2015) -- Northville-Placid Trail Part 13 [AFTERWORD]

After following these trail markers for almost ten days and about 125 miles, Jonathan and I arrived at the trail's end at Lake Placid.  We were picked up by the family and had a victory party back at the camp that evening.  The next day was spent drying out, cleaning, and repacking the gear as we prepared for the drive back home to Virginia.  It was an "epic" family adventure that has provided memories and stories for over a decade and a half now.  Each of us had his or her challenges and victories.

Some weeks after returning to Virginia, I submitted a "Record of Trip" trail report to the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) -- to which I belonged at the time and for several years afterward.  The trail report was a courtesy to help maintain awareness of the condition of the trail, wildlife seen along the way, the status of lean-tos and outhouses, etc.  The trail report was also a requirement for obtaining the End-to-End Award, a badge/"patch" designed to be sewn on a pack or jacket.  

Before the year 1998 was out, Jonathan and I received our End-to-End patches.  A scan of my patch is shown immediately below. . . 

We completed the N-P Trail in the summer of 1998 and used the 1994 edition of the Guide to Adirondack Trails: NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL during our trek.  That guide book states at pp. 11-12 with respect to the End-to-End Award . . . 

          "Almost a thousand individuals (1993) have become recorded End-to-Enders of the Northville-Placid Trail since 1922, the year ADK cut the trail.  One person (Richard Denker, 1973) completed the trail in an unbelievable 40 hours.  Another hiker (Orra Phelps) took a little longer.  She began in 1928 and didn't do the last section until 1978, 50 years later.  Most people explore the trail in sections over a period of years.  Few hikers initially start with the idea of completing the whole trail; rather they become curious about adjoining parts of the trail.  Eventually they may finish the whole route.  The trail offers not a race to be won, but an opportunity to enter and gradually come to understand a great wilderness forest.

          The Schenectady Chapter of ADK offers a large patch to "End-to-Enders."  (To allow for present-day realities and to keep hikers from having to walk on highways, ADK regards the end points of the trail as the Godfrey Road parking area at the Northville end and the Chubb River bridge at the Lake Placid end.)  The patch is blue on white, similar to the trail markers formerly used on the trail.  It can be sewn on a pack or jacket.  It is available to ADK members and non-members, and both to those who complete the trail in sections over a period of years and those who finish it in one trip.  There is a small charge for the patch to cover maintenance of the program.  Those wishing to obtain a patch should first apply for a "Record of Trip" form . . ."

A few years after we completed the N-P Trail, my former law partner -- who so kindly dropped the family at the Northville trailhead and accompanied us with his son on the first few miles of the trail -- became an End-to Ender himself!    

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All images are from original artifacts in the family collection.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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