It takes going passed two other mountains getting to Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the state of New York. The 18 mile in and out hike took 9 hours at my pace. (Fast if you don’t know me!) I stopped at random places to relax, take in a view, or have a snack. I thought about camping on the way, and many travelers were. The Adirondacks are a railroad of trails with connecting junctures. Where one trail ends, two take it’s places. The reason for not camping was because I wanted to time my arrival before the summit so that a few hours would remain at night. I wanted to hike in the woods while under the stars. And watching the sunset at 3,244 feet wasn’t too bad either.But before getting to the top, you must first prepare at the bottom. Granted, humans were climbing mountains with far less supplies, so allow that to give you confidence on your journey. Because You are most certainly succeeding so long as you stay focused and determined.
The first third of the hike takes you past Marcy’s Dam, a place many hikers were base camping out of. This place has a wide open clearing at an open river, and a broken bridge on each side. This was an amazing place for me to spend some time. I sat at the end of the bridge and let my feet hang while embracing the moment, but soon got to my feet, and hiked passed junctures for Mt. Skylight and Gray Mountain, both equally impressive but in the shadow of Marcy, Daylight was factor, to the point of needing some of it at more dangerous rock transitions as you get closer to the peak. But also to avoid frost on the return. Temperatures and winds change very quickly on the mountain. On your way to the top the air becomes much cooler and recharges your lungs. Less hikers and campers for sure. Especially in this early October weather. As you reach the summit you see a multitude of rock towers made by other hikers along the way. I contributed to most of them, I also placed a rock I brought from Dayton on one of the highest towers.
The winds were hitting 70 that day. And the temperatures were increasingly getting closer to freezing. I took my last deep breath and exhaled down the mountain. I Was two hours into my return hike, past the more dangerous; steep, rocky and frozen parts of the climb, when nightfall became evident. I most certainly needed the head light with so many rocks and roots to constantly climb over, although every chance I had to be in the dark at a clearing above the stars I took… Or maybe it took me. I’m envious of people that live under skies like these. I successfully completed New York’s highest mountain. A positive sense of accomplish flowed through me, but my journey is far from complete. And I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Perhaps it’s a good thing to set high expectations, you become the better for it, even if you don’t hit your mark. You never get let down with Low exceptions. But you won’t make it to the top of your mountain without effort, and the love for setting and achieving goals.