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Below are the 4 most recent journal entries recorded in Hiking Bears and Cubs' LiveJournal:

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
4:34 pm
Cascade Mountain, Adirondacks
A group of college friends and I made a pit stop on the way to Lake Placid, NY while camping at Lake Paradox this weekend. The Adirondacks has 46 "High Peaks" in the region. I have already completed Mt. Marcy in 2000 or so, and we decided to hit another one.

We started hiking around 10:30am on Friday. The weather was clear and comfortable, somewhere in the 70's. I was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, hiking boots, and brought a hat in case it rained.

The trail itself is 4.8 miles round-trip from the trail-head, which is right off Route 73. Cascade Mountain is 4098 feet above sea level but the ascent from the trail-head is only around 1950 feet. It took us probably 4-5 hours to get back to the car. The side of the road was lined with the cars of hikers, and we passed and were passed by many people.

From the beginning, I could tell it was going to be challenging (despite the fact that Cascade is the 36th highest peak of the 46). The trail slowly steepened until all we could see were steps made of random stones and rocks leading upward. There were 10 of us, all with varying conditioning levels, so numerous stops were made. This continued for quite awhile, until the treeline slowly changed to evergreens. At this point, the group of 10 had split into several smaller groups based on ability. I was keeping up with the front group and felt good about that, being the fastest big guy and not having seriously hiked in several years.

We eventually reached a peak, which was a welcome break.  From there, you could see a great view of the surrounding mountains, which many other hikers had stopped to enjoy. My group decided to wait a bit for the rest of the group. I took that opportunity to get a head start on the summit. Further up, the trail splits: Left to continue to Cascade, right to Porter Mountain. A few 10ths of a mile further I came upon a large stretch of rock face. Thinking this was the summit, I raced to the top only to find that the real summit was a quarter mile further. At this point, there were no trees and hardly any brush along the trail. Just rock.

I climbed and hiked to the summit, taking my time. From the top you could see an incredible 360 degree view of the mountain range. I thought I spotted Mt. Marcy and Algonquin. Because it was so clear, you could probably see 60 miles in any direction. There were many other hikers lounging about at the summit, so I found a convenient chair built into the rocks and took a nap waiting for the rest of the group.

All but 1 made it to the summit from the group, and I only waited about 30 minutes for everyone else to arrive. We took some group pictures, ate some snacks, re-hydrated and began our descent. Half the group took the other fork towards Porter Mountain while the rest of us returned to the cars to make sandwiches (note: bring sandwiches WITH you).

The trail down was quicker, but more stressful on the knees. I highly recommend use of hiking poles, my knees hurt for days afterwords without them.

I highly recommend this one as a good intro to the region. Though it is fairly taxing to climb, the trail really isn't that long for a great payoff.

Ascending the rocks...

always more rocks...

The small rock-slide rest area before the trail splits

The pseudo-summit

Actual summit

Other side of the summit

Relaxing at the top
Sunday, March 4th, 2007
3:14 pm
I'll give you something that ya won't forget....
I am a whore, a true whore, not a fake whore...I can not get enough, I am never replete.

Took an early morning hike, it was chilly and brisk, slipped a few times on the frozen trails....it was just magnificent.

Hiked the blue trail

It moves closer and farther and closer to the water

The beauty of retreating ice

 I blissfully  wander about

Current Mood: listless
Saturday, February 3rd, 2007
12:19 pm
The surface is so cold and worthless...
Early morning love, just as the sun makes it debut against a cold frozen morning.  Love frozen snow, the crunch of the crust, the glisten as the sun rises.  Went for a early morning hike....needed to feel it all around me.

The frozen pond

Sunrising over the ridge

Me being me

Current Mood: enthralled
Wednesday, January 10th, 2007
9:38 pm
In a young man's mind....
Trying out my new camera, love the color and texture and decay of these lichens...took these pics on the Nipmunk Blue Trail, in Connecticut

Current Mood: thinking
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