During our annual snowshoe trip to Lake Placid, NY, we didn't get to even use our snowshoes -- but Cooper did! We bought him some Muttluks for the adventure, after reading about how famous little Atticus in the book Following Atticus by Tom Ryan wore them in the Whites. They worked pretty good, but we'll probably try wrapping the cuffs with athletic wrap to keep them solid on his feet and keep snow from entering the cuff. It always takes him a few minutes to get used to them, then he's off, running around like normal. He also sported his Groundbird Gear jacket.
We've met up with our trail friend Bigglesworth three different winters for snowshoeing. She's the one to go with! She lives west of Albany and has no power or running water in her little cabin. So when she finished her AT thru-hike in 2008, she ended up carrying on the lifestyle to some degree! Now she is on a quest to hike the 46 4,000 footers of the Adirondacks.
We stayed at T-Max and Topo's hostel in Lake Placid. David and Terri run the hostel. Terri was out of town but it was good to meet David. He has quite a resume of high peaks and trail miles. He certainly loves to entertain and host avid Adirondacks hikers. The hostel has a great industrial kitchen, dining area and living room. Each bed is named for one of the ADK high peaks. The resident old lady cat, Nervina, wears a "bikini" (diaper) and is still scooting around. Cooper was admitted because we had one of the 2 private rooms, but he was not allowed in to common area-- probably best for Nervina!
The night we arrived in Lake Placid it started to rain. Big unhappy face :( Most all of the snow covering the ground outside the hostel melted. And then directly following the warm spell was the infamous "polar vortex." So all the little streams running down the trails turned to shear ice. We only went out for a few short walks and rented MICROspikes from the High Peaks Information Center near the ADK Loj. It was zero degrees when we hiked from the HPICenter. Here's Biggles with her hair frozen from her breath:
Our favorite spots in the town of Lake Placid:
Liquids and Solids (weird name we know, but has a very creative and tasty menu!)
Big Mountain Deli and Creperie (they have 46 crepes, all amazing!!)
Lake Placid Pub and Brewery
EMS (we've found some great gear on clearance!)
Henry's Woods and a great dog-friendly local trail. There is a nice overlook of Mirror Lake.
The John Brown Farm Nat. Historical site has a nice field with view of the Olympic high ski jump tower-- locals take their dogs here to run around.
We drove through Harriman State Park on our way back to Baltimore and enjoyed a quick walk beside Lake Skannatati. Cooper tried out ice dancing.
The prayer I prayed the most when preparing for my thru-hike in 2011 was that I would have great friends, for the whole journey. God answered. I met Bogart, Tag and Coach at the Rainbow Springs shelter, 30 miles into the hike and finished with them on our very last day, 5 1/2 months later. I also met Twisted Turtle and Teeny in Maine. Teeny rejoined us South of Waynesboro, VA later in the hike and walked nearly every day with me for the last 800 miles (she did a flip-flop hike). For great stories and photos of my thru-hike, visit mainetogeorgia.wordpress.com.
We had a really great couple of days hanging out at the Mountain Harbor Hostel (in the town of Roan Mountain, TN) and a couple of nights on the Trail, one of the nights out was New Year's Eve! I made Teeny and Dana's little 30lb pitbull Donut a turtle neck jacket for the hike. Donut and Cooper did a great job modeling! For our first night out, we hiked 9 miles from the hostel to the Overmountain Shelter (photo above). It was an incredibly cold and windy hike over Hump Mountain. Cooper did not even seem to notice! He was rolling in the snowy grass and running back and forth. My Wyoming raised husband did not seem to mind much either. But I'll admit, that was one of the coldest experiences I've had backpacking. There was an added discomfort for me because my glasses kept frosting over! Our last 2 or 3 miles to the shelter were in the dark with Coach and Savannah. Savannah's first backpacking trip and first night hike!
The next day we went back to the hostel from Carvers Gap. On New Year's Eve we did a short 4mi. hike from Erwin, TN to the Curley Maple Gap Shelter (photo below). Teeny packed in a bottle of champagne for everyone to share. We all had a great time hanging out around the fire and stuffing our faces with kielbasa, mac and cheese and lots of candy.
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