Day One Hundred Forty

Corn roasting at campsite on Giant Mountain

Corn roasting at campsite on Giant Mountain

Wow, what a day. We slept in a bit and were more than a little uncoordinated in our planning. Soon after leaving camp, I got one of the most stunning photographic opportunities of my life in the form of dew-covered spiderwebs sparkling in the morning sun striking a marsh beside Raquette Lake. I resisted the temptation to eat a needlessly starchy and fatty breakfast, and a second temptation of delicious-looking brownies.

I’d been fretting about not having a pack for Grace, but it turned out that I was worried for nothing. Once I realized that I could securely strap one gallon of water on either side of the lowest chamber of my backpack, everything fell into place, and I became a nobly encumbered pack mule. Grace carried the tent, one sleeping pad, and a few other things in her shoulder bag.

We were pleased as could be with our performance during the first mile of the climb up Giant, and relieved to find a campsite that was not only vacant, but idyllic and isolated. We set up camp and continued on our climb. At the summit we beamed and embraced, soaked in the view, and took pictures.

On the way down, Grace made an excellent call in wanting to explore another trail leading around the bend. We only walked about thirty feet, but we came upon a rock outcropping that provided a beautiful view from the other side of the mountain. This is when we saw the stunning vortex-like cloud formation. Minutes later I took pictures and video of the sunlight streaming munificently down on some lucky lesser peaks.

We got back down to the camp as the sun was setting, and I performed my anal-retentive ritual of scooping out the fire pit, cutting a patch out of our empty water jug and using it as a scoop. Then I got down to business with the fire.

There were dry pine boughs all over the campsite, so starting and stoking the fire couldn’t have been easier. I built it up until it was roaring and crackling, let it burn down a bit, and then started roasting some corn. The ears we got were certainly past their prime, but they sure were tasty as far as these two hikers were concerned.

We got as lucky as we possible with the weather. For most of the climb, the temperature was cool but not enough so to want anything more than my T-shirt. By the time we got to the top I needed a hat, but never quite got to the point of putting on my thermal underlayer. I removed my hat when we were about halfway down.

Aside from the egg sandwich in the morning, and the cookie and the corn at night, all I ate during the day was three Zone Bars, an apple, about three oranges, and some peanuts and raisins. Not bad at all for a day spent climbing a high peak!

The night was still, cool and pleasant. We covered up loosely with a sleeping bag, not needing to zip ourselves in or even tuck ourselves in to speak of. We were just as content and comfortable as we could be, which is something to be grateful for considering it was September in the Adirondacks.


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