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Category Archives: Personal

Hiking the High Peaks

Ahhh. Summer vacation. Loaded up the car with all the necessities for a couple of weeks of biking and hiking.

 

2017 took me to the Adirondack Mountains. The 6 million acre state park between Albany and Montreal is home to the High Peaks, the tallest mountains in New York State.  I’m standing on Marcy Dam after a 3 mile hike from the parking lot. From this spot, you can start the strenuous hikes up to Mt. Marcy, Algonquin and Haystack Mountains.  (I did not).

 

The week preceding my arrival it had rained everyday. The woods were wet and the trails muddy. Over the succeeding days, the area dried out, but every night my boots needed a thorough cleaning and drying.

The days turned beautiful and comfortably warm. Marcy Brook may have been the most beautiful lunch spot ever, and a place to cool my feet.

 

In the deep woods, Ray Brook surged in the summer rains.

After a wet slog, I broke out of the woods on the top of Mt. Van Hoevenberg, 2940 feet. Half the height of Mt Marcy (5344) and one-tenth the height of Mt. Everest (29,016)

Sunset from our AirBnb in Lake Placid

Lake Placid does not have any alligators. I think.

The summer woods were full of White Admiral butterflies which swarmed to any sunlit spot.

 

 

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Visiting Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, PA.

Strange name for a town. It’s original name was Mauch Chunk, which is quite a mouthful. Seems the city fathers were looking around for something better and the widow of the famous Native American athlete, Jim Thorpe, was looking for a place to build a monument to her late husband. Both sets of interest coincided and now there’s a town named for Oklahoma-born Jim Thorpe, who had absolutely no connection with Mauch Chunk.

It’s situated in a crease in the western Pocono mountains, where the Lehigh River makes a gorge. The town is nestled against the steep slopes of the mountains and it has become a tourist destination as the coal industry has disappeared. There is whitewater rafting on the river, a scenic railway and biking on the Lehigh Gorge RAIL-TO-TRAIL.

The cave is a leftover of an old train tunnel and the bike trail is on a narrow berm that lay between the Lehigh River and the Lehigh Canal.

The town is an eclectic mix of brick and wood Victorian mansions built by the coal owners on the higher slopes and the workers houses down below. I can report that the bike riding was beautiful and the food in town was superb…think gourmet and artisanal, but since it is Pennsylvania, the portions were large. No tiny little nuggets on a decorated plate here.

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