Thursday, August 2, 2012

Avalanche Lake

This morning I wasn’t in too big of a hurry to get ready, Dad needed time to pack his new backpack and we really didn’t know where we were going yet.   As I was getting ready Greg came over and we chatted a bit and I showed him the RV.  While we were chatting he mentioned how he was just going to stay in Lake Placid for the day and how nice it would be to ride around with an unloaded bike.  I caught on real quick that he was planning to spend another night “sharing” my camp site.  At first I was a bit irritated and felt like I was being taken advantage of.  Then I decided I’d just ask him to go halvs-ies on the 2nd night.  That way he wasn’t just mooching off me.   Before I left to meet dad he came over and asked if he could stay another night and when he did I suggested he go 1/2 on the campground fee, he agreed and gave me some cash and asked me if I could keep his cream in my refrigerator for the day.   I agreed.  Then I hatched a plan – subletting my camp site for reduced rates to long distance bikers and hikers to make money to support my RVing!!!!  It’s probably not allowed! 

Dad and I were going to meet at the Ski Jump to go hiking.  Since Lake Placid hosted the Olympics in 1980 all the Olympic venues are still here, they use them in the winter for training and competition, but in the summer they are tourist attractions.  At the Ski Jump they charge you $30 bucks and let up ride up to the top to see what they ski jumpers see.  They also have a large parking lot with no signs that dictate who can park there and for how long.  The only rule appears to be “no overnight parking”.  When I pulled in this morning the parking lot was empty so I selected a good spot to park and left the RV there all day!  No one seemed to care!

We drove out to the Adirondack Loj (lodge, it’s just spelled phonetically), which is a campground, lodge and trailhead parking run by the Adirondack Mountain Club.  There were several hikes in this area that looked good and we still hadn’t decided yet.  It cost $10 to get in and park! Crazy! The parking area was huge, and almost full.  I’m glad I didn’t drive Roxy down there though. 

We looked at the trail descriptions in the information center and decided we’d go to Avalanche Lake.  It was advertised to be a 10 mile round trip hike, but it was mostly level with only 700 feet of elevation change.   It was also advertised as the most spectacular hike in the area. 

We set out on the wide, well worn trail and it wound through the woods.  The woods were nice, but they looked a lot like the woods in Virginia.  I wanted to see something different.  Soon we reached Marcy Dam and we got a great view of Mt. Marcy – the highest peak in Adirondacks – and several other peaks. 

Then it was back into the woods.  These woods seemed more “woodsy” – and different from Virginia!  Lots of rocks, moss, ferns, etc.   Soon though the trail got very rocky and we were more rock hopping than walking.  The ADK (as the Adirondack Mountain Club calls themselves) has done a great job of building the trail through here!  A lot of labor has gone into building rock steps and log steps and installing ladders over the rougher parts!  The last mile of the trail was a showcase of their mad trail building skills!

The lake was pretty cool!  The two mountains on either side have sheer rock cliffs that come right down into the water! There is very little shore line and walking around the lake is quite difficult.  We found a nice spot for lunch, even though it involved a big climb up a steep ladder! 

After lunch the hike back went fairly quickly, until of course the last mile, which seemed to take twice as long as the other miles!

Back at the Ski Jump I took a quick shower (that’s got to be the coolest thing about an RV, showering anywhere you want to!) and then we went back to Mom and Dad’s RV for dinner, internet time, and some Olympics.  When I got back to my campground I tried to tune in to the Olympics, but I don’t get any TV channels here (edited to add: I forgot to turn on the antenna boost, I prob could have gotten channels!). Mom and Dad have cable at their campground, but here I’m dependent on “over the air” channels and Lake Placid probably doesn’t have their own. Oh well, I already know who won and by tomorrow I should be able to watch the replay on my phone!

ADK: Avalanche Lake 8.2.12

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