Posts for the month of June 2014

Hiking: Mount Marcy

Last weekend, I hiked to the highest point in New York state.

It went well.

We got there a little bit later than planned, around 10am, and the Adirondack Loj parking area was full, so we had to park further away and extend our hike by a few miles.

The hike up the mountain was not bad. I think there were probably as many people on it as were on Cascade Mountain, but we did not see as many, since people were more spread out.

I tried to record GPS data as usual, but when I checked on it, I realized it never actually acquired a GPS signal the entire hike. There seem to be bugs with this that I have somehow never encountered before. I see some reports that Motorola devices especially have a bug preventing them from acquiring a GPS signal when they are not able to transmit. This has to be a recent issue. I was recording on a Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX running Android 4.1.2 with Google Play services 4.4.52 and My Tracks 2.0.7, on Verizon Wireless. The lesson is: do not rely on the "Now Recording..." message to indicate that you are recording GPS data. Wait to see that GPS data is being displayed.

I recall especially that we encountered a sign marking 1.2 miles to the summit near a clearing. This was probably the biggest mental setback of the climb, because we could see the summit off in the distance, and it still looked quite far. Also somebody actually ran past us at this point.

I think we started hiking around 10:00AM, reached the summit around 1:40PM, started down at 2:30PM, and got to the car at about 6:00PM. The data my phone did record says that 8 hours is just about right. Judging by the signs, I believe our total distance was about 15.2 miles.

The mountain also did funny things to my breathing and circulation beyond just the normal tiring me out.

The view at the summit was pretty great. It was a bit busy, windy, and cold, but we found a nice quiet rock to sit behind to eat lunch which solved all of that.

More wallpaper material:

The mostly level path back to the car was maybe the most mentally challenging part. It was longer than I remembered going out, and the insects had come out.

In summary, the hike looked like this:

Kayaking: Mohawk River #15

This was actually probably my least pleasant trip yet.

  • Lots of annoying boats out.
  • Beetles everywhere.
  • Sunburn. Oops.
  • Probably should have brought more snacks and water.
  • Super exhausted at the end.


But all that said, I am happy I was able to do 20 miles on just my second trip out this year.

Canoeing: Somerset Reservoir

I went on a canoeing trip to Somerset Reservoir back on May 26th but forgot to post the data.

It was raining when we arrived and clear and sunny when we left. Annoying insects made it a bit difficult to launch and very difficult to get the kayak secured on my car as we left.

Altogether, it was a good trip, and if I had realized how close we were to the end of the lake, I might have pushed on just a bit longer.


Hiking: Sawteeth

This was an interesting hike. I did not know much going into it except that it was listed as "hard" and that it had ladders.

The first surprise was that the parking lot was over three miles from the mountains. We walked past a golf course and down a long dirt road through the woods to get to the actual trail. Even then, we hiked along the edge of a lake for some time before even beginning to ascend. I was fairly concerned at how tired I was before we even started to climb.


There was plenty of climbing, and some of the views made it really worth the effort.

This was the first mountain climb that went more or less like I naively imagined climbing a mountain would work. Much of the trail was just a scramble upward over whatever terrain happened to be in the way. At least that is how it felt compared to Cascade, where the trail was far more traveled and seemed to wind more gradually up the mountain. The big difference, which is obvious in retrospect, was that we basically hit three separate peaks over the course of the hike - Sawteeth.

This is a picture taken from a bridge that returned us to civilization. I almost lost my phone here while trying to shake a spider off of it immediately after joking that I ought not to drop my phone.