A co-worker of mine and I have decided to take off as many Mondays as possible to hike and complete the ADK 46. This past Monday was our second week and it was exactly what I needed, both mentally and physically. After a little research, we decided on Mount Marshall because we read that it could be a wet hike in the other seasons, and a lot easier to follow the trail- it’s another unmarked peak.
I was up at four, on the road at five and parked at the Upper Works around seven-thirty. As we were pulling in, there were two beagles, one howling at us. We both knew that we hadn’t passed a house in miles (and I mean miles) and there weren’t any other cars in the parking area. The one little guy, Demon, was trying to hop in the car at any chance. He was shaking and his ears were freezing cold; the car said it was eleven below zero. The bigger beagle of the two, Buster, was growling at me and even snapped as I crouched down to warm him up. He wasn’t having it. I walked over to sign in for the day and there it was: his owner’s information and a note stating that he had lost them. They were out in the freezing cold all night! About five steps into our trip and back to the car we headed to try and call their owner. We blasted the heat, turned on our cell phones and were planning on driving until we got service. Thankfully, about ten minutes down the road, a car was driving toward us and we signaled him to pull over. It was the owner of the beagles! Out they hopped and back to the trail head we went, good deed for the day done.
We followed the Calamity trail in, and within two hours we were at the first leanto near the flowed lands. We decided to cut across the flowed lands to save some time because they were still frozen- only one minor detour and we were at the second leanto and “toilet” in no time. We took a small break to eat a snack (Newman’s fig newtons!) and then back at it we went. It was a constant zig-zag across the Herbert Creek which I didn’t mind and loved listening to the water running just below us. It was such a quiet day- there was no wind, the sky was blue and everything was covered in snow. It truly was the calm before the snowfall.
I don’t want to jinx my next hike, but Mount Marshall was a breeze for me- I felt stronger than ever. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve learned what to properly eat before and during a hike or because I’m just getting up in the ADK park more frequently these days; whatever it is, it’s working. I hardly broke a sweat and never thought to myself, “I need just thirty seconds to catch my breath.” The peak came much faster than I expected and we both stopped to enjoy a sammy. I had veggies of course! Homemade lemon hummus on toasted Ezekiel bread with FG carrots, FG pea greens, and avocado. We took our photographs, tightened our laces and headed back down the trail.
By the time we got back down to the leanto near the clearing, it was starting to get hazy; the storm was slowly blowing in. The wind had barely picked up, and the last five miles or so were uneventful. It was all mental getting out; I had plenty of time to think about my day and what’s to come in my life. I was hiking my hike. After seven and a half hours on the trail, we were back in the car and on the road home. It was wonderful arriving back in Troy at dinnertime and having it be daylight still. A little Indian takeout and a beer and I was passed out before eight o’clock. A good passed out.