Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9/25/09: Street and Nye hike

view Street and Nye pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7231131@N04/sets/72157622457897688/

Deb’s triumphant return to the high peaks! We headed up to the ADK Loj with high expectations. The tree colors were beautiful, yet still not peak. Lots of reds, more than I remember from previous years. We hit the trail by 9AM, which would prove to be a little late based on how the day would play out. The trail was well worn, but unfortunately covered in fallen leaves. This made it pretty tough to follow since it looked like the rest of the forest floor around it. We spooked a ruffed grouse – a new bird for both of us. The crossing at Indian Pass brook was successful, in that neither of us got wet. Then a slow, steady climb. I almost packed out the trash from the old logging camp site until I realized that the glass was part of the history of that spot. Deb was doing nicely, but started to get a little tired. We would come to realize afterward that will all the dieting we had been doing and her being at her lowest weight since starting the diet that she got depleted really quickly. It wasn’t a grueling trail, per se, but challenging enough for someone with little carb reserves, no real carbs to replace, and also being her first high peaks hike in over a decade. We truly believe whoever wrote the estimated distances for the hike was sippin’ the single malt that day.

It was cool to finally see the junction tree with the “N” and “S” – something I’ve seen in pictures a number of times. Deb insisted on doing Street first, which was probably the smartest decision of the day. It seemed to take forever. As we were walking over the summit rock I looked up and saw the sign. I stopped Deb in her tracks to let her know we were there and the look on her face was priceless! We rested a little, ate a little, and checked out the views of the McEntyre range and MacNaughton to the south. The trail back down and then over to Nye was pretty nice, actually. There’s no way Nye is 0.4 miles from the junction compared to Street’s 0.6 miles. We were there in 10 to 15 minutes. And no, like everyone said, there are no views on Nye – although just back down the trail were some nice lookout areas. I thought we were making good time until then. I started to realize we had been moving slower than I expected, and as the clock winded down I started to think about hiking out in the dark. Not a frightening concept usually, but remembering how difficult the trail was to follow in the daylight got me a little anxious. By the time we were 2 miles from the end, we stopped to take a break. Deb was getting weaker and weaker, and I was kicking myself for not packing the right food. We made it to Indian Pass Brook before we lost daylight, thank God, and I was feeling a little more confident. I still worried about getting out, but at least knew we were past some of the more confusing and difficult trail to cover. The Headlamps came out soon after. It was quite peaceful, although I think Deb was feeling pretty awful by then. When we saw the Mount Jo/Old Nye Ski Trail sign, I knew I could breathe again.

This wasn’t the return to the high peaks that Deb had wanted, but there were definitely some factors I hadn’t thought about. Not the right food – that was one. Not being able to navigate in the dark was another. We agreed that no matter what diet we were on, that a hike day would be a carb cheat day. At the very least, I would carry power bars just in case. Also, I took a serious look into a new GPS unit that would be reliable in the mountains. Being able to set way points on the way up would’ve helped us keep on the trail on the way back. We most certainly lived and learned on this one. For Deb 10 down and 36 to go. For me, 13 down…

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