We were originally supposed to be leaving this Saturday morning, but we decided to stay an extra day until Sunday. Fortunately our gracious hosts said this was no problem. Besides what the heck am I going to do at home on Sunday?
We decided to forgo the skate-skiing today and instead get out in the woods for a snowshoe. While we prepared another breakfast at home, we decided to head over to the Haystack Mountain trail. The Haystack Mountain trailhead lies between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake in the large turnout parking lot on RT NY86. The trail is a fairly easy trail except for the last climb up to Haystack Mountain which is somewhat steep. You are rewarded with some decent views of the surrounding mountains upon the summit.
On our way to our snowshoeing destination, we stopped over to the Green Goddess Natural Market for some lunch. The Green Goddess is now in their new location at the Placid Pond Complex over on Saranac Ave. right in front of the Hannaford grocery store. The location is great and the store is much larger and they even have a small café too. It kind of reminds me of Healthy Alternatives in Trexlertown, PA. We had a nice, healthy lunch and were on our way to put some miles in.
We had attempted the Haystack Mountain trail several years ago, immediately after receiving a fresh 3 feet of snow. We were the first ones to venture on the path and we had to break trail with some fresh tracks which was quite exhausting. I don’t think I was in as decent of shape back then as I was now, so it was a bit of an effort. We only made it in about a mile or mile and a half that time, so we had hoped to surpass that effort this time since there was much less snow.
While the snow was not nearly as deep, the temperature was a different story. The highs for the day were still in the single digits. When you did get in the direct sunlight, it seemed more tolerable, but the shady parts were a bit chilly. I had been stopping here and there to take some photos and every time I did that, Denise seemed to get farther and farther ahead of me.
The first couple miles in are pretty mellow as they circumnavigate the base of McKenzie Mountain. When we reached around the back of McKenzie things got a bit colder. The sun was blocked and there was a small frozen stream that ran between the mountains that seemed to lower the temperature even further. I think it may have been some dampness. Denise had started complaining about some numbness in her one arm along the way. She was holding it in a funny position the whole time, so I know it must have really been bothering her.
We reached a slight grade that paralleled the frozen stream and eventually rose above it. Every once in a while a small black hole in the ice would be visible where you could see water still flowing. It is so amazing that water could still flow after all those days of sub-zero temperatures.
We eventually reached a stream crossing which looked like a larger pool with a waterfall. Obviously it was frozen, it appeared that all other tracks had stopped here. We questioned why no one had crossed the body of frozen water and were not sure about attempting it. I searched further up the stream for an easier crossing, but none emerged. As luck would have it, two younger guys came hiking up and one of them took the first steps across the frozen sheet. No problem and we all followed suit.
We started to head uphill in a pretty steep manner. The two young guys were a bit ahead of us now and we could see the last half mile was pretty far up. Denises’ other arm was now going numb so we decided to call it here and head back. We had just under 3 miles in, so it was a good 6 mile hike anyway.
Denise had put her neck gaitor on for the way back and her arms began to regain consciousness. I was getting a little concerned about that, so I was relieved to hear that news. Apparently the cold air on her neck was causing the numbness in her arms. We eventually made our way to the trailhead and it was nice to get back to the warmth. It was not the greatest of hikes, but always nice to get out in the woods.
We headed back to the house, showered up and then back to town for our final dinner. We hit Alegria Garden Café again for Brussel Sprouts appe’s and cocktails, then over to The Cowboy for some more of that killer Green Curry. I had it as it usually comes with Udon noodles, and Denise had it with Polenta.
The end of a nice day and a great week in the Adirondacks. This place never gets old. Tomorrow we will pack up and head back home. Time to start my official Ironman Lake Placid Training on Monday. 26 weeks until Ironman!