Here is some video I shot on a recent ride on NY RT 73’s new paving from the Ski Jump to Cascade Trailhead. This is the first part of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course and WAS one of the worst sections of the course.
I was ready to get out into the mountains after a full day of recuperation from my Ironman Lake Placid 2013 race. I had spent most of post-Ironman Monday just hanging out around the house after returning back from the the Ironman Store. I had stood in line from 7AM until around 8:30AM to get the much anticipated finishers apparel. Later I found out I could have just ordered it online and slept in. Ugh. Anyway, Tuesday morning I awoke feeling fresh again and ready to hit the trail. My prior days’ cowboy-style walking posture was now back to normal.
After doing some online research, I came up with Blueberry Mountain outside of Keene, NY just south of Lake Placid. It is a hub for many hikes and this one started out of Marcy Field Trailhead.
We had some lunch at the nearby ADK Café, which we also had dinner the night before, but today the service was a little less than desirable. We had asked to sit outside, but there was only one large table open, and our waitress said that they needed to save that for larger parties. That was fine, but when a two-top opened up she then made a big deal about us moving as said it would confuse the kitchen. Really? How would the kitchen even know where we were sitting? More like it would confuse her…and it did later when she gave us the check. We also had a regular burger and a veggie burger which took an hour. They were not all that busy either. We really love this place and they are usually very accommodating, but we have had a couple bad times there during lunch. Guess we should stick with dinner.
We eventually got to the trailhead around 2pm or so to start our hike. It started off pretty mellow and gradually started to climb. The climb got steeper and steeper as we went. Denise kept turning around to check on me to make sure I could handle it. Once I got going it was fine. I also was the one wearing the backpack, so I had some extra weight to deal with. I was also testing out my new Salomon Quest 4D GTX hiking boots for the first time and they worked very well.
We came upon several bald, rock-faced openings as we got closer to the top of the mountain. Each one provided magnificent views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains and valleys. We had practically a 270 degree view from the top. In addition to the views the top was covered in the best tasting wild blueberries I have ever tasted. Denise could not get enough of them and I think she almost cleaned them out.
Once we got to the top, which was a large rock bald area with a very large boulder sitting on it, we continued on through some very thick trail. It wound around a bit and eventually came to another balk face with more impressive views. At this point we had gone about 2.5 miles and roughly 2300′ of climbing elevation. A pretty good hike, especially 2 days after doing Ironman.
The hike back was actually the tougher part. The constant pounding on the quads and knees was tough. We were psyched to get back to the trailhead and head back to Lake Placid for some dinner.
We had dinner at Freestyle Cuisine for the first time. They have only been open since June and they are located behind Saranac Sourdough on Saranac Ave. Turns out this was the chef we had liked so much at the Alegria Garden Cafe back in the Winter trip. There was also the bartender and waitress from there too, so they all must have moved down the street together. The food was incredible and we were bummed we hadn’t gone there before. Definitely a stop for next time.