Yours Truly at the top of Mt. Marcy; a goal realized.
Well, I'm back. Laundry is in process, tent aired and put away. Very tired, of course. I cut a day off my trip to get back because I was weary with travel. That meant I drove 775 miles yesterday; took me 14 1/2 hours. Bleaah.
Anyway, my goals were realized, and then some. I managed to top Mt. Marcy, I visited with Seraphim in New York, and my daughter, son-in-law, and I wandered around Jamestown.
Mt. Marcy at last
This was one of the toughest days' hiking I have ever put in. Mt. Marcy is, in technical parlance, a real butt-kicker. 7.4 miles to the top, 3600' gain in elevation, boulders where trails should be -- and I did it in full pack, some forty pounds on my back. It took me six hours fifty minutes to reach the top. As I was leaving the top, I called out a salute to old comrades: Venture Crew 699! Rougher! Tougher! Buffer!
Coming down, I camped at Marcy Dam, still three miles from the trailhead (so that made 11.8 miles for the day's work). I nabbed one of the last open shelters, so I wouldn't have to put up my tent, and got ready for an early bedtime. A young couple -- Sarah and James, brother and sister as it turns out -- came through, set up their campsite, and were finishing their supper when a bear entered their camp. They abandoned their still-open bear-resistant container to the critter, and went to report the encounter. Afterwards, I went with them to survey the damage. All their food was gone. But I had enough leftovers to feed them two full meals the next day, so I gave it to them in the morning. That way, they could continue on and nail Marcy without having their weekend ruined.
Next, I toured Fort Ticonderoga. It has been reconstructed in full (or nearly so), and it is really impressive. The British commander surprised by Ethan Allen should have been court-martialed for criminal incompetence. Six drunken drummer boys with dysentery could have held this place against all the rabble of the colonies, if they had been competently led. Good for us, though, I suppose, that Allen and Arnold found it so easy to take.
From Fort Ti, I spent a couple of days driving and camping through Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. All new places to me.
Places to go, people to see
Last Sunday found me schmoozing with Bishop Seraphim Sigrist. We toured Washington Irving's estate, Sunnyside, and talked over many things. We had lunch at a local pub.
Then it was off to Cheesequake State Park in New Jersey. No, I am not making that name up. I asked the local Park people where the name came from. It's apparently a corruption of a Lenni Lenape word, perhaps a tribal name -- Chisaqua, or something like it.
The next day, I drove the entire length of Delaware (and a bigger nothing I have never seen). Stayed the night in Maryland and crossed the Chesapeake Bay on the mega-bridge/tunnel to Norfolk the next morning.
Spent two days with my daughter, stryck, and her husband, anher. Did some household cleaning and repair with them. Ate out a good deal. And then, there was Jamestown. This is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Archaeologists have recently uncovered the actual remains of the first fort there, and we got to see them dig. It was all very cool.
More pix can be found in this gallery: http://pics.livejournal.com/aefenglommung/gallery/0001w9ad