Friday February 26, 10.9mi/17.5km
Fall Stream Campsite (91.1/1920ft) to Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to (102.0/1480ft) (NY)
It seems like no matter what time we wake up, we are on trail at 7am. We started off under partly cloudy skies and no precipation, so that was nice.
We continued on the previously-broken out trail, so we had a good pace going all morning.
Looking back at our ski tracks.
Jim is a happy skier, even though he is wearing my shorter 125cm Altai skis!
I love the morning light in an open forest, it makes me feel like I could ski all day.
We descended a small but steep-ish hill, with a good bit of “wheeee!” at the end. Then, the trail followed a small drainage for a few miles. I saw otter tracks crossing and re-crossing the trail a few times.
The last mile before the trailhead, the NPT joined up with the Foxey Brown X-C ski trail. It was clearly a very popular trail, as there were many ski tracks on it, and even a snowmobile track.
We arrived to the Haskell Road trailhead at 10am, and Barrett was waiting for us with lots of delicious snacks and beverages. We took off our skis, packs, and boots, and switched to sneakers for the upcoming roadwalk.
It felt so good to walk in sneakers again, it’s almost like humans were built for walking…hmm…
We had some recovery beverages and enjoyed the nice winter day. Shortly after this photo was taken, I slipped on some black ice and fell pretty hard. Yup, the most dangerous sections are the roadwalks!
We turned onto County Road 24, and walked it to the end. Barrett picked us up near the other trailhead, and drove us to Bob and Matt Campwood.
We really appreciated them letting us use their nice garage to unpack our packs, sit down, and enjoy the wonderful lunch that Barrett brought.
The remains of lunch are still visible on the table, we had huge hamburgers with all the vegetables, beers, and TATER TOTS. Oh yeah. Barrett is at the “buffet counter” fixing up a plate.
These boxes are our resupply items, mostly food. There are some spare clothing sets to swap out, too.
In the summer, many NPT hikers come here and have a rest, and there are hiking maps and NPT paraphernalia everywhere, along with all manner of adirondack fishing and camping items.
One of my dehyrated dinners had the perfect quote for this trip, “You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, becuase you might not get there.”
After a couple hours, we finally finished packing up and eating. Barrett gave us a ride to the trailhead, we put our boots back on and crossed highway 8.
We put our skis on, and headed back into the wilderness!
It was a beautiful sunny and very warm afternoon, and I was removing a layer every 20 minutes.
I don’t have many photos of me, so I decided to try and fix that!
We stopped to view Preist’s Vly, and each of us did our usual thing – I lost a layer, Jim checked his InReach messages, and Mark skiied.
After a couple of miles, I was down to my baselayer, which was rolled up into shorts. “Skies out, thighs out!”
We arrived to Hamilton Lake Stream Lean-to at 3:45pm, and there was a welcoming committee. These two wonderful humans, Alysa and Michele, had snowshoed into the woods to meet us!
And they brought some pretty ridiculous and tasty foods, like fried chicken and pizza!
It was the most fun night on trail! We spent a couple hours chatting and catching up, and stuffing our faces with fried foods and beers. Michele and Alysa had snowshoed in the 3 miles from the Whitehouse trailhead, which means we have a broken-out trail tomorrow! Pretty awesome friends. Below, the water boiling competition is going strong, with both MSR whisperlite stoves running.
We knew some rain/wintry mix would arrive tomorrow afternoon, so we decided to wake up at 4:30am to get an early start. This meant an early bedtime too, but not before Mark read all 5 of us a chapter from the Waterman book. The 3 guys retired to the tent early at 7pm, and we left the ladies to entertain themselves in the lean-to.