‘Cause In The End It’s All OK

DAY 0: Rochester to Somewhere on I-91 "And everything you thought was so important doesn't matter, All you need to understand is, everything you know is wrong! (Weird Al Yankovic, "Everything You Know Is Wrong") I'd never felt this way in the days before an Adirondack climb. This used to be my favorite time of year, I'd count down the days starting in February, even January, look to the maps for inspiration, read everything I could about the trails (and forget it all), obsess over gear with the inevitable conclusion I didn't need whatever it was anyway even if I…

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Fallen Champion

Deferiet is everything you might expect a company town to be, when the company leaves. From the potholed entrance road off the highway, to the complete lack of businesses on the village's three streets (which wrap around one side of the mill), this is clearly no boom town. Even the bank, the post office and the fire department closed, all of them maintained by the Champion Paper Company of St Regis, just like the enormous industrial hulk that is still the focal point of Deferiet, even in its inglorious death. The houses aren't all empty, at least -- the town…

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Gould’s Mills

Even though we didn't see all we could have in Utica, we had to get to our next destination, the paper mills at Lyons Falls. Just from the one building we could get into last year, we knew it would be well worth a return trip. A whole building went missing since last time, but the demolition seemed to have stopped with that, at least for the winter if not forever, with some of the fencing and one excavator left but no signs of immediate work going on. The one remaining scaffold gave access to a historical plaque that seemed…

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The Mountain Wins Again

I woke up the next morning to Jake shaking my tent, reminding me that we had a lot of climbing to do. Everything about the day was odd, from the unsettling rain coming back over the pond, to the sudden gravity of what was about to happen (after I'd already given up on it once just two weeks ago, I was actually on my way to #46?!), to an uneasy feeling of confused, incompetent leadership. I'm not one to value experience much when it comes to exploring, but the facts were there, I'd climbed more peaks than the entire rest…

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Apart From the Ledge, I’m Doing Fine

After last time, it seemed easy enough - I was only five peaks away from finishing my Adirondack 46, and only a few hours of it would be alone this time. ┬áThe train ride to Burlington was long, uneventful, and finally beautiful along Lake Champlain, seeing the Adirondack peaks in the distance. If only I'd remembered I brought a camera, I would have taken some pictures... i guess there might still be a next time. It turned out I was the only one going to Placid, so once I got off the ferry, the shuttle driver just asked me where…

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Forest For The Trees

I'd never planned or intended to go on a solo climb, let alone one of this length. My plans just evolved a little bit at a time, from trying to get one or two peaks closer to my 46, to getting a crew together to finish the whole thing, to what I thought I would do by the time I left Albany last Thursday afternoon: spend about a day going all-out as fast as I could to bag a few on my own then meeting up with the rest of my group. My troubles started even just getting to Albany,…

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