We were approaching the middle of Kathy’s push to finish all 46 in a single 12 months. Even for an experienced 46er like her (she now has 103 High Peak summits) the list can be daunting, so we’ve broken them out by ‘hike’ rather than by individual peaks to make the list more manageable.
While other hikes can summit 2, 3, or even 5 peaks, spending all day just to hike Allen can seem deflating. But when you look at the list by hikes, completing lonely Allen counts just as much as hiking Sawteeth & Gothics, or Wright, Algonquin & Iroquois, or even all five Dixes. So we put our hiking shoes on, our heads down, and started towards Allen.
The initial 5.5 miles follows an official DEC trail which ultimately leads to a very long approach to Mount Marcy. It’s quite frankly in bad shape, with long stretches of mud pits along most of the way, punctuated by a new beaver dam blocking Lower Twin Brook creating a pond instead of a foot trail. (We went around through the very thick woods.)
After crossing onto the ‘unofficial’ herd path, things got much better. The two additional miles to Skylight Brook are very pretty with a covering of fallen leaves right now, and the final steep 1.5-mile push to the top is in it’s usual state. We took our time, but didn’t linger on the summit and headed right back where we came. Probably the nicest part of this hike is the variety, and the changes of scenery help break up the 18-mile round trip into smaller chunks.
We finished before dark, and devoured a pair of steaks back at the cabin.
The next day we opted for something a bit smaller, so that we could sleep in and be back for Happy Hour. Street & Nye fit the bill, at 8.4 miles round trip and 2,400 vertical feet of climbing (10 miles and 1,200 vertical feet fewer than Allen).
We knew it was meant to be when, at the leisurely hour of half past ten, we pulled up to the gate at the Adirondack Loj and found out that there was exactly one space open in lot 2. Since there were cars parked along the road for 2+ miles, this was pure luck!
The trail was in great shape, not muddy anywhere, but on this picture-perfect sunny day it was crowded. There were 20 people lazing on the summit of Nye (not much bigger than a small bedroom) and an equivalent on Street. We tagged both and descended without much to note. We did get a good laugh out of the man being berated by his wife as they were descending, but felt pretty bad for the guy.
Pics from the hike are mainly of the interesting mushrooms blooming all over.