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Adventuring Around Near and Around Van Hoe

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  • Adventuring Around Near and Around Van Hoe

    A few days ago, bikerhiker and I were chatting on here and he mentioned that he would be hiking Mt. Van Hoe with his family this past weekend. I remember this being a great bang for the buck hike and asked if Pokey & I could join them. Bikerhiker said that would be fine. I decided that Pokey and I needed to camp at S. Meadow Road the night before and relayed that to him.

    Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Sun Dogg, you only live 40 minutes from the trailhead... Why did you need to camp out?"

    The answer is simple. Pokey and I camped at Sharp Bridge last weekend. It rained a number of times. Our tents were wet. I didn't have a chance to set them up last week to dry them out due to work.

    Pokey and I arrived at S Meadows around 10PM on Friday and set up our wet tents. We then enjoyed good conversation and played some Wheel of Fortune.

    We met a late night arrival walking his dog. He was from Troy and we chatted for a little bit.

    After he left, Pokey noted that he had a "Strong accent."

    "I used to sound like that," I said, "I had a strong Capital District accent for a long time. But, I lost it after living up here for a few years."

    She thought that was funny.

    It was a beautiful full moon evening. In fact, this was the 3rd Full Moon that we had with us this Summer while camping & hiking.

    We were up and breaking down our dry tents by 9 AM on Saturday morning. We only had a little bit of cleaning up to do when Biker Hiker rolled up with his family.

    "We're looking for a brown Kia Soul," he said.

    "Look at this," I replied while pointing to my car.

    We introduced ourselves real quick and told him that we'd meet him at the trailhead in a few minutes.

    When we did, we noted that the dragonflies have been really impressive in size and colors this year. Then one landed on his daughter Emm's head. It flew off a few seconds later. Then we noticed a second large dragonfly seated on her crown. This one did not seem to want to leave.

    "They say if that happens, it means it likes you," I said.

    Dragonflies are a very intelligent species of insect. They will generally only perch where they feel at peace. It's also been really nice to see so many big ones over the past few weeks. They've had a good summer... And, that's good for us hikers. (If you don't know, then look up their diet).

    Van Hoevenberg via the "old" southern trail is a pleasant hike. The last time Pokey and I hiked it was five years ago. I was impressed with how many of the trail features that I was able to remember after a few hundred summits later.

    The trail is pretty straightforward. And within a short time, we were at the first summit ledge. We took off our packs and hung out there for a good while. We didn't see too many other faces.
    We watched a bright yellow biplane surrounded by brilliant blue skies land in Lake Placid

    Then, we went to the main ledge, where there were a number of other hikers. They had obviously taken the new trail.

    We continued on past them. Why? Because, I had mentioned hiking down to the start of the bobsled trails and then re-summiting Van Hoe... After a few minutes of hiking down the new trail and talking with a few hikers we decided it wasn't worth it. All of that said, the small stretch of the new Van Hoe trail is impressive. So, impressive that it's almost misleading. Don't expect anything in the ADK to be as nice as that.

    Arriving back at the summit, we noticed a third small ledge. It was occupied by no one. So we claimed it and enjoyed another nice, long break.

    In terms of views, it was a picture perfect day.

    Biker Hiker and I discussed how this little summit offered such an incredible "close-up" panorama of the High Peaks.

    "Mount Jo is great. Mount Van Hoe is the better "closeup.'"

    We spent a decent overall amount of time around the Summit while enjoying great discussion. We also had nice hike down and out.

    At one point, I rolled my ankle. I remarked to Pokey and Emm, "Now that it's happened one... It will happen again and again."

    And, it did.

    By my count, I had rolled an ankle 3 times with an additional fake out.
    Emm had two rolled ankles with an additional fake out.
    And, Pokey had one rolled ankle.

    I'm not sure if Mike, Katie or the dogs suffered any rolled ankles.
    But, us sweepers were keeping count.

    Once back down to the pond, it was a nice & easy walk out surrounded by a forest of old red pine.

    All in all, a really great hike. It is always a pleasure meeting up with or running into a fellow member of the forum. Biker Hiker and his crew are amazing people (and pups)!

    Biker Hiker congratulated Pokey on finishing the 46 last month, and offered some kind words when we got back to the car. Biker Hiker was super supportive of us in our journey to the 46. And, he has offered me a bit of advice through the years. He and his fam are awesome people.

    After our goodbyes, Pokey and I hopped in the car with our sights set on Lake Placid for lunch. Downtown is a mess right now if you're driving. But, if you know the side streets, you'll be OK.

    We grabbed lunch from the 46 Sandwich Shop. I got the Giant (Swiss, Turkey, Roast Beef, Coleslaw & Russian dressing) and Pokey got the Big Slide (minus banana peppers).

    "It's funny that your first High Peak and your first sandwich from here is Giant," said Pokey.

    I agreed. But, stated that, "I love good coleslaw... It's such an underrated topping."

    If you have followed me on here through the years, you may be aware that I absolutely love coleslaw. But, There is such a fine line between great coleslaw and bad coleslaw.
    I can happily report that the 46 Sandwich shop has great coleslaw... And, that I've never thought of adding Russian dressing to it. Wow. Gamechanger.

    Made a sandwich with slaw and Russian dressing today and it holds up.

    Anyways, we ate our incredible sandwiches at Mid's Park surrounded by a great view and a few tourists. Afterwards, we walked downtown for a bit and popped in a few of the stores.

    Then we headed to Wilmington and visited the Flume, "Lake" Everest, and the dam.

    From there it was only a short ride home. But, we did stop at the new Stewart's in Ausable Forks to get floats and shakes.

    This was a very enjoyable day where we ended up doing a lot of things in a very laid back fashion. It's been a few months since we've combined a hike with the full Adirondack experience. So, that was excellent.

    Anyhow, when it comes down to it...

    The moral of this story is,

    I dried out my tents.

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