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By way of introduction: 3 days at Bushnell Falls

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  • By way of introduction: 3 days at Bushnell Falls

    Hello, my name is Jeff and I am new to this forum, which I discovered (I think) on VFTT. Prior to March of this year, I had never hiked in the Adrondacks, though had been on some of the mountains in Vermont many times... I formerly invested much time and energy in being a competitive cyclist, which meant that I had driven past, but never stopped at, many interesting natural places in the NE, one reason I stopped bike racing was that I had an increasing urge to see places that I had only experienced vicariously.

    To make a long story short, I have spent a good chunk of my free time this summer in ADKs. I have learned to pitch a tent, cook with a small stove, pack a bear cannister, listen for bears at night, etc., all for the first time as I did not have much experience with this sort of thing while growing up.

    I recently took some time off and spent three days camped at Bushnell Falls. An abreviated trip report would be as follows:

    Wed. Sept. 21: Arrive at the Garden exactly at noon, pay for parking, hike in to Bushnell Falls, arrive at campsite at about 3:30. Have entire place to myself, set up camp, eat light dinner.

    Sept 22: Head for Haystack. Trail starts easily enough then gets progressively rougher and steeper. Finally reach the ridgeline where the wind is blowing quite strongly. Reach Haystack summit, then head back down to trail junction. Head for Basin after noting that the sign says "1700 ft of ascent"... Summit Basin. Wind still blowing... head for Saddleback, hmm, trail seems to go straight up a cliff. Climb cliff, tell myself not to look down as it is too unsettling. Pervasive sense of isolation (I only saw two people from 8:30 am to about 3 pm). Descend E. side of Saddleback, which is quite straightforward, thankfully. Head down Ore Bed trail to Johns Brook & then back to camp, returning just before dark. Discover that an elderly couple has set up in the lean to next to the campsite, & eat a very hurried meal as the sun sets behind the mountains. No lingering twilight this time of year.

    Sept. 23: A front comes through early in the morning with wind and quite heavy rain. It doesn't taper off until nearly 8 am, and I don't get a very early start as a consequence. After the previous day's marathon the prospect of another long day in the mountains is kind of daunting anyhow. Around 11 the weather really breaks, and patches of blue sky appear through the clouds. I decide that Big Slide will be enough of a trip for this day, it turns out to be a pleasant walk through the woods in the bright sunshine, and at about 2:30 pm I have the summit all to myself on a brillant day with lots of mountains spread out in all directions. Definitely worth the trip.

    Sept. 24: Saturday: The excellent weather continues: Get up early, break camp, head down the valley to Johns Brook Lodge, which is now humming with activity for the weekend. Leave pack on porch (after asking caretaker if this is OK). Back up Ore Bed Trail, then up to Gothics: Spectacular! Warm, very clear (100 mile visibility), no wind, and while there are people around it isn't too crowded. After lunch on the summit head over to Armstrong and U Wolfjaw. Descend, return to JBL at 5 pm. Shoulder pack (ugh), hike back out to the Garden, get back to car just before 7. Hit a Stewarts for a milkshake on the way home, make the ferry back to Vermont, get home safely.

    Sunday: Go to a diner, eat a very large breakfast, spend day doing laundry and drying gear....

    Some pictures are here:


  • #2
    Jeff, welcome to the forums. Great stuff, I was in the peaks that weekend too and it was real nice up there huh........ Great photos. Basin is one of my favorites.

    So................ What's next?
    "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb


    • #3
      Great photo of the LWJ to Saddlebck lineup,
      Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
      It's about learning to dance in the rain.


      • #4
        Jeff welcome and nice first report!
        This post is for entertainment purposes only.


        • #5
          Jeff, what a great first post! I read it and it made me think of a story where the tailor embroiders seven in one blow on his shirt.
          Nosiree, Basin, Haystack, Saddleback, Big slide, Gothics, Armstrong and UWJ aint too shabby an intro.


          • #6
            I need to take a nap after reading about that weekend.
            "Woods are not like other spaces.Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides.Woods choke off views and leave you muddled and without bearings.They make you feel small a confused and vulnerable.Stand in a desert or prairie and you know you are in a big place.Stand in a woods and you only sense it.They are a vast, featureless nowhere.And they are alive."Bill Bryson"