July 19

Start: Stephens Pond Lean-To
End: Tirrell Pond Lean-To
Mileage: 11

Today was a good day. I spent much of it in Blue Mountain Lake Village at the Adirondack Museum.

My day started with a three-mile hike to Lake Durant State Campground. There, instead of following the trail across a road, I turned down the road (Routes 30 and 28) and followed it three miles to Blue Mountain Lake. I tried to hitch a ride, but after I got about halfway I just gave up and figured I might as well walk the rest of the way.

The town itself was very small, but it had everything I needed. There was a small convenience store and deli where I got some cheese for dinner tonight as well as pizza and ice cream.

There was also an outfitter store in town, and they had exactly what I needed. I lost one of my tent stakes a while ago. They sold individual tent stakes (usually they're sold in packages of four), and they were the exact same kind as the seven I have. They also sold lightweight hiking poles. The poles I originally bought kept breaking on me. One of them was bent in two places, and the other one couldn't adjust to the proper height. I threw them out in Piseco because I got tired of spending so much time trying to get them to work. So I got exactly what I needed. And this was a small camping store in a town that didn't have much else besides a post office and the two stores I went to.

The Adirondack Museum was a half mile up the road from the town. It was a very impressive place. There are over 20 buildings there to walk around. The exhibits covered nearly all aspects of life in the Adirondacks since the 1700s. Notably missing, though, was any information about the Native Americans who lived here before Europeans explored and settled it. I spent most of the afternoon at the museum, and took advantage of their nice bathrooms to wash up a little (I even brushed my teeth there!).

There was a trail that led three miles from the museum back to this lean-to on the Northville-Placid Trail. I technically skipped four miles of the NPT today, but I walked seven as a detour, so it's close enough in my mind. Anyway, when I got to the lean-to, I found my friends from last night (the boy scouts).

After dinner, they went to bed early again. They're waking up at 5am tomorrow, and unless they make enough noise to get me up, chances are they'll be gone before my alarm goes off at 7. I'll pass them some point on the trail tomorrow, because I'm planning to hike more than they are. Tomorrow is supposed to be the toughest section, with a steep climb over a ridge. I don't think it will be too bad; the NPT has been very flat so far, especially compared to the Long Path.

Tirrell Pond is beautiful. It's just a short walk from the lean-to to a lovely beach on the pond.

I'm glad to be in my tent now. I can see and hear a swarm of 30 mosquitos hovering around the mesh of the tent, but I'm safely inside.

I'm feeling great today. I just had a few rough days, but now I'm back to my normal self. Three days to Lake Placid. I've been reading entries in the shelter journals by another thru-hiker. He's two days ahead of me now, but he's going at a slower pace than me, so I think I might be able to catch him before he finishes.


  1. Hi Jacob,
    Glad you're back to your old self. Hard to believe it was around 45 years ago that I spent a summer at Blue Mountain Camp located on Blue Mountain Lake. Enjoy that beautiful area. You've almost reached the finish line---yeah!!
    Aunt Sharon

  2. Jacob:
    I've been following you daily, in a fit of jealousy. What a great privelege it is to read your daily progress. I love my job. I love my wife. I love my wife. But I still wish I was there