End: Lake Placid
Lake Placid! The northern end of the Northville-Placid Trail! Thus ends the second part of my journey. For the final two weeks, I will be climbing many of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks.
When I left camp Wednesday morning at 8:30, the brothers were still sleeping. They said they liked to sleep in. The first part of the day's hike was pretty unenjoyable. The trail was very muddy and had difficult footing. I was so excited to hike the last 12 miles of the trail that I never stopped for a break until I reached the trailhead - the finish line - around 1:00.
When I got there, two older guys were just walking in to the parking lot. I asked one of them to take my picture. Then they offered me a ride into town (it's another 1.5 miles from the trailhead into town). Of course I gladly accepted.
They had started out intending to do the northern half of the trail. But then one of them didn't feel good, so they hitched back to Lake Placid from Long Lake. When I saw them walking into the parking area, they were just getting back to their car. They dropped me in town, and I went to the post office to get my mail drop. Then I went to the Stewart's Shop, where I got myself a pint of ice cream (hand-packed pints cost the same as two scoops this week).
Lake Placid is a very nice town. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980 (the latter was when the U.S. hockey team defeated the Soviets in the "Miracle on Ice"). The Olympic arena and outdoor speedskating track are right in the center of town, next to the shops and restaurants.
The Ironman Triathlon is taking place here on Sunday (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). Much of the infrastructure (barricades, tents, etc.) has already been set up. Tons of atlethes are biking and running through town and swimming in the lake. It seems like a very exciting event, and I'm going to come back to watch some of it take place (unfortunately there's absolutey nowhere to stay in town on Saturday or Sunday nights). Over 10,000 people are descending on the town, includng 2,400 athletes. Roads into town are closed from 5am until midnight on Sunday.
On Thursday and Friday I just relaxed in town, caught up on some movies, planned the next week of my trip, bought more food, washed my clothes, and had lots of pints of ice cream from Stewart's.
I start hiking again on Saturday, then come back into town to watch the triathlon on Sunday, and then enter the woods for another six days on Sunday night.
I enjoyed hiking the Northville-Placid Trail. It was ver flat and I was able to go walk fast. The mud, swamps, and beaver dams were very annoying, as were the mosquitos. But the trail passed many pretty lakes and streams, and I enjoyed staying with people every night.
For the final part of my journey, I will be going around to many of the 46 high peaks. I will no longer follow a long-distance trail, which will be a difference. All the climbing should be very challenging. The high peaks are also very popular, and I should cross paths with a lot of people on the trail.