This past weekend Paula and I headed up to the Adirondack Park with a fellow co-worker and hiker, Jessica to volunteer for National Trails Day. Each year the ADK Mountain Club sponsors an event and this year they partnered with Northville to celebrate 90 years on the Northville-Placid Trail. This trail is approximately 120 miles long for a thru-hiker and as I learned this weekend, ever-changing. This weekend we worked on a brand new section of the trail; from what I understood, they were re-routing the 10 mile road walk into the woods.
Camping was free both Friday and Saturday night in the North Hampton Beach campground as volunteers and we got lucky with a pretty big site near the water. The mosquitoes were bad, biting through my jeans, socks and long-sleeved shirt, but I was just thankful they weren’t black flies. Friday night we set up camp, enjoyed some hard ciders and enjoyed dinner in front of the fire.
Saturday we didn’t have to meet our group until 9 AM so that gave us time to relax and have a hearty breakfast. I of course chose miso soup with a slice of pita bread; my go-to meal in the woods. Before I knew it, we were in Benson heading into the woods. Our group of seven led by Jake (or did he prefer Jacob? I don’t remember…) was in charge of moving a rock slide to create a stable path for hikers. We were only about a mile or so into the woods but it was a good workout carrying all of the heavy tools! For the majority of the four hours we were working, I was digging up dirt that was eventually spread over our new path. Some members of the team moved the huge rocks and others collected small rocks to be filled into the trail. My shoulders burned but I reminded myself that I never workout my upper body; something I should change as a runner.
Speaking of runners, there were three members of the ARE in our group! I chatted with them throughout the day and let me tell you, they are serious about the sport. They were so fast and put in so many miles (compared to me) and Jessica, ran the N-PT in four days! Four days. I enjoyed their company and must admit, they got me thinking about joining either ARE or Team Utopia. One day when I make enough time to commit to running.
After hiking out and cleaning our tools, we had a little bit of time before dinner. While the other two showered, I took a nap. Classic Jona move, sleep over shower. I really can’t stand being wet! I did change out of my hiking clothes before heading into Northville. Dinner was at the Timeless Tavern and I must admit, I was a little sad to see it indoors. I was also a little sad to see the lack of vegan options. Similar to last year, they did ask us for dietary restrictions so I assumed there would be just as many choices. I can’t complain though, my belly was full at the end of the night and the Davidson Brothers sponsored again and the beer was free.
The remainder of the evening was spent in front of the fire, sipping on beer and snacking on fritos. It was a great day in the woods.
You can read about last year’s National Trails Day experience here.
And a special thank you to Jessica for all of the photographs!