For the beau’s birthday he wanted to spend the weekend up North camping – I was NOT going to argue with that! It was the perfect opportunity to try out some of the wonderful items we were gifted over the last couple of months and the tent we purchased using gifted money; reviews coming soon!
We took off late Friday afternoon with a jam-packed Prius and were checking into the Lake Durant State Campground before 6PM. I fell in love with this location a few months back when Paula and I stopped randomly to check it out – there are many sites right on the lake with gorgeous views. We anticipated it to be far more crowded than it was because many of the sites were booked when we were trying to make a reservation, but it was quiet and we got lucky with site #22. Maybe many canceled because of the predicted rain? Their loss!
I quickly got a fire going after helping set up the tent aka castle because we were cooking over the fire: foil dinners! A super easy recipe I picked up from my parents: chopped potatoes, carrots, onions, red pepper and protein of choice. Growing up this was venison or a red meat, now it’s ground veggie “beef.” Add some salt, pepper, garlic pepper, vegetable oil and a vegan worcestershire sauce, fold it up into some foil (make sure it won’t leak when flipped) and cook for a good hour while setting up camp / enjoying a beer or two. So SO GOOD!
We weren’t up super late because we both wanted to hike in the morning… aka I wanted to get in at least one peak while being that far away from home. We decided on Blue Mountain because it was the closest to the site – maybe a ten minute drive up Route 28N just past the Adirondack museum. I hadn’t looked up any trail reports on this hike because I assumed it would be easy – Jen said it was fairly easy and Paula wants to finish with her grandson on this peak – golly, I didn’t think so at all! The parking lot was already half full at 10:15AM when we started out and it felt like the first 20 minutes or so were easy and then it went straight up. Realistically, I have no clue how much time or distance had passed until the change happened. All I remember was the sweat DRIPPING off of me and looking up and only seeing a steep, slab rock climb. The beau was happy to see it was kicking my butt too every time I had to stop for 30 seconds to catch my breath. After 1 hour 19 minutes, we reached the summit (approximately 2 miles)!
Also to note: the trail goes up the rock NOT along the sides! I felt like the entire way up on the not so easy section there was a second trail that people had made. This makes me sad because it’s only widening the impact we have on that mountain. I just wanted to yell, “get on the trail!” to the 75 people we must have passed along the way but I didn’t want to be THAT person.
The summit did have a view just past the tower and cabin. We bumped into the fellows camping next to us on site #22 and they took our photograph and chatted while we ate a much deserved bar. But the best view was at the top of the tower! We waited our turn and climbed up to enjoy the breeze. The view was picture perfect! I realized once we were in the tower that this was my first hike with my husband! Still sounds funny to say out loud. And I don’t feel old enough to have a husband.
We didn’t stay at the top too long because more people arrived and the bugs were a bother when the breeze wasn’t blowing. It took us just as much time to climb down as it did heading upward, probably because we did stop to chat with a couple of people about other hikes in the area and because I was picking up trash along the way. People just threw their baby wipes, water bottles, etc on the trail… and it wasn’t there on our way up. Very sad…
The parking lot was full when we signed out and there were many cars lining the road. It was a wonderful view and one worth checking out, but I’d suggest going during the week or during the winter / off season if you don’t like crowds. Maybe even a sunrise? This brought my fire tower count to 16/23