October 6, 2013

Algonquin in Autumn (Iroquois Too)

By Stephon Boatwright In ADKs

Peaks: Algonquin and Iroquois via the Van Hovenberg Trail
Distance: 9.4 Miles
Trail Map

Mountains sweet mountains!  I always hate when multiple months go by and I don’t get a chance to visit some mountain range somewhere, but the Adirondacks in Autumn were worth the wait.  As long as I’ve been going to the ADKs I had never been there in the Fall, so this trip was a special treat.

We decided to hike the 2nd tallest mountain in the state, Mount Algonquin, the only other mountain in the state above 5,000 feet.  We also took on her sister peak Iroquois.  Algonquin was actually a repeat for Brian and I, but when we first climbed it we didn’t realize that we needed to cross over it in order to get to Iroquois.  It made for some cool comparison photos since our first trip was over three years ago and in the late spring when it was still quite icy.

The climb was surprisingly easy despite some 4,000 feet of elevation gained between the two peaks.  The mountains had an almost ghostly silence about them in the still air; we rarely have such good luck with the weather.  We had some awesome laughs coming up the mountain since we designated it “Bad Pun Day”, it was punderful (see what I did there?!).  When Brian and I had reached Iroquois it marked our 23rd peak, halfway to our goal! Allie had never been on Algonquin so she got to catch up to us in her tally.  We celebrated with some improvised dances that would embarrass the most shameless amongst us.  Upon returning to camp we took in the colors and eachother’s company as much as we could before it was time to head out the next morning.  The colors were simply unreal.

My favorite part of the entire trip, as it often is, was hanging out in my tent (A.K.A. the Love Shack since it’s the only one large enough to hold the three of us).  We picked a different campsite than usual because the end of the summer limits the availability of campsites throughout the region.  We thought ourselves lucky to find a site close to the trailhead last second , little did we know this site had a creation entirely foreign to our crew: “quiet hours”.  After we polished off two six packs in a riveting game of Kings, our friendly campground “host” informed us quiet hours were upon us.  We replied by politely continuing to drink and “whispered” accordingly.  We could not remember the host’s name for the life of us, so we called him “Ned”; he just looked like a Ned.  I came to the conclusion that our overly friendly host had a disposition similar to Barney.  Upon speaking those words aloud Allie’s eyes nearly popped out of her head as she exclaimed “He’s not cool! Oh, you mean the dinosaur, I thought you meant Stinson.”  The laugh that ensued was so vociferous Ned came on back to remind us of both the time and definition of quiet hours.  By then we were all too tired from laughing to go on.  We acquiesced to Ned’s request and went off to bed.  Oh Ned.

OK!  The part I’ve been waiting for!  So Allie has the nasty habit of falling asleep on Brian and I when we’re driving, making her seem a bit like an extraterrestrial when her hair covers her face and the unearthly snoring ensues.  I warned her I was going to make a collage if she kept it up; she didn’t heed my warning.  So I proudly give you “Allie or Alien?”

Not to be biased though, look at this perfectly wonderful shot of me that Brian botched up with a ridiculous face the first time we climbed Algonquin.  Cheers!

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