I took two zero days in Lake Placid. My feet still hurt and the weather was nasty so I didn’t have a whole lot of motivation to get back out on the trail. I did get plenty of rest though, in addition to catching some live music, going to the movies, reading a book, and seeing the circus. I smothered the soles of my feet in Bag Balm enough that the giant blister on the ball of my right foot healed, but the blister on the ball of my left foot was still tender. Regardless, it was time to go back out.

I got a late start this morning but it stopped raining when I went out to hitch back to the trail so that was something. It was a three road hitch. I stuck my thumb out and the first car picked me up immediately and took me up the first road. I jumped out and the same thing happened for the second road, and then the third. I think I stood on the side of the road for less than two minutes total.

Back at Taylor Pond, I hopped on the trail, only to immediately lose it. My guidebook said that could happen but I was able to bushwhack up to a snowmobile trail. It led me to a lean-to right on the shore of the pond, which was a very pretty setting, until it started snowing. I had been enjoying my lunch in the shelter but the wind started blowing the snow right in the front, so I packed up and got moving again.

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I had a mile and a half long bushwhack to the top of Catamount Mountain. It was very steep, through very dense woods, so it took me three hours. It was snowing off and on the whole time but the snow was accumulating more at the top. I was very happy to finally bust through the pine trees onto the summit.

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A trail led down the other side of the mountain but I almost wished I was bushwhacking again because it was over steep, wet rock slabs. I was above treeline for what seemed like quite a while because the cairns marking the way were so hard to find. Each cairn might be only two small rocks, or a pile of pebbles, and some were pretty far apart. When in doubt, I headed down the steepest rock available and found more cairns at the bottom. It reminded me of Maine.

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Once back in the woods, the trail wasn’t as bad. I made it down to Forestdale Road and setup camp next to Middle Kilns Brook right before dark. Only 5.8 miles today.

Written by Siren

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