Mount Jo: A Gem Among Giants

Wash your spirit clean.  The essence of why so many of us escape into nature.  Well, not escape…more like come home to nature.  What I love most about spending time in the mountains is the freedom it reveals.  It could be discovered through kayaking on a lake in the glistening sun.   Or resting on a rock by the river, breathing to the water’s soothing melody.  You may harness your light when conquering a high peak.  And then there are days like this day, when your spirit is cleansed on a hidden gem among the great giants. img_0148

Mount Jo stands at 2876 feet at the summit.  The climb is a quick 2.6 miles round trip. However, this little mountain is by far one of my favorites.  The trailhead is accessed at the Adirondack Loj, where many of the great high peak mountains reside as well.

I signed the trail register at 4:24 p.m.  The verse next to my name:  Ephesians 1:8May your hearts be flooded with light. Flooded with light…yes please.


Short trail on the ascent, Long trail on the descent. The trails were beautiful.  There is no other word than beautiful.  The way the setting sun spilled through the bare arms of the trees above.  The shimmering light dancing on the snow under foot.  Beautiful.  Washing your spirit clean.

Even the trail signs were beautiful.  Little Mount Jo…there is nothing little about the magnitude of elegance you provide.  Simple beauty for all to see.  Gazing all around…some of the best views are found by looking up.  The glory of nature…such majesty among the trees.  Some may see an old, weathered relic in this tree below.  But if you look closely enough, you will hear the story in her bare-barked skin. The story of a time when it was just she and the mountains, surrounded in peace.


The Short trail is a little steeper.  Many boulders and rock paths to adventure over and around and around.  I think I am becoming partial to winter in the mountains more and more.  Its features magnificently  highlighted and showcased in this outdoor museum.

The view…oh my goodness. Little Jo has some of the BEST views of the high peaks all along the way.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these mountain-scapes are worth millions.

Mount Colden (in the background), Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois.


The clouds rolled in for a short time while the sun was beginning his journey towards sleep.  There was an early evening breeze whispering through the pines as I continued the ascent.  I have climbed many peaks by this point in my journey, but to me, Mount Jo was like something out of a storybook.  Every turn, every step revealed another brilliant jewel of Mother Earth.


This was a journey of old friends.  Finding their way home.  I feel that in my soul when I walk in the mountains.  “Remember me, old friend?” I seem to say to myself.  “Welcome home, dear girl,” they reply.  This trail captured that aura of friendship and connectedness for me.

The approach to her summit greets you with a simple ladder. (Yay, a ladder! Like a game of seek-and-find! You never know when you’ll find one in the Adirondacks!) The summit was just around the bend.

Up you go!

And then…


wash your spirit clean….

The moon rising for her evening debut.

I had wanted to get back to the trailhead in time to capture the sunset on Adk Loj Road. So back down to the Long trail for the descent.  The Long trail rolls out a curvy, quiet path, guiding you peacefully.  Some crossings were icy…as the ice crunched and broke with each step.


The end of the trail takes you along another road, at which point, you can decide to head back to the parking lot…or stroll down to Heart Lake.  May your hearts be flooded with light?  Yes…more please.

Heart Lake during the sunset in winter is absolutely breathtaking. The “Take my breath away..” kind.  Mirror images playing games in the water and ice.  The sun preparing for his final goodbyes of the day.  Here…is where I prayed this time.  Usually I reserve my talks with Him for the summit.  However, on this evening, the lake was where my words emerged.

Heaven for sure.

Leaning against the wooden railing on the dock, I closed my eyes, inhaled and prayed.  I prayed for release.  The release of any “old-self” remnants still within.  I prayed for renewal of heart…for new beginnings…for a humbling strength to forgive.  I thanked Him for the unconditional beauty that flowed through the lake and poured out of the mountains.

A gentle breeze always  follows at the conclusion of my prayer.  Some will say it is coincidence.  But my heart knows better.

After the side trip to Heart Lake, I signed out of the trailhead at 6:20 p.m.  A perfect 2 hours of bliss and peace.

And then...just when you think Nature has placed all her gifts in your soul for the day.  This.

So blessed to have stood on each of those summits.
an unforgettable farewell


Wash your spirit clean here…at this regal gem among giants. Walk within her beauty.  Amen.




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