Fog. It was the theme of that weekend this past January. The old weather superstition goes, “Summer fog for fair, winter fog for rain.” The air certainly proved that!
“Dense and obscure, fog hampers our ability to see clearly. It dulls the senses and inhibits our perception.” In any case, I headed to Goodnow Mountain, following my visit to Buttermilk Falls.
I pulled into the parking lot of the trail head at 12:35 p.m. Despite the murky muddle (well aware that there would be no view at the summit), I just really needed a peaceful walk in the woods.
To my surprise, there were several cars and a school bus in the parking lot. At least I did not need to fear the eeriness of the mountain haze alone. There would be a few groups of hikers passing by on my ascent.
The trail was quaint and silent. Low clouds obscured the majority of the visibility throughout the entire hike. However, there were still plenty of little trail treasures to be discovered.
These are the trail markers for Goodnow. The trail is maintained by the students at ESF, I believe.
I’m not sure why I am drawn to these curious-looking fungi. Personalized tree art, perhaps.
More mushroom architecture.
Love this tree. Looking at it, I whispered aloud, “Bent but not broken.” Fitting, I thought.
After about 20 minutes of walking, the first trail landmark was reached. The Goodnow boulder engulfed in massive tree roots. I believe this spot is at the .8 mile point.
There were many footbridges all along the trail. I caught glimpses of them underfoot, beneath the snow. I imagine it would be a beautiful hike in the summer or fall, when one could appreciate all the little bridges below.
I only wore my microspikes. The path was very broken out and packed down.
The reason John Muir urged us to look closely at nature. A carefully, strong droplet suspended eloquently where it lived.
At 1:00 p.m., my eyes captured a magnificent sight to behold. Delicate, yet solid. Beautiful, yet breakable. I have seen boulders encased in ice on previous winter hikes. However, never this close! Quite spectacular.
Just hanging with some ginormous ice sculptures carved by Mother Nature, herself.
Watch it flow. (Breathe) Let it go. (Exhale) Watch it flow. (Breathe) Let it go. (Exhale)
Five minutes after leaving the ice formation, my heart filled with joy and a smile instantly graced my face. The fog lifted and the forest illuminated everything it touched. Find the light in all things. And there…was light. The old horse barn that resides on Goodnow Mountain.
I approached carefully. The school bus full of kids came to mind, and I, for one, didn’t want to get startled. Remember my friend, Fear? The one who has a seat but no say? Yea…he was along for the ride right about now.
Upon a closer tiptoe, I discovered the barn was vacant. No kids around. Phew. My heart returned to its joyful state, as I proceeded to explore the relic. The weathered, historic wooden planks and construction was a sight to be seen. She was a beauty, even now, after her glamour had faded.
For now, she holds on. Closing my eyes, I prayed a silent prayer of blessings for this elder piece of Adirondack history. Keep her standing as long as possible, I prayed. Help others see her beauty, I asked.
Following my quiet moments with the old barn, the trail descended for a bit as the summit approached. Thoughts of horses and barns remained on my mind, as I tried to forget the classic Adirondack trail characteristic of losing elevation before gaining it back and then some.
The path narrowed through some beautiful, moss-filled evergreens. Of course, I had to pause and snap some photos of moss for my friend Mallory. 🙂
Cascading delicately, winding around its fellow friend. Together, they were living in mountain bliss.
At 1:30 p.m., I arrived at the summit of Goodnow Mountain. This cozy fire tower peak stands at 2,690 feet tall, with a tower of 60 feet high. My 4th fire tower as well.
The school bus of teenagers had also arrived at the summit with me! Haha! They were definitely enjoying themselves.
So I carefully, step for step, made my way up the fire tower, knowing full well there were no views to be had. Still, climb it you must!
I am sure Santanoni Peak was out there somewhere in the fog soup.
Nothing! The kids at the top of the tower kindly allowed me to shoot my video quickly, so I could get down even quicker!
All kidding aside, the mountain haze, although humid and dense, was certainly alluring and unexpectedly serene.
At 1:45 p.m., I began my fast-paced descent. Since it was a short hike, I did not pack any lunch, just a Larabar. Therefore…my stomach urged my legs to move it or lose it!
One last stop to namaste a final mushroom medley.
I signed out of the trail register at 2:15 p.m. Unaware of just how damp my hair and clothes became while I was hiking, I was soaked! Peculiar, since the air temperature was unseasonably warm.
Nevertheless, I was hungry. And my stomach was impatient. So off I headed to the Adirondack Growl and Grub for a post-hike beverage, soup and a sandwich. Love it there!
Time: 1 hour and 53 minutes, give or take a few seconds (haha)
Total distance: 4.1 miles (including climbing the tower)
Cheers to a day in the daze,