Tea Time on Poke-O-Moonshine

Life is like a cup of tea…it’s all in how you make it…

So, let’s put the kettle on, or in this case, the Jetboil.

What do you typically do the day after climbing two high peaks?  Some people sleep in. (which we did) Others go shopping.  And still others may have to head back home. Ironically, for this trip, Mallory and I ventured up yet another mountain.

This was not our original plan.  Our original decision was to enjoy a non-strenuous day. Something beautiful, yet simple. We drove to Keeseville in an attempt to check out Ausable Chasm.  But to our dismay, it was closed to the public.  They were only giving tours by reservation and we were too busy climbing 4000 footers to secure a spot on the tour so…

Plan B! Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain. “Pohquis Moosie” as the Algonquin named it, roughly meaning “place of broken smooth rocks.”  This was actually the perfect recovery hike.  The trail has been rerouted so hikers have the option of a longer, more gradual climb now. We were honored with another excellent weather day, 40 degrees and bluebird skies!

Poke-O is a fire tower peak as well!   We hiked in just microspikes, our packs were much lighter than the previous day’s journey.  So we decided this day was ideal for a little R & R at the summit, tea and all.


Mallory checking the map again.  And we were off for another adventure at 12:40 p.m.

We followed a wide, former truck trail path for the first 1.5 miles.  It was quite marvellous, actually, because we were able to hike side by side.  Slow and steady wins the race for this one.  Our legs softly reminded us to take it easy today. “Slow down, you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last…


Yes, this was the path to a beautiful walk in the woods. Blue skies, blue trail markers, blue eyes to witness gratitude from above.


As we gingerly hiked on, light blessed our every step.  Everywhere we turned, our snow-covered trail flooded with sunbeams and sparkles.


The constant, gradual climb felt fabulous on the achy legs.  Mountains are still mountains.  No matter how high they tower or how far they stretch…a mountain is still a mountain.  So, it was fair to say, my heart was pumping pretty good, despite the gentle ascent.

Apparently we walked right around a beaver pond, which we could see bits of, underneath all the snow.


After hiking along the ridge, we came upon a lean-to and the campgrounds at 2:05 p.m.  I believe this was around mile 2 of the route.


Got no deeds to do, No promises to keep.  I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all it’s petals on me.  Life, I love you, All is groovy.”

Hiking = random song lyrics = theme of the day 🙂


Just past the lean-to was a mountain discovery!  This is the precise reason why I love fire tower mountains so much…each one has a unique piece of history nestled into the trail.  The historically beautiful remains of an observer’s cabin.  The fireplace, towered above the path, symbolized strength, steadiness and indomitable will.  So much to be learned about life by this stoned storyteller. Another mountain relic I hope is preserved for many years to come.


Sunshine illuminated our day still….


Mallory and I got a kick out of the trail after the fireplace. It was extremely well-marked! I think we counted 10 red trail markers in a 20 foot radius…

In all seriousness, the Adirondack Trail Trust did a fantastic job with the new route! Thank you!


An easy .3 miles to the summit…there was just one short incline, nothing that spikes couldn’t handle.

At 2:30 p.m., Mallory and I found the firetower and summit of Poke-O!


Yes, yes…perspective.  Always a favorite view of mine.


The cab was locked, and permanently locked, I later read.  So it was tower pictures on the landing instead.  Wind was howling through the metal framework for sure!


High Peaks in the far, far distance. The Jay Mountain Range is somewhere out there too.  An ocean of mountains…glistening in the afternoon strands of light.


One more…Whiteface in the distance.

It always pays to dwell slowly on the beautiful things and the more beautiful, the more slowly.” -Atticus


The sun gods were definitely forever in our favor! We could not have asked for better weather on our nice ‘n easy day.  Lake Champlain flowed for miles and miles.  Hello Vermont!


Time to rest the legs and brew some summit tea because, like I mentioned earlier:


Honestly, it was warm enough in February to rest on bare, open summit rock and have tea!  Practically perfect in every way.


Now, if we could just figure out how to light the thing!  “Is it lit?  Why do my matches keep breaking??”  Mallory was much better with the matches! For some reason, I kept snapping them in half.  #bummatches


Tea.  A healing and peaceful quality encompasses it.  Tea has the ability to reminiscently transport you back in time to years past, while refilling your present with a nourishing spirit. Sacred and whole once again.  Mountain tea does that times hundred!

After 20 minutes of summit heaven, it was time to descend and make our journey back to the car.  We did have that drive home ahead of us.  Although, still, we were in no rush.

Mallory even managed to fit in some final buttsliding as well! #laughlinesfordays

Our Plan B day turned out to be the exact plan we needed! A recovery for the legs and muscles, and a recovery for the heart and soul.  Even better still?  Hiking with friends.  The kind of friends that replenish your spirit, like perfect cup of tea.

Until the next tea time,

J & M



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