The Adirondacks: Part 4

Day 4: Mount Marcy {Highest peak in the Adirondacks} | 8+ Miles

If other days were adventurous, today surely topped them all. The 4+ miles from our Bushnel Falls leanto up to Mount Marcy {The Adirondacks’ highest peak} was really difficult. We followed an incredibly steep and rough trail through the forest for a grueling 2+ miles, followed by an intense trek up long flat and steep rocks, ascending the mountain.

The blisters on my feet feel are finally hardening into callouses, and yet with each step I feel like my skin is ripping open. The raw rubbing becomes tolerable after a while – until we stop for a break. I am finding that it is so much easier to just press on – keep going – don’t stop.


The gray clouds overhead threatened an increasing chance of rain with each mile. Thankfully we didn’t have any real rain on our trek up to the top of Marcy. Coming down however, was a different story.












We met a friendly man at the top of Marcy, who took our picture for us. This is the second group picture we’ve taken so far and while it’s easy to overlook opportunities like this when you’re on top of the world surrounded by amazing beauty, I know I’ll be grateful for the captured memories later on.


Coming down Marcy was a pretty thrilling experience … at first. We practically ran down the side of this long flat rock face for what seemed like forever. A few of us had to reroute after choosing a portion that descended to a drop-off. In the end we reached the edge of the woods just in time to see a huge rain storm coming in. It was one of those moments where you look out into the distance and see a wall of water coming in … and seconds later you’re completely soaked. Needless to say, we grabbed our pack covers and ran for the woods. The entire trail was rocks, beginning with long flat smooth rocks that gradually became small boulders to “jump” off of and climb down. The rain made it very difficult to keep our footing without slipping.

IMG_0183The storm let up before we had completed a mile to the junction. As we moved on to Feldspar leanto, David and I separated from Daddy and Bethany. Another rain storm hit just as I was descending an especially terrible ladder {the type that is just barely slanted so you have to walk down it, but has steps at least 2 feet apart … with a long drop between each step} with my very heavy pack. 😛

We made it to the place where Feldspar leanto should have been, only to find out that it was not there. We plowed on for another 1.3 miles to Upper leanto. We were soaking wet, covered in mud and dirt … I don’t think any of us cared about finding the logs or rocks anymore – the trail was practically a river and stepping on the rocks was excruciatingly painful. I kept telling myself “just a little longer … focus on getting there”.

We reached Upper leanto but David and I weren’t sure what Daddy and Bethany had done after they reached {the nonexistent} Feldspar leanto. I waited in the leanto while David ran back {now that is my amazing brother} to find them.

15 minutes later we all voted to move on yet again another 2 miles, to Lake Colden where we will spend tomorrow relaxing and resting up. There’s no point in laying everything out all wet tonight, and then packing up again for 2 miles tomorrow.


When we arrived at Lake Colden we had trouble finding the leanto at first. Daddy remembered that it was a ways off the trail past some campsites.

There are no words to express how WONDERFUL it feels to have finally reached the leanto that we will stay in tonight! I’m so happy to get rid of my boots and wet clothes and be warm and dry again. I’m so tired I don’t want to move. I ache all over. In fact, I don’t really care about anything but laying here in my sleeping bag.

Tomorrow we will wake up and enjoy the sunrise on Lake Colden, and eat breakfast on the dam.



Looking back, it was a miserable yet adventurous day – filled with blessings and challenges. I never would have imagined how hard we would have to push ourselves and how many times we’d be disappointed and have to push on yet again. I am pretty sure this will be our most memorable day, and I know that years from now I will look back at this journal entry and laugh – and remember with fondness the incredible week we had here in the Adirondacks as a family. This is something few girls my age will experience with their family members. I’m so blessed.

Now we are dry, full of mac n’ cheese, and tucked into our sleeping bags. David is playing classical music from his iPad, we are reminiscing about past trips and talking about what a big day it will be tomorrow. I’m soooooo ready for sleep. Tomorrow I’ll deal with my feet. 😉

Part 5


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