Packing Up and Getting Out of Dodge
Monday 8/21/2023 – 2 Days Before Trail
Work wasn’t letting go of its grip on me. I was as anxious as ever but determined to get everything where it needed to be before my departure. I had a lot on my mind: I needed to pack for trail including setting up my resupply portions; My car had been hit in my office’s parking lot two weeks prior and I needed to get it into the shop; I needed to pick up the rental; I had tie up any loose ends at work TODAY… Tarzan and I were set to pick up Baby Legs from Logan Airport bright and early from a red-eye from California and head straight to New York.
Taking Care of Business
I left my house early Monday to drop off my damaged car downtown at about 7 am. Took an hour to get picked-up by Enterprise and even longer to get the paperwork out of the way. I spent the rest of the day on and off the phone with so many people. I was going insane and couldn’t wait to leave. Finally, I left my office around 3pm and my contractor told me I’d have nothing to worry about and to go enjoy my vacation. So I did!
When I arrived home the ticking clock grew louder. I quickly assembled my food supplies and systematically put my pack together. Tarzan and I lightly bickered about our supplies and what last minute items we’d need. We had already taken a trip a week ago to REI where I picked up a new tank top and new Yellowbird Hot Sauce as well as a few Good to Go and Alpine Aire Meals. I had stocked up on Nuun Instant and Nuun Sport, Daily, and Immunity too with my special ambassadorship. I also had ordered a mass supply of my favorite Lenny and Larry complete protein cookies and breakfast bars. Using my trusty quart bag system I carefully filled 14 bags with breakfast, snack, protein, lunch, tiny fruit snacks, and electrolytes. There were a few bags missing some meat sticks and peanut butter crackers but nothing that couldn’t be supplied at any local dollar tree or grocer on our ride up. I packed up my Osprey 65, laid out the days clothes and promptly went to bed.
Tuesday 8/22/2023 – 1 Day Before Trail
Getting the Band Back Together
Baby Legs texted us at about 11p our time as she departed on-time despite the crazy hurricane that came up the California coast at the same time from Baja California. She arrived in Boston about 6:20am and we were on the road no later than 6:45a straight from the city toward Northville, NY. It felt like a dream. Suddenly I was energized and vibing despite all of the unknowns. For the first time in my history of backpacking I actually slept well the night before.
Within 3-4 hours we were in Amsterdam and on this divided highway we were lucky to find a Hannaford, a Dollar Tree, and a liquor store all next to each other—even a Walmart! We got all our last minute supplies for our food bags and resupply drops. Tarzan even exemplified his reading comprehension when he accidentally bought “carb-wise” wraps! Baby Legs and I made sure to stock up on sour patch kids and the meats. Our favorite.
Pro-Tip: Dollar Tree has tons of empty boxes and usually are happy to give them to you. They are perfect for resupply boxes!
Arriving in Northville, NY
Before long we made it to Northville and too early to check in to our AirBnb. The Northville Placid Trail has a pretty park it starts in with an arch in the center of the town. We headed there to scope out the situation and found there is in fact a few spots in the lot dedicated to NPT parking and a nice trail register. There are porta-johns in the back of the lot and the park itself is super cute with benches and lush green grass. We set up camp, unpacked our trunk and started putting together our resupply boxes.
A bit delirious from our early morning drive and on the precipice of the unknown we managed to overpack our food bags and resupply boxes but that wouldn’t become apparent until later down the line. We were too happy. letting our hiker trash hang out—we even had lunch! My folks had a belated graduation party for my baby brother that previous weekend and gave us the leftover ribs and corn casserole in big ziploc bags. Nothing like food out of a ziploc in a public park to say “I am feral!”
After our ziploc lunch we got back on the road to make our drops. We decided to head to the Adirondack Hotel on Long Lake first. This would be our last drop as there would be just 35ish miles left at this point through the high peaks wilderness. Plus, we hoped to find some respite at this place after over a week on trail. Our first drop would be in Piseco. Hopefully at NPT Piseco Bob’s respite. We had only heard of him on the NPT’s Facebook Group but he seemed to be the guy to call for shuttles and storing food drops in the area. We had his cell but he wasn’t picking up! Everyone on the FB group seemed to indicate that he didn’t mind if you dropped stuff at his place in Piseco without talking to him but that felt awfully strange.
Long Lake, NY
Two hours after leaving Northville to make our food drops, we pulled up to the Adirondack Hotel on Long Lake and were completely surprised! We knew it was on the lake but we did not know that there would be a General Store across the street or float planes docked on the side of the road! Even better, the hotel had a tavern attached to it. We parked lakeside and went inside where we found a huge taxidermy moose head an a full sized black bear. The woman at the desk was friendly and helpful. Turns out they are hiker friendly and they do in fact hold packages whether or not you stay with them.
Lake Durant Campground, Indian Lake, NY
Driving back to Northville we decided to also see what Lake Durant Campground was all about. The trail goes right through the camp and we considered stashing a days resupply here but there’s not much after hours, no camp store, no staff? It’s certainly not your local KOA! There was a trash drop and some nice bath houses.
Piseco Bob still had not answered his phone and we were nearing Piseco. We decided to see if we could find the post office in town. Apple Maps has the Post Office near the Airport marked as permanently closed.
Pro-Tip: The post-office along trail next to the airport is NOT closed. It’s functional and right next to Piseco Bob’s. Do not listen to the internet on that one!
We had pulled up directions to a different Post Office somewhere else in Piseco and had been following those directions until we came across a sign for the Northville Placid Trail on the main road. My gut told me to turn right and this is how we learned the internet lied and how we found Bob. We turned into his driveway and caught him finishing up a beer in his garage. He greeted us enthusiastically and welcomed us and our resupply into his garage! Phew!
Bob is a retired Alaskan commercial fisherman. Bob grew up in upstate but went out to Alaska for the adventure. He returned to the Adirondacks to retire and he sure has a beautiful life now. Beautiful home, beautiful view, and a beautiful heart helping hikers and enjoying the camp life that Piseco offers. If you ever hike the NPT, you’ll see!
With all of our drops made and a vague idea of the towns we planned to walk through, we headed back to Northville for dinner and to check-in to our AirBnb. We had noticed a chinese restaurant next to the NPT Waterfront Park and decided to check that out. We ordered a lot. I had steamed pork dumplings and house lo mein personally… Directly after dinner we headed to be. It was about 8pm and we wanted to be out the door early enough.
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