a day early, a mountain short.

it never fails, the first backpacking trip of every season teaches me a little more about humility and priorities. the former being that i am not, nor every will be, a super day trip warrior. the latter is that i hike mountains for the joy and redemptive quality of being in the backcountry. no badge or moniker will be my motivation for pushing past my limits.
we left friday and drove two hours to tupper lake for the coreys trailhead into the seward mountain range. three hours and 5+ miles later we arrived at our tent site near the ward brook leanto. the ward brook trail was mainly level with some serious muddy areas, but the time was due to all of my trailside backpack strap fiddling.
after a full night of rain, we left camp saturday morning to hike seward, donaldson and emmons. the loop was probably under 9 miles, but it took us twelve hours. the mud was legendary (especially between the peaks on the ridgeline) and the scrambling was pretty intense (especially on seward). anyone with knees would think this was a challenging hike.
at the end of the day, we hiked seward and donaldson twice and (thankfully) emmons once. by my calculations, including all the accents and descents, that's 5,630 feet of elevation changes. the weather held out and was mostly sunny the whole day, although this had little affect on the extra mud created by the previous night's rain. there were views at each of the peaks and along the ridgeline, but none were without obstruction. due to the difficulty of the hike and the incessant blood sucking insects, we took significantly fewer photos than usual. an unexpected find was a memory box hidden atop of seward as a memorial to a boy named jon (1998-2006). the pictures and family messages on the outside of the box had me in tears.
suffice it to say, we decided that we would not summit any more mountains this trip. if you looked at me, you would have thought i ROLLED back down seward; bruises, cuts and insect bites. we were both battle worn and tired. we hiked out on sunday, choosing to leave seymour for a later day hike (with crosbi).


  1. I love streams and rivers over rocks. Something about it just feels like it's the perfect place to be. I'm glad you got to go out into the loveliness. :)

  2. i agree about the water-over-rocks thing!
    there's only about a gazillion brooks out here in the ADKs. you gotta make your way out here sometime TMC.


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