Diary of a 46er

My becoming a “46’er” started innocently enough.

I have done a good bit of hiking over the years, mostly in the Catskills and downstate. A few years ago we were able to extend our range with a little place in the capital region opening new and more consistent opportunities for outdoor endeavors. While our place is not near any particular destination, it is almost equidistant between the Catskills, Southern VT, the Berkshires and the Adirondacks.

Avalanche Lake

Without a grand plan, in the Summer of 2017, after a little research, I got up early and day hiked over Mt Colden. I was curious to see if it felt too far to drive up and back and if it was as great as I remembered from prior trips.

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USS Slater Albany Waterfront Paddle

When you think about paddling in New York, you probably don’t think about the state capital, Albany. There’s good reason for that. There are many paddling destinations in the state that are more exciting, more challenging and more picturesque then the Hudson River along the Albany waterfront.

Albany boat launch

Why would anyone paddle Albany? Well, it’s there. Really, it’s right there. If you’re in Albany county, paddling the Hudson River is really convenient.

Recently, on a visit to see family, I brought Junior and my kayaks north with me. It had been a long time since I paddled this part of the river.

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Plateau and Sugarloaf

On the last Sunday in June, I returned to the Catskills for another dose of torture. After mulling various options, I parked the shooting brake at Notch Inn Road, off Route 214 north of Phoenicia, and set out for Plateau and Sugarloaf.

Trail along Warner Creek

In the northeast that weekend, the weather was sketchy. On Saturday, I threw down a hard rollerski workout and beat the rain. With a 50% chance of thunderstorms and a chance for hail Sunday afternoon, I was cautiously optimistic.

I kitted up and set out. Notch Inn Road is a private road, with property owners granting an easement for access to the state forest preserve. At the end of the road, in an unmarked gap in the trees, was the trail head.

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