Mount Adams, Fire Tower Series

In my latest trek, my friend Adam and I decided to take on Mount Adams in the Adirondacks. This is part of the fire tower challenge and needless to say, it’s quite steep. I’ve never been too fond of getting off at Exit 29 for any sort of hike. They’ve either concluded in extremely long days or falling in a river. Yes, that actually happened three miles into a hike. Although, I haven’t had the best memories, it’s always incredible to see the history there.

The Tahawus

A society that once belonged to the Adirondacks is now far gone. Each time we go anywhere near the Santonini Range or Allen Mountain, there’s such an eerie presence. There’s one home that still stands and oddly enough, the mailbox there looks like one from today. There’s also a massive furnace with trees growing off its sides and scattered fireplaces that used to warm people. Next to all of these abandoned structures, trails for many High Peaks and other hikes begin. Mount Adams is part of the fire tower challenge and is much shorter than hikes I’ve been on. Enjoy the abandoned shots, and let’s get into this hike!

The Start

Near the abandoned furnace is where the hike starts to Mount Adams. It’s on the same trail as Allen Mountain too. Before the split to climb Mount Adams, there’s a lot to enjoy. Near the beginning, you’ll cross a suspension bridge and make sure to cross one at a time. I say this because it seems quite old and doesn’t sound too stable. Later on, you’ll have to go around a body of water where you’ll see a floating bridge that was broken during some point in time. Afterwards, there’s two abandoned cabins that you’ll see which I’m certain would be terrifying to pass in the dark if you went for a sunrise hike. Once you pass all of this, the trail splits and you’ll see the sign for Mount Adams on the left.

1,700 Feet

According to AllTrails, in the 1.6 mile climb to the summit, the hike itself gains 1,700 feet. It begins as a gradual climb and we passed an oil can from what seemed to be centuries ago, as it was completely decayed. From here on out, this trail was quite relentless. We took a few stops and put on bug spray because most of the Adirondacks and NY in general, are notorious for mosquitoes in the summer. There were many slippery areas on this hike from rock slabs as well, so be careful during winter or summer. After what feels like a very long steep climb, you’ll reach the base of the fire tower.

Mount Adams Summit

Climbing up the fire tower from the dense forest to sweeping views of the Adirondacks was incredible. On a clear day, the table map indicates you can see Crane Mountain from the summit. Looking out once you enter the tower, you’ll see Marcy and Colden. Surprisingly, from this perspective, they look very intimidating. It’s as if they just decided to put a fire tower in the middle of some of the most outstanding high peaks to make people fall in love with the wilderness. If you want to try and get someone into hiking, I highly recommend this trail. Just get ready for the pain on your legs from the relentless climb!

Thank You!

For anyone who took the time to read this, I truly appreciate it. I will have a few more coming out as well from older hikes that I never got to. I wanted to complete this first since it was fresh in my mind. If there’s any suggestions for blogs you’d like me to cover, feel free to reach out. If you’d like to, demolish that like button, follow for more treks, and drop a comment. Until next time, keep on adventuring!

For details on this hike:

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/mount-adams-trail

Nashville: NYC mixed with country vibes

That’s the way I viewed Nashville after I spent a couple days there. It’s honestly so unique and hopefully I’ll go back in the future. Walking towards town, music becomes louder each step and you fill with happiness. There’s so much to see in Nashville and a lot of good people too. The bars come even more to life at night as people sing at the top of their lungs. From gorgeous architecture, museums, restaurants, and plenty of music…I think there’s something for everyone!

View of Batman (AT&T) Building in Nashville, TN
On the way to town in Nashville, TN

The Parthenon

Walking about 2.5 miles from my hotel to here was a bit out of my comfort zone. I’ve never really walked on city streets by myself, but it was well worth it. Most of the days spent there I used my Canon Powershot G9 Mark 2 and for a small camera…I’m impressed! When I arrived at the park, I was astonished. The Parthenon in photos do not do it justice. The scale of this replica is absolutely incredible. Looking up, I felt everything dissipate and it was just me enjoying a new experience. This is the only full size replica in the world and let me tell you…please go check it out! The architecture was phenomenal and I’d love to visit it again to take more photos.

Museums and tours

One highlight of my trip was definitely seeing a variety of Johnny Cash’s belongings. The museum is located across the street from Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant which has great music! Adjacent to the museum is the Johnny Cash restaurant which I didn’t eat at, but the atmosphere seemed very neat. Walking through the museum, I was able to see some of Elvis Presley’s belongings as well. The day before, we visited the Grand Ole Opry which highly successful country artists become members of. The wooden circle came from The Ryman which is near downtown Nashville. These artists are invited to this place and it’s a very high point in their career stepping into that wooden circle. On the tour, we saw the fitting rooms and we had the chance to stand in that special circle too. On the last day, we finally visited American Pickers store. They had antiques on display from their show and many were for sale too! Growing up watching this show, it was phenomenal to see their picks in person. These three experiences I remember very well from my trip!

One of my photos from the Grand Ole Opry tour!

Country music

Growing up, I used to think country music was the worst! Now that I’m older, I can really connect with some songs. Most of country music tells a story which I’ve learned to appreciate. I went to Nashville with an open mind and I’m glad I did! I enjoyed some time at the New Year’s Eve concert in Nashville but two performers stood out to me the most. This wasn’t from the New Year’s Eve concert, it was from the third floor in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant. These two young singers held my attention throughout their performance. They engaged with the audience and were very approachable as well. The name of this fantastic duo was Lance and Lea.

Quick shot on my iPhone from New Year’s Eve concert

Lance and Lea

While in Nashville, we saw Lance and Lea perform twice. After I spoke with them in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant, we exchanged our social media handles. It was actually really neat to have a talented duo follow along with my aspirations as well! A couple days later, we went to Ole Red for dinner. When I walked in, I heard their music playing and I didn’t care when dinner was! Lea had approached us during their break and told me “you’re the guy who takes photos!” and gave me a hug afterwards. They’re truly the most down to earth singers I’ve met and I highly suggest you should listen to their music. I’m proud to say, I could relate to a lot of the songs! Lance and Lea are definitely two I hope for future success within country music.

Meeting with Lance and Lea in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant

The Opryland Hotel

The last time I stepped into a hotel that made my jaw drop was Mohegan Sun. Now looking back, it’s nothing compared to this place. After the lobby, the whole place opens up to a waterfall and restaurant. A bridge takes you up closer to the waterfall and keep moving and you’ll soon reach more openings. Waterfalls, plants everywhere, and could I mention going on a boat through a small river? There were many restaurants located within the hotel and I had a fantastic vegetarian burrito. The hotel was still decorated from Christmas and it must be an incredible place for the holidays. The main thing I’d go back to here for is that vegetarian burrito though! A-Frames in the woods are more my style, any wooden house I see…I dream of living in. Anyways, what else is there? Oh, more restaurants!

Where to eat

I had dinner at many places throughout the week but nothing beat Ole Red. I ate a vegan burger with vegan nacho cheese and let me tell you…I was very impressed. The atmosphere in Ole Red feels so alive and it always brings some positive vibes. Another restaurant I’d suggest going to is Acme, which has different foods on each level. I mowed vegetable sushi rolls and a garden salad. Disclaimer, the one sauce at the table isn’t ginger sauce…I learned that the hard way. The last place I’d recommend would be the City Tap House. From incredible corn dip, pizzas, burgers…basically anything you could possibly want to eat is there. These are my top three places I ate at in Nashville but try other restaurants! Believe me, Nashville has a lot to offer. If you wake up early, be sure to get breakfast at the Frothy Monkey and you MUST have a firebender. It was possibly the greatest espresso I’ve ever had. I hope you might ponder checking out one of these and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Tofu/Quinoa bowl from the Frothy Monkey

Thank You!

To anyone who read this blog, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I definitely covered a lot of ground in this trip and created many photos. Nashville allowed me to meet wonderful people and expand my creativity onto city streets. I’d encourage anyone to check out this unique destination whenever they get the chance. I hope this post helped inform you about Nashville if you plan on going. I loved it here and I’m certain you would too. Until next time…stay adventurous my friends!

-Alex

Jay Peak: A challenging icy ridge

My close friend Cole and I decided the day after Christmas that we’d hike Jay Peak. We knew this mountain had a ridge and desired to climb it since this summer. Considering we were both busy, we never really had the time to do it. Hiking in the winter has its challenges and it was well represented throughout this one. Here’s to my last hike of 2019 and let’s get right into it!

Does the trail head exist?

I think part of this has to deal with my friend and I both on about 3 hours of sleep. We always use AllTrails to find directions to our hikes but it kept taking us to the right of where it was. We didn’t realize this until 20 minutes later. The positive about this was the fact that it brought us down a windy road to a huge open field. It was a bunch of farm land and the sky was lit in pink which created a wild scene. Once we found the trailhead, we jumped out of the car and started as soon as we could.

Trailhead for Jay Mountain

Before the ridge

I found this part of the hike very easy and my friend did as well. Although icy, it wasn’t too bad for a climb. It was a gradual incline and there were multiple switchbacks. Without the use of my Kahtoola, I fell a handful of times. I specifically remember an area on the trail that had a dropoff to the right with a little coverage of trees. I had fell right next to it from the ice and I’m happy to say I fell where I could catch myself away from that dropoff. Adrenaline shot through me but in the end it’s a risk that could happen through any winter hike. There were many falls after that as well, but they were in locations without the potential of any dangerous injury. It became even more interesting once we reached the first false summit.

Rock scrambling

Reaching the first false summit, my friend and I had to navigate a very narrow area of the trail. We began climbing up the side of the trail adjacent to another drop off but clung to the wall for safety. We both look after each other so we made sure nothing would occur that we were actually putting ourselves in danger. One of the last false summits was even tougher due to more ice and snow. We continued to rock scramble a bit and when we reached the last false summit it appears to be the highest point. I must admit that it felt a bit demoralizing. Once we hit the top though…we were very happy to complete a new mountain.

Looking at Jay Mountain from the last false summit

A quick stop

We didn’t stay at the summit for too long since my friend had to get back in time for work. I ate the amazing PB & J sandwich from Stewart’s, took some photos, and began to head down shortly afterwards. Understanding that we had to go up and over a couple false summits was definitely discouraging. We took our time and once we kept descending, we took frequent breaks to hydrate. When we were near the car I had to sign us out and I realized all of the destinations said “Jay Range”. I didn’t realize it was considered a range before we went, but I’m glad we did it. It’s one of those adventures that I’m sure both of us won’t forget any time soon.

View of Adirondack Mountains from Jay Mountain
Clouds rolling over below the ADK mountains
Looking at Whiteface Mountain from the summit

Thanks!

I really hope you enjoyed this blog and maybe found some parts useful for your own reference. I always put in mistakes that have occurred without certain gear to emphasize in a way that it is useful. Especially crampons. These adventures and photos mean everything to me and I can’t to see what’s in store for 2020. I’ll be going away soon and I’ll be covering a blog on that as well! To everyone out there, keep adventuring as we get closer to 2020!

-Alex