My alarm was set for 3:55 AM on Saturday, but I was awake well before it went off. I stayed in bed until two minutes before it was to go off, figuring even if I wasn't still sleeping I would need all the rest I could get. I kissed my husband goodbye and rushed through my pre-hike routine. Less than 20 minutes later I was out the door heading to meet my sister at the park-n-ride.
At the Upper Works trailhead I squeezed into one of the few remaining legitimate parking spots (later cars would line the road) and we started our preparations (socks, boots, gaiters, and for me a thick layer of Aquaphor underneath). My sister had found a trip report written by another hiker with what he described as "prima donna" feet who slathered his feet with butt paste to help prevent blisters. I was willing to give it a whirl, and Aquaphor was what we had in the house (for post-tattoo usage).
My sister signed us in at the register and we step on the trail at 8:09 AM. Temperatures were in the 60s and the sun was shining. The weather stayed near perfect the entire day with a nice breeze and NO bugs. It was such a relief after our last hike up Seymour when the bugs and humidity were torturous.
When we got to the Henderson Monument we got out our cameras to take pictures and sucked down a Clif Shot Gel each. At the Flowed Lands we stopped again to take more photos, as it was the first time either of us had been there and it is a lovely spot.
Then we signed that register and were off again. We got to the cairn marking the start of the Herbert Brook herd path in roughly 3 hours and to the summit in another two (we are not speedy, obviously). The trail crisscrosses the brook but is well marked with small cairns and is very pretty. Lots of lush green moss and inviting pools of water. It is rocky and muddy, etc., but that comes with the territory. We saw several red efts and an occasional toad.
The trip reports we'd read ahead of time prepared us for a treed summit with limited views. After we took our requisite summit shots, we back-tracked just a hair to a small rock overlook where we found stunning panoramic views. Clearly either some people failed to take the few steps off the herd path to the overlook or we have different ideas of what qualifies as an impressive vista.
Phelps, Colden, Tabletop, Marcy, Gray, Skylight and the Flowed Lands on the right.
I changed my socks and sock liners and applied GlacierGel bandages to my big toes. We ate our pb&js and took lots of pictures. Eventually we pried ourselves away from the breathtaking views and headed down the mountain after about an hour on the summit.
We stopped again at the Flowed Lands to take more photos in the afternoon light before pushing on. We signed out at the parking lot at 6:20 PM, changed our clothes, and were on the road by 6:40 PM. I forgot to note the time when I got home, but the shower and bed both felt divine after our long day.
Mt Marshall makes 14 Adirondack High Peaks for me and 21 for my sister. All-in-all a wonderful hike!