Winter LOJ Trip – February 4-6, 2013

Report by Aleda Koehn – Fourteen Susquehanna Chapter members enjoyed our stay at the Adirondack Loj. The day we arrived it was very cold and windy, the snow was blowing about but we did take a hike into the woods along the Old Marcy Dam Trail starting from the outlet of Heart Lake. Once in the woods we were sheltered from the wind. There was only a thin layer of snow on the ground with a few icy patches along the way. The warm weather and rain we had in Oneonta the week before had also been the case here. Our plan was to make a circuit and return to the Loj by way of the main trail that leads to the public parking lot. We got to the last stream just below the junction but found that the bridge was gone!! This may have been rather recent as it was there in the fall after Irene. There was no way over the icy rocks and flowing water so we retraced our steps back to the Loj.
The next day was clear and cold. The snow shone like millions of tiny diamonds. Since skiing was not good, about eight of us decided to hike up to Marcy Dam. This time we knew we had to take the Marcy Dam Trail by the large parking lot. We set out with some stopping to take photos on a “picture perfect” winter day. Along the trail we saw a ruffed grouse displaying tail and neck feathers. For us?? We did not see another grouse. We reached Marcy Dam. Most had not seen the dam, or more correctly, the missing dam, since before the rains of Irene destroyed the dam and the lake emptied. Since the lake bed was covered with snow, we could not see that the stream meanders across mud and sand that was once the lake bottom. Just below the dam, we walked on the new bridge that had been constructed by ADK to allow hikers to safely cross the stream and continue on to Marcy, Wright, Avalanche Pass, and all the other destinations on the other side.
Two of us decided to continue on to Avalanche Lake, about a 10 mile round trip. In our younger days we use to ski all the way. Then we would ski part way and snowshoe the rest. And now, only two of us wanted to hike, and we did not need snowshoes. The sheer rock cliffs near the lake were draped in icefalls of brown, yellow , white, and clear ice. The trees were covered with snow. It was a lovely sight.
The Loj meals were very good. A steak with mushroom sauce the first night and roast capon the second. Plus all the trimmings and desert too!! Mel was cooking and we all appreciate the effort she puts into making a great dinner.
Evenings were spent in the great room around the fire under the baleful eyes of Moose. Some read and some worked on a thousand piece bird puzzle. Even though this year was without skiing, all had fun doing whatever activity they chose to do. Wednesday morning, after some walks along the Loj trails, we packed up and were on our way back to Oneonta. Photographs 1 and 2 taken by Julia Smith and the others by Carol Saggese. Photograph 1 is a sunset from the Loj road, photo 2 is Marcy Dam today, and photo 3 is the new Foot Bridge.

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