Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Indian Head

While working towards becoming a 46r, I joined a group on Facebook- aspiring adirondack 46ers. People often post trip reports, ask questions and look for people to hike. Infact it's how I met my hiking buddies for both Marshall and Cliff & Redfield. A frequent picture that has been posted is the view from Indian Head. I've been dying to see it in real life, but continued to put it off since it is on private land that doesn't allow dogs. Initially Jen and I made grand plans to hike all 6 of the Saranac 6. But as it got closer, I decided I didn't want to camp solo all weekend & while I wanted to go hiking, 3 solid days was definitely more than I could handle. So after reviewing some easier hikes, we decided to check out Indian Head. 

We met at the exit 9 park & ride at 7:30 and arrived near the Ausable Club at 9:30.  We weren't surprised that St. Hubert's lot was full, but we were surprised at how far up route 73 we had to park. After some quick adjusting, we made our way to the River Road.

In the past, my feet have bothered me on this road so I started out wearing sneakers.  Had I realized how short the actual trail was, I would have left my boots home entirely. The road is long and a steady climb. As we made our way up we saw some folks turning towards dial & Nippletop (one of my favorite hikes) and a family hanging by a pool looking at some fish, otherwise it was just us. At about the hour mark (and 3 miles in) the Ausable club bus stopped to inform us that there was a young bear ahead that we could probably get some pictures of- I've spent a lot of time in the woods, but I've only seen bears at campsites, never while hiking. We hurried up to the second beaver pond and sure enough on the north side our very on yogi was snacking. We tired to get some pictures with our trusty cellphones but mostly watched.  Yogi ran around for a moment & the climbed up a tree.  

the black shadow centered is the bear
bear in tree!

Once he was out of sight, we figured it was time to head back up the road.  Just before the road drops down to the lake, our trail arrived on the left. The trail has some nice switchbacks and a few ladders as we made our way.  It seemed to be a mile at most from the road before we came to the view point.
we passed by 2 other signs for Indian Head before taking this one

And it was incredible. Surprisingly we were completely alone. Jen and I snacked and soaked in the view before taking a series of yoga inspired poses. I wasn't keeping track, but I imagine we were up there for an hour. 

We had discussed taking the Gil Brook trail down, as there are suppose to be some nice cascades, but we decided we wanted to stop at some breweries in Glens Falls so opted for the quicker route on the road instead. Our walk down was uneventful, no bears, although we certainly were looking for them. Soon we were back at the sign in chatting with the AC ranger about the bear. (apparently he has been causing trouble for campers that don't use bear canisters) Once on the road. our first order of business was to find Common Roots in Glens Falls.  I tried their flight and genuinely enjoyed all 4 that I sampled. Unfortunately they don't serve food, but it gave us an opportunity to go to Coopers Cave, another brewery in town.  Unlike common roots, we were not impressed. Jen's beer smelled and tasted musty and having never been there before we were unsure if there was something wrong or if that was the flavor.  I ordered the blueberry beer, only to have a killer allergic reaction to it 45 minutes later.  I only drank half of it. The food was fine, but with Davidsons having great food, it seems highly unlikely I'd ever bother with Coopers Cave again.

After a full day I came home ready to crash, But I had causally mentioned to two friends that I was home and have a fireplace if they were looking for something to do, much to my surprise they took the bait and came over. We lit a fire and hung outside until nearly 1 am.  Overall it was an excellent Saturday.

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