Friday, July 06, 2007

T.R. answers call of the wild; takes a message

TR chooses a path less taken

A little more than a fortnight ago, myself and friend of GCI Borden set out into the wilds of the Adirondacks to engage ourselves in the instigation of a classic Hemingway-esque battle with nature. The charge was a simple one: to begin our epic quest of hiking the 46 highest peaks of the Adirondacks to become full fledged members of the 46’ers. On this our maiden voyage, we would hike 3 peaks in a single day, two such peaks on our hit list (Sawteeth and Gothics) and one ancillary peak in between. Plans were laid out, preparations made, and gear stowed. Fate, however, is a cruel mistress and would soon conspire against us.

BORDEN against the serene and majestic landscape of the 'Dacks

We arrived at 8pm Friday evening, set up camp, engaged the Park Ranger in a dialogue regarding our planned hike (to which he responded with, “Wow…that’s one hell of a hike…make sure you guys get an early start.”) and consumed the delicious culinary stylings of the US Military and their ingenious MRE's(Meals Ready to Eat).

A mysterious orgy of butterflys

On the dawn of the next morrow, we awoke early, ate breakfast and hit the trail. Our journey began with a 4.2 mile hike down a private road before we would even reach the trailhead at the base of lower Ausable lake. Once there, we chose to take the scenic trail to the summit of Sawteeth, a climb which is described in official literature as “difficult and strenuous”.

Difficult and strenuous indeed...

Not 20 minutes into our hike, after navigating nearly continuous steep slopes of 60-70 degrees (see picture above), we reassessed our original plan and decided that we would hike only one mountain this time around…as the trail was unlike any two fairly well traveled New England boyscouts had seen and was by all accounts, “kicking our a**”.

How steep was it? So steep we were forced to use log ladders

Disaster Strikes! We run out of water and BORDEN must purify a mountain stream

Below is an excerpt from my trail journal:

…the jagged and unforgiving terrain of Sawteeth mocks us as we inch toward the summit. Twigs snap and crack beneath our feet in a macabre symphony of wild and unfamiliar percussion. The mighty swell of the wind and the crisp crystalline rush of the enumerable brooks and tributaries seem to taunt us; “You are weak” they say, “You will find no solace amongst the slippery moss-punctuated rock face, nor compassion in the birch grove nor sanctuary amidst the needles of pine. You are abandoned and alone and shall perish upon this mount, ye men of hubris.” Indeed, perhaps we will, and yet still, we climb on, we climb on…

TR heroically wrestles a 600 lb black bear with his bare hands and saves a local girl scout troop while BORDEN runs off into the woods screaming

All told, we hiked a total of 14 miles and ascended 4100 feet to the summit.

BORDEN and TR perch proudly upon the summit of Sawteeth after narrowly escaping death

Exhausted, blistered and drenched with the saltine sweat of a mountain adventure, we exited the wilderness and returned to base camp where we promptly grilled meats, drank deeply of the lagers and ales of the region and passed out by the warm glow of a crackling campfire. I recall the stars being particularly clear that eve, slyly winking at us like so many prescient eyes who knew the secrets of the day; In this timeless battle of man vs. nature, man won…barely.


  1. when is bordin going to join geva comedy improv?

  2. when is tim going to spell my last name right?

  3. when will tr drop out of the money-making business and begin his highly successful career as a ghost writer for celebrity autobiographies???