I had convinced my wife Leesa that Fall would be the best time to hike Allen Mountain. The leaves would be colorful, the water crossings would probably be easy, and she really would have a view from the summit. Well.... 2 out 3 ain't bad.
Saturday, October 5th was the day we picked. The temperature was nice and it was supposed to be partly sunny. The leaves were at peak, or just a couple days past peak.
We got on the trail at 6:30 AM, hoping to finish before dark, which would be about 12 hours later. We forgot to bring water shoes, but we crossed the ankle deep Hudson River barefoot. The water didn't bother me, but she thought it felt extremely cold.
Next we skirted around Lake Jimmy on the new bypass around the north end. This work was done by the ADK High Peaks Foundation. They recently pulled up some of the boards from the old Lake Jimmy bridge to build a new crossing at the Lake Jimmy outlet. They also used some of the boards for bog bridges. They did a fine job. Thanks!
We reached the Opalescent River crossing after about 1.5 hours. This was another ankle deep crossing. We probably could have rock hopped if we had gone upstream about 100 yards.
At 2 hours, 20 minutes, we were at the 2nd register and the start of the herd path. At this point, we beginning to feel as though the fog was not going to burn off. There was a light mist that didn't want to go away. You never know though. Sometimes it just clears right out.
I didn't take many pictures since visibility wasn't good. As we entered the herd path, we saw the best colors of the day as we passed through a section of hardwood forest. Shortly after we left the hardwoods the trail begins to go downhill along a diagonal slope and it drops 200 feet before reaching Skylight Brook.
|The first waterfall on water at Allen Brook|
A few minutes later, we reached Allen Brook. 3 hours and 30 minutes had passed since we started. We were both feeling good, and our dog Rev looked like she had just started. I told Leesa that the last 1.5 miles would be steep and slippery as we climbed alongside and through Allen Brook. We just took it slow and easy and we spent the last 2 hours working our way to the summit.
Shortly after we got to the summit, 2 guys with a dog arrived (the only other dog we saw all day) . Both dogs starting barking at each other. The quiet was broken. We separated the dogs and each huddled on opposite spots on the summit. We had our lunch and looked out over an overcast, misty foggy valley. Nothing could be seen.
It had taken us 5.5 hours to get to the top. If we went down at the same pace, we would be out before dark. We did find that we made slightly better time on the way out, even though Leesa was tired. I guess she was anxious to get off her feet.
It's too bad that Leesa didn't get to see the view from Allen. I'm not sure she'll hike it again to see it, but you never know. In any case, we all had a great day.
Hike Distance: ~ 18 miles
Hike Time: 11 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 3500'