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Old 07-08-2014, 10:01 AM   #1
OttawaHiker
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Question Mom and son hike

Hi,

my son will turn 17 at the end of August. For his birthday, he has asked for a mom and son hike in ADK. I am thrilled! We hiked Giant, Sawteeth, Gothics, Algonquin, Cascades, Porter, Noonmark, Phelps, Pitchoff and the Brothers. He wants to tackle a big mountain in ADK for his 17th...!

I am considering Marcy from ADK campground, or Haystack with an overnight at Johns Brooke Lodge. I have never been to the lodge. Any recommendations? I am looking for something fairly easy to prepare (no back country camping as we don't have the equipment...) fun and challenging at the same time. And I want to make sure I can follow him on his challenge!!!
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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JBL is very nice, it's about a 5 mile hike in. Using JBL as a base camp allows pretty easy access to a variety of peaks. Haystack is an excellent hike, Marcy is an option from JBL as well. I would suggest the Great Range ascending Gothics via the cable route and then Armstrong/UWJ and possibly LWJ before returning to JBL.

Depending on when you plan to arrive, parking at the Garden(access to JBL) can be tricky. Weekends are tough, but there is a shuttle that runs on weekends.

Marcy from the Loj campground is a relatively easy, but long, hike.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
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Thank you RDL. We will do JBL and Haystack then. The cable route is a great suggestion... but since we did Gothics already, we might try something new. We can always change our plans once we are at JBL.

Assuming we go in August and JBL is full service, are the portions sufficient for an active hungry teenager or should we bring extras?
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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I've never stayed at JBL, but at the ADK Loj the meals are served family style so seconds/thirds are available if desired. I would call ADK and ask whether the meals served at JBL are served similarly.

That being said, teenage boys always seem to be hungry 3 hours after any meal no matter how large -- so probably best to pack extra.

Last edited by rdl; 07-08-2014 at 12:43 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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The two dinners I had at JBL were huge. They serve it family/buffet style and there was plenty of food and leftovers (both breakfast and dinner are this way).

The lunches are paper-bags with two sandwiches and a granola bar in each one (I cannot remember if there was anything else in the lunch or not).

The only complaint I have with the Loj's is that they are bunk rooms and if you are a light sleeper you won't get much sleep since the door hinges creek and there are 10 people in the main rooms or 4 people in the "private" rooms.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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We booked a 4 person family room for 2 nights (Sunday to Tuesday)! My boyfriend and his son are coming with us. Very exciting!

We have decided on Haystack. We are thinking of doing a loop via Saddleback and Basin as well. Thoughts?

For the day we arrive or the day we leave the lodge, we would like to do a shorter hike. Which one would you recommend? Lower Wolf Jaw, Big Slide, Bushnell Falls, or?
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:14 PM   #7
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Depends on time and energy. Big Slide looping via Yard is a nice hike. LWJ is a nice hike. LWJ via Bennies Brook is a great hike. Just splashing around in the slides and pools of Johns Brook is a great way to spend a couple hours also.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:54 PM   #8
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If your timetable allows, you could hike in over the Brothers & Big Slide, then go down the Slide Brook trail to JBL. That would also let you see where you'll be going the next day.

If you add Saddleback & Basin to Haystack - I prefer to go UP the upper range because (a) I like to leave the best for last, and (b) unlike many, I prefer to go down the Saddleback cliff. You'll get a bunch of opinions either way.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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When you say going UP the Great Range, do you mean: Saddleback, Basin then Haystack?

I am better at going up steep hills then down... but I was thinking we should do it the other way: Haystack, Basin then Saddleback, to make sure we do Haystack... since it is our main goal. Does it make sense?

Hoping for great weather on Monday!
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:56 PM   #10
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Yes, if Haystack is the top priority it does make sense. And I'm in the minority about Saddleback; I see a lot more recommendations of going up the cliffs (i.e. down the range). I just like going down them because there are a couple of spots - mainly one, right at the bottom - that are easier for a short person like me to drop down than to try to reach up.
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