The Milky Way and a plethora of beautiful ponds - The Adirondacks, August, 2020.

Titans

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All summer we have been longing to see the Milky Way and stargaze an evening. So about 2 weeks ago in a snap we packed up our camping gear and headed to the Adirondacks. Hiking the high peaks is very popular now, so we decided to do a hike around numerous quiet and beautiful ponds, almost all in the wilderness. Thanks again to @kwc for the recommendations and as promised to @Rockskipper here is the TR and also lots of photos for @John Morrow

No shortage of reflections on this trip!
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It had rained overnight. The air was cool, crisp and the leaves of the Maidenhair ferns were still wet.
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Plenty of shade, nice and green everywhere
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Interesting fungus, we would see plenty during the trip
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Colorful mushroom, I’m guessing not eatable!
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The first pond was just outside the wilderness, but the reflections of the clouds in the pond were beautiful
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Plenty of moss covered rocks and it was so green
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Interesting fallen tree with large rocks in between the roots
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We had to be careful to avoid stepping of these colorful Salamanders. They were everywhere (!) on the trail.
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"Hi there, thanks for not stepping on me"..... @Miya , you would have taken beautiful photos of these :)
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Same lake, different spot. Right on the wilderness border.
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Wild how the roots wrap over the rocks
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This pond has a very non flattering name, but it's in the wilderness! Reflections of clouds and trees in the pond.
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Close by we saw a birch tree with layers of fungus
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Another pond, with a primitive campsite right there.
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This was a very clear pond, though it doesn't show well on this photo
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Nice rock wall covered in moss
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This might be my favorite photo of this trip!
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The photo doesn't do this piece of trail justice, it was just beautiful
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Yep, yet another pond. We would circle around it and come back to fantastic reflections later on
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Water lilies blooming everywhere
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Further around the same pond, this looks like a postcard I think. It is kind of a more swampy area in between 2 ponds.
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Same pond, further around, various cool rock formations. Rippled cloud reflections. Primitive campsites across the pond.
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A nice rocky island in the middle, it looked nice!
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As we looped around this pond, it got more rocky and hilly
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We did see the elusive Loon that @kwc saw, but no telephoto lens with us.
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Then we saw stellar reflections and primitive camping near by
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Lots of ferns along the trail
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Cool view of roots wrapped around a big rock!
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Back to the dual pond area, this is the smaller pond with clouds reflected
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Then we spent lots of time taking photographs, just stellar reflections everywhere we looked....
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Just stunning!
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Rick in action
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We had planned to loop further out, but we cut it short to 10 miles. This is the other end of the dual ponds.
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On the way back we saw this fungus with many nicknames
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That’s the rootball of 3 trees that went down in a creek
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Followed by a giant burr
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On the way through the campground Rick got a nice pond shot, close to where we started the day
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We located our campsite and quickly set everything up. Nice that we don't feel like complete newbies anymore. Though- those chairs are new!
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Since the whole trip was a spur of the moment thing... we had packed our favorite backpacking meal / brand for dinner. @McKee80 , this one is for you :)
We are totally happy to eat a Brazilian BBQ or a grilled piece of Salmon, but after hiking all day we just want to sit down, have a beer and enjoy the evening, as we already cook extensively at home. We are big fans of Food for the Sole, super tasty meals!
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Sun set and a wonderful cool evening, clear skies!
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Last fall we were spoiled with superb dispersed campsite views in Utah, but we least we could still see a few stars from our campsite
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Here’s some of Rick’s evening photography, as good as it gets in the northeast. We were thrilled to see the Milky Way and plenty of stars that evening.
This is around 9:15 pm
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Around 10:15pm
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A couple of planes came into view, think around 10:30 pm
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We slept really well during the cool night, until about 4 am, when a snake moved into the tent and it came right up next to my head! At least in my dreams it did…., so I screamed and woke us both up. :rolleyes: @scatman...... just having Katie talk in her sleep would be much nicer!

It was 50F when we woke up to another sunny and clear day. A little fog was sitting over the pond.
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We quickly packed up and headed out for just 1/2 day hike, since we had to be back by late afternoon. The crisp morning hike started out with more green stuff! We met a ranger out on patrol and got some helpful info about the Adirondacks. We noticed more details, moss covered trees, baby trees, tiny clovers, ferns, etc
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2 people out in kayaks
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On the way to the next pond we saw an unusual looking mushroom
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A “Lean-To” to be found at various ponds, often there’s also primitive campsites. We are not too excited about these super dark Lean Tos.
Supposedly a place where mice like to roam around....
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Yes, another pond in the Wilderness! The backpacker we met leaving the area said the water was warm, great for swimming.
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An unofficial primitive campsite away from the Lean To
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Plenty of dead wood...
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Never seen so many down Birch trees!
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A boardwalk over the narrow end of the same pond with some nice looking clouds
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That boardwalk was a bit bouncy....
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Last look of the wilderness!
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We chatted with a very local backpacker, who gave us a few ideas for the future. Then we turned around shortly after since we had to be back late afternoon. We had a super relaxing trip, we saw plenty of cool stuff and it was great to see the Milky Way. We are going back end of this week....
 

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Jackson

I like to go outside.
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What a beautiful place! Glad to hear you're headed back so soon.

Also that tent looks very spacious! Very cool design.
 

Ben

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loved the salamander. and fantastic photos the whole way through. so much color! looks like a great trip, thanks for sharing.
 

McKee80

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Great photos. I’m going to have to get up there. So, let me get this straight: 1) you purchase a freeze dried meal 2) you put it amongst your other backpacking gear 3) you pull it out and eat it during your backpacking trip. I’m writing this down :)
 

Titans

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Thanks everyone!

@Jackson - Rick picked out the tent, it worked out great out West, we are super happy with it. I'm thinking we need a backpacking tent too ;). We are looking forward to head out again Thursday. Doubt we will do much stargazing, it is full moon Wednesday evening and the moon rises at 8:30pm Thursday. But it's a "Corn Moon", so maybe that will be interesting over the lake!

@zionsky - Thanks. Didn't think about that, "the tree swallowed a pumpkin" :D. Super cool, I don't recall seeing a tree with such a big burr all around the tree.

@regehr - Thanks, it was a great little trip, we really enjoyed it!

@Ben - Thanks. We loved the Salamanders too and we saw so many! Tiny, tiny ones too. Here's some more info, it's a juvenile one, called "Eastern (Red Spotted) Newt. The adult is green. They can live for 12-15 years, it says, wow!

@McKee80 - Thanks. Lmk, if you go one day, I can PM you more info, especially about the primitive campsites. And yah.....you got it with those backpacking meals. But wait, didn't @Ugly suggest you also need a few extra in your car, just in case? :)
 

John Morrow

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Holy cow, amazing photographs! Of course I'm looking at the DEC trying to figure out where you are. At least two wildernesses with trails, lean-tos, and "ponds" in the name!
 

Miya

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Oh my gosh...I wouldn't have made any miles on this trip! So much amazing fungi and the Salamanders! I would have been laying on the ground the whole day following it around haha. Your photo of it was amazing! So cute!!

Also, that red mushroom, just looks violent haha.

Such a wonderful share! I legit thought a snake got in your tent and was like 'What the heck?! Why did you leave your tent open silly!" haha
 

Titans

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Holy cow, amazing photographs! Of course I'm looking at the DEC trying to figure out where you are. At least two wildernesses with trails, lean-tos, and "ponds" in the name!
@John Morrow , thanks, I will let Rick know about the photos. I already send you the map last week, but it’s in private message concerning another recent topic we discussed....
 

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Titans

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Oh my gosh...I wouldn't have made any miles on this trip! So much amazing fungi and the Salamanders! I would have been laying on the ground the whole day following it around haha. Your photo of it was amazing! So cute!!

Also, that red mushroom, just looks violent haha.

Such a wonderful share! I legit thought a snake got in your tent and was like 'What the heck?! Why did you leave your tent open silly!" haha
@Miya , thanks, it’s mostly all Rick’s photos! Figured you would love some of the close up photos. Especially those cute salamanders. They didn’t move at all on the trail.

When we were stargazing in the darkness right at the edge of the pond, I wondered briefly, if there could be any water snakes moving around..... forgot about it until (in my dreams) “I saw a snake crawl through a tiny opening in the tent and the head came right up next to mine looking at me”. I always sleep great in the tent, so it’s probably related to the thought of snakes at the water line earlier that evening during.:)
 

Arizona Jones

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Aug 1, 2020
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Thanks or sharing, brings back memories of living in New York when I was 12. Such a different type of environment from Arizona. Reminds me of the woods and ponds I used to explore with my friends (only this is better ).
 

Reef&Ruins

Colorado Plateau is calling...
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Yup... that's some pretty awesome country to look at. Great TR and pics as always!
 

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