Adirondacks backpacking

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Murphy Lake

Well, the five-night backpacking trip circumnavigating the trio of Adirondack lakes, Murphy, Middle and Bennett, was not to be. We lost a couple of days trying to wait out the worst of the rain, and we knew our pace would be slower even in a light rain, so we opted to go to Murphy Lake for just a two-night hike. Good that we did as the rocky trails were extremely slippery and the marshy areas where beavers had been busy damming creeks made the going tough. On the bright side, the temperature was mild and the scenery was magnificent.


We arrived at the camping area on the eastern rim of Lake Murphy in good time and had a lot of fun setting up our new backpacking tent for the first time. Although it wasn't raining at the time, we experimenting with an alternative set up: first put up the fly; then, under the protection of the fly, set up the tent. We're still fond of the old tent, but if we had to set it up during a rainstorm there's no way we could keep the interior dry. Paul challenged me to a tent set-up race when we get to Black Point, which I'm sure I will win hands down.

Shortly after we set up camp we had a visit from another backpacker who was out for just a single overnight. He camped a few hundred feet down the trail from us. He told us about the cochlear implants he had implanted about five years previously. He was profoundly deaf, but his hearing continues to improve as he learns to finetune the devices. One of his motivations for wilderness camping is to listen to the sounds of nature, particularly bird calls, and he learns to hear more and more with each trip. It's so nice to hear success stories. There are so few when it comes to hearing loss due to age.

There was cell phone service at Lake Murphy, so the next morning we were able to check the weather and learn that the forecast which had been for a chance of showers had changed to a probability of rain. Enough! Flexibility being the key, we changed our plans once again and decided to hike all the way out instead of spending another night on the trail. We'd be more comfortable at a standard campsite, but there was also the possibility of arriving early at Black Point early. And did it rain on the return trip! We were completely drenched. When we arrived back at the car, Paul called his sister and cleared our early arrival.

Of course we had a stop to make before we could hit the road -- back to Dunning Brook Trail to see what was left of the chanterelles. They looked to be in great shape, and Fran picked a bunch to take with us to Black Point.

See more photos.