Climbing the 46 Adirondack Peaks to Spiritual Freedom: No. Zero (0); Baxter Mountain!

Climbed my first of the 46 Adirondack Peaks this morning! Thinking 4-to-5 a year during the upcoming 7th decade of my life would be a good thing! Passed on nearby Mount Marcy, the highest in New York State, started with one of the easiest, Baxter Mountain! Great trail, great hike, passed 23 adults, 14 children, & 2 dogs going up & coming down! Took about 2-1/2 hours with 30 minutes up on top! More TROML Thoughts to come! Glorious view, awesome feeling of being ONE with nature! God’s Country! Here are the pics in order of ascent! Thank you to Ranger Rob for some great trail insight & advice! Adirondack Park is well run, organized & maintained! TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy and Gratitude)!!!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 30 Pics; 8-11-19)

Baxter Mountain: 2,440 Feet Elevation

Sunday, 8-11-19; 8:20 am to 11 am

TROML Journal Notes:

Roots exposed… large flat rocks…gradual slope… coolness of August morning in the shade of the forest canopy. In the mountains, elevation dictates temperature (learned this in Nicaragua Mountains with host couple Connie & Ernesto).

Through the forest… pine and white birch trees… moss on the ground and fallen trees… pass couple with a large dog… “See you at the Top!”

Fallen tree with a ‘root tree grave,’ not a human grave! Sip of second water bottle… drank first in car.. turned out to be a ‘no-pee hike!’

Huffing and puffing; feel my heart beating in my chest and right ear! Pass father and daughter coming down and they took a picture of me upon my request! Upright please (vertical, not horizontal pic)! I stood upright like the trees although I felt tired and wanted to lay down horizontally! “Over half way,” they said!

I see changes in the vegetation as I ascend, wild mustard plants… larger granite boulder outcroppings… Why are the larger rocks exposed on the top of mountains? Is this biblical?

NOTE: Throughout scripture, Rock are commonly referred to as a symbol of God’s reliability. The Bible advises that we build our houses and lives upon the stable rock that is God’s love. wisdom and salvation. Rocks are interlaced with the idea of refuge, a place to escape the tumultuous hardships of the earth.

1 Corinthians 10:4: “and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

1 Peter 2:4: “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him…”

Deuteronomy 32:4: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”

Isaiah 51:1: “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn…”

Psalm 18:2: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 71:3: “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”

Hike is the work that ‘earns’ the view! The view to the southeast below the rising sun is amazing!

Out of trail, go up through the boulders. Wild blueberries; do not eat! I see civilization down below on the floor of the valley! Have not seen a trail marker in a while… There is another path below right… can’t read my writing… a fake top? More boulders ahead and above. I see a trail marker!

Why am I carrying around an extra 50 pounds in life? Heart beating; feels great!

Grasshoppers! Sound of their wings flapping!

If I trip it is important to trip uphill (up mountain), not downhill (down mountain), off the cliff and arrive in my ‘Beyond & Forever Home!’

Off trail? Hard to discern where the trail is! Found blue trail markers but am I going the right way? Also tree markers going the other way too! I wonder what the top of Baxter Mountain looks like? How will I know that I am there? That I have arrived on Andy’s first Adirondack Peak, No. 1 of 46—Baxter Mountain?

NOTE: Turns out, Baxter Mountain, at 2,440 feet elevation is not one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks (at 4,000 feet elevation or higher)!

This looks like the way down! Definitely down mountain! I turn around and go back 50-70 yards. Cool in the shade; I feel the coolness of my sweat on my cheeks and back. I hear the rustle of the wind through the trees. I hear the rubbing of upper tree trunks, one to the other. Or is that the sound of a bird above?

Yep, blue trail markers going the other way, hopefully the right way. What is the right way? Further up to the summit or down to the car? Need a designation on the blue trail markers—going Up and Down trail—would be helpful; just a suggestion!

Nothing tales through right here—now my written words do not make sense! Go back; maybe the final lookout point was to the Southwest? Took a selfie to the Southwest.

I went back the other way. Is what I see a taller mountain (the summit) or just taller trees? Where is the peak of Baxter Mountain?

The view to the Southeast is amazing! I have been here before. Go back the other way? May just come around to the top of mountain; just going around the peak?

NOTE: There is a loop in the hiking trail on the Summit of Baxter Mountain!

I see new yellow trail markers! Indicating the way down? But I passed people coming down on the Blue Trail on my way up to here! Wrong fork back ‘up;’ may just be a loop at the top? I have to go back down some way; get to my car!

Thank God I am not piloting an airplane here that is running out of gas!

I claim victory! The Summit of Baxter Mountain has been climbed! Andy’s Adirondack Peak No. 1 of 46!

I see an ‘infinity-shaped’ cloud above the vista to the southeast. If you connect the dots of your life into a Figure-8; see the redemptive cycle as being inspired with grace, hope, and mercy along the way… then your life, energy, peace, joy, and power indeed becomes endless, abundant, and infinite!

My cell phone dies completely and automatically shuts itself down. No infinite power there!

I forget about my cell phone and taking pictures and simply enjoy the view from the top of Baxter Mountain! I look across and see a structure that may be a B&B on a lower bluff. Looking over towards Mount Marcy (or what I believe to be Mount Marcy) I see a trail line in the forest leading up to a large bare rock spot.

I think about a picture of me at the summit and get out a post-it note and put my name and phone number on it—please take a picture of the plaque on the summit if you find it and text it to me! Sometimes you have to go down in life to go up!

I am scared by the sound of a lady’s voice. She thought I had already seen her husband and their dog. I get scared easily even on the top of mountains!

I say hello and give them my post-it note. They say someone else told them you have to go down the yellow trail a bit to get up to the summit. I take back my post-it note and turn around once again to seek the summit for sure!

So back I go! This reminds me of the very first time I did yardages for Billy Ray Brown and the Golf Channel at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Something that looks like it should be very easy (find sprinkler with yardage; walk off distance to player’s golf ball; add or subtract as needed; add depth of hole location on the green; repeat for two other players and there you have the yardage to the hole for Golf Channel’s on-course reporter. Radio it into the truck and now all the world can see it graphically displayed on television. Looks easy but can be hard, especially the first time!

First time hiker gets lost at Summit of Baxter Mountain!

Going uphill again I feel a bit tired for sure. I try not to look down 100% of the time. The time to see the view in life is when you are tired, discouraged or troubled. I need to pause and look up for hope!

Psalm 38:15: “For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.”

Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Psalm 33:22: “Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Tired and weary am I. See one yellow trail marker, pause, look ahead to see next one. Are there potentially other rock outlooks ahead that are blocked by the trees? The yellow trail goes straight downhill.

I go back from the direction I came from. The yellow trail must be some sort of connecting trail. Opposite side of the mountain; unlikely to lead me back to my car. Did the man, lady, and dog turn around too? Far enough! I went far enough!

I strike a yoga mountain pose while looking down from above Keene Valley! The sun is getting higher and the view is exceptionally beautiful!

I head down the mountain and run into two guys coming up with a GPS trail map on their cell phone. Definitely a loop at the top of Baxter Mountain!

I climbed Baxter Mountain and enjoy the walk downhill all the way to the car passing several folks and families coming up the trail. Total for the day: 23 adults; 14 children; 2 dogs; and Andy! The trail seemed all mine!

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