The Adirondacks are more remote in some ways than the White Mountains of New Hampshire. But the rugged-yet-friendly esprit is similar upstate, albeit with fewer Boston accents. There are also more noticeable efforts at the summits to mitigate past environmental damage done by unenlightened hikers, especially on the high peaks, hence the meandering lines of small stones that "rope off" the recovering alpine flora.

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Instead of a hut system, the ADKs have the "Loj," which is neither as rustic as an AMC hut nor as hotel-ish as Highland Center. Heart Lake, on whose shores the Loj is built, is lovely, as are the lean-tos surrounding it, where we usually stay. Check out the trip report for Algonquin for our lean-to encounters with mammalia large and small.

Driving into the town of  Lake Placid from the south it's hard not to notice the ski jump. Silent sentinel to the town's Olympic legacy (Miracle on Ice and all that), it perches by the side of Route 73, beckoning you even on the stickiest summer days. When we blow into Lake Placid for our nearly annual ADK hiking trip, we usually make straight for the Price Chopper on the far side of town. We like the ADK-style timbers and the general ambience of the joint, if grocery stores have ambience. I do have one unpleasant association with Price Chopper, however, namely, standing in the beer aisle and receiving a phone call from my wife telling me that our beloved cat Sam had just been put to sleep. But enough about dead cats...


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