* Jo (2,877 ft.)


I add the asterisk to Jo because it is not a 4,000-foot peak, but that seems like a pointless  distinction in this case because Jo is undoubtedly a harder hike than other 4,000ers I've done, including Monroe and Iroquois. This was Bea's first real mountain, too, and she did wonderfully despite a few motivational moments. (I would have been the same or worse at her age.) I carried Clem up and part of the way down in the Ergo baby carrier, but he showed enthusiasm that will serve him well on future hikes if he decides to do more.

The short trail up Jo is rocky but nicely laid out in terms of trail work. The long trail, while not as steep, is muckier and harder in terms of footing. The views from the top are remarkably spectacular for such a short trip: clear vistas of Marcy, Wright, Algonquin, Colden, and some of the other high peaks. The summit steward was impressed with the children, and Bea was very exited to learn that a resident garter snake (nicknamed Sally) was sometimes to be found sunning herself on the rocks. Sally was a no-show, sadly, but we had a mostly great time nonetheless. The beautiful ADK patch presented to both little hikers at the finish were well received and seemed to quell Bea's feeling on the way down that she HATED hiking. I explained to her that I sometimes feel like that myself on the way down... 

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