Woke up in the Corner Motel after some seriously refreshing sleep. Jeanette enjoyed one of her favorite luxuries in our journey: cold pizza in bed for breakfast. I, on the other hand, had something else in mind for my ideal breakfast. Long lake has a Stewarts, a fact I noted well in advance of the hike. I knew that, if I could, on the day I went through Long Lake I'd like to have an eggwich. It is a sacred and powerfull meal that magically cures hangovers and prepares anyone for a full day of snowboarding.
As it was 6Am on the outskirts of Long Lake, we were not passed by a single car on our way to the trailhead. No free rides today. We were both glad to have our feet back on the earth as we made our way through a rolling trail with some big trees. Not much remarkable about the hike along the lake other than the going was pretty easy so we made some good time.
We decided to push on to the Cold River Lean-to's as Long lake seemed loud and full of people (well, compared to some of our recent nights in the some of the most isolated parts of the state). The intersection that would take us away from the lakeshore jarred us into a new reality: Lake Placid was close enough to be worth putting on trail mileage signs (under 30 miles from the northern edge of the lake). We were entering the final stretch!! We were tired and sore but took a minute to relax and eat a cliff bar there and ponder our fate.
The highlight of this section of trail were the two very bad-ass suspension bridges. When we realized that we were camping at the base of the larger one which crosses Cold River, we knew we might have to revise our top 3 favorite lean-tos. The lean-to was also at the base of a very interesting and intricate falls. This whole place had a very other-worldly feel with unusual water-worn stone which created deep rounded 'potholes' with what eroded out.
Lots of available firewood also made this a great place to stay for the night. It seemed like there must have been a recent storm as there blowdown everywhere. I had anticipated having alot more fires (we only had three: Spruce Lake, Tirell Pond, Cold River) but the weather was pretty damn perfect and there seemed to be no good reason to waste wood for people who might really need it (not to mention we were dead tired most night and wanted only to lounge, eat and read in our cozy three-walled home). Other than that campfires are wicked pretty. Thats why we had one that night. The fireplace was also large enough to roast a horse in so it was hard to resist seeing if we could light it up nice. I spent most of the afternoon/ early evening exploring the rocky falls and seeing our camp and the bridge from a bunch of different perspectives.
From my journal: "Yet another phenomenal and unique place to spend the night. "
Day 8: 16 miles (our high for the trip). 24 miles to go