Holiday Hikes

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:19 am by Mr P

With the official start of the winter I decided to try to bag a few winter peaks hikes over the holidays. With a week off from my day job I thought I might be able to get six peaks. This old body thought otherwise, but I managed to get three peaks in and a first time hike with a friend.

Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge – 26 DEC

Giant Summit Panorama

I left Schroon Lake at 7:30 on a spectacular morning. Crystal clear bluebird day save for a low cloud here and there. I pulled in to the ridge trail parking area behind a group of three. They got out just ahead of me but we were all on the trail by 8:30. There was a dusting to an inch of snow, and a couple nights of single digit temperatures had taken care of any mud. I bare-booted up the switchbacks and made pretty good time.

I hit the first significant ice around 2700 feet and stopped to put on microspikes. Continuing up the views were incredible on the open ridges. There was plenty of ice the rest of the way, but there wasn’t anything that made me uncomfortable with microspikes and poles. I was happy that I’d touched up the points . I saw the group of three on their way back down, just below the Giant summit junction. They tried RPR and said there was a lot of ice and turned back. One of the three had no traction aids.

I had been debating whether to push on to RPR and hit Giant on the way back, but decided to do Giant first. I made the summit of Giant at 12:30, refueled and took some pictures. More spectacular views until another low cloud came in. I packed up and headed for RPR. I met a second group of two just below the summit on their first high peak hike, winter or summer.

I hit the most ice of the day on the back side of Giant and saw the place where the group of three turned around. It wasn’t bad climbing down, but I wouldn’t want to try getting back up it without traction aids. I got into the col and up to the RPR summit by 2:30, my turn around time. I took a few pictures from the summit, where the views were absolutely spectacular.

I headed back down the way I came up, stopping in the col to refuel in a sunny spot out of the wind. I got out my headlamp and got ready for the hike out. I made the Giant summit junction just after sunset and started down. The open ridges that had such fantastic views on the way up were pretty cool in the dark, too. Still crystal clear, now seeing stars and a sliver of a moon, with the occasional car headlights passing on 73 below. The rest of the trip down was uneventful, except for a little tumble about a half mile from the trail head, I was out of the woods by 8:30 and on my way home.

Porter – 02 JAN


My first hike of the new year was also my first hike with a partner since Shelby & I hiked Blue Mountain two summers ago on a trip out from Michigan. I’ve been trying to get out for a hike with Mark & Sharon Piper (of the Schroon Lake Bed & Breakfast) for months, but we just couldn’t get our schedules to mesh until now. This was a much different day, from the Blue Mountain hike with Shelby and the solo hike on Giant & RPR the previous Monday.

We were on the trail from the Garden by 6:30 with headlamps. Just a dusting of snow, the ground was frozen for the most part. We donned traction aids (microspikes for me, yaktrax for Mark) about a half mile in, as it was just slippery enough on the first downhill. Crossed Slide Brook on an ice bridge in the dark, only to find the log bridge on the opposite bank, remnants of Irene damage, I assume.

Continuing up we hit had snow showers on and off, adding to the snow that got deeper as we climbed. By the time we got to Little Porter there was about 4″, and up to almost 8″ on the summit ridge. We heard the wind howling in the trees all along the ridge, and by the time we made the summit it was snowing and blowing up a storm. We took a couple summit pics with the snowman. We had planned to try to get Cascade as well, but Mark had had enough after about 15 minutes on the summit, so we headed back down.

The snow had completely filled in our tracks on our way back down, but we had no problem following the trail for the most part. As we got into the switchbacks below little porter the snow got pretty sticky and started balling up on my microspikes. That’s when I noticed that the front inner chain on one of my microspikes had pulled through the rubber grommet. I’m not sure if it’s related to the balling (I knocked ‘em off before it got bad), but I didn’t have 75 miles on these. Had zip ties in my pack and could have made a repair, but I decided to just hike out on them as is.

I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed when Mark didn’t want to push on to Cascade, but at the end of the day I was pretty happy to be out of the woods with some daylight left and not chilled to the bone. And, besides, this way he might actually hike with me a second time, something not many others have done.

Divinity, Popcorn Balls, Snow Caps and Cake Truffles. F u Weight Watchers.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm by Chef Shelby

Tomorrow is a big day in Schroon Lake, Santa arrives at the Strand around 6.  It seems like there’ll be activities going on all over town tomorrow, the Chamber has something, the fun starts at the Strand around 4, and not to be left out, we’re doing some goodies for tomorrow too. 

 This week has been a week of prep work, not just for Santa’s arrival, but for the holiday sugar season in general.  Time to dig out the family recipes for candy, cookies, cakes, stocking stuffer treats and pretty much anything else that could be described as a “FDD.”  What is FDD, you may ask?  Frosting delivery device for the amateurs out there. 

 Just doing a quick status check.  Popcorn balls:  75+ completed, including caramel and red.  Bacon and green still left to do.  Chocolate espresso snow cap cookies:  done.  Divinity:  done (pure sugar mixed with dried cherries and almonds.)  Kind of the consistency of fudge.  Chipotle chocolate cake truffles:  100+ truffles formed and waiting to be dipped in chocolate.  Almost forgot the gingerbread cupcakes with eggnog crème filling and eggnog frosting I made yesterday.  Christmas is the marathon of all baking holidays, with a little more than 2 weeks to go. 

 Plan for tonight:  wrap the popcorn balls, dip the truffles in chocolate, make honeyed rosemary almonds, some assorted flavors of cake truffles and maybe a batch of some other cookie flavor.  Attempt to eat something green for dinner that isn’t made of frosting.

How Did You Two End Up In Schroon Lake?

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm by Mr P

Shelby & I had been trying to figure out how we could move to the Adirondacks for a while. After having the house on the market for over a year (you’ve heard about the housing market in Michigan, haven’t you? ;)), by early February it became apparent that the house was finally going to sell, and we needed to find a place to move. We considered finding an apartment in Detroit metro vicinity and living there for another year or two, but then it hit us: moving is a pain, why do it twice? Why don’t we move to the Adirondacks now and open a barbecue joint? Out came the laptop and we started searching the internet for buildings that would work.

We were looking for a small-ish place with a storefront, a kitchen, and living quarters. With those requirements, we found five properties: one in Tupper Lake, one in Keene, one in Moriah, and two in Schroon Lake. I grew up in Syracuse and I lived in Albany for almost 10 years, so I was pretty familiar with the Adirondacks in general. I knew Tupper Lake and Keene, but I had never gotten off the Northway in Schroon Lake until we came out to look at properties in March. Honestly, between the location and the property, we just fell in love and set out to make it happen. We moved in on May 23 and opened on June 24, and we haven’t looked back.

How to smoke a turkey in a garbage can

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm by Chef Shelby

Barbecue is a culture, a community, a religion some might say.  Different branches and different doctrines, but in the end, it’s all about having a good time with good friends and good food.  Enter Frank Laplaca, barbecue aficionado and smoking enthusiast.  Today was his first visit to Mr. P’s, and we thank him for making the trip.  And thanks to Larry from the Westport Marina for recommending us, appreciate that too.  By the time lunch was over, we were standing around my computer watching Frank’s YouTube video on how to smoke a turkey in a garbage can and talking about cocktails, Thanksgiving traditions and how Frank’s “plumber’s butt” seems to end up in all his videos.  We had a good laugh, thought the technique was interesting, and wanted to share his video. 

We hope this will be the first of many video posts to add to our content.  Have a video about barbecue or smoking you’d like to share?  Send me the link! 

trash can turkey the right way