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ADK4Life
08-15-2004, 08:18 PM
I was just reading Exploring the 46 high peaks by James R Burnside and he mentions there was a time when people would pay a small amount and be able to be bussed to the lake down the 3 mile road.

Has anyone even been able get a ride from someone down this very boring and mile adding road?

ALGonquin Bob
08-15-2004, 08:44 PM
No free rides. The AMR folks "tolerate" hikers, and that's about all.

Peakbagr
08-15-2004, 09:39 PM
The bus ran from the circle at the AMR building to the Lower Lake, departing every hour until the last bus back from the Lake House at 4 or 4:30pm.

The protocol was that AMR members would fill the bus for free. Then, non Ausable Club members could buy tickets in the lobby.
Used to cost $2, then $5, then $10.

A number of things happened. Non members would crowd the Club members, and there was some rude behavior.
Eventually, the AMR got tired of offering a service to non-members for a revenue that really didn't mean much to them and ended it for non-members.

Like anywhere else, a few ruined it for everyone. The bus was nice if you were doing a REALLY long day and wanted that nice fresh start way up the road. It was also nice to be able to use the bus with hikers new to the sport or with children, and get them a 3.5 mile start up the road.

moose_mckenzie
08-15-2004, 11:30 PM
There is a LEGAL way to ride the bus. You will have to be a member of Adirondack Trail Improvement Society (ATIS). They put out a listing of summer hikes that utilize the bus. this year there were two trips to Gothics, both utilizing the bus.

Another way is to be a guest of the AuSable Club.

MM

percious
08-16-2004, 11:05 AM
Does anyone know how to become a member of the club? Not that I have anywhere near the required anual fee, but I stayed in the club with a wealthy family when I was younger. It was a great time. The summer house was bigger then my normal house!

-percious

hillman1
08-16-2004, 11:11 AM
I once asked the ranger at the gatehouse how to become a member--he laughed at me, and said there are senators that can't get in that club. He did mention a brochure available at the desk, but I've never gone in to see...

percious
08-16-2004, 11:16 AM
I guess the family I was staying with was pretty well off then. They did drive BMWs.... If you have every hiked the upper ausable, you would understand that it is easy to be envious of club owners. They have very remote cabins, it is spectacular. Car ride->canoe ride->portage->canoe->cabin. Quite a trip for groceries.

I wish I knew everything then about the ADKs that I do now. I would have made a better time of my visit. I did get to play some golf, and had fun swimming at the local swimming holes. I told a friend of mine that he can only marry a girl if her family is a member of the club :) . I hope he listens to me.

-percious

Peakbagr
08-16-2004, 11:16 AM
You need to have money, LOTS of money in order to join. Over 25 years ago, I was told that just the golf membership was thousands of dollars a year. Thats for a very short ADK golf season. You then need to be recommended and referred.

SherpaKroto
08-16-2004, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by AlpineSummit
Guess I'll be walking that road for a looooooong time!

Unless some less than courteous hikers ruin that also. I'm looking forward to my first hike down that road and will remember to smile pleasantly at the tourists, er, members ;)

percious
08-16-2004, 12:38 PM
I really dont think the members are "tourists" as you put it. Remember, it is due to these folks that a good chunk of the high peaks region has been preseved. We are lucky enough for them to leave their lands open to public use, and maintain the trails. Furthermore, if you visit the upper ausable, you will see that the cabins fit nicely into the scenery, IE the trees have not been removed from lakeside. Also, they disallow powerboats in a lake that could definately have them. The AMR is interested in preserving these lands as much as we are. They have set aside the most wild of these lands, and allow people like us to use them. Just something to keep in mind.

-percious

Peakbagr
08-16-2004, 01:48 PM
Courtesy is important and the AMR(Adirondack Mountain Reserve/Ausable Club) did safeguard all that area including their ownership of 13 of the ADK HPs for about a century.

For quite some time, NYS was negotiating with the AMR about either buying or getting an easement to the 13 high peak summits that the AMR owned since the turn of the last century. New York State did not feel that it was in the public's interest for a private club to own the summits of so many peaks. They tried everything, including a threat of eminent domain. Finally, in the 1980's NYS threatened to tax the land as real estate development property. The AMR, facing a forced a sale of some of the land or being driven into tax court, sold the land above 2,500' to NYS. In addition there were provisions for permanent hiking easements on certain trails, on the Lake Road, up to the new state land boundry. There are restrictions: NO dogs, hunting or camping on or THRU the AMR easement. No hiking on the private trails around the Upper Lake. This is for the privacy of the campers there and the security of the camps back in their.

Courtesy is a good thing. On the other hand, the easement is the easement and it does not have a "courtesy clause". It would be a shame for hikers to have confrontations with the AMR members who've taken such good care of the land over the years.
Continued access to AMR land, though, is not reliant on good will.

Daniel Eagan
08-16-2004, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by percious
It is easy to be envious of club owners. They have very remote cabins, it is spectacular. Car ride->canoe ride->portage->canoe->cabin.

There are only nine cabins on the Upper Lake, and some have been in the same family since the land was purchased back in the nineteenth century. The club rents out two cabins to members, and some families make their camps available to their friends. But most club members never get back there themselves. Also, members aren't allowed to drive up to the Lower Lake in season, which is why they have a bus.

KZKlimber
08-16-2004, 06:28 PM
Every time I've been on the road there has been either private vehicle or snowmobile traffic. I've never seen anything resembling a bus.

daxegraphix
08-17-2004, 05:54 AM
Are there any restrictions on bicycles? I was thinking of swiping my son's bike, scooting up the road to the trailhead and ditching it in the woods. That would make the return trip easier.
(I know a purist would never think of doing this--so excoriate me kindly.)
Thanks.

ALGonquin Bob
08-17-2004, 05:59 AM
No bikes allowed either. The walk isn't so bad.

daxegraphix
08-17-2004, 06:06 AM
Thanks. That would have been wicked embarrassing.

SherpaKroto
08-17-2004, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by percious
I really dont think the members are "tourists" as you put it.

Sorry - a bad attempt at humor (as in "bus tourists")

1ADAM12
08-17-2004, 08:01 AM
I just hiked in on Lake road a few months ago and I was told it was 50 grand to join. How true that is I do not know but I would not doubt it a bit. Also we had numerous cars pass us on Lake roadand nobody would even wave. We almost got run over a few times :(

WE did run into a few folks on Nippletop that said they got a ride to the Gill Brook trail head. So I guess they were one of the lucky ones. IMO I enjoyed the walk up and back down Lake Road :)

AlpineSummit
08-17-2004, 08:13 AM
They don't wave because they're not hikers - and we are. That's the difference. Wave first & give a half-smile. You ought to, you're the guest!

And be of good cheer, we walk the road and park for free while they pay to be members. They may be a tad upset by that fact too, so there's even a little more reason to be happy.

Personally, I've had nothing but positive experiences every time, with the only exception being diesel fumes from the stinky bus. Now that's nit-picking.....

shadowcat
08-17-2004, 08:42 AM
i've walked the rd several times to reach various trailheads and when i have seen someone they have always waived - or i have waived first! (why is it folks always comment about other people not waiving to them - waive first! maybe the person on the other end is thinking the same thing you are "why don't those hikers ever waive to us?" we let them use our roads and they don't even appreciate it enough to tip us a friendly gesture!" )
and the old guy who looks like "rip van winkle" he's such a sweet heart. hey he can come across like some grumbly old man but he's not, not if you are nice to him. and if you try to be nice and someone gives you the cold shoulder- let it pass. who knows why they are that way, maybe they're having a bad day or maybe they're just jerks - who cares, doesn't affect my world!

1ADAM12
08-17-2004, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by shadowcat
i've walked the rd several times to reach various trailheads and when i have seen someone they have always waived - or i have waived first! (why is it folks always comment about other pegesture!" )
and the old guy who looks like "rip van winkle" he's such a sweet heart. hey he can come across like some grumbly old man but he's not, not if you are nice to him. and if you try to be nice and someone gives you the cold shoulder- let it pass. who knows why theyople not waiving to them - waive first! maybe the person on the other end is thinking the same thing you are "why don't those hikers ever waive to us?" we let them use our roads and they don't even appreciate it enough to tip us a friendly are that way, maybe they're having a bad day or maybe they're just jerks - who cares, doesn't affect my world!

On that particular trip I waved first :) I always wave and sometimes I am told I am to friendly :D

shadowcat
08-17-2004, 10:54 AM
i think it's all about keeping things in perspective. sometimes people get bent out of shape over the most insignificant things. wave, no wave -- what does it really matter? how many times have we passed people in hallways at work, on the sidewalk, in the mall - do you smile, say hello? do you wave at every person you see on a bike or walking as you pass them in your car? you just can't make generalities about a group of people based on whether or not they respond to you as they pass you hiking. it ain't a big deal my peeps! :D

and don't ever worry about being too friendly 1adam12, even if the other person doesn't give a crap, you'll feel good.

bubba
08-17-2004, 12:30 PM
Some thoughts here on the Lake Road... the bus was available before the trails were on my schedule so I never had a ride (and there were times many had to wait for space). Before I walked it, I didn't like the idea of adding 7 miles RT to each hike.

BUT, here's the good news - the road is a gem! It's a nice warm-up in the morning and it's a no-brainer at the end of the hike. Our group added the comfort of taking along sneakers on day hikes - even more comfortable! We looked forward to the change and to the walk out. It's also great for conversation because you can walk several abroad, and the road works with you - slight elevation gain going in (warm-up)... gentle coming out. You barely need a light if it's dark.

I'm glad they stopped the bus. The walk... rather than mentally letting it get to me - I let it work for me. And then what happens?? Someone (no names mentioned but you'd know it) stops and offers us a ride out... and I had to think about it!! Took it... but actually thought about it first!

Peakbagr
08-17-2004, 02:20 PM
Mav,

I've been around the AMR since the 70's and used the bus on and off every couple of years. When it was discontinued for the general public, it was $10 r/t. I remember this becuse I thought the cost increase was steep at the time it was announced. While lightly used by non-members during the day, the bus was often jammed on the morning ride in. What I heard from AMR members was that there were enough hassles between hikers and members for it to be worth continuing the bus for limited revenue.

Rik
08-17-2004, 05:54 PM
I rode the bus once. It was 1993 and what I remember about it was that it smelled. Pretty strong body odor. I think the price was only a couple of bucks but I'm not real sure how much I paid. I also found it amusing that there was a separate bus stop for the "public". The members would get on and then the bus would stop for the "public". At the end of the road it would drop off the "public" and then continue to the lake with members. On the way out we had a choice of hurrying to catch the last bus or walking the road. We walked. Been walking ever since. I don't mind the road. Like bubba I find it a good warm up and cool down. It is some pretty fast miles even in winter. It also makes a lovely beginners ski.

jn316
08-18-2004, 09:19 AM
Yesterday I walked the road as part of the Nippletop/Dial circle,
and I thought that the road walk alongside the full brook was the most beautiful part of the hike, certainly better than the eroded or very muddy trails. (Of course, the view from the top was great!)


As i walked out the last part of the road, I thought that the prohibition against bicylces might be circumvented by riding a large tricyle.

In spite of the mud, a nice long walk; as a dayhike from nh, i get to drive across the greens twice in a day, (and the ticondiroga ferry)...almost as good as the hike.

raftingguy
08-18-2004, 10:21 AM
I rode the bus once back in 1992 on a trip up Sawteeth. We rode it in and walked out. Sometimes I still wish it was there, but the road does make a nice warm-up.

Adk_dib
08-18-2004, 11:59 AM
going out i like to take the road becouse it is a good warm up. Also it is a nice even elevation climb. Where the brook trails are more up and down. But on the way out I like to take the trails along the brook. When I'm tired I tend to get bored with the road and start to wish for the end. But with the trails along the brook it gets my interest up and I don't tend to get as tired. I am doing dial and nippletop next week, so I hope I have enough energy so as to enjoy the trails. If not I will be trudging along the road begging for the parking lot toappear over the next turn.

Doc McPeak
08-18-2004, 01:29 PM
Day 5 of my last backpacking trip started at Snowbird (below Haystack) went down to the Carry, then up and over Colvin (with a side trip up Blake) and then down to the road. All with a 45-50 # pack. The ATIS crews were hard at work and I complimented them on my way past at the Nip junction. As they jogged past me later to catch the bus I again complimented then, and then again at the foot of the Gill. All this ass-kissing was done hoping they would invite to join them on the bus out.

Alas, I better keep working on my ass-kissing skills! :D

shadowcat
08-19-2004, 11:43 AM
don:
don't ass kiss
just ask!
:)
me mother always said "it never hurts to ask"
she also said "when the wind gets too strong - put rocks in your pockets!"
go figure
:rolleyes:

Neil
08-19-2004, 01:39 PM
Whenever I hike out along the Lake Road I always make sure I have a clean, freshly ironed polo top in my pack. Then, just before arriving at the golf club I stop and put it on. While traversing the golf club property I straighten my spine, tighten my sphincter (just to be safe) and put a spring into my step.

Seriously now, I appreciate being able to use private property and if I am bare chested I do stop and put on a shirt before exiting thru the gate. Now if I could only do something about that smell....

tgoodwin
08-22-2004, 09:57 AM
Iím sure that ADK4Life never expected to touch off such a long thread with a simple question about the Ausable Lake Road bus. Given that the first reply had the right answer, I probably didnít need to weigh in; but I have a hard time resisting a chance to relate some history to clear up some misconceptions. Although not a member of the AMR myself, as a long-time Keene Valley summer resident and now director of ATIS I have been close to this scene for many years. I first sent copies of this post to several of those who had posted replies, and one suggested that others would benefit from this brief history.
AMR HISTORY: When it was founded in 1886, the AMR was one of about a dozen large private preserves in the Adirondacks, but it was the only one not created for hunting. Hence the public was not kept out. At that time dogs were used to hunt deer, hence that prohibition. By 1920, the AMR consisted of 40,000 acres including the upper Johns Brook valley, Indian Falls, the summit of Marcy, and the upper part of the North Fork of the Boquet in addition to the Ausable lakes. At this time, the State first became interested in actively purchasing land, and the AMR was willing to sell off 24,000 acres - all but the Ausable Lakes and surrounding summits. At the same time, the State used the threat of eminent domain to obtain Lake Colden from the Tahawus Club Ė the only time I believe that threat has been used to add land to the Forest Preserve. Public use of the trails continued as established by earlier tradition. Up until 1960, there were so few hikers that those not riding the bus could park at the gate. When the club built the three small parking lots for the golf house, the third one was for hikers; but this lasted only a few years as the mid-60ís saw a tremendous increase in the number of hikers. This is when the parking was moved to its present location.

By the 1970s, higher property taxes caused the AMR to approach the State, resulting in the 1978 sale of 9,000 acres along with the current trail easements. Percious is right that the founders of the AMR preserved the land because they themselves were hikers, and they have been careful to keep it pretty much as it was in 1886. Absent AMR ownership, there could even have been a road up Marcy as there was at least one initiative to build one to better compete with the White Mountains for tourists.

BUS HISTORY: When the number of hikers was relatively low, public use was no problem. Although the posted schedule said members had priority, most members were reluctant to exercise that privilege if public hikers had filled the bus before they got there. By the late 80ís this had become more of a problem with the additional complaints that hikers would often wander around to ďcheck the place outĒ as though it were some kind of museum. In 1989, the first move by the trustees was, in the middle of the summer, to increase the fare to $10 each way in the erroneous belief that bus use was included in the trail easement. This move split the membership virtually in half with the older families generally wanting to keep the tradition, while newer members wanted the exclusivity they felt their membership dues paid for. This led to the compromise next year of the public boarding at the gate or the top of the hill (after members had boarded at the club or boathouse) and paying $3 each way. This system lasted until 1995. Putting the bus stop where every hiker passed by had the effect of increasing the demand for seats, and often resulted in hard feelings after someone had waited but couldnít ride. There was furthermore the problem of, for instance, the bus leaving the club with, say, six places left. The crowd at the gate might consist of a group of four first in line, then a group of five. The group of five then had to debate who rode or if they all stepped aside Ė meanwhile leaving the crowded bus idling in the hot sun. I think you get the picture.

I donít believe the statements that hikers could ride mid-week in 2002 are correct. Someone may have asked a member who cheerily passed on that misinformation, and the desk staff didnít bother to check the personís credentials. The bus service runs during July and August, and sometimes for a few weekends in the fall or spring if there is a wedding or other special occasion such as a conference. In winter, the road is used by snowmobiles to haul supplies to the Upper Lake camps.

mavs00
08-22-2004, 12:24 PM
I donít believe the statements that hikers could ride mid-week in 2002 are correct.

With due respect to the knowledge and substantial regional contributions of the above posters (which I deeply respect), I have deleted ALL prior postings on this matter.

As a matter of record, the dates were Tuesday, July 30, 2002 and Saturday, August 3, 2002 and I'm not sure there is any basis for anyone to infer that it was otherwise so. :(