Getting back to hiking..July 5, 2008, I hiked big slide via the brothers and looped back over the slide brook trail. A roundtrip of 10 miles that took 9 and a half hours. We arrived at the garden parking lot (another first) at 6:45am. I made my father leave the house at 5:15am. I am just as opposed to getting up at that hour for ANYTHING believe me but I wanted to get a spot at the garden and it was fourth of july weekend. We made it in time to be the second car in the "one center lane only" row. We were on the trail at 7:15am (usually the time we leave the house). The rate at which you climb over the three brothers is slow due to the awe striking views that are encountered only 45 minutes into the climb. As you summit each of the brothers the view of the great range changes. When the trail is in the woods, it is easy climbing and dry. Mostly, you climb on open rock and ledges. There are two ladders to help with the extremely vertical bare rock, although there are a couple sections that just required scaling with the aid of a few strategically placed roots and branches. My back muscles are feeling it as well as my arms. What a different day compared to my last ranting post about street and nye. The slide brook trail had at least 10 beautiful waterfalls within the brook that required several stops for photo opps. I do believe I can count on one hand the number of black flies we encountered doing big slide. It was a beautiful day, not too muggy and some breeze could be felt. We met no one on the trail and only 6 people joined us on the summit after we had some time to explore it by ourselves. We spoke to one of the gentlemen, who has 29 checked off the 46er list. He told us of his climb of cliff and redfield the day before. We are interested as they are possibilities for our backpacking trip in two weeks. Speaking of backpacking, we checked out in more depth, the designated camping sites for future overnights. This only serves to get me more excited for the 3 night trip we have planned for the 18th-21st of July. I do have to admit that I am a little nervous though, the closest thing to primitive camping I have done is tenting in a state campground without electricity. Stay tuned for those postings. Meanwhile, Big Slide tops the list of favorite hikes. I am not sure that there will be a better hike among the 39 I have left. The view of Dix peaking over Upper Wolfjaw, Giant and Gothics from this peak are amazing. Like the books say...the best view in the adirondacks.