After walking for a few miles, I came to what I believe to be the beginning of the much heralded (and maligned) Golden Staircase. I was never actually sure when I set foot on this engineering marvel ( Alan Castle's words, not mine ;-) ) . There was no large marmot with eyeglasses and a scroll of names he'd allow to pass. No archway, and I certainly didn't see any golden stairs. What I do know is that the climb began in earnest at about this point and didn't let up until the Palisades Lake.