The last item on my winter resolution list was: “Go on winter hike in the Adirondack mountain range.”
It certainly seemed a lofty goal for a book-worm gal like me, but hey, I put it out there in writing on my blog and while I don’t mind being a private wimp, I don’t like being a public wimp. So off we went to Lake Placid this weekend!
I’d had the weekend booked with the grandparents for months but somehow it crept up on me. Friday was a whirlwind of work and packing and lugging stuff over to Nan and Grampy’s (if you’re a parent, you know how much stuff I’m talking! A truck-full … seriously … play pen, high chair, toys, diapers, bottles, blankets and even bedtime music — by the time we were done, our house was half-empty!). I started to think we might not ever leave. But we managed to set out before dark.
I had never been to Lake Placid before, so I was finally going to see this place where hubby spends so much time. It was clear from the moment we arrived, that I too would start spending a lot of time there as well! Oh, the place is like a magical postcard — an enormous snow-covered lake, surrounded by majestic mountains for as far you can see.
Now, unlike hubby and his mates who stay in a lean-to on a mountain side, I had booked us into a hotel. As soon as we got there, I got right into my jammies because I was so excited to lounge on the enormous bed and watch a movie on the flat screen television with a good red wine in hand. And so we did just that. Except that I fell asleep within the first 15 minutes with half a glass of wine still in hand.
The next morning was the day to do the deed. I was going to hike Cascade Mountain, which is described on the Adirondack Mountain Hiking site as follows:
One of the most popular summits of the Adirondacks with Algonquin Peak and Giant Mt.. It’s the easiest hike among the 4,000 feet summit. Cascade Mt. has a 360 degree view from its large rocky top. There is a magnificent view to the North of the entire Lake Placid Valley. The entire hike is in a wooden trail except for the last km, which is on bare rock.
Did you notice it was the “easiest”? Yeah, me too. I was counting on that. Hubby told me that this is a hike that he and his friends do on the Sunday morning before they come home because it can be done before lunch. I really hoped that I could get it done before dark.
I needed no new gear, just a pair of borrowed snowshoes and poles. I had never used snowshoes before, but they are a pretty darn amazing invention really. They allow you to walk in spots where you never normally could. To get right in amongst the fluffy snow and trees. It made me feel like a kid again. So much so that I couldn’t resist eating some snow and staring up under the canopy of the pine trees like a sheltered winter rabbit.
Once you start moving, you really get warmed up. Also, because the trees are so thick, you are completely protected from the wind. This is what the trip was like for most of the two and half hours it took to climb to the top. Just trees and snow, trees and snow. A real winter wonderland.
As you get to the top though, you get above the tree line and the wind starts to whip. Despite the wind, I was so happy to see the trees disappear because that meant we were almost at the peak.
I was looking forward to a glory shot of me on the peak of the mountain — amazing view in the background — arms raised in victory. But instead, I got this.
That’s right — no view. The clouds were so thick at the top that we couldn’t see anything. Bit of a bummer. But you know what? I enjoyed it so much that I am going to come back another time and get that view — if it kills me!
And in the meantime, this is my glory shot. Standing at the top of my very first mountain.
Then I promptly hiked my ass down that mountain and sat in my hotel room’s jacuzzi and read a trashy magazine.
Note from Julie on November 15, 2015: Hey, are you curious to see how this whole Winter Resolution thing has been working out? Check out this post for an update: “What I’ve Learned from Saying “Yes” to Winter.”