Back Tracking

Hello again!  I know it has been F.O.R.E.V.E.R since I last updated my blog.  It has been about a year and a half since I last posted! It’s CRAZY what can happen in that amount of time.  Because of my, for a lack of a better word, laziness, I am going to have to back track and try to fill in where I left off.  Can you guess what has happened over the past year and a half???


On the road again

Hiking Trip # 2 – Keene Valley

July 28-July 30

keene valley

Dave and I finally got some free time to go hiking again!  We have both been working hard so we couldn’t wait to escape for a couple of days.  Friday night is kind of a haze.  I didn’t get out of work until 7 and Dave didn’t get done with soccer until around 8:30, which didn’t give us much time to pack.  I helped a little more on the packing end since I knew what we had packed last time.  Let’s just say our hiking gear was not neat and orderly like the picture below…

neat packed

Our hiking gear, although very well organized in Dave’s hiking gear closet, looked like it had been thrown all over the basement.  There were boxes of food all over the place, bags everywhere, shoes scattered around the room, piles of clothing…well you get the picture! It was too embarrassing to even take a picture of!  Eventually we got everything nice and organized.

Dave put himself in charge of preparing the meals.  For breakfast each morning we packed oatmeal and coffee (Starbucks Via instant coffee..amazing little invention!).  Since we would be hiking all day, we packed trail mix, cornuts and sesame sticks, honey packets, naan bread, cheese and pepporoni to snack on throughout the day.  Let me tell you what, that pepperoni and cheese tastes soooo good on the top of a mountain! Dinner items included: macaroni and cheese mixed with dehydrated beef, mashed potatoes with gravy and corn, and then a ramen noodle combination.  These may sound gross but after a long day of hiking, they taste sooo good and fill you up quick! Wine also made the packing list (thank goodness!!).  Since we wouldn’t pass any lean-tos on this hike, we had to pack the tent to sleep in.  Everything else we packed was pretty much the same as last time.  By the time everything was packed and ready for the morning, it was already 11pm! To bed we went!

Once again, we decided to get up super early (4am!) on Saturday morning and leave.  It took us about 5 hours to get to the Ausable Club in Keene Valley.  We parked in the St. Hubert parking lot that is located next to the Ausable Club.  The Ausable Club reminded me of the movie set from Dirty Dancing.  The main house had the same look to it.  It was GORGEOUS!!

ausable club

We had stopped at a gas station about an hour before we got there to fill up our camelbacks, get one last cup of coffee and eat our yummy pre-hike peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast.  Once we parked at St. Hubert’s, we did some last minute rearranging of items in the packs, making sure the necessities were easy to get to and changed into our hiking clothes.  Our plan was to knock off 9 peaks over the course of saturday and sunday.  I thought that was a pretty lofty goal, but better to over plan than under plan.  Once we reached this gate (below), it was off into the woods for the weekend with Dave.

wooden gate

Lake Placid

Lake Placid

May 27-28 2012

 lake placid

After long and draining hiking trip, Dave and I headed into Lake Placid to spend the day/night.  We ended up meeting Julia (my sister), her husband Adam and their dog Charlie at 46 Sandwiches for brunch.  I can’t remember what sandwich we had, but it was delicious!  If you are ever in Placid, you must go there! YUM!!  We showered at the hotel Julia was staying at since we couldn’t check into ours until later that day.  They were staying at The Golden Arrow.  It was a super nice hotel located right on Mirror Lake.   Their hotel had a nice beach with paddleboats that you could take out on the lake.  Dave and I decided we might have to borrow one of those later in the day.  I say borrow loosely here since Dave and I weren’t technically guests of the hotel….shhh don’t tell!!! After showering in my sister’s room, Dave and I hit up the local grocery store and liquor store to get some snacks and drinks to take out on the paddleboats.  Before heading out on the boat, we checked into our hotel, Lake Placid Summit Hotel. It wasn’t the Golden Arrow but the price was right.

golden arrow hotel        summit hotel

We made our way back down to the Golden Arrow with our snacks and drinks in tow.  After sitting on the beach for a while and watching Dave feed a duck a Cheetos out of his mouth (gross!  Watch the video!), we snagged one of the paddleboats and headed out on the water.

We were out there for a couple hours.  It was nice sitting in the sun, making our way around the lake and enjoying a cocktail.  Much needed after around 20-25 miles of hiking.

Since we didn’t want to completely take advantage of using the hotels paddleboat, Dave and I brought the boat back and took a stroll down the main street of Lake Placid.  There’s a ton of cute little shops with nick-knacks galore!  Besides looking around a few stores, we did some wine tasting at the Goose Watch Winery.  The wine was pretty good…we ended up buying a couple of bottles to take home.  The rest of the night was a little blurry…too much alcohol, sun and dehydration!  We went to the happy hour at our hotel then went to dinner at Nicola’s.  We got a yummy pizza and a clam dish…both we really good.   We stopped at Ben and Jerry’s on the way back to the hotel before passing out for the night.  Overall, we had a great time in Lake Placid!

Peaks #4 and #5 – 5/26/12

Peaks #4 and #5

Mt. Marshall and Colden



The second day of hiking was interesting. I woke up a little stiff from the previous days hike but nothing that a little Aleve couldn’t help with.  It was mainly my quads that hurt…. guess I should do more squats at the gym!

After a delicious oatmeal and coffee breakfast, Dave and I headed out to tackle Mt. Marshall. Mt. Marshall is the 25th highest peak (4360 ft) in the Adirondack’s and is the last peak in the MacIntyre Range. The trailhead was literally right next to where we slept.  Since we would be hiking down the same way we went up, we left our packs in the lean-to.  It was nice to hike with no weight on my back.  This trail was really fun.  It was rocky like Algonquin but there were still some pretty steep parts.  Along the trail, you could still see snow and ice from winter.  Most of the trail is tree covered, so we had shade the entire time.  We kept crossing over little creeks and streams.  When hiking this trail, you need to be on the lookout for the cairns otherwise it’s easy to get off track!.  Because we were probably the first ones on this trail that day, we had to walk through a lot of cobwebs.  Yuck!    On top we could see Indian Pass, Iroquois, and Colden.  Here’s a quick video from the top!

Once we got back to the lean-to, picked up the packs and headed to the stream to pump water before moving on.  It was soooo nice in the sun that we decided to hang out at the stream for a little bit and take a nap. After about an hour I was ready to get going.  We changed our hiking plan a little bit and decided to hike up to the summit of Colden.  Mount Colden, at 4714 feet, is the eleventh highest peak in the ADK.  The mountain is known for its distinctive Trap Dyke, a large crevice running up the center of the mountain.

This was my favorite hike of the trip.  We left our packs down at the trailhead by the lake.  Since most of the trail was rock sheets, I was slipping all over the place. NEED NEW SHOES!! This must be a popular trail because it was packed with people going up and hanging out at the top.  I wish I had taken some pictures along the way.  One family we saw had a dog with them that they had to carry down because parts of the trail were too steep for him to climb down.  Dave and I sat at the top for twenty minutes or so before heading back down.  The way down was much quicker.  I basically did the crab walk the entire way down…I guess what you learn in kindergarten gym class is helpful!

Once we got our packs, we headed towards the Mt. Marcy Dam to find a lean-to to spend the night in.  Along this trail there were a lot of parts that had wooden planks for us to walk on.  Once at the lean-to, we did the usual end of the night routine- food, water, change clothes, and of course drank some wine!  I must say wine is a **necessity** after a long day of hiking.  Once again, Dave did most of the work but hey it was my first time hiking I needed to relax 🙂

We got up early the next morning, ate breakfast and set off towards the Adirondack Lodge.

We walked by the dam and saw some of the damage on the dam.  Must have been one big storm that wiped parts of the dam out! The hike out was pretty short.  I think we were at the lodge by 9:30am.  We were both incredibly stinky!  After purchasing my peak patches, we headed into Lake Placid to meet my sister and her husband at 46 Sandwiches (soooo good!!).

Crying… there’s no crying in hiking!!

Crying… there’s no crying in hiking!!  5/25/12

Yes I admit it…I cried during my first hiking trip. Exhaustion, wet conditions, bad hiking shoes and hunger all contributed to my explosion of emotions.  Hiking down was much different than hiking up the peak.  I felt much more stable hiking up in altitude instead of down.  During most of the descent I felt as though I was going to tople over and land flat on my face.  My ultra-light trail running shoes were no match for this slippery, rocky terrain.  As my legs began to tire and my fear of falling increased, I just started to cry.  I’m not your typical wishy-washy girl so this was somewhat unexpected.  Dave looked at my like I was crazy. This scene from the movie “A League of Their Own” popped into my head…

Much to my surprise, Dave was a lot nicer than Tom Hanks.  He made sure I was okay and kept reassuring me that I would not fall and die..  Our plan was to hike down Algonquin and camp in one of the lean-to’s near Lake Colden.  This was my first experience camping in a place other than my backyard or a typical campground.  It was a little nerve-wracking, but a good experience.  After hiking what seemed to be hours upon hours and going down the wrong trail for a little while, Dave and I finally found the place where we were going to sleep.  The lean-to that we chose to sleep in opened up to a wide field with a stream just a few steps away.  lean-toWith no reservations taken in the wilderness, we had to share the lean-to with three guys from Buffalo.  They were very friendly.  We ended up hiking the same route they did that day.  The lean-to we slept in was supposed to fit 8-10 people comfortably…I would have to say it would have been a very tight squeeze if 3-5 more people joined us.

Dave basically waited on me hand and foot.  He prepared dinner, set up the sleeping area, took care of the bear bins, pumped water and washed dishes.  What a gentleman!  For dinner we had a combination of ramen noodle soups. I can’t remember what flavors they were but  it was the best thing I ever tasted (or so I thought since I was sooooo hungry!).  We brought a bag of wine for the trip, which was much needed after my little crying episode! Nothing like a little alcohol to take the edge off! Here’s a quick video of the recap for the day.

Dave even had a surprise dessert for me!  Iceream!!! Yes we were out in the middle of the woods and yes it was about 80 degrees but Dave managed to serve me icecream.  How, you ask?? …well it’s a little something called Astronaut Icecream.  I had never heard of it but it tasted ***almost*** like the real thing.  He sure knows the way to my heart!  After dinner, wine and icecream I was one sleepy hiker!

Peak #3 – Iroquois Peak 5/25/12

Peak # 3 – Iroquois Peak

Iroquois Peak

Since we were already at the top of Algonquin, it only made sense to do Iroquois peak.  The trailhead for Iroquois was near the summit of Algonquin.  It was actually pretty easy to miss this trail because the trail marker wasn’t very well marked….You have to look really close to see the arrow pointing the opposite way for Iroquois…

iroquois trail marker

This is an unmaintained trail…meaning it was not clear-cut like the 2 previous trails. There was mud, water, and overgrown branches everywhere.  Even though it wasn’t maintained, it was pretty easy to follow. We ran into some other hikers who were coming down from the top and they warned us that it got even more muddy ahead.  At that point I gave up on trying to walk around the mud spots.  Five minutes later and my feet were soaking wet and muddy!  I definitely need new trail shoes ASAP!

Iroquois Peak is 4840 feet in elevation, making it the 8th highest peak in the ADK.  Because of it’s rocky summit, we were supposed to have great views of Indian Pass.  Unfortunately, it was still extremely windy and rainy.  We could barely see anything!  This is a picture of what we were supposed to see…

Iroquois Summit


After summiting this peak, we headed back to the trailhead.  Here we began our hike down Algonquin….which was difficult to say the least!

Here is a quick video from the top!