High Peaks Adirondack Trip

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The mountains are calling and I need to go back. Pronto. I’m sitting on my couch on a beautiful, sunny 64 degree day, with nausea from my period. One of my favorite albums – So Long, Astoria by The Ataris – is keeping me company while I type (so are the dogs and cats, but they’re all napping).

Me trying to survive Aunt Flo.

Jacob and I spent 4 glorious days in the Adirondacks at the end of May. We hadn’t been since he proposed there in September of 2015. It felt like coming home. And leaving sucked so much. I was happy to get home to the fur kids, but I wanted so badly to be staying in the mountains.

What I think is reindeer moss, found on Hurricane Mountain

Back in the day when we’d make our yearly pilgrimage to the ADK, we always stayed at a Bavarian chateau-inspired motel called the Schulte. We found out when we tried booking for this trip that the wonderful owners (who have given us great hiking trail recs over the years) had finally retired and sold the property, and the motel was closed.

We ended up getting a secret awesome deal (aka knowing people who work at hotels is always great) at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort right in downtown Lake Placid. We’ve never stayed right in the center of town, and it was really nice to get to walk to bars and to dinner. The hotel was better than we could have ever expected (and usually way out of our price range), and if we ever have the money I’d 100% stay there at full price. I saw that they allow dogs too, which is a huge plus.

Some wildflowers on Giant. There were a lot and I brought my wildflower ID book with me, unfortunately I didn’t ID this one. Hey, I’m new at this.

When Jacob and I go on vacation, we like to do a lot outdoor activities. Hiking is our favorite. You won’t likely find us lounging at a beach or a pool bar. But give us some good trails and we’re out the door. This trip we did 3 hikes – Jay Mountain, Giant Mountain, and Hurricane Mountain.

I’ve actually done Hurricane before – we did it on the trip where Jacob proposed. But it was super foggy and we couldn’t see a thing from the peak. This time was completely different. I’m actually terrified of hikes so seeing how high up we were was a bit dizzying.

Me taking a break on Giant. It was fucking hot out – like 80 and sunny. I don’t function well over 70 degrees. What can I say, I’m from Buffalo.

Jacob and his buddy who lives in Saranac Lake (also in the ADK) finished Giant, one of the 46ers (the highest peaks in NY). I got about half way up, and stopped when it was time to start crawling up relatively steep rock faces. I didn’t trust my 13 year old hiking boots. It sucked. But I wore those boots because it’s mud season and they are sturdy, tall, and waterproof. They didn’t fail me on the muddy trails. But they’re so old that the treads are pretty worn. I wasn’t about to risk 20 foot or more falls from one rock face to another. Instead I turned back and went down another trail that connects to the Giant trail. Eventually I turned around and continued down to the trail head, and enjoyed examining the nature around me (and all the black flies) until the guys returned.

The trip was exactly what I needed after a very busy few months of full time work and full time school. So much outside time! Mountains! Nature! I really wanted to fit in some kayaking, but we ran out of time. Jacob promised we’ll schedule it in next time. Fingers crossed we can get back in the fall!

The view from near the top of Hurricane. My phone’s camera doesn’t do it justice. Next time I need to remember my digital camera.

This trip really reinforced to both of us how much we someday want to live in the ADK area. The high peaks area around Lake Placid would be way out of our price range. But we could do Long Lake or other surrounding areas. So that’s our dream. That’s our big bucket list item.

Until then I’ll enjoy my city living in Buffalo and my big city backyard.

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