Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Fabulous Fall Weekend (sprinkled with a touch of winter)

We got an early start to the weekend on Friday, with pumpkins and pumpkin carving.

I was up and out of bed early Saturday morning for the 17th Annual Goblin Gallop 5K in Glens Falls. I had an awesome run, set a new PR of 25:22, and was dressed as a bumblebee. It rocked.

Excellent chili, good friends, a raging bonfire and delicious brews were enjoyed Saturday night. (sorry, no pictures were taken).

After a late night around the fire, we awoke early Sunday morning to hike up Cascade and Porter Mountains.

Trail junction between Cascade and Porter.

The summit of Cascade as seen from the trail to Porter.

At the summit of Cascade. It wasn't too cold, but the wind was brutal.

Another summit shot of me and Shadow.

The weekend was fabulous. Having snow on the hike totally made my day. And now it's time for some X-files and relaxing with the sleepy pups. We wore them out today on the hike!

I hope everyone had as great weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Marvelous Memorial Day Weekened

What a fantastic holiday weekend! Wouldn't you all agree?
(Yes, I know, this post is just a few days past due, but at least I got it done!)

The weekend started out early for us, Thursday evening, and what a better way to start out than with a moose sighting!! I took it as a good omen for the wonderful weekend that was in store for us, as we had such great weather, good company, and an overall marvelous time up at camp.

We arrived just after 7PM, got the car unpacked, camp set up and settled in for a quiet, relaxing night. The peepers were peeping, the air was cool and crisp and it was perfect sleeping weather!

Friday dawned a beautiful sunny day, so we slathered on the bug spray, packed some snacks and set out on an adventure into the High Peaks Wilderness Area to hike Mt. Adams.

Mt. Adams - Friday, May 28th

We've been up Mt. Adams before, in the middle of the winter, but were not fortunate enough to have any views on that cold and blustery day, so we've been aching to go back for the views we have been told of. The fire tower is in a state of major disrepair, and if you read any information on it you will see that it is technically "closed", but they have not removed the stairs so it is climbable, but more on that later.

The trailhead is located south of the Upper Works parking lot, approximately 9.5 miles from the turn off of Blue Ridge Road. It is on the right hand side of the road, just past the old blast furnace.

The trail starts out nice and easy, crossing the Hudson where it is only a small stream on a rather old and rusty looking suspension bridge. It then winds it's way through the woods to Lake Jimmy and another somewhat sketchy water crossing over a custom built log bridge. It still floats, and other than one board near the shore, there is no need for getting the feet wet. The dogs enjoyed the lake for a short swimming adventure and we were on our way.

At 0.7 miles you reach a trail junction that points hikers up Mt. Adams to the left.

At this point you still have 1.6 miles to climb, and a lot of elevation to gain. From this junction, the trail starts out gradually climbing, but quickly gets very steep and very similar to the trails of the high peaks. It was a slow and arduous climb, but we made it, and the view was well worth it!

View from the top of the tower. From right to left the main peaks are Marcy, Colden, and behind the window frame on the far left Algonquin.

As I mentioned previously, the fire tower is in a state of major disrepair, as in, you probably shouldn't climb it, but I did anyway. The stairs are all in tact, but there is no longer any wire mesh around the outsides, no cap at all, and no support wires. So on a windy day, I don't think even I would climb this tower for a view. There is a group of people working on the restoration of the tower. I found this forum thread that states that DEC has given approval of the restoration plan, but getting supplies into the tower may delay some of the work until the fall. At least it is a work in progress. I would hate to see this tower get abandoned, the views are just phenomenal.

After returning back to camp after our jaunt in the woods, we settled in for a nice afternoon of book reading, napping and snacking! A fire was built outside on which we roasted hot dogs over for dinner and enjoyed the starry skies.

One of the best things, in my opinion, about being at camp is getting to stay in bed for as long as I want in the morning! It's wonderful to wake up and laze about listening to the birds chirp, all the time knowing there aren't any pressing matters to attend to (except breakfast perhaps, but that can also wait). It's wonderful, until... the dogs start barking, and you look out the window to see your sister-in-law, her boyfriend and 4 year old son pulling up! (actually, I was excited they were there, but wasn't really expecting them at 9AM on Saturday morning)!

While they unpacked, we eased ourselves out of bed and snacked on some fresh fruit and other breakfast items. The socializing was moved outside where we relaxed and chatted and Braden enjoyed playing in the swamp. Braden (the 4 year old) proclaimed that he wanted to go swimming, so Shawne (the sister-in-law) and I changed into our suits to head into the water with little B. He was reluctant to go in, but Shawne and I went for it and while it was a bit chilly, it was much warmer than previous years at this time, and was rather enjoyable.

After our refreshing swim, and a bit more socializing, Braden and Shawne wandered into their tent for a nap, Greg took off in their canoe, and Jake and I got on our bikes for a ride up to the Great Camp Santanoni. We biked this route back in September when we were at camp, so I took very few pictures this time. To see a detailed account of the ride and the great camp from our fall excursion, check out my post here.

As I said, I took very few photos, but here is one, where Jake is looking rather sleepy, or grumpy, or something other than happy! But hey, at least I have a smile on my face :-)

That's it for the excitement of the weekend. After the ride Saturday we all just hung out and had fun around the campfire. Sunday morning Shawne and Greg packed up and left early, and we weren't far behind.

As always, Good times were had by all! (including Baxter, who is thoroughly enjoying his head scratch in the photo below)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moose on the Loose

I SAW A MOOSE, I SAW A MOOSE! I can now die a happy girl!

I have a fascination with Moose. Don't ask me why, because I can't give you a logical answer. They just are very cool to me. And I have always wanted to see one in person, in the wild, and specifically in the Adirondacks, and it just so happens I saw one last Thursday on my way up to Newcomb.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Adventuring

In just 2 days, I drove through 5 states; toured the Quechee Gorge in VT; spent time catching up with my sister in Swampscott, MA; set a new PR in the Harpoon Brewery 5k Rhode Race in Rhode Island in 85 degree, summer weather; got pulled over on the Mass Pike but was allowed to go with only a warning; and baked in the unusually HOT May weather. It was a long, busy weekend, but I had a blast!

I hope that next weekend I can spend less time in the car, and perhaps more time hiking somewhere local, but for now I guess it's back to work...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not much going on around here lately...
Just hanging around...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Home-Made Hummus

Ok, so this post isn't going to be about hiking... but I wanted to share a great recipe I found (and it's really simple as well), for home-made hummus. I LOVE hummus, and always buy it at the grocery store, but I'm trying to become healthier and decided that it's easy enough to make at home, so why not try it? Right?

Here's the recipe:

2 cans Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
6 Tbsp Tahini
a handful of fresh parsley
2-3 Garlic Cloves
2-3 scallions (white parts only)
3/4 - 1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp lemon juice

The gist of the recipe is: Combine everything in a food processor, or blender; process until smooth.

If you want to specifically follow the recipe, it states to combine the parsley, garlic and scallions in the food processor first and run until well combined and chopped. Then add the garbanzo beans, tahini and lemon juice and salt and process until at desired consistency. I did it this way, but I'm not sure I would bother next time. I say throw it all together and flip the switch!

I tried it just after making it, and it was really good. But the recipe suggests letting it sit for a day before serving to let the flavors really enhance. I can't wait to try it tomorrow!

Oh yeah, this makes quite a bit (3ish cups), so if you won't eat it quickly, I'd say halve the recipe. In my house, it doesn't go to waste! I love it on sandwiches instead of having meat or mayo, or just with crackers or veggies. Any way you serve it is guaranteed to be delicious!

Buck Mtn. - Valentine's Day Hike 2010

While I like Valentine's Day, I'm not into the box of chocolates, bouquet of flowers, sappy card type celebration. I like to enjoy the day doing the things I love with the one I love; which is why we decided to head out for a hike on this beautiful winter day (followed by a delicious home-made dinner! I LOVE to cook for other people).

The temperature was in the low 30's, and although it was overcast, the clouds were high in the sky allowing for some great views.

We chose to hike Buck Mountain from the east side via Shelving Rock Road. This is usually our trail of choice due to the lack of people who use it. We saw two other cars along the road, but not a single person hiking. It was wonderful to have the trail and the mountain top to ourselves.

The trail was... well, it was practically a sheet of ice, covered by another sheet of ice. The lack of snow this winter has been so depressing. Let's hope this "storm" that is heading this way tomorrow leaves us with a few fresh inches. While some type of micro-spike or yak-trax may have come in handy, we bare-booted the trail today, and yes, I did fall.

Here's Jake having fun on the ice, it was great to play around on!

The lack of snow did lend itself to some really beautiful ice formations on all the little streams that cross this particular trail. They would normally be hidden by the snow.

One of the many frozen streams along the trail.

There were great views from the top. Here you can see Gore Mountain very clearly in the distance.

It was a great hike, with the boys I love (my husband and our two pups!). Hopefully we get some snow and can head out on snowshoes next weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blue Ledges on the Hudson

Friday we headed on up towards Newcomb with a stop along the way at the Blue Ledges on the Hudson. The trail starts off of North Woods Club Road which is located just outside of Minerva on Route 28N. The road winds its way through the woods, rising and falling through the dense forest. The trail starts just before Huntley Pond, on the left side of the road, (parking is available on the right).

It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors, and what a wonderful trail! I can't wait to head back during the summer months, or perhaps the fall. I suspect that the trail is rather busy on weekends, but we were lucky only to see one other couple who were heading in as we were on our way out. The trail is fairly level, with just a few steady climbs up and down, and it took us about 2 hours with rests to complete the 5 mile round trip.

This picture doesn't do justice to how beautiful and amazing the cliffs are. But this is the "Blue Ledges"


Snowy trail and frozen stream.

And some really cool ice crystals along the trail.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Tales

This bout of "warm" weather made it a wonderful weekend to get out on a few short adventures.

The plan for Saturday was to head up to the Brant Lake area and snowshoe the southern access trail into Pharaoh Lake, but those plans fell through and I headed out on my own with the dogs. I wasn't keen on going to an area where I had never been before by myself, so I changed the plans and went to Thomas Mountain. The mountain is located just west of Bolton Landing on land owned by the Lake George Land Conservancy. Thomas Mountain is the shorter, and easier climb, but if you are up for a little more hiking Cat Mountain is very nice and there is a trail between the two peaks, so hiking a loop is possible. I've hiked the loop a few times before, but wasn't feeling up to it today.

The trail is very well packed down, so snowshoes were not necessary. The beginning of the trail would have been great on cross-country skis, but as the trail begins to head up, I wouldn't want to be the one on skis. Maybe the more adventurous will try that out. I ran into two skiers, but they were the only ones I saw all day. It was a beautiful day to be out and the dogs and I had a great time as always.

The view from the top of Thomas Mtn.

Shadow; always such a happy boy!

Baxter; heading back down the trail

Monday (a holiday for me at work, so I was off) dawned another "warm" day so Jake and I loaded the dogs into the car and headed up to the other side of Lake George, the east side, to the Shelving Rock area. We haven't been to the falls yet this winter and I got inspiration from another nature lover's trip that I thought it would be a great place to spend some time outdoors. Again, we were the only ones out and about and the peace and quiet was a nice change from some of the busier trails in the Adirondacks.

The falls are always so impressive in the winter. I love how every year they freeze differently creating such interesting patterns and textures. We headed down to the lake after visiting the falls to find open water, and lots of it. There was a little ice around the edges, but the whole lake, from our perspective, was open water. Our dogs (the crazy boys that they are) were even swimming! I think they must have some Polar Bear blood in them. We had a nice day, as did the dogs, and were happy to be outdoors, if even on a short hike.

I'm not sure what these are, but the color was beautiful against all the snow.

The always beautiful frozen Shelving Rock Falls.

Gushing water under the ice.

The lake was very calm and peaceful today.

Crazy Shadow, the lake is too cold for swimming!

We are hoping to get out next weekend to explore some new terrain. Anyone ever been to the Blue Ledges on the Hudson River? I've heard it's a beautiful place and thought it may be a nice snowshoe trip (and it is on our way up to the hunting camp in Newcomb which we have tentative plans to visit for the night on Friday).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas at the Cabin

This post is coming a little late, but I haven't had much time to sit down and share, so here it is now.

My husband and I decided this year to spend Christmas isolated from our family in a little cabin nestled in the woods; and it was the best decision ever made! While we love our families, Christmas is one of those holidays that is always very hectic as we try and see both of our families, and also spend time together at home.

So we planned Christmas celebrations around New Year's with the other parts of the family and headed out to the woods for a few days of peace and quiet.

It has become tradition for us to go up to camp at night, so we can ski or snowshoe into camp in the dark guided by the light of the moon (or headlamp if the moon fails us). So we went Wednesday night after I had gotten home from work. The camp was a balmy 10 degrees inside so we quickly got a fire roaring in the woodstove and snuggled into our sleeping bags to enjoy our first night in the cabin.

Thursday morning dawned with beautiful blue skies so we had a hardy breakfast and headed out to cut down our Christmas tree. We found the perfect little tree and got it set up inside and then scooted out the door again and down the frozen river to Lake Harris, which was also frozen. We walked over to the campground and wandered about a bit before heading back to camp.

Christmas morning was the most relaxing holiday I have had in YEARS! It was very nice to be able to wake up, stay in bed, and not worry about having to run around to be here or there at a certain hour of the day. We exchanged gifts, had some breakfast and decided it was a perfect day for a winter hike. So we loaded up the truck with the pups and headed to Goodnow Mountain. When we arrived we were the only ones there, although the logged showed someone had been up and down already that morning. I strapped on my snowshoes (although they weren't necessary as Jake proved by not wearing his) and headed up the trail. I was happy to have my snowshoes as they added a bit of extra traction, and it was fun to go alongside the already packed snow in the fresh powder.

The views from the top of the tower were spectacular, as always, as the air was crisp and clear. After relaxing and playing at the summit we headed down and passed a few groups of people on their way up. Dinner was lasagne, YUM!, and we spent the remainder of the night gaming and enjoying the quiet of the woods.

Saturday was rainy, but that meant we had an excuse to stay indoors, read and nap!

I wouldn't leave the family every year on Christmas... but boy was it nice to have it to ourselves for a change!