Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hiking Phelps

This past Saturday found us once again heading north to the mountains. We met at our usual time of 4:15am, although our driving route differed, as did our intended trailhead. The parking lot at the High Peaks Information Center was nearing capacity when we arrived, but we were early enough to grab a spot without difficulty. We hit the bathrooms (running water!) at the HPIC before signing the register at 8:12am.

We had only one peak as our goal for the day: Phelps Mt., the easiest of the Adirondack High Peaks remaining on my list. As such, we took full advantage of our time, hiking slowly, stopping often, and lounging on the summit. The trails and summit were crowded, no surprise on a rain-free Saturday in late July. The summit is without markers of any kind: no signs, no benchmarks, only 3 holes.

One of the gentlemen we met on the summit was particularly loquacious. He and my sister happily discussed the surrounding peaks and previous hikes until I dragged her away. He was super sweet and charming, but I felt anxious to get underway after two hours on the summit. I love how genuinely friendly most hikers are.

We got back to the car with plenty of time to drive into Lake Placid for a sandwich. Neither of us could stomach the thought of fast food for dinner. My only regret is that we were so full after our tasty sandwiches that we didn't have room for any Ben & Jerry's!

Phelps Mt., elevation: 4161, order of height: 32, order of ascension: 21

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Reading: The Park Service by Ryan Winfield on my phone using the Kindle app.

Watching: Le Tour de France. We've been enjoying our summer shows, of course, but for me July is all about Le Tour. I've been watching it every day, except for those dreaded rest days. My husband is not a fan.

Listening: to American Kids by Kenny Chesney. Loving everything about this song. In fact, I better pull it up on You Tube right now. It reminds me of Creeque Alley by the Mamas & the Papas.

Anticipating: our next camping trip. Mountains! Trees! Campfires! S'mores!

Loving: July. Because summer. I think July is my favorite month. Really.

Thinking: about switching from keeping a hand-written journal in a plain, spiral bound notebook to maintaining an electronic version on my laptop. Cons: it feels less personal and somehow less creative. Pros: it would be legible and searchable. It's bad when I can't even read my own handwriting.

Wishing: that summer could last more than a couple months.

What's current in your life?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camping at Eighth Lake

This past weekend we headed north to one of our favorite places to go camping (or as I like to call it "campering")- Eighth Lake State Campground. We like this campground for many reasons:
  • easy access off Route 28 
  • large, private, treed sites
  • proximity to Inlet, NY where we can get freshly made gelato and browse an independent bookstore
  • lots of hiking opportunities nearby
On this trip we had dinner guests the first night (my husband's parents). An attempt at fishing was made, but the creek was too overgrown with plants.

The next morning we drove into Eagle Bay for greasy, sugary donuts before going for a hike around Moss Lake (2.5 miles).

After our hike we returned to McCauley Mountain for another ride on the chairlift since we enjoyed it so much the first time.

We both wish we could spend every weekend in the Adirondacks. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hiking with kids: Tinker Falls & Labrador Hollow

This past weekend my sister and I took her son hiking with us. We selected a destination that offered attractions to him. He is 3.5 years old and obsessed with numbers, interested in "mysteries," and loves any opportunity to throw rocks into water.

We started our two-part hike at Tinker Falls, near Tully, NY. The short trail into the falls follows a stream, which allowed us to pause for some rock throwing (and hippy-bug-dope application). While I regretted my lack of hat, at least the boy was well-equipped.

We climbed up and behind the falls, where we hung out and took pictures.

The boy enjoyed a snack of pretzels and red pepper slices. Eventually we climbed up above the falls and headed back down to the car. This trail was marked with painted blazes on regularly spaced trees, so the boy could search for "clues." His sharp little eyes lead us down the trail and back to the car.

We then drove a short ways up the road to Labrador Hollow Unique Area and started down the boardwalk.

The boy enjoys boardwalks, but he was over the moon when he spotted a number 1 sign. He didn't care that we didn't have the interpretive material that goes along with the signs; all he cared about was finding the next one. We hunted down all the numbers and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.

Our awesome little hike was topped off with milkshakes for them and ice cream for me, locally made by one of our old favorites from the farmer's market.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seen it, did it: Two Ingredient pancakes

Some months ago I saw Joanna's post about two ingredient pancakes on A Cup of Jo. I've been wanting to try making them ever since. I'm currently taking a break from my green smoothies, so I have some aging bananas hanging around the house. Clearly, it was a good time to give them a whirl.

They are super easy, which appeals to my well-developed laziness. You mash up a banana and mix it with an egg.

Then pour pancake sized blobs into a frying pan and cook until light brown. I added too much butter to the frying pan. Normal pancakes suck up the extra butter; these do not. Flipping them is also tricky, as they do not hold together as well as regular pancakes.

Verdict: NO. These did not taste like pancakes AT ALL. Not surprisingly, they tasted like eggs with bananas mixed in, which tastes as gross as it sounds. I will NOT be making these again.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Hiking Sawteeth

This past Saturday my sister and I made another one day up and back trip to the Adirondack High Peaks. We met at the same time at the same park-n-ride and followed the same route to the same trailhead in St. Huberts that we hiked from exactly two weeks before. Given our relatively late arrival on a holiday weekend, we felt the parking lot at the Ausable Club was most likely to still have available spots. And fortunately, it did!

We geared up and left the car at 7:33am, hitting the trail register 15 minutes later. This time there were a few golfers on the course, even though some of the sprinklers were still running.

After we passed the Gill Brook Trail, we were in new territory for me (my sister had been in the vicinity both hiking and swimming at the boat house as a guest of a club member). We reached the dam at the end of the Lake Road at 8:58am, where we paused to take pictures and to deploy my trekking poles.

Shortly there after, we turned onto the Scenic Trail, which follows the Lower Ausable Lake shoreline for awhile. We paused at most of the scenic overlooks to take pictures (because isn't that the point of the scenic trail?) and generally took our sweet time. Neither of us had gotten much sleep the night before, which is fairly typical the night before a hike but this was more extreme because of the 4th of July fireworks that kept us both awake.

After climbing up and over several "teeth," we reached the summit of Sawteeth at 1:24pm. Two gentlemen from Connecticut who had passed us earlier graciously vacated the summit rock for our enjoyment after some casual chitchat (hikers are, for the most part, such friendly folk). Two other parties arrived from the Gothics Trail approach and we all sat around eating lunch and then taking pictures.

We enjoyed the summit, with its absolutely breathtaking views, for about an hour before starting the trek out. We both prefer to make loops whenever possible, so we headed down the other trail towards the junction to Gothics where we picked up the Weld Trail. We were greatly anticipating Rainbow Falls and it did not disappoint.

From the Falls, it was only 0.3 mile back to the Lower Ausable Lake Dam, which we arrived at at 4:16pm. All that was left was the 4 mile walk down the Lake Road and through the golf course to the car. I was so excited to remove my boots I forgot to record the time, but it was in the neighborhood of 5:48pm. That means total time on the trail was about 10 hours 15 minutes and total distance was about 13.2 miles (including a foray to an overlook that turned out to be too far from the main trail and so our pursuit was abandoned). The weather was perfect and the bugs were minimal.

Sawteeth, elevation: 4100, order of height: 35, order of ascension: 20

Not pictured: our celebratory to-go milkshakes from the Noonmark Diner.

Friday, July 04, 2014


Summer is absolutely, without a doubt, my most favorite season. I love everything about it and wish it was many months longer.

For me summer is:
  • sunshine, heat, and humidity
  • everything green
  • walking outside every day
  • hiking Adirondack High Peaks
  • campering in the Adirondacks
  • homemade sweet white wine
  • fresh fruits (strawberries!) and vegetables (corn on the cob!)
  • windows down, hair up
  • sleeping with the AC unit running, the best white noise ever
  • shorts, tank tops, and sandals
  • early sunrises and late sunsets
  • mowing the lawn
  • fireflies and cicadas
  • lots & lots of ice cream

As seen on Pumpkin Sunrise and Clover.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


This weekend was for...

... a visit from my mom, who lives in Michigan. We enjoyed two yummy dinners and a nice hot, sweaty walk by the lake.

... an unexpected lunch date with my husband.

... a high school graduation party for our sweet, generous, gorgeous niece.

... a first taste of (non-local) summer cherries.

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.