I have been fortunate enough to get to some pretty neat places in my lifetime - both within the United States and across the globe. And as amazing as those places are, few of them can compare to the wonder that starts pretty much in my back yard - the Adirondacks. One of the great things about living at the base of the Adirondacks is the proximity to some pretty amazing hiking trails. Within a couple of hours, we can get to the High Peaks region and spend some time. The more time I spend hiking in the Adirondacks, the braver I seem to get. One of my secret "bucket list" goals was to get to the top of one of the High Peaks. I have not had a lot of success getting my "hiking buddy" to embark on this adventure of mine... But, Alas! The Fates finally smiled in my direction (actually, a couple of people reccommended the mountain, so it was easier to get buy in to hike it).
We somehow managed to get a Saturday that wasn't filled with other commitments. I am still not sure how that happened. We grabbed our boots, poles & backpacks, stopped at the store for some mountain staples (granola, fruit, water), set the GPS and "hi-ho Silver - awaaaaayyyyyyy". When we got to Cascade Mountain (our destination of choice), it was as busy as the hiking guide said it would be. The trail was rated moderate to steep, but apparently it is also one of the easiest of the 40 High Peaks to ascend (and at 2.4 miles to the summit, a shorter haul - ideal for a day hike). So poles in hand, off we went. It was lightly raining when we started, so I was a little skeptical how things were going to turn out. But we went for it anyway (hey, we just drove two hours) and things cleared up once we hit the woods.
I will tell you, all of those leg strengthening exercises I have been doing at the gym came in handy that day. I was a bit winded by the time we got to the top, but my thighs were not singing like I thought they would be!