Earlier in the summer, I was supposed to climb Mt. Marcy; the tallest mountain in New York State. Unfortunately, the hike was cancelled when my dad, part of our hiking group, twisted his knee at work. We had planned to reschedule, but it was nearly impossible to plan that trip around all of our schedules. Planning another trip just was going to have to wait until next summer.
But I didn’t want to go the whole summer without hiking! The Adirondack Mountains are right in my back yard, and I refused to go without climbing a High Peak.
There are 46 mountains in New York State over 4,000 feet. Technically, only 45 of the official 46 High Peaks are actually over 4,000ft, and there is an uncharted mountain which is over. But for the sake of consistency, anyone who climbs the official list can join an exclusive 46er group. I want to join that list.
I decided to bring a friend from out of state to climb two of the High Peaks: Cascade and Porter. I knew that Ohio was flat. Obviously the Adirondacks did not exist there. But I didn’t quite realize that just because I have been hiking my whole life doesn’t mean that the rest of the world has the same definition of hiking. For some, walking a mulch trail through a forest or in a gorge means hiking. I had to make it clear that this is not hiking.
It was not a difficult hike at all. Perhaps it was easier because we made multiple rest stops. But in truth, it wasn’t that bad. I had frozen little 10 ounce water bottles with blueberries, and although it made it heavy for most of the hike, it was totally worth it.
When we started getting above the trees, it was unbelievably beautiful. I never stop appreciating how amazing our state is. The mountains are just so peaceful. I find it very difficult to understand people who can see the summit and still not believe in God. Science cannot create such beauty.
We spent over an hour on the Cascade summit. It was longer than I would have wanted to, but he had a harder time catching his breath. I called my dad to tell him , and he told me to check myself when I got out, as he had just been diagnosed with lyme disease. He said there was a tick the size of a pin head on his back. Awesome. What a bummer on the summit.
We finally started the descent. I wanted to climb Porter as well. Most of the hike was already completed, and it was only a short hike off of a fork in the trail. I didn’t think he would make it but I’m thankful we did. Although the view was not as nice, there were not any other hikers there, unlike the crowds at Cascade. We did have a cute little lunch of peanut butter and banana burritos and string cheese.
When we finally made it back to the car, changed out of our hiking clothes and sat in the car, we were beat. But we were also very hungry. It was just after Iron Man Weekend, so Lake Placid was still very busy. We walked the boutiques, he bought an ADK sticker, and we got spicy tacos for dinner.
Two high peaks, done. It couldn’t have been better.