So what about lying to your kids on a hike.
I don’t mean the normal: “Oh, I think we’re close to the top now,” when you and they know you’re not much more than half way. That’s an inspirational half-truth.
Or my oft-repeated, “If you fall down you don’t get ice cream,” which no one takes seriously.
What about a perfect fall weekend, clear and crisp, when dozens of families crowd onto the trail up Baker Mountain, a friendly little climb that starts in what is almost downtown Saranac Lake.
And about three-quarters of the way up I see mom, standing over a young girl, maybe 6 or so, pleading, “Just 100 more steps and we’ll be at the top … only 100 more little steps.”
My blogging has been very lazy lately … sorry.
But the summer, now nearing an end, has been wonderful. And honestly, I don’t feel too guilty about not blogging when I have been out having so much … here are some images.
See for yourself.
Hopefully, I’ll be better about updating my blog this fall. In the meantime, get outside and have some fun with your kids. That’s where I’m headed right now. Enjoy!
Lets’s face it, spring can be a difficult time of year in the Adirondacks.
Mud makes our hiking uncomfortable, mosquitoes are out and blackflies are getting started. More and more we have to worry about ticks, bird breeding sites, over-population on the trails. And for me, the end of the college semester brings a flood of work that washes away my will to post to this blog.
My antidote is a not-so-quiet meditation on the spring song of our Adirondack wetlands, woodlands and lakes. Spring peepers join with with a chorus of trilling and and buzzing to create a white-noise like wall of sound these evenings.
Stay to the end of this recording to hear the loon that zoomed through, just off camera: another classic Adirondack sound. And what sounds like a bit of dog barking is actually a grumpy Canada goose bedding down for the night.
Although the bright March sun is waking up the trees and sucking up the backcountry snow, there is still plenty of winter in the mountains.
Unfortunately, work and weather has kept me pinned down in Plattsburgh. Yeah, it’s not much of an excuse. I’m sure my bias against spring snow is part of it. You see, I’m a waxer who hates the challenge of the crazy snow conditions this time of year brings.
Because I am someone who loves the Adirondack outdoors, I also love the Winter Olympics. Why?
Skiing, skating, sledding … these are the most Adirondack of organized sports. Our mountains, lakes and valleys are ready made for downhill, skating and cross-country.
Heck, we’ve had two Olympics in Lake Placid, near the heart of the High Peaks.
Look around the Adirondacks and you find plenty of peaks and other natural features named for panthers, cougars, catamounts and lions. Are there big cats behind every tree and rock?
No, in fact the federal government last week moved the mythical Eastern Mountain Lion from protected status to extinct.
The last mountain lion in the Northeast was shot in Maine 80 years ago. You need to look decades earlier to find a time when the region last sustained a significant breeding population.
Two short videos from a recent ski near one of my favorite spots, Chateaugay Lake in the northern Adirondacks.
Our January thaw, followed by ice and sleet, has put a stop to most backcountry gliding for now. But with luck we’ll have a storm soon and I’ll get a bit more skiing in.
Right now I’m off to find some skateable ice. Here’s hoping the winter gives you some outdoor fun.
Watching winter storm “Hunter” — thank you Weather Channel, like winter storms needed names — drop a dense snowy blanket outside my dining room window, should I be glad this isn’t a “bombogenesis,” “snowpocalypse” or “snowmageddon?”
We love to be afraid of the weather, maybe in the same way we love horror films. We all like a good scare. But bombarded with media messages of weather fear, that occasional scare has become a constant drone of weather worry. We’re inured to it; our children are basted in it.
What’s the problem? Fear leads to bad decisions. Worry wears us down and inures us to real dangers.
And there are dangers out there to judge, to weigh, to consider.
Take a quiet ski on your own first, then have some noisy fun with the kids.
Cross-country and kids aren’t a natural match … but that’s usually because we want to turn out kids into little adults, making them ski the way we do.
Cross-country also lacks the “cool” factor of downhill skiing. It’s like trying to get your kids to kayak when there is a jet-ski tied to the dock.
But if we focus on the fun instead of the destination, skiing can be a great family activity, a fit for 5-year-olds, 15-year-olds and 55-year-olds.
Too early to ski?
Sure, if you are a eager backcountry type you’ve driven and hiked to find snow.
Me, I’ll wait till the snow finds me, although I am tempted to take a trip to the Whiteface Toll Road for an early season session.
Too late to hike? Sure, many of you hike all winter.
Me, once the temps dip and the trails get icy, I keep my hikes on the flat lands of the Champlain Valley. Thanksgiving is often my cutoff, although a brisk hike up Lyon Mountain can make the turkey taste better.
So what to do in the between-times?
Geocaching is the perfect outdoor fun in the fall/winter, winter/spring transitions.