Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lake Placid or Bust

Greetings friends!

Seeing as it's Tuesday already (or should I say, it's ONLY Tuesday) I figured I need to update you all on my wonderful weekend!  It was full of lots of adventures so I'll start right with Friday evening.

I spent Friday with my dear friend Eileen who I don't see nearly as often as I should.  From the 4th of July until Labor Day the Painted Pony Ranch puts on their championship rodeo Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday.  Eileen married into the rodeo world and I have to say both kiddos got the gene.  Her son Dustin (10) rode in the rodeo and her daughter Ryleigh (turning 5 in a few days) kept talking about how she was going to be a barrel racer!  There are aspects of the rodeo that I don't really care for, but for the most part I enjoy the atmosphere and getting to spend time with one of my good friends.    I got some pictures although it was at this point that I started questioning which device was better at taking pictures, my camera or my phone.  If it's my phone, it's clearly time to invest in a new camera...

So like I mentioned my friend's son rode, this little girl also did some barrel racing.  She's actually come quite a way this summer as at the beginning of the summer she was being led and this time she did it herself!  I think she's 8 or 9...

Sal the Rodeo Clown waiting for the bull riders to come out.
A really blurry bull rider.
Below is the video of Dustin on his bull - he stays on longer than some of the pros!!!
Ok so the next bit is going to be super picture've been warned!
Saturday my BFF Alison and I decided we wanted to hike and try out our first, not one, but TWO Adirondack High Peaks!  For those of you who are not cool enough to don't know what the Adirondack High Peaks are, they are 46 mountains in the Adirondack Park that are all above 4000'.  Technically there are a few at the bottom of the list that are NOT above that marker and there is one other that SHOULD be included that isn't but there is an entire organization of individuals who consider themselves 46ers (people who've climbed all 46) and because of them and general tradition, the list hasn't changed.
Anyway, I'd like to be a 46er before I turn 30, which is in about 4 years for those of you keeping track.
Cascade and Porter August 2011-002
I’m the doofus who can’t pose in the pink…
Saturday we decided to do Cascade Mountain which is probably the most popular and one of the most accessible peaks.  It also provides the ability to do another one (which many of them do) Porter Mountain.  These are towards the bottom of the list, but a new challenge for me and Alison as we've only ever done local hikes. 
The trailhead is about an hour and half drive from home in Keene, NY.  We were originally going to start around 9ish but I woke up too excited and texted Alison.  Thankfully she woke up and we both agreed to just head out around 7:30.  I'm glad we did because everything worked out really perfectly this way!
I've done this drive I can't even tell you how many times.  I went to college in Plattsburgh, NY which is a straight shot up this particular highway and I've done work in Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake...not to mention all the times I've visited...But I took some pictures for my bloggy friends!!!
Cascade and Porter August 2011-001
The Adirondack Park is 6 million acres of public and private wilderness land.  It’s bigger than several of the most popular national parks.  I LOVE The Adirondacks, I want to spend the rest of my life nestled in the woods somewhere in the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake region…someday!
Saranac Lake is actually past our destination and we did not go there on Saturday, but it’s often times considered one of the coldest places in the continental US in the winter.
The picture on the right is very close to our destination.  I consider it the “stretch of death” because on one side it’s cliffs and rocks and on the other side is water.  Driving this section in the winter is NOT fun.
We made it to the trailhead (a very BUSY trailhead I might add) at about 10:00 and headed on our way…
After about 2 hours of hiking we made it to the summit of Cascade Mountain!!
Cascade and Porter August 2011-004
On this page I’ve posted pictures of Porter Mountain (the second mtn we did) from the summit of Cascade.  Cascade’s summit marker, me posing and then a picture of the village of Lake Placid from the false summit of Cascade.  If you look close, you can see the Olympic ski jumps!  I honestly wish I was better at identifying the peaks , for example I don’t know what’s behind me in the bottom picture…I’ll learn them the more I’m up there I guess!
Cascade and Porter August 2011-005
So like I said, the mountain was EXTREMELY busy that day because it was the PERFECT hiking day.  The skies were blue, the temperature was perfect, there was a nice breeze and the bugs were at bay.  We passed a group of THIRTY boy scouts on the way up, they made it to the summit as we were going back down.  This mountain is a "rocky summit” and it was kind of scary climbing up the rocks.  Although it’s above the “Alpine Line” it’s actually a rocky summit due to several forest fires from many years ago.  Many sections of this part are rocked off to keep people on the trail (marked by yellow blazes) to avoid disturbing the alpine vegetation that is regrowing…
Once at the top of Cascade we had to climb back down to the Porter Mountain junction, which is about .3 miles away from Cascade’s summit.  This was challenging, this was the first time where we had to go up, come down, go down further and then go back up only to have to do the final climb down.  We paced ourselves REALLY well which is something we’ve struggled with in the past.  We were excited to be at the top of Porter.
Cascade and Porter August 2011-006
The summit of Porter was .7 miles from the junction so it took us a little less than an hour to get to the summit.  Here I’ve got a picture of Whiteface Mtn on the left (the tallest ski slope looking peak), Cascade Mtn from Porter and the junction sign.
We made it back to our car around 4:00.  We were ready to be off the mountain, unfortunately we’re not very good about enjoying the walk down.  We both really have tunnel vision going down and just have the simple goal of getting back to the car.   I was starving because I didn’t eat enough of my lunch on the summits and we were both pretty tuckered out.  I did a quick double car door change and we headed into Lake Placid for dinner and tooling around…
Cascade and Porter August 2011-007
Lake Placid was home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games.  Ever hear of the Miracle on Ice?  That happened here!   On this page you can see the ski jumps from the top of Cascade that Alison was able to zoom in on.  They give me anxiety although I hope one day to take a ride down the bobsled track.  I think it’s around $120 for about a 30 second ride, but HOW FUN!  The lake IN Lake Placid is actually called Mirror Lake, which tends to confuse some people.
Lake Placid is a bustling little village.  Alison asked me if I thought it was busier in the summer or in the winter, I told her I wasn’t really sure.  I’ve definitely been there on busy days in the winter!
The picture above is of the new conference center that’s attached to the old Olympic Center.  The conference center is made of all natural materials and is all eco friendly.  My employer did a lot of work for it so I couldn’t help but take pictures of it.  I thought it was done and open to public but it looked kind of messy and was closed on Saturday so I’m not sure what’s going on…
We did some wine tasting at Goose Watch Winery after dinner…
And finished the evening off by going to the Saturday Nigh Ice Show at the Olympic Center…
The ice show was actually really cute, we did it on a whim because it was really cheap but it ended up being a bunch of kids at different levels of figure skating from age 4-17.  One girl was REALLY good, like I would expect to see her, maybe not in the next winter games, but the one after (she was only 8).
So that’s it!  We made it back home around 11:00 and I have to admit I was glad to get into bed!  It was a great day with a great friend and now we’re just trying to decide what our next High Peak is going to be!  Oh and I’ve also learned on this trip that I DESPERATELY need a new camera.  Mine is only 4 years old and it’s crap compared to what’s out there now.  NEED.  NEED NOW.
I hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did!
Cascade and Porter August 2011-003


Chell said...

Sounds like a ton of fun! Love a good rodeo :) The mountains are beautiful!

Rebecca said...

I'm super jealous of your weekend! You always have so much fun going on :) It looks like the rodeo was a blast. We had one that came to my hometown that everyone said was really good!

A Randomlicious Blog for the Soul said...

All those scrapbook pages are from my memories huh? :)

stephanie said...

what a fun weekend! and such beautiful pics!

Lauren said...

Looks like a busy, but fun weekend. You should work for the tourism department of your city because this post is definitely making me want to travel up north.

Connie Weiss said...

You had an awesome weekend!!

I love hiking!

Brandy@YDK said...

that's so awesome. when i come visit you will have to take me.

Allie @ PickyEatingRD said...

Those pages you made with your pics look amazing! I have never been to a rodeo before but I am intrigued to go now!

Helene said...

Wow, you certainly had a fun weekend! The pictures are breathtakingly beautiful!!!!!!

I used to love to hike...I'm hoping as my kids get a little older, we'll be able to hike again!