Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beautiful Leaves and Bucket Lists

I love fall and I was lucky enough to spend this past weekend in Saranac Lake enjoying the beautiful colors of the Adirondack forest.   This trip also marked an accomplishment of a "bucket list" item for me:  climbing one of the 46 High Peaks.  We chose to attempt Cascade Mountain, not one of the highest or most difficult peaks by any means, but enough of a challenge for a couch potato like me.   A quick trip to one of the local outdoor stores for some equipment for me (and thank goodness we followed the owners excellent advice and bought winter hats and gloves) and we set off for the trail head.

Pictures do not do justice to the steepness or rocky-ness of the path.....   This boulder-strewn mess is the actual TRAIL!!!!

Yep, this is pretty typical of what I was facing.  Climbing up up and up....

Beautiful but seemingly endless.

The last push to the top - bare rock that makes for a great view but not so great footing for a scaredy-cat like me!   See the teeny tiny people already on the summit?  All I could say is "oh no......"

But I made it!!!!  Hooray for me!!!  I must admit I was proud of myself for finishing (even though I had a mini nervous breakdown during the last 100 feet) - I kept going!  It was quite misty and cold *hence the need for winter hat and gloves*  at the summit, but I took some photos of the beautiful colors and surrounding mountains before setting off back down the trail.  Thanks also to my husband who talked me through my panic attack and guided me over the big scary slippery parts of the trail.  Five and a half hours of "hiking" (translates as climbing, scrambling, sliding, crawling) and we were back at the bottom!

I'm glad I challenged myself and went WAY OUT of my comfort zone.  I'm not sure if I'll ever climb another of the High Peaks, but it's a great accomplishment for me to say I made it to the top of one of them!


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