With your help, Jason & Kelly will hike 100 miles in one weekend—and raise $5,000 for Shenandoah National Park!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately—Kelly was on vacation 2 weeks ago, and then I was on vacation last week. But we’re both back and ready to roll…..

We spent our family vacation this year up in the Adirondacks (near Saranac Lake) and really enjoyed the area quite a bit. A lot of time was spent fishing and boating, seeing the sights, a little cycling, and of course a bit of hiking.

The first hike we did was with all the kids, as we vacationed with another family this year. I had read about this “easy” hike for kids called Panther Mountain, which was only a short 20 minute drive from our rental house on Lake Clear. It was a relatively short hike (less than a mile each way), but kind of steep from the get-go.  I’ve been trying to get my 7 -year old, Sophie, more into hiking these days, but her interest isn’t quite there. I don’t want to push her, as I hated when my parents made me do things they I had no interest in doing.  Once we got her out the door and on the trail, she was fine for about the first half a mile.  The trail rose through a coniferous forest with some switchbacks, but was more or less a steady uphill pitch most of the way. The kids enjoyed hopping around on the rocks and looking for wildlife.  (they did catch a toad).

As we got closer to the top, the kids started getting a bit tired and Sophie (the 7-year old) had a mini-meltdown as she “JUST COULDN’T DO IT!!”. We coaxed her up the last quarter mile to the summit, which had nice views of the surrounding area, including one of the lakes in the Saranac Lake chain.  We ate a picnic lunch on the summit and enjoyed the sunny 75 degree day. It was a nice payoff for a steep but short climb.

One the way back down, we passed another family that was almost at the top.  The 2 small kids looked pretty beat and were resting (and complaining to mom) that they too were tired and wanted desperately to be at the top. As we passed , Sophie said to them, “You’re almost there, and you’ll be happy when you get to the top. It is worth it!” Ah, a minor success. That to me is the essence of climbing and hiking in the mountains.  Sometimes the way up is difficult, demanding, tiring, etc… There have often been times I have said to myself (while ascending), “why exactly am I doing this?”. However, once you reach the summit, the destination, whatever—that feeling dissolves  and you just relish the fact that you made it to your goal.  I think it is called Type 2 fun.  Hopefully, Sophie will start to realize this and try and push herself more, be it hiking or other aspects of life.

While not necessarily a ‘training’ hike, it was nice to get out in the woods with the kids (except for the complaining part, of course :)).  I did however, get a chance to get out for a  speedy solo climb of Algonquin Peak a few days later. I’ll post about that one tomorrow…..

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