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Old 06-07-2013, 10:08 AM   #543
Adirondack Cameraperson
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Selling an Adirondack Cabin on Lake Ozonia
Posts: 12
I was born at Adirondack Medical Center 37 years ago. I grew up in Saranac Lake with a view of the High Peaks, but never knew what was out there till I was about 16, and we had moved north to Brasher Falls, just outside the blue line. I asked my Dad about mountains my uncle spoke about. My uncle Carl said "there are mountains out there that put you 25 miles from the nearest lightbulb and to get there you gotta cross 2 ranges just to start the hike." I needed to see if that was true so I asked some friends if they wanted to start hiking, but it was like pulling teeth, so I went back to Dad and asked "I want to hike, I know nothing about it and the little green book says not to hike alone." His response was "just go. Take the truck, get a backpack and some food, and go. What's the worst that will happen vs what's the best that will happen?" He was right. The worst was the time my little cousin slid down a mossy waterfall and twisted an ankle, we spent a cold unprepared night in the woods in the rain near JBL. The rangers looked for us, and the papers ran a blurb about "lost hikers." That's really the worst we experienced which isnt bad by a long shot, in fact, it's become a fond memory for the 3 of us.

The best we experienced is what everyone else gained from this journey- an everlasting moment on Gothics, a downpour along the Opalescent, an otherworldly moonlit walk along Lake Colden, a harrowing run-in with a curious bear, a swim in a perfectly clear stream, the heat, the cold, the snow and ice, the black flies, the dismal low cloud and the breakthrough above it into the world of constant sunshine. I've hiked, run, skateboarded, sledded and cycled up Whiteface about 35 times. I've taken beginners up Mt. Jo about 25 times. I slept in the boathouse on a scary halloween night. I talked hiking with Eruzione and Janaszak on their 25th anniversary of the Miracle. We used the original cable before it was replaced. I passed an elderly woman walking one step at a time on her way to finish the 46. While photographing the rangers for a news story, I slept at the Colden ranger station when it was 35 below and saw the stars from the middle of Flowed Lands and Lake Colden and felt it was the clearest I had ever seen into space. We've hiked in the outback without seeing a soul and have found the main lots jammed and had to walk an extra load of miles just to get to the parking areas in the summer weekend rushes. We started climbing at the tail end of the canister days and have notes and photos of our signatures on the roster. We've bushwhacked thru as much cripplebrush, briars and thuleweeds as anyone else.

And I have 10 to go at 37 years of age! Could have, should have finished a long time ago, but it's too sweet not to savor. 78% done and hoping to get a few more this summer. 6 if my knees will hold up. Here's the list, look for the link about the Adk 46 -->

I forget which guidebook made sense of the stats of living an hour from the peaks, but it went something like "if you live an hour away and do mostly dayhikes, it's the equivalent of driving from the adirondacks thru alaska to Mt Everest, hiking Mt Everest 8 times, and driving back." Well, I used to live an hour away and I'm 80% done!! And I've spoken to folks who have climbed both Mt Everest and the winter high peaks, and except for the altitude and the oxygen, they said the Adirondacks were more challenging. I think it's possible. Our forgotten wilderness is fairly rugged and 1000 miles more north than the Himalayas.

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