Annual Trip to Paradise – Bye Bye Summer

It’s been a crazy summer. Lyndon finished his architecture exams, I filmed 90% of a feature film, and we pulled off the wedding of the century (in our opinion). We set off right away for a weeklong honeymoon in Olympic National Park and Portland, OR but haven’t had the time to get away like we usually do. It started driving us nuts, so we quickly planned our perfect Labor Day weekend getaway.

The Adirondack Mountains are 300 miles north of the city, or a 6ish hour drive. Juuuust too far for us to jaunt up there on a whim, which makes the trip seem like a real vacation. When we were first getting to know each other I asked Lyndon where his favorite place in the world was, and his answer was his cousins’s cabin on Schroon Lake. We’ve spent a weekend there the past three summers and were extra eager to get up there this summer since it’s our last summer living on the east coast. Lyndon’s family picnic was scheduled for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, so it made the most sense to wrap it into one big summer weekend.

When my mom graduated from high school she won the photography award, and with the prize money she bought a Canon TX. It’s a cute and simple SLR that I read was designed to get beginner shutterbugs hooked on Canon. She took it with her abroad to England, and took all the photos in her college photo albums with it. It was around the house through my whole childhood and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. She passed it down to me and I’d been meaning to get it fixed for years. Recently Lyndon and I figured out that it maybe wasn’t broken, it just needed a fresh battery. So the biggest stoke of all for me on this trip was that I was bringing my mom’s old camera on a trip and was gonna take a roll of film with it – FINALLY. All the photos in this blog are from that camera! I haven’t edited any of them because I’m kind of interested to see my growth using this camera. I was so sure they’d all be really poorly exposed and it turns out I have more of a problem with focusing.

Lyndon cut out of work early on Friday and picked me up at work, bikes on the roof and “just married” still going strong on our back windshield. We zoomed up to Albany to stop at Rolf’s Pork Store where Lyndon got a bunch of wursts for the family picnic, and we grabbed a ribeye to split for dinner later.

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We got to the cabin around 7PM and jumped in the lake first thing, before the sun went down. It started to rain but we grilled anyway. Lyndon made the rib eyes, grilled zucchini, and we forgot about the lil packet of wild rice we bought until dinner was ready but we made it anyway and had rice for dessert. We looked at maps to decide what hike we would do tomorrow and went to sleep early. Our goal tomorrow was to climb another High Peak.

The Adirondacks have 46 mountains they classify as “High Peaks”, which are all over 4,000′ elevation (there are four High Peaks that come in just under this elevation, and one tall enough who isn’t part of the gang, but oh well). If you climb all 46 you get to call yourself a “46er” and it’s so cool. Last summer we decided our goal was to become 46ers, and vowed to spend most of this summer scrambling up the High Peaks and bagging summits but instead we did all that stuff I talked about in the first paragraph.

We woke up early, I made breakfast, we swam, we got dressed, and we hit the road. Definitely getting a late start to do a High Peak on Labor Day weekend. We were planning to do Cascade and Porter, which are the two most accessible and most popular, so we knew the trail would be slammed but we were going to start on the opposite side and do Porter first. When we arrived at the trailhead parking lot, it was full, and the ranger had some bad news.

“The trail to Porter and Cascade this way is actually closed.”

“No kidding, how come?”

“Part of the trail crosses private property and the guy who owns it kinda had enough. People were trespassing, and he put up tons of signs, and then his cabin got broken into so…”

“Oh man.”

“Yeah. Takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch.”

We asked him for a recommendation, he asked us if it had to be a High Peak. We looked at each other and decided nah, we just wanted to hike. It was already 9:30/10 so all the trailhead parking would be gone anyway.

He directed us to Jay Mountain, which was a little bit of a townie mountain. Of all his suggestions we picked this one because it was a ridge line trail and I’d never done one before.

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Lunch spot view

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The hike took us about 6 hours out and back and when we got back to Schroon Lake Lyndon’s cousins and his mom had arrived and were waiting for us before they started dinner. We jumped in the lake to rinse off our hike while the grown ups made a big ol’ spaghetti and meatball dinner with meatballs Lyndon had made. It was awesome, like how spaghetti and meatball dinners look in movies.

Sunday was the day of the picnic. We went for a quick hike, more of a walk, to Gull Pond with Lyndon’s mom. It was super beautiful but my legs were SO sore. When we got to the pond we took off our shoes and walked barefoot on the pine needles.

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We drove back to the house to get potato salad Lyndon made and our bikes, we optimistically thought we’d bike around Brant Lake like we did two summers ago. My legs were far too sore but at least they look cool on the car.

It was awesome hanging out with Lyndon’s extended family. The food was good, the people are so nice, and everyone was excited to see us as ~newlyweds~

Lyndon’s cousins left from the picnic, and his mom went back to the house to swim before heading back to Albany.

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We swam again too, before the sun went down and spent the rest of the night reading on the screen porch. I made JiffyPop and we listened to the lake.

Monday morning we woke up early for no reason. There’s obviously no other acceptable way to start a day on a lake than jumping in first thing, so we did and had coffee and read more on the Adirondack chairs in the yard.

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It got pretty buggy as the morning wore on so we relocated to the porch and read some more. Lyndon finished his book and started cleaning up the house, I went to the table on the porch to journal and then went in to help him sweep and vacuum.

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Taken on my point and shoot

With the house all cleaned up and the city to get back to, we opted for one more swim and stood out on the dock. Coming up here every summer we’ve been together has been a really special tradition, and next summer will be a summer of starting new traditions. It’s daunting and absolutely bittersweet.

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But see what I mean about needing to get better at focus?