Take off your shoes and relax your feet

Water rushing down a mountainsideOne day in June, Alex and I packed our bags and headed up to Lake Luzerne for a mini vacation on Lake Vanare. The day we left, it was pouring rain but we couldn’t postpone our trip: the cabin was booked and everything was paid for. So we hitched our bikes to the trunk and headed upstate. The conditions were treacherous: we saw water rushing down mountainsides and cars abandoned in gigantic puddles on the side of the highway. So we slowly made our way through the Bronx, Yonkers, and beyond.

Because of the lousy weather, we were stuck indoors for the first few days. We ventured outside only to find food and get acquainted with the town. Luckily, my cellphone had reception up there so I was able to tether my iPad to my phone: we avoided cabin fever by streaming shows and movies via Netflix. (This was when we discovered Party Down, a funny show you’ve probably never heard of. It’s a shame it was canceled as early as it was.)

Alex hiking up Hadley MountainBy the third day, the weather cleared up enough for us to seek outdoor adventure. We asked some locals for an easy hiking trail and were recommended Hadley Mountain with its historic fire tower. So to the mountain we headed! The trail was very lush with foliage and sounds of running water always somewhere nearby. Some parts were very steep and I was glad to have found a good walking stick early on. It also helped to have something to lean on when I needed to catch my breath: we tired easily and the muggy weather made breathing difficult.

Hadley Mountain Fire TowerWe persevered, though, and finally reached the top. The weather was significantly different: it was foggy, windy, and cold by the fire tower. It looked like a scene out of a movie. It was very spooky and very surreal… yet very beautiful and striking. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see farther than a few feet ahead of us. Later, at dinner, we compared our view with that of a view on a fog-free day… and, to be perfectly honest, we were jealous. However, we quickly realized that, among the hundreds of photos taken from the summit of the mountain, very few show the tower the way we saw it that day. We decided we were actually some of the lucky ones.

The way down was easier, since we already knew the way and because gravity was helping us. We needed to be extra careful, though, because it was slippery and going down too quickly could have resulted in a fall. Of course, I managed to do just that: as we were nearing the bottom, I fell and slid on a muddy rock. Luckily, I only walked away with a bruised ego and a dirty backside. Just added to the experience!

Over the Hudson RiverThe following day, the weather finally cleared and we saw the sun for the first time in days. So we hopped on our bikes and pedaled away. I worked out a route that would take us in a loop around town. It was about 30 miles roundtrip. The first part of the ride was gorgeous and a pleasure to experience. As we approached our cabin, though, the ride got worse and we had difficulty staying interested: we were going down US-9 with cars, trucks, and buses. The view was awful and the noise was unnerving. It took me and Alex everything we had to keep going and not hail a passing pickup truck. By the time we made it back (some 5-6 hours later!), we were delirious with exhaustion. It was a challenging ride but a fantastic experience.

We went home the following day, our muscles aching but our spirits soaring. It was an unforgettable vacation and I’m eager to go on another adventure.