Last weekend, we drove across New York to the Lake Placid area to visit my family. My mom and stepfather have a house in the Adirondacks and my sister and one of my brothers (and their families) came up for a little mini family reunion. The “mountain house” as we like to call it is one of my favorite places in the entire world. The house sits along a dirt road, off the beaten path, outside of town. There’s plenty of room for everyone, it’s quiet, and you get to wake up to views like this.
My Dumbo Double Dare training for this weekend called for a three mile walk on Saturday and an 11 mile run on Sunday. I switched my plans to run four miles and walk/run the 11 miles instead. (I’m running the Disneyland 10k for time and the Disneyland Half for fun, so my focus is really on training for the 10k at this point)
My favorite drill sergeant sister-in-law agreed to go for the run with me on Saturday. We did an easy 2 mile out-and-back from the house. Well, not really “easy” considering we were in the mountains and all. I always forget how nice it is to run with someone until I’m actually doing it. We talked so much that the four miles flew by. We made a plan to do the 11 miles the next day. We even tossed around the idea of driving out to town and running part of the Lake Placid Ironman course.
And then, on Sunday, “the hike” happened.
We all decided we wanted to find a family-friendly trail to hike, figuring it would take an hour or two, the kids could see a great view, and we’d be back to the house nice and early. After consulting three trail guides, my stepfather, and the internet, we settled on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain. It promised an easier hike with amazing views, and fresh blueberries at the summit.
Everyone loaded into the cars and we parked at the base of the mountain. Little did we realize (well into the hike) we parked at the wrong trail head. Instead of the 0.9 mile hike to the summit, we were now going to hike 2.1 miles up. Oh, and there was a little matter of a beaver dam to cross because the bridge was out (I voted to turn around at that point, but was completely outvoted). And then we had to hike up slippery creek beds, through mud and up steep inclines (hence the lack of photos from the actual hiking parts…I was too focused on the hike).
A couple of hours later, we made it to the summit. All 14 of us (seven adults and seven children under the age of 13). The view? Well, it was breathtaking.
It’s a little surreal being at the top of a mountain with your three and five year olds. Especially when they’ve just hiked over two miles without being carried. Bunny was a complete trooper. She had her moments of fear, but she can say she climbed a mountain all by herself. Crazy.
And the blueberries? I have never tasted blueberries as wonderful as those. I’m not sure if it was really because they were wild, sun-kissed, mountain-grown berries, or if I was just starving, but I think we all picked our body weight in the sweet goodness.
We then decided we’d take the shorter trail down, and we’d walk along the road back to the cars to make the hike shorter for the kids. Oh, how silly we were. If we thought the trail up was steep, well, it was nothing compared to the trail down. Bunny spent most of the decent sliding down on her bottom, while the husband carried Bubba. At least we could laugh at ourselves the entire time.
In the end, we hiked for almost four hours and almost three miles. Oh, and then I ran for a mile to get the car so the kids didn’t have to walk along the road in the sun. I decided I did more than enough to cancel out the 11 mile walk/run, and got in some pretty awesome hill work along the way.
Ok, so maybe I didn’t get the same workout as an 11 mile walk/run. But you know what? It was more than worth swapping out my run for “the hike”. I’ll take the memories over the miles any day of the week.