Whiteface and Esther Mountains

Last week, I hiked 2 more high peaks. This time it was Whiteface and Esther! My dad and I hiked from the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, to Esther, then up to Whiteface. What a view. I’ve been to the top of Whiteface twice before via the road to the top, this was the first hike. And it could not have been a more perfect day, the weather was perfect and views were endless. Check out all the photos here. I’m not sure where the next hike will be, but hopefully soon! Enjoy some photos!

 

 

Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain

Away Luggage

I was never one to spend a lot of money on luggage. I did enjoy having a spinner carry on, and ones I have owned before got the job done – but they were falling apart after just a couple of trips. Screws were coming loose, wheels weren’t rolling as well, you get the point. I saw an add for Away Luggage earlier this year, and made the plunge. I purchased the luggage in early March, and have used it a few times since then. Most recently, the trip to Aruba. I purchased the Bigger Carry-On. Away has two different carry on sizes. The bigger one technically still fits overheard bins, though when I was on a couple of much smaller, regional flights, by bag did have to be gate checked – but most bags had to go under.

So, let me tell you about this luggage. (This is not a paid post in anyway. I promise.) I love it. The biggest feature of Away is the integrated battery charger, which is easily removable if requested by your airline. (Which will happen!) The battery is designed to charge your phone up to 5 times – which is more than enough for one trip, home and back, in the airports.

The bag its self is super cute, I purchased the pink color. It is a very soft pink, really feminine. The wheels roll with ease and the bag feels like a high quality one. Inside the bag there is a lot of thoughtful design. There is a laptop/ipad sleeve, attached to a compression system to help making packing easier. There is a mesh zipper allowing you to separate what you are packing, along with a detachable, waterproof laundry bag. The bag has an integrated, TSA approved lock too!

Overall, I really love this piece of luggage, and honestly, it is big enough for most 3 – 5 days trips without having to bring another piece of luggage!

Check them out here. 

Here’s some photos.

Big Slide Mountain

Thursday, my dad and I hiked Big Slide Mountain, the 27th highest peak in the Adirondacks. It has to be one of my favorite, if not my top hike I’ve done. Mostly because of the seemingly endless views. We started early, about 9:15, but that meant we had to leave at 530 am! Finished just after 5 pm, but we didn’t rush at all. All Trails said the hike was 7.6 miles, I ended at just over 9 by time you zig zag down and up the rocks. Just over 3000 feet in elevation gain as well.

Overall, not a terribly difficult hike, you do start the ascent from the start, and it does level out quite a bit once you get up there. We took the trail over The Brothers, and that’s where the amazing views started. I can’t emphasize enough how great the views are. Saw two snakes, which is two to many for me. Right before the summit there were some “stairs” that had been placed there so you could actually get up the rock, I am thankful for them, but I had quite the mental problem trying to go down them, but hey, I did it.

Now enjoy these photos. Check out the whole album here. Nearly all of them were taken with my new camera. I have a very nice Nikon DSLR, but it is heavy and not very portable. I purchased a Canon Powershot G9X Mark II, which is a great point and shoot, perfect for trips like this one and future ones, like London and Paris!

Big Slide Mountain
The stairs mentioned above.

 

Big Slide Mountain
Gothics Mountain is straight head, in the middle.

 

Big Slide Mountain
Pano from the Summit

 

Big Slide Mountain
View from the Second Brother

 

Big Slide Mountain
A close up of Gothics

 

Big Slide Mountain
View from one of the Brothers

 

The Europe Countdown: London

81 Days until I’m off to London and Paris! To say I’m excited is an understatement. I still can’t believe I actually booked this trip for myself, almost a year ago. I remember booking it on a complete whim, while at work, just thinking how I need to do something for myself. And here we are, 81 days until I leave. So, I was thinking I’d dedicate a few posts to the pre-trip, places I’ll be going and what I’ll be doing. This post is dedicated to London. I’ll be there for three days.

Places I’ll See

We’re going to take a bus tour around the city to see a lot of the major sights, and get a lot of time to walk around on foot. We do get one entirely free day in London, and one the excursions I signed up for is going to see Oxford. Here’s a quick list:

  • London Bridge
  • Westmiste Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Big Ben
  • Oxford

I’d love any suggestions of other places to check out in my free time! Or places that you have to eat at. When in Oxford, we do get to take a river cruise which will be a great experience too. After three days in London, we take the Eurostar to Paris for another three days. I’ve already been assigned a tour director, and should get flight information next month!

How do you know?

Life is a funny thing you know. I look back on the last 6 years of my life, my twenties, and think, wow, Sarah, look at you. You’ve graduated with not only a bachelors degree, but masters degree too. You’ve been promoted at work and you called off a wedding. You are a powerful woman.

So how do you know you’ve found the one? In all honesty, I did “think” I had before. It’s not that I didn’t care about him – but I just tried to hard. Relationships shouldn’t be one sided. They take work – but it shouldn’t be hard work. It should be good work.

I think I’ve found the one. No, I know I have. I found the one person for me. How did I know? He’s selfless, he’d do whatever he can for me to be happy. He makes me laugh, he will watch a Nicholas Sparks movie without thinking twice about it. He makes me a better person.

It seems crazy, that in the short period of time we’ve been together, I can tell. But, they say when you know, you know. I just felt a bit of inspiration to write this, nothing too much, but just to express that there is someone else out there that will always make you happy and put you first.

I’m A Saranac 6er!

On Thursday, my dad and I completed McKenzie Mountain, which then complete our Saranac 6! McKenzie was one of the tougher mountains we’ve done, and there were plenty of rock scrambles. The views from the overlooks were stunning and made it all worth it.

The hike ended up being about 8 miles round trip with over 2100 feet in elevation gain. We started about 945 am, and finished about 4. We did take our time and went slow, the weather was just about 70 degrees and overcast – perfect.

Here’s the website on the Saranac 6ers.

After finishing the hike, we went to downtown Saranac Lake to ring the 6ers bell! It was a great feeling to know I had accomplished something like this. Here’s some photos from the hike.

McKenzie Mountain
McKenzie Mountain
McKenzie Mountain
McKenzie Mountain
McKenzie Mountain

And here’s the photos of the Saranac 6er bell!

fullsizeoutput_3c4f.jpeg

Next I’m going to work on the 46ers. Hopefully I’ll get number 3 done this Thursday with Big Slide!

Scarface Mountain Hike

Last week, my dad and I hiked Scarface. This is our 5th our of the 6 to complete the Saranac 6. The hike was not my favorite, there were almost no views, but we both knew that going into it. Unfortunately, this was more checking a box. Don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy the hike and it wasn’t difficult, I just love to see the views.

The hike was about 8 miles, and there was one overlook ledge. After that, it was another half mile or so to the summit, which was surrounded by trees and marked with a small white disc on a tree.

Scarface Mountain

Look on the tree to the right, about 3/4 up the photo and you should see the white disc. This was the summit. Nothing overwhelming, that’s for sure. And here is the view from the lookout.

Scarface Mountain

Even though it wasn’t much, it was beautiful up there.

We have one left to complete – McKenzie, which is the tallest of the 6 and the longest. Though, McKenzie does have views! I expect to complete this in the next couple of weeks!

After that, I’m off to complete the 46 high peaks. This is a goal I’ve set for myself – and I want it.

Spring Is Finally Here!

This is not much of a travel related post, I just returned from Aruba and am settling back in at work. Next planned trip is London and Paris at the end of August, 104 days to be exact. I’m hoping there might be some random trips here and there for a day or two in-between, but that is my next planned vacation.

And back here in good old Northern NY, it finally feels like spring. I can take the dog outside in shorts and not freeze to death. The sun was shining bight this morning and its already 50 degrees. Unfortunately, I’ll be inside working until 6 – but – Thursday is my next planned hike!

My dad and I will be hiking Scarface in the Adirondacks, this is our 5th of the 6 Saranac 6er mountains. Hopefully we can conquer the 6th one in the next couple weeks. A year ago, I never would have saw myself being where I am – but I could not be happier.

On that note – don’t settle. You are worth it. Always push for what you want in life, go do what you want to do. Make no compromises on your happiness. There is someone out there for you who doesn’t make anything feel like a compromise, because you are a team.

All About Aruba

Well, I’m back from Aruba. And what an amazing trip! The island is beautiful. Absolutly stunning. The beaches were just as you would have thought – white sand and turquoise waters.

This was my first time going to an all-inclusive resort, and I really did enjoy it. The hotel – Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – was lovely. The hotel is on a quarter mile of Palm Beach with three seperate towers, multiple restaruants and three pools.  The service was also amazing. The waiters were very attentive and the bar staff remembered you.

Aruba 2018
Beach front at the hotel

We did a couple differetn activities when we were there. First, we rented motorized scooters. Let me tell you – these are hard to turn! I ended up falling and eating in hard in a traffic circle, got a little banged up but nothing more than brusies. It was still a neat activity, and allowed you to get around the popualted parts of the island.

Second, we went on a snorkel trip with Jolly Pirates, which was a blast. There were three snorkel stops along with an open bar and lunch served. The ship resembeld an old pirate ship, which was really neat. At the final stop, they had a rope swing and let people “walk the plank,” I highly reccomend this activity!

The final excursion was a UTV ride around the island. This was my favorite thing we did, I loved seeing the different parts of the island, much of which is a desert. We started at the lighthouse and went to the chapel, natural birdge and the nautral pool. The natural pool was by far my favorite thing on the island. It’s in a remote part of the national park, and is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles. Here’s some photos of the natural pool.


The water was clear as can be, though the day we went it was overcast, but still warm. Overall, the vacation was simply amazing. Aruba was a great trip and I’d go back in a heartbeat! Countdown to Europe is on, only 106 more days!

Here are some of my favorite photos. Check out all of them here.

Aruba 2018

Aruba 2018

Aruba 2018

Aruba 2018

Wolf Lake State Forrest Hike

Yesterday was the first really nice day we’ve had. It actually felt like Spring, and even Summer! (The day before was decent, I had to work.) My dad, my dog Riley and I went for a hike. We didn’t do a mountain, but did a loop around some lakes.

Here’s a view of the trail we did. We started at the parking area, and headed to Huckleberry Lake. This was a beautiful lake hidden out here. There was a lean to at each of the lakes as well. The trail was decently well marked, and in good shape. There were a few trees that had fallen we had to work our way around. Once we went past Huckleberry lake and headed to Moon Lake, we decided to just head back to the parking area on the loop instead of making the trek to Wolf Lake.

Wolf Lake State Forrest
Wolf Lake State Forrest
Wolf Lake State Forrest

Starting off on the trail back, we noticed the water seemed to be really high, and soon enough it had engulfed the trail. The actual markers were only inches above the water. We had to improvise and go above the water, but stay close enough to find the trail where the water was lower.

We were really off the trail, and it was a bit frustrating, and exhausting. We found the trail again and then realized the water was high due to a beaver dam! It was a tall dam, the water was pushed back about 8 feet high than it would have been without it. The next half mile or so was the same way, there were 4 more dams down the river that had messed with the trail, in some cases, I think the tress that had the markers had been taken down by the beavers! It was a neat site to see, I even got to see an actual beaver.

Here are some photos of the dam and the damage cased by it. If you look closely, in some of the shots you can see the trail markers either just above the water, or destroyed on the ground.

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Finally, we made it back to the car. Overall, it was a nice escape and a great way to spend a beautiful day outside. One week from tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Aruba!

Check out all the photos from the hike here.