Ballet in the Adirondacks

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So I just got back from a 5-day trip to the Adirondacks in northern New York state. And as much as I loved the beauty of the wilderness, I’ve got to say, I’m really happy to be home! Lovely loon calls across a lake or the bubbly gurgling of pebbly streams will always come second to one sound in the world: that of a clean toilet flushing in a private bathroom. This was only my second time backcountry camping — and I think it’s confirmed that I’m a city girl through and through. I like being immersed in nature — but at the end of the day, I hate the inconvenience of carrying a 25-pound backpack or setting up a tent or building a fire or only bringing enough food to fit in a bear canister or washing dishes in the dark.

The hikes were more challenging than my friends and I had expected, especially the route along Avalanche Pass and Mount Colden. Scrambling up boulders, crossing creeks on wet rocks, balancing on floating logs, climbing down and up steep ladders, testing suspension bridges, walking along catwalks bolted to the side of a mountain, slipping on muddy trails during a thunderstorm — I can’t count how many times I thanked my ballet-honed quads and calves and glutes for firing properly. My left ankle is another story — maybe it was stupid to hope it had healed properly after 5 weeks. I stepped down from a steep rock at an odd angle and it twanged. And throbbed. And swelled. Thank goodness for elastic ankle supports and arnica pills and friends who understood I had to hike at my own pace.

Below are a few pictures I managed to squeeze in between hikes:

My first blog selfie! Ballet barre stretch on a Hitch-Up Matilda along Avalanche Lake

My first blog selfie! Ballet barre stretch on a “Hitch-up Matilda” along Avalanche Lake

View of Heart Lake from the top of Mount Jo

View of Heart Lake from the top of Mount Jo

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A super-friendly chipmunk begging for trail mix at the summit of Mount Jo

The trail up to Lake Arnold consisted of floating logs -- some of which would sink when stepped on

The trail up to Lake Arnold consisted of floating logs — some of which would sink when stepped on

We woke up to the sound of ducks outside our tent along Fish Creek Pond

On our last morning, we woke up to the sound of ducks outside our tent along Fish Creek Pond

 

Adirondacks souvenirs -- local microbrew, pebbles from Lake Colden and an angry ankle

Adirondacks souvenirs — local microbrew, pebbles from Lake Colden and an angry ankle that’ll need to see the physio again…

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7 thoughts on “Ballet in the Adirondacks

  1. I love the pictures! That view of Heart Lake is breathtaking! That seems like a hardcore hiking trip – sinking logs and all – but I’ll bet it was an experience. I love hiking but it’s been years (almost 2 decades – holy crap!) since I’ve had the chance to go on a multi-day hike involving camping out at night. And I’m terrified of bears, though that’s probably from lack of familiarity since we don’t see bears too often down here in S. California. That’s too bad your ankle wasn’t ready for hiking all the way yet after 5 weeks, but I guess it’s a good reminder that I shouldn’t be too optimistic about getting to do some hiking before school starts back up for me.

    • It was hardcore, all right — even if I had the lightest pack! The worst part was hiking uphill in the middle of a thunderstorm, slipping and cold and craving for miso soup. Confession: I’ve never seen a bear — but we did encounter lots of berry-laden bear poop on the trail (TMI?). Yeah, it’s back to rehab exercises and flexibility moves for me. Boo! Hope you are doing better. 🙂

      • I must be a glutton for punishment because I can’t help thinking how exciting it sounds, lol. Well, for sure minus the hurt ankle part, that definitely doesn’t sound like fun. But if it was in nice weather, with no prior injuries and with no bears (or evidence of them) , I could see myself loving it. I have been going through an obsessed-with-mountaineering phase though, so that’s probably it.
        I am totally doing better! Hope you feel better soon too. 🙂

  2. Adore the stretching pose! Fabulous, darling! What a pretty place that is. I’m not a fan of the outdoors nowadays (and I grew up in Colorado, taking camping trips every summer!), but I cannot deny that nature is gorgeous. Big BOO to your mean ankle! I hope it feels better soon.

    • Thanks, sweetie! I wish I had grown up camping every year — maybe I’d be more wilderness-savvy now. Although I can’t really complain about spending my summers on white sand beaches as a kid :p Big boo indeed! I can’t even wear the new leotards that are just sitting in my dance drawer, grrr. Will have to live vicariously through you guys for now.

  3. Love the pics! I went to college in Upstate NY. They had a pre-orientation trip in the Adirondacks that I went on… I am SO not an outdoorsy person, but it seemed like a good thing to do. And it was! The whole lugging-the-world-on-your-back thing was not my cup of tea, but the beauty of the place and the exhilaration after reaching the peak of a mountain made me so giddy that I vowed to turn into an outdoorsy person. Needless to say, after we returned to reality that vow dissolved rapidly! Haha!!! But I still appreciate what an awesome place it is… and I’m going to have to keep my eyes out for that beer next time I’m in that area!

  4. I feel the same way about roughing it – camping is just not my idea of fun. Why should I disrespect the fine folks who invented indoor plumbing, electricity, and temperature controlled dwellings by sleeping and peeing outside?? Hope you had fun and the ankle heals quickly!

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