Memorial Day Weekend I decided to make the short drive to the beginning of the Adirondacks for a hike. I only hiked a few times before, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to get into, and why not take advantage of the relative short distance to Lake George and beyond. It wasn’t a long hike, maybe two and half miles to the summit, and it wasn’t challenging as children of all ages could be seen throughout the duration of the trip. The anticipation upon reaching the summit grew vast; I couldn’t wait to see the beauty that would seemingly stretch for miles. I couldn’t wait to snap the perfect photo. I reached the top; with a smile on my face and the goose bump feeling sweeping through my body. I was ready.
It was fog and fog only. I saw nothing. Talk about disappointment.
Since then, I’ve reached a summit three more times this summer. Once at Saranac Lake with my friend Will and his friends, a return to Sleeping Beauty Mountain where the fog escaped as the gorgeous scenery presented itself and then this weekend at Buck Mountain.
Initially I wanted to do the hike Saturday, but the weather looked crappy, and I didn’t want another foggy view in my portfolio. My roommate and small talk extraordinaire said it wasn’t that bad out, though, so the plan to hike Saturday returned. The drive to Buck Mountain trailhead took about 50 minutes as I arrived shortly after 3:20 p.m.
To reach the summit, requires shortly more than three miles, which doesn’t sound like much but the route features at least four challenging hills. This wasn’t Sleeping Beauty. At Sleeping Beauty I had the endurance to stop only after reaching the summit. I knew I wanted to do the same thing at Buck Mountain, rewarding myself with a bottle of water at the summit.
The weather wasn’t perfect, but it felt cool and refreshing. Nobody sweats more than me, which was on full display Saturday afternoon. I had a playlist going, which I’ll share at the end of this post–just my music, nature and me. For the most part, I only saw people climbing down the mountain, and the folks I saw were mostly grown people. I did, however, catch up to some groups during the trip, including a man with a baby in some contraption bonded to his back. It’s when the steep, rock-filled voyage took toil. I was spent, fighting to walk up the incline to arrive at a flat surface. It was about two and half miles into the trip. I wasn’t going to make it to the summit without a break.
I drank the bottle of water in seconds after I reached a safe place to settle. It wasn’t a long break, maybe two minutes, but it was necessary to push forward. The rest of the hike went by blissfully as I reached the top by 4:25.
Buck Mountain has two sensational views. The first was moments away from the summit where I saw a couple enjoying a snack on a giant rock and a man recording himself speaking for what appeared to be a project. Being so high up, looking down at the water, the trees and the people makes you feel paramount. It’s a feeling that continued at the summit. A hawk could be seen flying down below. The clouds moved swiftly like they had some place to be. It wasn’t a clear day but it was beautiful. It’s what I needed. It’s something everybody needs.
Thinking back on Memorial Day when I reached the summit only to find frustration. That happens. But it makes you appreciate views like these:
Five songs worth listening to from the playlist on a hike?
Caroline Rose- Getting To Me
Kurt Vile – Loading Zones
Father John Misty – Everything Is Free (cover)
Big Red Machine – I Won’t Run From It
Tom Petty – Wildflowers (Always listen to Wildflowers on a hike).