Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Witt and I decided that since we hadn't ever had a proper vacation, we should just go ahead and do-it-up. So we met in New York, rented a car and drove up-state, four hours, to a sleepy little town near Lake George and stayed at the beautiful Sagamore.
This was our view late in the evening from our room. Yes, it was somewhat fancy-pants, but since half of the resort had closed for the season, we kind of had it all to ourselves. We laughed at the suggested "attire" that was always printed at the bottom of menus and attempted not to worry if our jeans were crisp enough or if we both looked smart-casual. We were just happy to be spending time together at such an amazing, historic place, and so, played the part. It was fun.
We ate gorgeous meals, sat in front of the enormous fire, wore over-sized robes and white slippers and ate the chocolate that was left on the pillows. We walked around the lake and through the forested grounds, which was littered with red, orange and bright yellow leaves. They made the best swishing sounds.
We found tiny antique shops and peered in windows. We ate pizza at the local pizzeria, Cate's, because well, it's my middle name so it seemed all-too-sweet. And honestly, it was some of the best pizza I've had. New Yorkers really know how to do it right.
But the best part was the hike up to the peak of Black Mountain. We walked through fallen birch trees, up and up and up and up, until your thighs burned and you didn't need those 3 layers of shirts you started out with. The trail was marked with metal red circles on the trees – small enough to make you feel like alone, but bright enough to let you know you won't get lost.
But it was easy to lose sight of yourself. See? Witt's on the right of the trail.
We hiked over iced rocks when we got higher. There was even snow at the top. I believe we went up about 3 miles.
And this is where it lead to. There was an old fire lookout up there and some sort of wind thing. I don't know what it was, but it made a whoosing sound when it turned. Someone had placed a "summit stick" up at the top. I'd never seen one of those before, and it made feel somewhat proud that I had truly summited.
We only could sit to take in the view for about 15 minutes. It took 2+ hours to get up there and we wanted to make sure we had enough diffused light to make it back. But we had the view to ourselves for that short time and it was breathtaking. And for some reason, I felt very small. Not insignificant, just part of something bigger. It was a warm feeling on such a cold mountain.
I'm wondering if that's why people like to hike. For the rush... and for the calm.