Wright Mountain

My husband and I set a goal to hike all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. I suggested we start with the “easy” hikes and work our way up, but after hiking Wright over the weekend, I’m not sure that’s the best method.

We hiked Cascade last summer which is supposed to be the easiest high peak and let me tell you, I struggled. I work out regularly and I had a hard time going up the mountain. Cascade was extremely steep the entire way up and there were times I thought I was having an asthma attack. We stopped a lot to catch our breath and eat some Cliff Bars. It was definitely worth it in the end with the views, but my point is, what is considered “easy” doesn’t always mean that is true.

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Kyle and I at the top of Cascade Summer 2014

Wright mountain is also considered one of the easier high peaks, although harder than Cascade. These assumptions are based off of how high the mountains are, how long (mileage roundtrip), and the terrain. I have to say, Wright was definitely a challenge at the end, but for most of the hike I thought it was easier than Cascade. I was definitely out of breath and it was more like rock climbing up a mountain since there were soooo many rocks, but it was a more gradual ascent.

The last 30-45 minutes of climbing was absolutely brutal. It was like climbing a ladder on rocks all the way to the peak. The rocks were completely vertical and I was on my hands and knees for the last quarter of the way up. It was challenging and I am so thankful there was a group of us so we could help each other find ways to get up the mountain.

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I was below Kyle looking up at him to take the picture…just to give you an idea of how steep and rocky the trail is
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My friend Katie climbing up the side of a rock like a ladder

It is exhilarating to climb and get to the summit of one of the biggest mountains in NYS. The views were breathtaking. Something else that’s cool about Wright is there are pieces of plane on the summit from a plane crash in 1962. Of course my phone died before I could get pictures of that, but it’s pretty neat to search the summit for the pieces.

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We got really lucky on the day we climbed because Wright is supposed to be really windy at the top, but there was hardly any wind. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees and mixed with our sweaty selves we were pretty cold up top in the middle of the summer, but we know enough to bring zip ups for the top.

Something else that’s cool about hiking Wright is there is a waterfall about 1-2 miles in. A lot of people stop to take pictures and dunk their heads in the cool water!

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Most people also hike Algonquin and Iroquois since the mountains are so close together, but there was 6 of us and we wanted to get back into Lake Placid to hang out for the day.

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Again, the hike was not easy by any means…it was extremely challenging at the end, but the beginning of the trail was definitely doable. It took us 5.5 hours round trip and that was with stops along the way and hanging out at the summit for 30-45 minutes AND we burned over 2500 calories!! Awesome work out! I’d hike any day rather than go to the gym!

Hiking Kane Mountain — Caroga, NY

View from the top of the fire tower on Kane Mountain, Caroga, NY
View from the top of the fire tower on Kane Mountain, Caroga, NY

My husband and I are avid hikers. He got me into hiking about six years ago when we started dating and I fell in love. Kyle went to college in Potsdam, NY which is in the heart of the Adirondacks. He climbed a bunch of the 46 high peaks (the 46 highest mountains in New York) including Mt. Marcy, the tallest and most strenuous mountain in NYS so he has a lot of experience.

I haven’t done a high peak since last summer and we are heading up to Lake Placid, NY (near Keene Valley which is where almost all 46 high peaks are located) in a couple of weeks to knock down two more high peaks. Since these hikes tend to be rigorous and demanding on the body, we decided to hike a small mountain to prep ourselves.

We live very close to Caroga, NY which is the home to a couple of smaller mountains including Kane Mountain. The reason why this mountain enticed us was because of the fire tower at the top. Unfortunately the picture of the tower didn’t come out well, the view was amazing!

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We decided to take our dog Brady with us because he loves the outdoors! Our awesome dog back pack came in handy since Brady is very small and gets tired very quickly.

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Although this was only a 1.2 mile hike and considered fairly small when compared to other NYS mountains, I definitely worked up a sweat. There were several steep areas and we kept a steady pace. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the top, but that was with stopping so Brady could pee on every tree and plant he saw. It took us 1:12:00 round trip and I burned 504 calories! Not a bad way to start the morning off!

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A lot of people ask what we eat and drink to stay hydrated. Typically when we hike one of the high peaks or a larger mountain in general and it takes hours to climb and descent, we pack a lot. I like to start the morning off with some Shakeology since it gives me a ton of energy and keeps me full for the first hour or so. Our other favorites are the Chocolate Chip Cliff Bars, bananas, oranges, deli meat and cheese roll ups, dried fruit, water, and/or Powerade.

The descent down is always more enjoyable for me because it isn’t as tough, but it is Kyle’s least favorite part. It really does a number on your knees. When you are climbing down steep parts of the mountain it takes a lot of leg control to keep yourself from falling forward. I can already feel the soreness in my legs!!

All in all I would say this is a moderate and short hike. It is perfect for someone who is just starting out or someone like me that needs a prep course before a larger mountain. We are hoping to hike Prospect Mountain in Lake George, NY next week so stay tuned!

Doggy Backpack to the Rescue!

I know what you’re thinking. A doggy backpack? Really?

I have an 8lb, 8-year-old Yorkie, Brady. My husband and I just got married and don’t plan on having kids for a couple of years so Brady is basically like our child. The last couple of summers Kyle (my husband) and I did a lot of hiking. I was always so jealous when I saw families with their dogs. I know Brady is a small dog so I can’t compare him to the Labs and Golden Retrievers we saw bounding up the huge mountains, but all I could think about was how much Brady loved to be outside and it was a shame he couldn’t come with us.

For about two years I tried finding a dog backpack or carrier that would be hiking friendly. All of the ones I saw, and ordered, were either too small where he was extremely uncomfortable or not mobile/flexible enough for us to wear and use.

On top of needing something for hiking, I love to take long walks and try to bring Brady along. The walks never last long with him because he is so little he gets tired out after 15 minutes and plops himself on the grass and doesn’t budge. I end up having to carry him which is uncomfortable for me and him!

FINALLY….a couple of weeks ago I found a dog backpack that works!! It is amazing! I had a gift card from Bed Bath and Beyond and couldn’t find any typical products I wanted to order so I started browsing in the pet section. I couldn’t believe it! I ordered it right away!

Doggy Backpack

As soon as I got the carrier, I put Brady inside to make sure he fit and sure enough he fits perfectly. There’s even enough room so he can lay down. I love this carrier particularly for a couple of reasons besides the fact that he fits comfortably…

1) My back is supported. Now I know that sounds ridiculous with an 8lb dog, but that’s like carrying a small child. The straps are thick and don’t rub on my shoulders and there’s an extra strap across the waist for extra support

2) The padding on the bottom is soft and the same material as his dog bed

3) There is a mesh screen so when he is laying down, or sitting, air is coming in from the front and he can see

4) There is an opening at the top that you can either zip shut or keep open. I like to keep it open so when he is sitting his little head can pop out and he can see what’s going on.

5) There is a hook inside to attach to Brady’s harness so he can’t fall out or jump out of the pack

My friend and I went for a power walk the other day and decided to bring him and use it! He loved it!

Sooooo many people beeped, stopped their cars, or stopped us on our walk to laugh (in a nice way) and pet Brady. I think the carrier is much better than the strollers I see for dogs. That’s a little much in my eyes…or maybe just not my style since I wanted something so I could be active with him with me.

I find it funny I’m even writing about this! But there has GOT to be more people out there looking for a solution…right!?

We plan on taking him hiking with us next week so I will keep you updated!

Has anyone used one of these before?