My driven (and possibly somewhat insane) husband is over halfway through his quest to become a 46er (a title given to those who have hiked all 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks). He breaks away a couple times a summer while we’re camping to get a hike in, once hiked 10 peaks in a matter of 24 hours, and somehow he convinced me to join him on a high peaks hike when we were visiting Lake Placid for our annibirthary.
We checked out of the Whiteface Lodge bright and early at around 6:15AM Sunday morning and I am not going to lie and say I was too excited about it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in our five years of marriage, it’s that making sacrifices is sometimes necessary, and hiking what Luke said was 9 miles was not quite my vision of a perfect day. Regardless, off we went – sleepy-eyed and apprehensive (me), excited and determined (Luke) – to hike Sawteeth Mountain.
The hike consisted of walking 3.5 miles up a gravel road to the base of the mountain, and my legs were already feeling the burn a bit when we got to the trail. I was about 15 steps in, hiking a ridiculous incline right off the bat, when I turned around with tears in my eyes and told Luke I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I had two options: suck it up and get to the top, or wait at the bottom of a mountain alone for hours until Luke got done with the hike. I didn’t really feel like being bear food, so I put on my determined face and got to gettin’, as they say. (Does anyone say that? I dunno.)
I swear I stopped to rest every 40 steps… at least. The hike actually ended up being 12.8 miles roundtrip, and took us almost exactly 7 hours from start to finish. There were plenty of times when I felt like crying, especially on the way down when I had hyperextended my knee and felt like I literally couldn’t move another inch. But Luke was right in that the views from the top were amazing! I’ve seen the high peaks region from the road in the Adirondacks, but actually being up there at 4,000+ feet staring at the rockslides of the great range was unreal.
It’s been 8 days since our excursion and I’m finally able to walk down steps without wincing in pain, so cheers to that! I think next time I have the decision to make, I’ll gladly stay back at the hotel spa while Luke enjoys a solo hike. Sorry, babe!