Posts with tag: "Adirondacks"
Monday, May 04, 2020
By Hayes Photography
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"As a student growing up in the 70s and early 80s, my definition of “athlete” was reserved for those who played team sports, were trained by coaches, competed for medals, and earned varsity letters. I played recreational softball, floor hockey, and had a short stint on the high school swim team. These activities did not make me an “athlete”. However, as an adult, my view of what an athlete is began to change as I embarked on one of my most rewarding athletic challenges. I set a goal to become an Adirondack 46er, by climbing the forty-six highest peaks in the Adirondack Mountain range.

Meeting this challenge would require climbing both trailed and trail-less peaks. When my brother agreed to take me and others up Mt. Marcy one summer, I didn’t realize I was beginning a quest that would span 25 years. It would include multiple hiking companions (both human and dog), two pairs of hiking boots, varying weather conditions, a few scary incidents that forced me to face some fears, and glorious views of the most beautiful land and waterways in the Adirondack Mountains. In August 2013, I completed my 46th peak, Mt. Allen, and officially became an ADK 46er. At a celebration dinner in Lake Placid in May of 2014, I was awarded my hiking number, #8046. No varsity letter, no medal…but a very special number. I felt a deep sense of pride, along with a forever love of the beauty and grandeur of these mountains, and I had a changed view of what an athlete is.

For me, “athlete” is synonymous with the word “active”.  I had been an athlete my whole life, because I was active and had achieved my personal goals. I’m currently working on completing the Adirondack & Catskill Mt. Fire Tower Challenge. I hope to be an athlete for the rest of my life. A heartfelt “thank you” to those who have and will support me along this journey."


Diane Huot

Literacy Specialist Teacher

Plank South Elementary

It was a wonderful experience joining Diane in the Adirondacks (along with my husband) where we camped, hiked and enjoyed Lake Placid. If you've never travelled to this area of New York, you need to. It's gorgeous!

For additional information on the Adirondack 46ers organization Click here.

Make sure to drop us a comment and, as always, thank you for visiting the blog!


Saturday, March 28, 2020
By Hayes Photography
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“The mountains are calling” is more than a cliché.  For me, it’s a reality.  

In the warm summer breeze across the lake, the wind atop a mountain, or the crunch of pines below my feet, I hear a voice say, “Isn’t this beautiful?  We are so lucky!” It is the voice of my mother.

Since 1941, my mother’s family has spent every summer camping in the Adirondack Mountains. I was nine months old when my mother first took me, along with her four other children, camping.  We stayed in a big, green army tent, down the way from our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. For weeks, we would share in the simple pleasures of the wilderness: climbing mountains, hiking trails, sliding down waterfalls, and swimming in clear, cool lakes. We played Scrabble on the beach (Grandma always won), built sand castles, picked blueberries and (begrudgingly) did chores.  At night, we sat around campfires, singing tunes from the 1920s. Four generations of my family marveled at the beauty of every setting sun, every shooting star, and every glorious moonrise. Before her early death at the age of 53, my ever grateful mother would say, “Isn’t this beautiful? We are so lucky!” And lucky we are!  

Today, my cousins, siblings and I still bring our children to the mountains, where we share the joys of a simple life, under a thousand slumbering pines. There is a profound sense of peace that flows along a babbling brook as the words of my mother reverberate through mountain cols. At the summit of every mountain, the wind gently kisses my face as it whispers to me.  My mother’s words prevail. And the mountains are calling.


Patty Cooke

Guidance Counselor

Webster Schroeder High School


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