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Old 08-31-2004, 10:14 PM   #77
Dave K
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 29
Hi All...

I'm Dave, a 36 year old Project Engineer living in the Finger Lakes. My family has been outdoors types my whole life, and for several generations we've been connected to the Adirondaks through the Ranger School in Wanakena. (Grandfather class of 27 or so, Father class of 48 or so, Aunt was first woman to graduate, uncle is a teacher there, and so on...). Some of the fondest memories of my youth were summer vacations on Cranberry Lake. I went to school at Clarkson up in Potsdam, and worked one college summer in Saranac Lake (fun place for a stupid kid to hang out for a summer).

As far as hiking goes, I'd not done much distance hiking in my youth and no climbing, then about 15 years ago a buddy of mine and I climbed Giant, my first high peak. I don't recall ANYTHING about the hike except for the fact that I spent a lot of it swearing at my buddy and cursing him and all his progeny for 10 generations.

Then after about a four year hiatus I decided to give it another try, but this time I'd been a competition mountain biker for several years... so my fitness level was in a different realm. A buddy and I hiked Elk lake into the Panther Gorge shelter full pack (not at all fun). Then the next day we climbed Haystack, Marcy, Skylight, and Gray. That day was an absolute blast, the climb up Haystack was as memorable as it gets... and we raced up skylight (ahhh to be 24 and 160 lbs again ). Last day hiking out (even less fun than hiking in... feet were killing me, mountain biking doesn't prepare your feet for hiking very well!). Even though I really enjoyed the trip, I somehow didn't get around to hitting the high peaks again until this year.

Two weeks ago I went up to Elk Lake again with some friends from Syracuse and Rome, we climbed Macomb, South Dix, and East Dix. It was a great day, even after spending 3 hours bushwhacking down Lillian Brook. I did the math and realized that I had 8 of the 46 down.

Last weekend was my 10th wedding anniversary, I had plans to take my wife out to the House of Blues in Chicago for some good times and great music (a great hotel in our favorite city). I talked to Jen and she said "Why don't we go spend the weekend in a cabin in the Adirondacks instead. That was a good reminder of why I'm so crazy about her, and so Thursday we drove up to my Aunt's place at Lake Ozonia. Also, she'd listened to us yapping about how great the hike up Macomb was and she wanted to try it out... so last Friday we blew a wad of money getting her outfitted at the EMS in Placid and Saturday we hit Cascade and Porter. Needless to say, all it took was the view from the knob about 2/3's up Cascade and she was hooked, that and the abundance of plant life... out of about 70 pictures she took, probably 40 were of Mushrooms and Fungi, and I think she's identified over a dozen unique species so far from the images.

So then there's this weekend, my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, a whole crowd of us) are heading up to Wanakena for an annual camping trip, so Jen and I are going to take our two boys up Bear mountain (just outside Cranberry) on Saturday, then on Sunday the two of us are going to climb Street and Nye (looks like a good next step from Cascade/Porter for Jen, longer but not much more climbing wise... plus "trailless" so she can say she's done one of those).

Anyway... now that I've got a couple of hiking partners hopefully I can put a serious dent in the 46 over the next year or so.
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