Happy Birthday, Lazy Bear!

happy-second-birthday-12Two years ago, we rented a beautiful but tiny apartment on McKinley St, in the heart of Lake Placid. The idea was to enjoy each and every winter weekend and have fun on the ski slopes, hiking and snowshoeing trails, and then, during spring, to test our riding abilities around town.

We knew we’d enjoy our time there, but maybe not to the extent we did. So, in May 2013, we decided to buy an incredible townhouse, that, soon after, we named Lazy Bear, to honor Teddy, our bear who lazily enjoys the sun while greeting our guests.

Two years today! We love our home even more… How time flies! IMG_0919

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Paddling Lower Saranac Lake

The Saranac Lakes are a combined team of three lakes (Upper, Middle and Lower) connected by the Saranac River. On Sunday, we decided to go test the hyper-light canoes from Placid Boatworks on the lower lake. We have been planning a multi-day trip on lakes for a while, and it was time to try options.

IMG_2070 IMG_2081Fresh water, especially here in the Adirondacks, often requires portages and open topped canoes are lighter than decked boats. They are also easier to load with gear, and easier to enter. So, they seem like the natural choice for us. Lucie tried the 10′ Spitfire and I embarked on the 14′ Rapidfire. We wanted a quiet paddle around Saranac Lake and experience the primal pleasure of being the only human around for miles.

We were not disappointed. Both boats are quick, easy to maneuver and so stable. And the best was yet to come: At around 15lbs, they are so light that you can take them out of the water with only one hand. IMG_2083

Hiking Mt Adams

Every time we plan for a hike, we rely on our High Peaks map… but it’s getting more and more difficult to find new 5-hour hikes. We have done them all, and more. So, I started looking for hikes a bit further away from Lake Placid. And I found a hidden gem in the Adirondacks! The 3520 foot Mount Adams features a fire tower with amazing views of the high peaks from the South looking North over Calamity Mountain.

In 2010, the fire tower was damaged by wind storms, and again in 2011, because of Hurricane Irene, including the top of the tower blowing off. After two years of major renovations from dedicated volunteers, the fire tower is again open.

Hudson River bridge

Hudson River bridge

This starts out as a flat, easy, but lovely hike. Just after a few minutes on the trail, you walk across the Hudson River on a newly rebuilt swinging iron suspension bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The river is rushing under you as you look through the wide mesh crosswalk.

Once past the Hudson River, a level walk takes you to Lake Jimmy. The trail was rerouted in 2013 to veer around the lake, rather than the old crossing of the lake whose remnants still float on the lake. In less than a mile, right after the old cabin, you’ll find and climb the trail that leads to the Mount Adams fire tower.

Old Cabin (restored)

Old Cabin (restored)

Pretty quickly, it begins to climb in elevation, and turns into quite a fun challenge. Be ready for some scrambling and root-grabbing on the way up. In some areas, with each step forward, I came two steps backward. Elsewhere, getting down on my hands and knees was the only option. Also watch your footing on the way down, especially if it’s wet out. I had to do some careful sliding down on my butt at times!

It started to seem like the mountain did not want me to get to the top! After a good one to two hours of maneuvering up the trail, I finally reached the summit. But, the views at the top of the fire tower were breath-taking, and so worth the effort.

South East View

South East View

Algonquin, Colden, Marcy from Fire Tower

Algonquin, Colden, Marcy from Fire Tower