This morning when I woke up and rolled over to turn off my alarm, I was quickly reminded of what I did yesterday: hike. The entire lower half of my body is sore, but in a good way. I used muscles that haven’t been used in two months and others that haven’t been used since last winter. Hiking is one type of exercise, but hiking with snowshoes on is a completely different one.
Despite all the hiking I did last year and my intentions heading into this winter season, I haven’t made it up to the mountains as much as I should have. Not only have I been super busy but it’s easier to pass on a trip when the temperatures are below or hovering above zero. I don’t mind the cold weather, I just don’t like it when you have to work at staying warm at all times. So when I agreed to hike earlier in the week and saw the projected temps, I knew I had to think positive thoughts.
Social media can be a wonderful thing, sometimes. I recently saw a fellow BSHS graduate spending a lot of time up in the Adirondacks and even though I had never hung out with him in high school, I put the offer out there that I would join him if he was ever looking for a hiking pal. He and a couple of his friends are pretty hardcore in my book; bushwhacking and winter camping are not for beginner hikers. Luckily he reached out to me a couple of times and yesterday I could make it work.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little intimidated to hike with him. This was my first time hiking with a guy and wanted to make sure I could keep up! The first three or so miles were a nice little warm up but the minute we really started to head up, my legs felt like cement blocks and I let him pass me. I just kept thinking, “do not complain, do not complain.” I personally don’t like to listen to people complain on the trail for two reasons: 1. it’s annoying and 2. if you are giving it your all, I can’t be disappointed. I gave it my all and up I went… finally finding a decent stride. We followed behind a guy named Wayne the entire time and got to summit together.
Despite not having any views (which I heard are phenomenal on this peak- hopefully the third time will be the charm?) we got super lucky because the sun did shine through the clouds occasionally- we even saw a splash of blue skies a couple of times, and there was no wind. We had originally thought about descending the back side of Mount Colden because despite it being very steep, the snow cover was perfect for sliding down. I was looking forward to this loop because Wayne was heading in that direction too and I had never seen Avalanche Pass. But Pat and I were both hungry and wanted to enjoy the views for the first time with a little sunshine and visibility.
Within no time, we were down below the tree line and sat down to enjoy some hot soup. Let me tell you, there really isn’t anything better than a hot meal in subzero temperatures. We’d have to take a couple of bites, set down our meal, warm up our fingers, then take a couple more bites. With full bellies, we started the six mile walk out of the woods. A couple of sections I got to slide down on my butt (which apparently is a girl thing) and didn’t feel the need to rush out. It was easy to take in the snow-covered scenery and learn a little bit about my new hiking pal. Before I knew it, we were back at the ADK lodge and on the road home before sunset.
I had first hiked Mount Colden in September 2012 and it took me about 9 hours roundtrip. Yesterday Pat and I hiked it just over (ten minutes) 6 hours. I was impressed with myself and know that it’ll only get easier the more I do it. I technically only have 17 days left of the “Winter 46” season and I’d love to reach one more summit before having to wait until December 20, 2014 before I can cross off another peak on my list.
This was a post about soup, right? Right! Knowing that I’d be away all day and wanting something warm to return home to, I made sure we had all the ingredients for this week’s Sunday soup for the beau to make. We had a fresh butternut squash on hand, along with three bags of frozen puree, so I knew the soup was going to include that ingredient. I searched Pinterest and found this recipe.
The beau followed the recipe almost exactly except he used to two 12oz FG frozen purees and 1 small fresh FG butternut squash for roasting. He didn’t add anything as a sweetener nor did he use a fish sauce or tamari as a substitute. I topped my bowl with lime juice and some fresh cilantro. The verdict: delicious! This is a very rich, nutty soup that was perfect for my exhausted self. So good in fact that I had a second bowl for breakfast this morning.