Acadia Favorites

Mountain views, ocean beaches, rock scrambling, and spectacular sunsets all in one place?!

To end our busy summer of traveling, hiking, backpacking, and photographing outdoor weddings and adventures — we ventured off to Acadia National Park for one last long weekend. We wandered the beach, hiked as many trails as we could fit in, and even went out on a whale watch. Our timing was perfect, as both the Beehive and Precipice trails were open, and the weather was bright and sunny all 4 days. We hit the trails early to beat the crowds, ate lunch in Bar Harbor, and were treated to a fabulous sunset from Cadillac Mountain. Acadia has so much to see and do that I feel like we could vacation there every year, and maybe next time, we will bring our bicycles!

NH48!

We don’t consider ourselves to be “peak baggers,” but we do enjoy using mountain lists to help guide our weekend plans so we can always be checking out new places. I’m obsessed with maps and route-planning, figuring out the “best” or most creative way to do things to get the what we want out of each trip. I enjoy exploring new trails and seeing different views, the adventures and misadventures, and the physical challenge of reaching each summit.

9 years ago, Ted took me up Mount Washington via Huntington Ravine as my first hike in the Whites right before we moved to Colorado. I never imagined we’d eventually live back in the northeast and climb all 48 peaks over 4,000 feet in New Hampshire, and yet, here we are on the summit of Bondcliff, #48!

Turns out, we’re only 2 weekend trips away from finishing the Northeast 111, so I suppose we’ll plan a couple trips to Maine in the next year. Who wants to finish on Hamlin in Baxter State Park with us next summer?!

Coolidge State Park Wedding

Coolidge State Park in Plymouth, Vermont, has the perfect little venue for intimate weddings, family reunions, and other small get-togethers. Jane and Kenny chose this site for their tiny, destination wedding because of its accessibility and mountain view. As we worked out plans for the day, Jane spoke of how she wanted to incorporate that view and the greenery into their photos, and when I sent her photos from my scouting trip to check out the layout of the area, she grew even more excited.

The forecast leading up to August 1st was looking like it’d likely be a gray and rainy day, which was really bumming me out. Ted watched as each new model run came out, and he was optimistic the worst of the weather would move through before their big day. Sure enough, I arrived at the park under a sunny sky and knew it would be the perfect day.

I helped Jane’s family with table settings and we had to get creative, as there was just enough of a breeze to keep blowing the tablecloths all over. We set up camp chairs for the ceremony, laid out the maple syrup wedding favors, and Dream Maker Bakers decorated the wedding cake on site, which was absolutely stunning! I’m all about mountain-themed cakes too!

Finally, the guests arrived and it was time for the first look. Jane’s dress was BEAUTIFUL and I couldn’t help but tell her so. She looked so good in it too. Jane and Kenny shared a private moment among the trees before walking a short trail over to the field outside the pavilion. They were married by a family member standing before the very view that drew them to this location. The sun was bright and warm and there was no sign of rain. Following family portraits, Jane, Kenny, and I wandered off into the picnic area nearby for their portraits, and the light danced beautifully through the trees. There were only 9 people at the wedding, plus the bride and groom, making this a really intimate celebration. They really wanted to relax, have fun, and enjoy their big day, and spending it in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature and those closest to them was the perfect way to do it. The entire family was energetic and happy, welcoming and appreciative, and they invited me to eat cake and celebrate with them. Following lunch by Moe’s, speeches and cake, the afternoon was filled with games in the pavilion. This group was so much fun, I stayed long past what we planned, smiling and laughing all afternoon.

Kristen & Trevor's Vermont Wedding

Oh, how do we keep getting so lucky with the weather for these gorgeous outdoor weddings?! This weekend took us to the Shelburne Vineyard in Shelburne, Vermont. This venue is so awesome and perfect for smaller weddings that I can’t say enough great things about it. It’s easy to get to and close to Burlington, where Kristen and her bridesmaids got ready at a hotel overlooking Lake Champlain. One thing I really loved about this venue was that it wasn’t huge and didn’t have a big ballroom or anything that would surely be overwhelming for a smaller wedding. Instead, there are several smaller spaces that allowed for guests to spread out and enjoy the party in their own way. In the center was the bar, which is also where the buffet was set up for dinner, with an outdoor covered patio space with tables that overlooked a grassy lawn surrounded by rows of vines. Some chose to hang outdoors or at the bar, while others headed upstairs to the dance floor in the loft above the bar.

I also can’t say enough about how amazing Kristen and Trevor are. I finally met them in person the week before the wedding at a coffee shop in Lebanon, NH, and it was pretty clear we were going to have a good time. They were so easy-going and their whole wedding party was welcoming, fun, and entertaining. It was also great that they were so flexible because two minutes after the ceremony ended, as we tried to begin portraits, a thunderstorm moved through. Thankfully, Ted was watching it on radar so we didn’t get wet, and everyone was able to grab a drink and socialize while waiting out the storm. The light after the rain stopped was soft and warm, with dark clouds and nice contrast, which made for some great photos. This celebration was definitely one of those times when photographing weddings is so much fun that I can’t believe this is my job. Meeting new people, spending time outdoors, helping couples have the best day ever, and capturing the love, creativity, and joy of their wedding days is so interesting and rewarding.

Reptiles and Rocks

Some desert, some snow, some lizards, some rocks: 3 national parks, 3 national monuments, 1 national conservation area, and 2 state parks. Vacations are not for resting, even when it's 110 degrees.

After providing behavior support and crisis intervention in an elementary school for the last 10 months, I was in great need of a vacation and some time off. It’s been too long since I’ve seen lizards and red rocks, so out west we went. We landed in Las Vegas late at night, but we were up and out looking for adventure first thing in the morning. We started in Valley of Fire State Park, where Ted found a chuckwalla, and we woke up in the middle of the night to a kit fox screaming right outside our tent. We hiked around sunrise and sunset and spent the hottest part of the day in the visitor center staying as cool as possible.

Next we headed up to St. George, Utah, and visited Snow Canyon State Park, which was a really cool place. The petrified dunes we beautiful in the soft light, and we blocked traffic while a big gopher snake crossed the road to safety.

Next we headed out to explore the national parks, spending a few days at Bryce Canyon. Looking down into the amphitheater at dawn and hiking up and down through the hoodoos, it’s hard to believe this is real life. While browsing the gift shop, I saw a “Utah Rocks” magnet that had all five of Utah’s national parks on it, and I collect park magnets whenever we go on trips. I said to Ted, “We’ve been to Arches and Canyonlands, we’re in Bryce right now, and we’re heading to Zion later this week. Maybe we should do a side trip to Capitol Reef so I can buy this magnet.” I may have said it as a joke, but Ted’s reply surprised me: “I don’t hate that idea.” It was 12:30pm and Google Maps said it’d be a 2.5-hour drive through the middle of nowhere. When Ted hesitated given the very limited time we’d have to spend there, I laughed, “20-year-old Ted would do it.” Apparently that’s all I had to say and we were in the car driving north, with Ted still feeling young and spontaneous. We didn’t even check the weather before we left, and when cell service came in, radar indicated thunderstorms were hovering over Capitol Reef, meaning we were driving 120 miles to potentially not even see anything. We continued our good weather luck and arrived just as the storms drifted off and the clouds cleared, and we set out to cover as much ground as we could before dark.

A few days later, we ran into a couple I worked with in Colorado years ago in the Zion visitor center. Turns out, we were sightseeing in many of the same places, and we both made unplanned, spontaneous side trips to Capitol Reef to buy that magnet. Zion is an incredible place and we saw a California condor hanging out over Angels Landing. The downside was that rockfall and trail damage had closed several popular trails and the Narrows were closed due to high water, so we were limited in how much we could do. The only way into the canyon in the summer is via park shuttle, and that shuttle fills FAST in the morning. We expected to be on the first shuttle at 6am, and arrived to find a line so long that we didn’t board until the 3rd shuttle. In a way, Zion’s crowds helped prepare us for our return to “civilization,” since we were heading back to Las Vegas after 3 nights in Watchman.

Becca & Greg's Engagement

This weekend’s visit from my sister and her boyfriend turned out to be more exciting than anyone was anticipating. They made the long drive out to Vermont and spent two days skiing at Killington for their mini winter vacation. The weather wasn’t ideal, as there were warm temperatures and rain, high winds and fog. They were good sports about it and still hit the slopes and skied until they were too tired and sore to move. They caught some mountain views as the clouds broke up and cleared higher up, and after several years of dating, Greg proposed to Becca in the gondola!

Greg talked to our family about the upcoming proposal back around Christmas, and for the last two months, he’s had the ring in its box, zipped in the chest pocket of his jacket to ensure he wouldn’t lose it, and likely too, that she wouldn’t find it. When they newly engaged couple arrived at my house Friday night, they were extraordinarily happy. We adored the ring and talked about their thoughts on the wedding over dinner, and Ted and I treated them to skiing at Mount Sunapee on Saturday — their ski boots still weren’t dried out from the previous two days, but the blue sky above wasn’t keeping us indoors all day! Before they headed to New York on Sunday, we had a mini engagement shoot, so they had images for their official announcement. Like many couples we work with, they weren’t into posing, so we had fun with letting them be their natural, silly selves. Not only are they adorable, but I can’t get enough of how beautiful and sparkly that ring is! Check it out!

More Light Pillars!

Thirty-two years on this planet and I’ve only seen this phenomenon three times, and all three times were since moving to the Upper Valley. Light pillars are formed when city lights, or any bright lights I suppose, shine through tiny ice crystals called “diamond dust.” These ice crystals need very cold temperatures, below zero, and require still nights with calm or no wind so they remain suspended in the air. If there’s wind, the crystals get blown around, disrupting the light pillars. They also need enough moisture to form ice crystals, so there needs to be a sufficient source of humidity. All three times we’ve witnessed the light pillars, it has been on relatively early winter nights when the rivers running through town aren’t yet frozen over, so there’s steam rising up from the open, flowing water. We also live near a small ski hill, and it would appear that overnight snow-making contributes to the formation of light pillars nearby.

Usually if I’m awake before sunrise on a weekend, it’s because I’m traveling up to a trailhead somewhere for a day in the mountains. This morning, it was for a very cold (-18F) walk around Lebanon, New Hampshire. While looking at model data and forecast temperatures Friday evening, Ted mentioned it might be a “light pillar night.” We had friends coming to visit and plans to do the ice skating trail on Lake Morey in Vermont, which meant for once we weren’t going to be heading out early to hike, making this the perfect morning to set a 4am alarm and wander the streets until dawn.

Our alarm went off, current conditions indicated cold temperatures and calm wind, so we suited up and started the car. First we scouted lights along the Connecticut River, but didn’t have any luck. Part of the problem too is the lack of good open spaces for views, even in town, since buildings, hills, and trees become barriers to good compositions. Ted continued driving, while I watched out all windows for signs of those elusive beams of light. Finally, through the trees, I got a glimpse of one, so we headed in that direction, hoping for a more open view and to get closer to the action.

After a few shots along the Mascoma River, we decided to see if we could find a better vantage. We drove through some fog and took note of where it was congregating, and started heading out of town. Eventually, we ended up getting a few nice shots from the fields by the high school, just before they started fading out with the approaching sunrise. We stopped for coffee on the way home, and kept the momentum up by processing up these photos, getting laundry done, ice skating several miles and stopping by Storrs Hill for the evening, followed by a late night of catching up with our visiting friends. No wonder I’m so tired.

Our RMNP Wedding

For some, the perfect wedding is a big, formal event, with many guests, traditions, dinner, and dancing - and there's nothing wrong with that. Ted and I have attended plenty of gorgeous weddings with well-planned and fun parties that were perfect for the couples who planned them. But for us, none of them really resonated in a way that felt like the kind of celebration we’d want to throw ourselves.

Most wedding traditions never felt all that important to us, and since I dislike being the center of attention, being a bride was never all that appealing to me. An entire day in front of 100+ people, all eyes on me, smiling and posing for a thousand photos while guests snap countless, unflattering photos for Facebook, worrying about what I look like and whether everything would go as planned, watching the clock, wondering what people are thinking of our choices for colors, food, dresses, details… sounded like the most anxiety-inducing thing I could think of. I don't even like dancing. Maybe we should just elope.

Then there was one wedding that changed everything. In 2014, a college friend asked me to help her plan their wedding, only a couple weeks before it would happen. They wanted a tiny wedding, on top of a mountain, filled with fall color and surrounded by nature, complete with an unforgettable hiking adventure for those who would attend. Not only was I to be the wedding planner, I'd also be her photographer. Planning that wedding felt like I was planning my own wedding. No need for decorations or table linens, no arguments over colors or centerpieces. With the brilliant fall foliage and a warm sunset, this intimate ceremony was the perfect compromise between having a wedding and eloping. They invited only their closest family and friends for the summit ceremony, and planned a larger gathering to celebrate with friends a few weeks later upon returning home.

Then there was one wedding that changed everything. In 2014, a college friend asked me to help her plan their wedding, only a couple weeks before it would happen. They wanted a tiny wedding, on top of a mountain, filled with fall color and surrounded by nature, complete with an unforgettable hiking adventure for those who would attend. Not only was I to be the wedding planner, I'd also be her photographer. Planning that wedding felt like I was planning my own wedding. No need for decorations or table linens, no arguments over colors or centerpieces. With the brilliant fall foliage and a warm sunset, this intimate ceremony was the perfect compromise between having a wedding and eloping. They invited only their closest family and friends for the summit ceremony, and planned a larger gathering to celebrate with friends a few weeks later upon returning home.

Then there was one wedding that changed everything. In 2014, a college friend asked me to help her plan their wedding, only a couple weeks before it would happen. They wanted a tiny wedding, on top of a mountain, filled with fall color and surrounded by nature, complete with an unforgettable hiking adventure for those who would attend. Not only was I to be the wedding planner, I'd also be her photographer. Planning that wedding felt like I was planning my own wedding. No need for decorations or table linens, no arguments over colors or centerpieces. With the brilliant fall foliage and a warm sunset, this intimate ceremony was the perfect compromise between having a wedding and eloping. They invited only their closest family and friends for the summit ceremony, and planned a larger gathering to celebrate with friends a few weeks later upon returning home.

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That day, Ted and I not only realized that we wanted THAT kind of wedding, we also wanted to help other couples ditch the traditional expectations and plan a unique wedding adventure that was perfect for them. We started photographing more adventurous couples and families and shifted to shooting only outdoor weddings and elopements. Each time a couple got married on the summit of Whiteface or on a family farm, alone or with only their closest family and friends, where they could be themselves, relaxed, speaking their vows freely and without judgment, I felt happy and vindicated. We weren't crazy for wanting something different, or for wanting to incorporate nature and adventure into it. After all, hiking was what brought us together in the first place, and we're not the only ones!

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So this year, we reserved the Park Entrance Lodge in Estes Park, Colorado, for four nights, secured a wedding permit for Rocky Mountain National Park, and put together brochure-style invitations to send the 13 guests, which recommended hiking trails and local attractions we thought they’d be interested in. I ordered a beautiful Morilee bridesmaid dress in ivory, which was perfect in every way. My jewelry was all handmade labradorite pieces, a stone that holds great meaning for us, as well as an amazing alexandrite ring my sister gave me as an early wedding gift. I wanted to do some kind of wedding favor, so I picked up maple candy to bring with us, as a way of incorporating a piece of our northeast home into it all.

We flew to Denver, met up with friends, climbed a few of our favorite mountains (we used to live in Fort Collins), and watched a moose fight while waiting for family to arrive. All 15 of us stayed together in the lodge, with outdoor-themed décor throughout, and cooked meals together. I made our cake topper, which has all sorts of stories embedded in it, and my mom made our wedding cake right there at the lodge. Ted stopped by the Red Rose Rock Shop for a birthday present for his mom, and after asking Ted what brought him to town, they gifted us a beautiful piece of rose quartz!

On our wedding day, Ted and I woke up at 4am to get ready, and my sister went with us into Rocky Mountain National Park for sunrise portraits. We chose not to hire a photographer as a way of keeping this event as intimate as possible, and I know a lot of photographers would be dismayed by that. (I definitely don’t recommend skipping hiring a professional. Sometimes family or friends offer to shoot for free as a gift, and I strongly encourage anyone with that offer to review their portfolio, camera gear, and processing skills and to make sure you truly love their style and work. This is your big day and you want to remember it through high-quality, well-composed photos. Also consider whether being your photographer will negatively impact a friend/family member’s experience and ability to enjoy your celebration). For me, what was important was including my sister, working as a team, and having complete creative control in processing, knowing that I have the skills and ability to ensure quality images as a professional photographer myself. I had a vision for what I wanted in our wedding photos, and we are grateful for my sister’s flexibility and willingness to help us get the shots we wanted.

When we finished up with our portraits, we dropped my sister off at the lodge to change, and picked up the best man, matron of honor, and our climbing partner officiant. We headed back into the park to scout out the ceremony spot, set up the tripod, and evaluate the light conditions (by now it was almost 10am). I took portraits of the guys and friends that came with us and we listened to an elk bugle while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. The ceremony itself was only 6 minutes long, and perhaps slightly disorganized due to a lack of real detail planning or rehearsing – though that was the level of awkwardness and humor we were going for. My sister took photos during the ceremony, and we took turns passing the camera for portraits with family, where I’d take the photos if I wasn’t in them, finally ending with a group shot from a tripod I set up and ran into.

After the ceremony, we went back to the lodge to relax a bit before going into town for an early celebratory dinner. Ted and I wandered into the Ore Cart Rock Shop after dinner and bought the biggest, coolest piece of labradorite we now own. Back at the lodge, we had toasts and cake and watched the sunset from the hot tub.

Just as with traditional weddings, elopements are also not for everyone. There’s something very special about a tiny, private ceremony with only your closest family/friends, and while we wanted something intimate, we still wanted to include our parents and my siblings. This trip was particularly special to us because it allowed us to share some of our favorite places and hikes in Colorado with friends and family, making our wedding adventure into a multi-day vacation for all of us. Colorado was the first place we lived together, making the location meaningful for us, and were able to include some of our friends who still live out there who wouldn’t have been able to make it if we had done a northeast wedding. After the trip, my parents hosted a very relaxed, not-so-formal backyard party complete with lawn games and cows, so we were still able to celebrate with our extended family and friends back in New York. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

My Favorite Place

If I had to pick a favorite place to hike, Colorado's Indian Peaks might be at the top. Our first 13er was Mount Audubon, a beautiful mountain with alpine flowers and pikas leading to a rocky summit with a 360-degree view. Another day trip led us out to Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, where Ted tacked on Shoshoni on the way back. Thunderstorms chased us off Navajo Peak and down the airplane gully. While leading backpacks for Cheley Colorado Camps, I made several trips to Fourth of July Mine and climbed South Arapaho Peak and Santanta Peak. There's something about those jagged, rocky peaks and the dramatic landscape, especially when the sunrise lights up the golden tundra and everything seems to glow. 

So while in Colorado for our wedding this year, it's no surprise the Indian Peaks made our adventure itinerary - twice. Our first day in Colorado was spent stocking up on hiking snacks and then hiking Mount Evans. We knew sea level to 14k feet in a day wouldn't feel good, but we also knew we needed to acclimatize fast if we were going to do all the hikes we had planned in the few days we had out there. A couple hours of headaches and nausea would pay off big over the next few days. 

Seven years ago, 3 of us set out to do the loop from Blue Lake to Paiute Peak and over the ridge to Audubon, but had to bail along the ridge due to developing thunderstorms midway. That day, we opted to descend the scree alongside the ridge, and had to zigzag all over angling back to meet the route we'd taken up Paiute, avoiding going back over any summits. This time, we had planned to go back and finish that loop. Two weeks before our trip, I came down with bronchitis and then cold symptoms started on Mount Evans. The last thing I wanted to deal with at our wedding was being sick, but there wasn't anything I could do about it other than eat healthy and push through. Rather than heading to Blue Lake first like last time, we decided reverse it and go to Mount Audubon first. That way, if I didn't feel well, we were guaranteed to at least get one peak, and could make a decision at the summit.

As expected, the bronchitis took its toll and I had a mild asthma attack near the top. A few puffs of my inhaler, some rest, and some food in the windbreak, and it was decision-time. We'd traveled 2,000 miles, got up at 3am and climbed this mountain, and the sky couldn't be clearer or bluer. I got my breathing under control and said, "let's do it." There's nothing I love more than climbing and scrambling around on those rocks, surrounded by all those mountains. 

We stuck down to the left along the ridge to Paiute, which kept us out of the worst of the wind for most of it. We had both summits to ourselves, and a solo hiker who caught up on Pauite joined us for the descent since he wasn't familiar with that route and there's no trail. We were glad we'd done that part before because things certainly looked different coming from the other direction! Blue Lake was as beautiful and sparkling as ever, and we even saw a weasel on the descent. Back on an established trail and cruising back toward the trailhead, the coolest thing happened. Ted stopped dead in his tracks and struggled to get the words out fast enough.. “MOOSE…FIGHTING… MOOSE… CAMERA NOW.” Minimizing noise and movement, we got out the dSLR and I took a few photos while Ted took a video with my point and shoot. Two bull moose hit their heads together for a good ten minutes, just off the side of the trail, and we had front row seats. Proof that even though all the advice says to go to quiet places at dawn or dusk, you can still have a stellar moose encounter on a busy trail in the middle of the day!

So, 2 days of hiking down, why not add another? After finishing the loop, we met friends in Boulder who had flown out during our hike, and headed back to Brainard Lake. Day 3 included an easy hike to Lake Isabelle, watching the sunrise from just above it, and hiking up to Pawnee Peak. We took it slow as not everyone was adjusted to the altitude, enjoyed a good break at Pawnee Pass, and then headed off-trail toward the summit of Pawnee Peak. We had a blast catching up with friends and sharing this amazing place with them, but boyyy was I tired and sweaty. Perhaps too much exercise without enough sleep, hydration, and oxygen. Being sick really sucks. 

We knew we could check into the Park Entrance Lodge in Estes Park at 4pm, and we were back at the car an entire hour ahead of schedule. Figuring we'd just get coffee and kill time, I got the best text as we drove back into cell service. The owner sent me a message saying the house was ready and we could go anytime.. which meant showers and some downtime before the rest of our friends and family arrived that evening! This trip has been amazing so far, and we haven't even gotten married yet! 

Another Adirondack Adventure

When you love the mountains, repeating the same hikes never gets old. Each trip brings a new adventure with changing weather, varying trail conditions, and different combinations of people and personalities.

This was my 3rd year organizing the Young Members Weekend at Johns Brook Lodge for the Adirondack Mountain Club, and was once again a fun and rewarding experience. Hikers joined us from as far away as Buffalo, Boston, and Washington, D.C., and we spent Friday – Sunday together in the Adirondack High Peaks. A 3.5-mile backpack in the rain brought us to JBL, where we dried off and spent the rest of the day getting to know each other, planning routes for Saturday, and enjoying music from our “JBL jam band.” One participant even hiked in his violin!

After waking up to French toast and bacon, our group of 26 divided up and set out for our destinations, which included Bushnell Falls, Mount Marcy, Skylight, Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback. My favorite part about organizing this event is allowing for flexibility and individualization, so each person can hike their own hike, summit the mountains of their choice, and be as relaxed or challenged as they’d like – all while making new friends.  

Trail conditions were wetter than any past trip I’ve done along this route to Haystack, and water was just high enough to make brook crossings tricky, prompting many of us to take our boots right off to avoid accidental submersion off the slippery rocks. Wide puddles, deep standing water, sticky mud, and flowing water in the trail, especially up above Slant Rock, forced us to take our time and focus on each step. The last half mile before hitting Little Haystack was like climbing a waterfall, and it was near impossible to make it to Little Haystack without wet feet. We’d been hiking in light rain and mist all morning, so the rocks above treeline ranged from damp to dry, and it seemed like we wouldn’t have a view.

Similar to last weekend’s morning on Algonquin Peak, for a few brief moments while we were on top, the clouds broke up around us, allowing for a view of Skylight in one direction, and an undercast in the other. We snapped photos quickly, as the view disappeared as quickly as it appeared. While it would be amazing to have had another clear, sunny day up there, hiking up into the clouds and watching them swirl around you creates its own unique, dramatic experience, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Our group descended toward Basin to avoid going down the waterfall of a trail section, and split up at the junction below the summit of Basin. A couple chose to continue over Basin and Saddleback to complete a loop, and others descended back to Slant Rock and met up with one of the Marcy groups for the hike back to the lodge, where the smell of grilled chicken welcomed us. Another night of games, music, and attempts at stargazing as the clouds cleared, and we’re already talking about next year.

Wilmington Weekend

A wedding on Whiteface Mountain brought us to the Adirondack High Peaks region this weekend, and the weather was perfect for spending every minute outside. We drove over from Vermont Friday afternoon and set up camp at Wilmington Notch Campground. If you haven’t stayed there, make a reservation, and be sure to check out its gorgeous waterfall!

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Since we didn’t have to be anywhere until lunchtime, we got up early and caught the sunrise from Cobble Lookout before going into Lake Placid for breakfast. It’s a short, fairly easy hike with an up-close view of Whiteface Mountain, so it’s worth the effort and great for beginners and kids.

I’ll save our Whiteface adventure for a post of its own, but I’ll say it was so beautiful that we were in no rush to head right home after. We spent the evening debating what to do on Sunday, realizing the weather could range from perfect to socked-in summits. After scrolling Instagram and seeing a video of the insane number of cars parked along Adirondack Loj Road, we debated if it was even worth trying to head down that way. With the increasing number of hikers in the high peaks, we hate to contribute to the crowding, but I also realize it’s difficult to provide information and guidance as an Adirondack 46er correspondent if I don’t get out there and maintain some knowledge of the state of things. We haven’t visited the MacIntyre Range in a few years, so we decided to set out early and check out the alpine plants on Algonquin. We met a New Hampshire hiker along the trail and chatted our way up to the junction, where he and Ted started up Wright while I headed to Algonquin.  As views started opening up behind me, I stopped frequently and turned around to take it in, realizing how much I’ve missed hiking regularly in the Adirondacks. We’ve spent a lot of time in the Whites lately, but there’s really no place like home. I continued up slowly, trying to maximize the amount of time I had all to myself in the silence and stillness of the morning. I fully expected to find others on the summit, perhaps those seeking the sunrise, or at the very least, the summit steward.

I walked up to the summit marker and looked around, and to my surprise, I was completely alone. The summit of New York State’s second tallest peak, all to myself, with an undercast in one direction and thin clouds dancing around me, obscuring the view and opening up again. Mount Marcy rose up out of the clouds and made her appearance before the next wave of clouds blew in again. I sat beside a cluster of closed gentians and waited for Ted to join me on the summit. Behind Ted came the summit steward for the day and then Adam, the hiker he had gone to Wright with, and then a couple solo hikers who sat quietly, appreciating nature with the rest of us. In that moment, it seemed hard to believe there are so many overuse, littering, and crowding issues, because this felt just as it did a decade or more ago.

It gave me some hope, that even though social media sometimes makes it sound and look like conditions are pretty bad out there, perhaps things aren’t degrading as quickly as it seems, and there are plenty of hikers out there doing their part to leave no trace and preserve these special places.

Details, details.

One of the things I love about shooting weddings, whether it's a more formal event or a woodsy elopement, are the details. I love seeing the creativity, attention to detail, and thoughtfulness that goes into perfecting the aspects that are important to each couple. This weekend's wedding was a laid back party, complete with a live band and an assortment of lawn games. Their place cards were clementines, with guest names written on a paper leaf, and they were arranged in a beautiful spiral on a center table. I couldn't get enough of how much her rings sparkled, or how cool it was taking photos in the old, overgrown greenhouse structure at the Appel Inn. Here are a few details from this lovely day:)

Tuckerman Ravine Hike

Wow, it sure doesn't look or feel much like spring on Mount Washington right now! You'd think we were back in Colorado, but this is New Hampshire, I swear!

Ted & I hiked up to Tuckerman Ravine yesterday to check out the new snow that fell over the last few days, and to scout it out for a future ski date. The trail up to Hermit Lake is still completely snow-covered, but in good shape with all the heavy use (and since they essentially groom it). Tons of people were hanging out on the deck enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather and the dramatic view, but not as many were actually skiing due to moderate to considerable avalanche risk in the ravine. Several rangers and rescue personnel were on duty, interviewing skiers about their skiing plans, and ensuring only those with appropriate backcountry equipment and experience were heading up into the ravine.  Ted talked to one of them to find out how far it was safe for us to hike, but unfortunately the landmark they provided was buried, so it was way too easy to go too far. We soon found ourselves alongside the flattened trees from an earlier avalanche this winter, and backtracked to a safer spot to watch the brave souls skiing Left Gully. The temperature stayed in the 30s with a pretty steady wind, so it still felt a lot like winter up there. We passed a pit dug in the snow that proved there was at least a good 6 feet of snow on the ground. The wildest thing was after playing in all that deep snow, it was a sunny 60 degrees as we ate dinner outdoors beside the Mascoma River last night. Nothing like experiencing two seasons in the same day! 

Holly & Matthew

Holly & Matthew’s wedding involved a few firsts for us. It’s been 3.5 years since we shot our first wedding, and this was the first time we photographed a wedding with both an indoor ceremony and reception. As adventure photographers, the weddings Ted and I typically shoot have outdoor ceremonies, often in the mountains or other scenic places, occasionally with a small indoor or outdoor reception to follow. This was also the first wedding where we didn’t meet the bride or groom until the day of. Our practice is generally to try to have a meeting of some kind, from photographing an engagement session to chatting over the phone or Skype, to get to know each other and ensure our personalities are a good fit. Establishing a connection and getting comfortable with each other can help relieve some anxiety on the big day.

Holly and I exchanged several emails leading up to the wedding, but needless to say, I was still a bit nervous arriving on Saturday since we hadn’t actually met yet. The weather forecast had also been questionable, with possibilities ranging from just cloudy and windy to freezing rain and wintry mix, and I knew she was hoping to do outdoor portraits. Thankfully, I was at least familiar with the venue – Pat’s Barn!

I was greeted by the bride’s brother immediately upon entering, who was finishing up some decorating. The barn was set up for the ceremony in front of the big windows, elegantly lit, with gorgeous succulent plant centerpieces and favors. Even the cake was succulent-themed, and it was BEAUTIFUL! Pat’s Barn was the perfect sized venue for this intimate party, with an upper level that was not only used for cocktail hour, but was also perfect for catching a bird’s-eye view of the dance floor. The lawn, surrounding trees, and nearby brick buildings made perfect backdrops for photos too!  

I met Holly while she was getting her hair and makeup done, and I instantly felt more relaxed. The wedding day can be a stressful day for a bride, and if Holly was anxious or stressed out, she certainly didn’t show it. She was happy and easy-going, and willing to just go with the flow. I could say the same thing for Matthew (the groom), as well as their families, which really made my job easy. We lucked out with the weather too, which, while windy and on the chilly side, stayed dry. We even saw some sun and blue sky after the ceremony, which was perfectly timed for outdoor family portraits. Fernando from Conway Entertainment got the party started with handing out sunglasses and glow sticks, and this group wasn’t shy about dancing! The energy in the room was contagious, and there were so, so many smiling faces. Did I mention this bride has an incredible smile?! 

Holly and Matthew were an absolute pleasure to work with, and we couldn’t be more honored to have been part of their wedding day. CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes! 

P.S. While we don’t plan on adding indoor ceremonies to our "official" list of services anytime soon, we're always up for new experiences. Trying something new now and then can be a really good thing, a lot of fun, and a great adventure - even indoors!  

Volcan Iztaccihuatl

WE SUMMITED IZTACCIHUATL!!!! :)

I think when we booked our trip to climb Mount Rainier, some part of us thought it would likely be the first and only mountaineering trip of its kind. We knew we wanted to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and try something new, to take on a roped up, crevassed glacier adventure. With so many unknowns going into the trip, not knowing what to expect, I think we half expected to be terrified by the steep terrain and exposure, the deep crevasses with ladder crossings, and the elevated risks that come with such an endeavor. I remember trying not to look around too much in the dark on the way up, focusing on every step and breath, anxious about what the sunrise would reveal about my surroundings – but when the sun finally did come up, I was mesmerized and in complete awe of what I saw. The glacier was so beautiful and so grand, and I was so, so small. It was like being on another planet, and rather than feeling fear, I felt excited, amazed, and addicted. WE. MUST. DO. THIS. AGAIN.

So we booked another trip with RMI, this time to climb Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl, Mexico’s 1st and 3rd highest peaks, and spent the year in between training and learning Spanish. The inspiration for this trip came from the Banff Mountain Film Festival film, “55 Hours in Mexico,” which informed us of Orizaba’s existence, and depicted it as something we might be able to do. We read that the glacier was less crevassed and technical than Rainier, but with an altitude over 18k feet, we’d be climbing to new heights.

We flew into Mexico City from essentially sea level, and the next day, started our acclimatization on La Malinche. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy trip right from the start, as I found myself getting tired, lightheaded, and even heaving at times before we reached 13k feet. We slept at 10k feet that night, and the next day drove to Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park. We walked the dirt road to the Altzomoni Hut at 13k feet and prepped for the climb ahead. The mountains were in the clouds when we arrived, and while setting up for the night, checking our tents, and packing for high camp, the clouds cleared and we could finally see both Iztaccihuatl and Popcatepetl. That evening, Popocatepetl even let off some steam for us, and it was amazing to watch the sunset while that massive volcano puffed out smoke.

Morning always comes way too soon on mountaineering trips, but we woke up to a hot scrambled egg breakfast that was easier to eat at altitude than the usual oatmeal. We didn’t have a lot of elevation gain to do to get to high camp, but with carrying estimated 50+ pound packs, we knew we wouldn’t be fast. Thankfully, our porters shuttled a few jugs of water to high camp so we could save ourselves a few pounds. The trail was a mix of gradual and steeper terrain, and higher up was steep, loose dirt and rocky.

We reached high camp at 15k feet around mid-afternoon, set up our tents, and then spent a little time relaxing in them. Dinner consisted of Ramen, which I’d never eaten before, and thankfully I tried Ted’s before putting the spice packet in mine. Way too salty, I ended up just eating the plain noodles. We reviewed the gear list for summit day, topped off water and packed up, took some acetazolamide and went to bed before sunset. I woke up around 8:30pm, insanely frustrated that I had to pee and had to get out of my sleeping bag, but immediately forgot I had to go upon stepping out of the tent and seeing the view. A sky of stars, a few distant clouds with lightning flashes, and surrounded by the bright lights of the huge cities way down below, it was incredible. After staring in awe for way too long, I remembered I’d stepped out here for a reason, and needed to get back to sleep. Our wake-up call was at 1am, which consisted of layering up, forcing as much oatmeal and hot chocolate down as possible without throwing it up, and being ready to hit the trail by 2am. 

Izta is a very steep and rocky mountain, with everything from scrambling to steep, loose stuff, to sad glacier crossings. Apparently this year is very different than most years, as it’s been extremely dry and hasn’t snowed, so what is typically snow-covered was mostly just bare rock/dirt. This was not at all what I expected, as I do very well on the snow and glaciated terrain, and I’m not so fond of steep, loose rocks/dirt. There were only two relatively short sections where crampons were necessary, but otherwise it was bare ground the whole way.  We roped up for a good portion of it, not so much because we really need to, but more for the comfort of knowing we wouldn’t go far if we did fall. From 2am til sunrise, we hiked, often in silence outside structured breaks, focusing hard on each step and pressure breath. If I got out of rhythm, it was obvious, as I’d immediately get the lightheaded and nauseous feeling, heaving here and there, feeling like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen (because I wasn’t). Then I’d push out a few good pressure breaths and work back into a rhythm.

Izta isn’t your typical climb to the top and go back down kind of deal. She is a ridge with many summits, which was immensely taxing, both physically and in terms of morale. But then, the sun comes up, and it's all worth it. We were treated to a gorgeous sunrise, complete with an undercast, and Popocatepetl continuing to puff out smoke pretty consistently. It was PERFECT. 

After a good, long break in the sunshine, we started the descent. There seemed to be more breaks on the way down than on the way up, and it felt like it was taking forever going over all the bumps along the Ridge of the Sun. On Rainier, my emotional moment was upon seeing the sunrise and the top at the same time, knowing I was going to summit. This time, my emotional moment came when I finally crested a hill and could see high camp again, knowing I was going to make it out of there! As usual, Ted and I had our tent down and stuff packed in no time, and we hung out for quite a while waiting for everyone else to be packed up. My calf started to cramp a few times, so I used that time to stretch and hydrate. Our porters surprised us by meeting us at high camp and helping with not only taking down tents, but also by carrying the tents down for us. Ted was excited because everything finally fit in his 65L backpack (it was tight with half the tent in it on the way up). At this point, my feet were starting to hurt in my mountaineering boots, so my pace slowed a bit more, at least until there was lightning! Ted said when someone asked our local guide if lightning might be a problem, he said, “Only in July.” First there was graupel, then some snow, then bigger graupel, followed by a few loud clashes of thunder. I think that motivated everyone to not want to be 14k feet up anymore, so we didn’t take any breaks heading down from high camp. We were met at the trailhead by the local staff who provided sandwiches, beer, and sodas for us to enjoy while loading up the van. We now have a down day in the city to rest and explore Puebla, before heading to Tlachichuca and up to Orizaba high camp. 

Wednesday in the Whites

Ted's in Texas for the AMS conference and the weather in the northeast is finally above zero. With nothing else to do and blue sky all around, off to the mountains I went! 

I left before sunrise and drove two hours to Crawford Notch, and spent way too much time climbing up the taller-than-me snowbank looking for where the trail starts. After a series of postholes to the trail sign, I found myself enjoying a freshly packed snowshoe trench all the way up to Jackson. I'd hoped to loop over Webster too, but opted against it because it wasn't packed out, but also because I was solo and way too eager to get to a view. All through the woods, the fresh snow was piled on every tree, and every now and then I'd get a glimpse of the sun rising on the other side. I finally climbed the last pitch to the summit and an expansive winter wonderland of mountains unfolded before me. Mount Washington was as white as it could be, and with no wind, I considered extending my hike heading toward it, until I ran into someone who had turned around from the ridge and said breaking it out alone just wasn't worth it. I ended up having the summit to myself for almost two hours, with the exception of the shadows that came from behind me as soon as I settled in. THE GRAY JAYS! 

A pair of gray jays, clearly used to being fed by hikers, landed on a treetop behind me. The longer I sat there, the closer and closer they hopped, until they were sitting next to me, then on my backpack, looking for a peak treat. When they hear wrappers crinkle, they perk right up, and they sat still hoping for a handout, long enough for me to have a mini photo shoot with them. It was cool to sit quietly in nature and have these birds come hang out with me, but was sad to consider the real reason they were so friendly is because people had conditioned them to associate humans with food. It reminded me of a hike I did one winter, on a popular Rocky Mountain National Park trail, where a squirrel actually ran up my leg and down my arm trying to get what it thought was food in my hand. When animals are fed human food, it not only puts their health at risk since what we eat isn't always nutritious for them, it also puts us at risk. Wild animals stop being afraid of people, and we often think it's exciting to have an animal eat from our hands, but what about the risk of getting bitten, or the risk of them spreading disease to you? There's also the risk of having animals destroy your personal property, such as mice or martens ripping into your backpack for any snacks or even crumbs they smell in there when you leave your pack or campsite unattended. I know it's extremely exciting to have encounters with wildlife, but next time you have the choice, remember you can help keep birds and animals healthy (and yourself safe) by not feeding them. 

To learn more about how you can protect yourself, wildlife, and the landscape while exploring, visit LNT.org.

Light Pillars

You know it's cold outside when you see this amazing phenomenon. 

The morning of December 17, 2017, Ted and I loaded up the car for a day of ice climbing and hit the road well before daylight. As we drove around the green at the center of town, I noticed beams of light reaching toward the sky, rising from each of the streetlights. After pointing this out, we stared out the car windows in awe at this peculiar sight. They were EVERYWHERE, and SO BRIGHT! Ted snapped this low quality photo with his phone as we approached the interstate, and that was it. They were gone. We hoped to see them as we drove over the bridge in West Lebanon, since it overlooked more lights, but sadly, they seemed to only be in one small isolated area further east. 

The first half of our drive to the mountains involved me asking questions and trying to understand what we just saw. They were light pillars, which form on REALLY cold, calm nights, when there's enough humidity for the creation of "diamond dust," or tiny ice crystals suspended in the air. It's pretty cool, since it's like having precipitation that forms near the ground on a clear night, rather than falling from clouds. The light pillars are seen when light refracts off the tiny ice crystals, creating a beautiful display. Needless to say, I was pretty intrigued and welcomed the cold air heading our way. 

Usually I'm not happy about waking up in the middle of the night if it's not to go hiking, but yesterday morning around 3am, I woke up to see the elusive pillars yet again. Ted mentioned the night before that conditions were optimal for them, having fresh snow on the ground, light wind, and nighttime temperatures below zero. That knowledge is what prompted me to look out the window in the first place. I probably scared the crap out of Ted when I screamed "BEAMS!" out of excitement, and then dragged him out of bed and into the -14 degree night with my camera. At first it looked like they faded away, but we drove around a bit, keeping an eye out for pillars and an open enough view in their direction. We ended up at the Howard Logan Field in Lebanon, NH, and trudged through the new foot of snow for a less obstructed view. Ted set up the tripod while I worked on camera settings with my numb hands, and we were blown away by what we captured. Often, photos don't do things justice, but this time, I feel like it was just as pretty in real life as the photos depict. The pillars were more transient than we expected them to be. They were really good for only a short period of time, and seemed to fade in and out, but mostly out after the first few minutes in the baseball field. But just like undercasts and auroras, it was alluring enough to keep me up again last night, hoping for their return. 

A New Kind of Adventure

I've hiked to the summit of Cascade Mountain too many times to count, and started avoiding hiking it in recent years as hiker traffic there has increased so drastically. What do you do when the trails are too crowded? Find a less crowded route. 

In order to keep expanding your comfort zone, and perhaps to prevent boredom, you have to keep pushing your limits and challenging yourself. Keep trying new things, harder things. So this month, I somehow allowed Ted and Joe to talk me into my first multi-pitch climb, and an ice/mixed/slide climb at that! I haven't climbed ice in two years, and I'm kind of terrible at rock climbing. I haven't been on a rope since a harness fiasco at the rock gym a while back, and a winter day with a single-digit high was less than appealing. But! The weather was otherwise sunny, no snow moving in, the roads were clear, and the nighttime temperatures well below zero in the Adirondacks would keep other climbers from getting an early start, allowing us time to take our time. Ted once said I shouldn't be afraid of the Trap Dike on Mount Colden because he felt it was well within my comfort zone, and he turned out to be right that I'd find it "a delightful playground of rocks." So when he insisted I'd enjoy this climb, I decided to give it a shot. 

One thing you learn about ice climbing as a party of three is that it's not fast ascent. Not in the way hiking or trail running is. The concept is straightforward; lead the first pitch, build your anchor, belay everyone up, repeat.  The reality is not as clean. It takes a good chunk of time to get your gear sorted out and your equipment on.  Ropes drag, get stuck or frozen, anchor building can get interesting, communication isn't always easy, plus there's the fact that everything just seems to move more slowly in the winter. The result is that much of your time is spent waiting.  Unlike summer rock climbing, during the winter, you feel every minute when you're not moving if you're not properly dressed. Early on, I made the mistake of looking down at Ted at the base of the falls, and in that moment, I realized how high I'd climbed already. I decided then that if I was going to make it up, I'd need to focus on what was right in front of me, and avoid looking up or down. It's way too easy to psych yourself out when you're hanging from a rope on an ice cliff. With the encouragement of my fearless leaders and an unexpected friend, Andy, who climbed up behind me with another group, I muscled up the technical part of the climb. 

Above the waterfall, we stowed one of the ropes and roped together to simul-climb a couple shorter, easier ice obstacles interspersed with hiking.  Even this was slow-going, as the terrain was uneven, filled with buried rocks, ledges, downed trees, and often deep snow. 

As we reached the bottom of the slide, it was becoming clear that we weren’t hiking out in daylight, and that this would end up being one of the most physically challenging ascents of my life.  In the summer, the slide is a steep, gritty, and often wet, rock slab with numerous loose rocks.  In the winter, it is about 400-450 feet of glorious low-angle ice with a good rest ledge near the middle.  Despite the good shape it was in, it still took nearly the last bit of my strength to get up it, with my calves borderline cramping with every step, my arms exhausted from swinging those axes. 

There was no real time for celebration though, the sun was setting fast and we still had a solid bushwhack to reach the summit. Only one other group followed this route all the way to the summit, as most people just rappel after the technical ice. It appeared that their group must have split up at some point, as the tracks in the snow diverged. Joe took what ended up being the easier, faster route to the summit, and of course, Ted and I chose the more convoluted path. When we finally reached the top, it was just dark enough to dig out the headlamps, and the wind was picking up, giving me brain freeze as it hit the side of my head. We hurried down off the rocks and into the trees on the hard-packed, maintained trail for a quick snack before half jogging our way back to the trailhead. A two hour drive home, and our adventure was complete. 

We're Engaged!

“Let’s go somewhere,” Ted said as I sat at the table on a dreary Thursday, playing a game on my phone as the sun set. He’s not usually spontaneous so I was intrigued, “Where do you want to go?” Rather than driving me (almost) into a tornado (again).. Ted’s picked up geomagnetic storm chasing lately, and this week’s solar flare had him pretty excited for the aurora. I lacked optimism and felt depressed as I checked the forecast and looked at my radar app. Noting that it was cloudy with a definite chance of rain, I wondered what he could see that I couldn’t. I humored him, as I have many times before, and packed up my camera and a jacket. We live in the northeast, so it’s probably cloudy more often than not, and seeing the aurora isn’t something that happens all that often. The few times we’ve seen it in the past, the lights were so faint it was hard to tell if we were seeing anything at all without checking a long exposure. There were countless nights of driving around the middle of nowhere looking for north-facing views only to come home empty-handed because the storm didn’t stay strong enough or the clouds didn’t cooperate. I couldn’t see how tonight would be any different with the thick clouds outside our window, but since this was potentially the biggest solar flare in a decade, Ted insisted we at least try. So I manned the weather-related applications and refreshed the visible satellite one last time for cloud cover before it was too dark, as Ted drove across state lines into Vermont, heading northwest toward the small window of clear sky. In a car with dimming lights, a dying battery, and a host of other issues deeming it less than reliable, we somehow ended up miles down a dirt road, with no cell service and no way to monitor the geomagnetic activity. The tall grass was wet and we kept hearing spooky sounds in the woods, as the recent rain moistened the leaves enough to drip constantly, creating an eerie atmosphere. At one point, we heard a loud noise near the car, and Ted jumped, pressing the lock button on his remote to flash the lights and beep the car, hoping to scare away whatever was over there. 

Somehow, though, he had done it. He found the only 20-minute window of clear sky in the region, with the nearly full moon hidden behind a cloud, while the storm was still strong enough to see. The pillars danced across the sky as a green glow sat at the horizon, and I took photo after photo as the light kept changing. After 9 years of crazy adventures like this, Ted (finally) proposed under the northern lights, and I said yes.

Calendar Feature!

Lake George from Black Mountain.

Taking photos from mountain summits and backcountry locations is never easy. It often involves early mornings or late nights, heavy backpacks, steep terrain, multiple miles, lots of sweat, and of course, the ever-changing weather. There's the frustration from poor trail conditions, and Ted's "It's right around the corner, you're almost there!" encouragement on repeat when we're nowhere near the top.  Sometimes, we work hard to reach the viewpoint, and there is no view. That was almost the case on this winter ascent of Black Mountain, near Whitehall, NY. 

It was mid-December, right after a big snowfall, and apparently before anyone had really snowshoed or snowmobiled into the area that season. Four of us set out to do what we thought would be a quick, 5-mile half day hike, but we faced issues right from the gate. There was between 2 and 3 feet of freshly fallen snow blanketing everything, weighing the trees and branches down so much they leaned over the trail, making it difficult to find and follow. With every step, we were sinking to our knees or more -- with snowshoes on. I don't know why we kept going, if we thought maybe there'd be less snow later on or what, but it never got better. If "Tough Terrain Ted" weren't there breaking trail, the girls most certainly would have turned around and ventured off to find some hot cocoa instead. On we pressed, for hours, flattening the snow beneath us, creating a packed trail that would make the hike out less work later. At one point, I sunk waist deep and struggled to get out.

Eventually though, we made it! In the time we thought it'd take to do the round trip hike, we were just barely reaching the summit. A bit disheartening, a look around presented nothing but shades of white and gray, and clouds swirled around the summit. All that work, and no view?! It happens, more than you'd think, which makes the summits with views that much more appreciated. Exhausted and in no hurry to head back down, we hung out for a bit, and waited out the clouds. Sometimes, they never clear, and sometimes, they open up the perfect window that makes it all worth the effort, and hopefully the camera is ready. Slowly, the sun tried to shine down through the clouds. As the clouds lifted slowly and swirled around us, we got short glimpses of the big, blue lake below. Realizing this trend, I got the camera out and ready. 

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)'s 2018 calendar is now available at  www.ADK.org .

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)'s 2018 calendar is now available at www.ADK.org.

The above photo was featured in a hiking piece in Adirondac magazine last year, and I'm excited to announce that it's now the December image in the Adirondack Mountain Club's 2018 wall calendar! In addition, an image of three-toothed cinquefoil from the Cascade summit is also included in the calendar's sub-theme on alpine vegetation. Sales from these calendars help support ADK's mission and programs, which aim to protect and preserve wild lands and waters throughout New York State. ADK builds and maintains trails, educates the public, and works to keep views like this accessible to the public. Pick one up today at ADK.org!