Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trap Dike: Part One

Hard core I am not. Adventurous maybe. Curious, most definitely.

For years, friends told me stories about ascending or descending the Trap Dike and I wondered how this place could be so amazing. I knew that Avalanche Pass was gorgeous from other through hikes I had taken, but this dike they all talked about definitely had me curious.

I was always jealous of listening to their climbing and skiing adventures and silently pouted that no one would ever take me. Finally, I mentioned my interest in reaching Mount Colden's summit via this classic Adirondack climbing route to my friend Emilie and we started planning when we could go. This planning process took us approximately two years to finally have days off together and have the weather be on our side. With Emilie's upcoming trip to the Indian Karakoram for a climbing expedition of her own, this first week of summer was our week. Or so we thought.

We kept watching the weather report and things looked good for our adventure, with a 30% chance of showers in the late afternoon. Emilie figured out that if we started by 8 am, we could be on our way down before any supposed rain would begin. Not trying to get ahead of myself in the story, but I should note here that approximately 3 hours later she told me that if she had a client with this forecast, they would not have attempted the proposed hike. However, a paying client I was not and as two friends, we plowed ahead and so we reached Avalanche Lake looking out for dark clouds.

Unusually optimistic for the two of us, we determined that it was partly cloudy and we circled the lake. Confident that the weather man was spot on with the weather forecast, we decided to eat a sandwich before we started our scramble and just as we were finishing the crusts, we looked at one another and said, "Was that a raindrop?" Yes, but no sprinkle was going to keep me down and so we continued.

Then those sprinkles turned into heavy rain drops, we put on our raincoats and the rocks became slippery and wet. Turns out rain and rock slabs don't mix well and Emilie, the knowledgeable guide gave Mother Nature the thumbs down.

And so there I was crouched in the rain with my SPF 70 having her tell me how nice it will be to do the Trap Dike with fall foliage.

So, as I feed her cats this summer and tell them stories about their owner climbing on the other side of the world, at least I'll have Trap Dike, Part Two to look forward to.

Best of luck Emilie on your big adventure!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making Porch History

Last month I wrote about the saga of the missing porch. We had some issues with losing our cat to its scary underworld and thought we needed to remedy the problem. In general, the porch was a little shabby to begin with and no, I don't mean shabby chic.

So, the porch was destroyed and my thoughts went to fabulous porches and reconstruction. Just across the covered bridge from us was a beautiful Victorian house that had a gorgeous wrap-around porch.

Running across the covered bridge through to the other side, the big old porch would greet me with its intricate architectural elements and I would daydream about sitting up there looking out at the river rapids. One morning, I took another running route and did not start my day passing the vacant 19th century home. Instead, a neighbor walked her dog and saw smoke coming from the home. I was already at work when I found out.

The house had been destroyed and was considered a complete loss. The charred porch, still showed signs of grandness.

This spring, demolition on that home began and we were able to purchase two of the salvaged columns. Drew rebuilt our porch and although it is small, we are very pleased that a piece of Jay's history is now a part of our home sweet home.

Thank you to Patti F for providing photos

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gold Medal Laundromat

Back in the day when I was an apartment dweller in Lake Placid, I had to cart my laundry to the laundromat. This was not an activity I loved. Most of the laundromats in Lake Placid back then were places that rarely made me feel like I was walking away with clean clothes. I never hung out at the laundromat waiting for the clothes to come out because just sitting there made the last of my clean clothes that I was wearing feel dirty. Of course, this meant returning 28 minutes later to discover that the machine did not work properly and then had to wait around even longer than anticipated. So, I perfected the art of timing my visits to my parents just when the laundry basket had reached its full capacity.

When Drew and I bought our first home, his parents gifted us with our very own washer and dryer. It was one of the best gifts I had ever received and I was thankful that my laundromat days were over. Or so I thought...

Just as any homeowner knows, when it rains it pours. We came back from a weekend away and the basement was flooded. The worst it has ever been. It fried our hot water tank and our beloved washing machine. Over the course of the week I had taken hot showers in four different households within a five mile radius. Several dollars later, the hot water tank is fixed and the washer is not.

This week, our laundry collection surpassed the friendly, "Hey do you mind if we come over and do a load of laundry?" With a total of six loads, we drove to Lake Placid and went to the new, Gold Medal Laundromat in the Cold Brook Plaza.

What an improvement now that it is under new management. I know this happened awhile ago, but wow! The washing machines are all new and they work. The driers blew me away. For a large load, the clothes were all dry in less than half an hour.

We didn't lose any change in the machines and when I had a problem putting one of the bills in for quarters, the owner came right over even without me asking for help. The laundromat was clean and had a nice sitting area with a large flat screen television to pass the time. I actually didn't mind spending an hour there doing laundry and sat reading until I heard the machines beep to tell me they were done doing their job.

It is nice to know that there is a good laundromat in Lake Placid and I will probably gather up some sweaters for their dry cleaning service. I think Gold Medal Laundromat definitely deserves the gold!