This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 10 and 4 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hiking NY: Hiking and Camping in the Adirondacks (Cascade and Porter)

Last week I took Bradley on his first adventure camping in the Adirondacks! I saved the two "easiest" high peaks Cascade and Porter to do with him to see how he likes mountain climbing.

We left Tuesday morning and arrived to the South Meadow site around 3pm. I hadn't been to this spot before, but it was nice primitive campsites right off the road with access to trails close to the Loj. We set up camp then explored around the road up and down for a few hours before dinner.

Here's where the fun starts....

Around 8:45pm Bradley took his flashlight and started exploring around the campsite. It was twilight and just a bit of light left for the day. I ducked into the tent to clean up and change into PJs. When I came back out of the tent, Brad was NOWHERE to be found. I started yelling into the woods for him, and heard a very faint and far away reply. I quickly put my boots and headlamp on, then went a bit further into the trees and kept yelling for him. No response. Cue the freak out!

I continued walking around the site, up and down the road, and into the woods as far as I could and still see the tent.....I didn't get another reply. I decided I needed help and could not do this on my own, or else I would get lost too. I walked down the road to where I saw a couple was camping and told them the situation. I gave them the DEC emergency number and they drove away to find a signal and call for help.

It took about 20 minutes until they returned, but thankfully they had a ranger following them! By this time, it was around 9:45pm and pitch black outside. I gave the ranger all the details and information I could as several other rangers pulled up as well as police. The ranger instructed a few others on the plan then headed off into the dark woods to find him. He was confident it wouldn't take long. The police officer drove farther down the road to park his car and run his siren for a few minutes so that hopefully Brad would here it and go toward it.

The nice couple stayed with me to help keep me calm, and after only about 30 minutes a ranger stopped by and said they had located Bradley!!!! It took another 30 minutes for them to hike out of the woods and get back to the campsite at around 11pm.

Brad was very scratched up from thick tree branches, and soaking wet from crossing creeks...but otherwise intact and happy to be found! I was so thankful for the rangers/police and their speedy assistance. They truly have super powers!

They rangers actually encouraged us to continue with our plans for hiking the next day, and didn't want this to ruin our experience. Brad agreed that he still wanted to hike (despite his boots being wet), so we woke up early the next day and drove to the trailhead for Cascade and Porter.

We did Cascade first which has a beautiful view and a bald summit. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a break before heading on to Porter. When we got there, we had lunch and took our shoes off for a rest!

By about 1pm some storms were moving in, so we began our descent down the mountain trail. We filled up on water at a creek close to the beginning, then returned to our campsite by 3pm. We discovered a sweet note the ranger who found Bradley had left on our tent while we were away, as well as a ranger patch!

The rain moved on and we just rested in the tent and enjoyed our last dinner before heading home the next morning. All in all, Brad said he had a fun time and is looking forward to going again!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hiking NY: Return to Warsaw Falls--Creek Walk

Another belated post considering I did this about a month ago....but nonetheless here are the beautiful pictures from my first creek walk! This is at Warsaw Falls in Warsaw, NY where you may remember I went with Bradley in this previous blog post and hiked a trail that led us to the top of the 80ft tall waterfall. I knew I wanted to see it from the bottom, so me and new hiking friend Courtney went there last month and it was amazing! The perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hiking NY: Backpacking in the Adirondacks (Algonquin, Boundary, Iroquois, and Wright)

Slightly belated, but a couple of weeks ago I was able to return to the beautiful ADK region with a new hiking buddy Courtney for some more backpacking adventures! We started at the Loj parking and hiked a few miles in to our campsite by Wright mountain. We had the pleasure of passing thunderstorms keeping us wet the whole time, but thankfully they moved on as we set up camp and we are able to stay semi dry as we cooked dinner. I got to use my backpack's rain cover for the first time!

McIntyre waterfall right by our campsite! So lovely to fall asleep listening to it.

The next morning we got up bright and early, and after a hearty breakfast we grabbed our day bags and hit the trail for a full day of peakbagging! We were so blessed to have straight sunshine the entire day. It made for exceptional views and severe sunburn (on my part, despite applying sunscreen 3x). Couldn't ask for a better day.

We decided to do the peaks in this order: Algonquin (second highest peak in NY), Boundary (above 4000' but not considered a "high peak"), Iroquois, and Wright.

The "trail" going UP

We reached the summit of Algonquin around 10:30am and enjoyed a chat with the summit steward about the surrounding views, and our plan of attack for the unmarked trail ahead to Iroquois. Thank you Tyler! After the obligatory summit selfies, we continued on for the next 2 peaks!

Looking back at Algonquin as we summited Boundary and Iroquois.

Looking back at Colden (my #2/46, read about that harrowing experience HERE), and Lake Colden on the right.

Leaving the summit of Algonquin to follow the last few trail markings on toward Boundary/Iroquois.

The summit of Iroquois marked by a cairn! We took a much needed snack break, then turned around and retraced our steps back over Boundary and Algonquin.

Once we got to the junction for the trail to Wright, this steep slide was the first thing to greet us. I honestly didn't think I had it in me, but after some encouragement from Courtney we ponied up and did it! Wright was very steep, and I honestly think it was the hardest summit of the 4 we did that day.

Views from Wright summit. Colden in the back

Debris from plane wreckage on the summit (a crashed flight from the 1960s)

Our legs were jello going back to camp that evening, and we came to a mutual agreement that we would be useless the next day! We had originally planned to move camp the next day and attempt to summit Phelps, but we smartly decided to save that for another trip! We packed up camp late the next morning and enjoyed a delicious post-hike lunch at the Hungry Hiker.

Check back soon! My next trip to ADK is NEXT WEEK. I'm taking Bradley for his first time there! Wish us luck.....

Friday, July 17, 2020

Homemade Rain Barrel

My garden is behind my garage, and the faucet is nowhere near it. I got tired of lugging a watering can back and forth, so hubby and I got the supplies recently to make our own rain barrel!

I got most supplies at Home depot. There were a couple rubber washers we got at Ace Hardware. Otherwise a pretty simple faucet setup with thin mesh netting stapled over the opening to prevent bugs and debris from gooping up the water. We put an overflow hole at the top.

After a 2 week drought, we got rain the night we put this in! A couple rainstorms later and it's beyond filled. I could easily connect a couple more to the overflow and fill those too. Happy garden!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hiking Date with Hubby at Letchworth State Park

I guess I inspired Nick with my new love for getting out into nature because he volunteered to go with me on a hike! We have a great new family who moved in right next to us, and the oldest girl is our new babysitter!!! We went on an evening hiking date to Letchworth for our first time using her. The boys loved her!

It was a hot one, but nicely shaded in the forest. We took my usual loop in the opposite direction, branching off from the gorge trail into the forest. We came up on the train tracks just in time for a train to go over the bridge above us!

I brought my camping stove and dinner with us for the full experience. Yum! We found a nice outlook over the gorge for our break.

No pics of the falls on this trip--I've taken many already! Check out this post for some beauties.

He had a great time and actually enjoyed himself. I'm very proud he was able to handle the 6.2 miles without issues! He's looking forward to our next excursion.

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