On Friday November 13th, Syracuse University Outing Club Hosted the showing of Reel Rock 10, an incredibly inspiring and at times, hilarious film. It had us climbing all around the atrium during intermission, reenacting our own Fitz Traverse and Dawn Wall adventures. After the screening, we did some urban exploring on the roofs of Syracuse University. The lights of the campus glimmered with the orange glow of the city in the background, crisp autumn air inspiring us further to continue our own outdoor adventures. So what does one do when they are full of inspiration and in need of adventure? Well, they drive over 2 hours at 10:30 PM to camp overnight in the Adirondacks of course!
We showed up at the entrance to the Chase Lake Lean-to Trail, slightly past 12:30 A.M.. By the time we got there the temperature had dropped considerably from the city temps. at home, as snow was flitting down on top of us. After changing into our winter clothes, we set off into the pitch-black of the wilderness, our headlamps burning into the forest and reflecting off of the snow floating around us. Due to the wet snow we were unable to document our hike, however got some amazing pictures of the rest of the journey.
Either due to the exhaustion that had subsequently set in from it being so late or due to mesmerizing effect of hiking at night with snow landing around us, little words were exchanged as we trekked our 2.5 miles to the lean-to. Upon completing about an hour and a half of crossing streams, rounding twisting trails, and enjoying a night hike that will not soon be forgotten, we arrived at the lean-to. After arriving at the lean-to there was a great surge of relief to be able to get out of the cold.
We decided to trade in our nighttime fire for a morning one as well as an earlier start to bed. It’s hard to describe the feeling of cozying up into your sleeping bag after a long hike in sub-freezing temperatures, but anyone who has experienced it knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The following morning, we woke up and began to make our fire. It was amazing to see the entire pond directly in front of the lean-to, a view that the darkness of night has withheld from us.
As Nick cooked some bacon over the fire, followed by popcorn, I grabbed some vegetarian breakfast and sat looking out at the lake. It was a really amazing experience as once again I was provided with the views that only the Adirondacks have to offer. The lake was blown into ripples by the light wind and I appreciated every moment I was there.
We sat around the fire for a while telling stories, enjoying breakfast, and warming our frozen hands and toes as the brisk Adirondack air settled in around our campsite. Even with the cold, I couldn’t help feeling thankful for being out of the classroom and immersed in the forest that surrounded me.
After warming ourselves up by the fire we decided it was time to head back to the car and begin our drive back to Syracuse. After packing up all of our gear, we set out once again. Even though we came in on the very same trail only the night before, it was almost a completely different hike altogether, as we were now able to appreciate the wide expanse of our surroundings as we followed our own path.
After arriving back at the car, we met a couple of nice people who came to hunt from Montana. After chatting with them about each of our adventures, we said our goodbyes and began the drive back to Syracuse.
With the right inspiration sometimes even the shortest of trips are the most memorable ones. This experience is definitely a memorable one for me and furthers my inspiration to experience the world to its fullest and not forsake even one night that could be turned into an adventure.