2nd Annual Christmas in Lake Placid

28 Dec

The short version of our trip:  It was perfect, we climbed, we hiked, we chilled in a hot tub, we went to some breweries, we met awesome people.  No words or pictures will ever do justice to the vibrancy of the colors, the smell of clean mountain air, or the feeling of being so small and content.

 

The long version of our trip:

 

We headed out on Wednesday, thinking we might hit an easy trail for a little run when we checked into the hotel.  It was very overcast and therefore started getting dark even earlier than the already-t00-early-sunsets this time of the year, and Eric didn’t have a head lamp.  In a serendipitous moment, we drove by a small brewery in Tupper Lake.  We made a U-turn in a church parking lot and pulled into the Raquette River Brewery.  We chatted with one of the brewmasters while sampling amazing beer.  No joke–I liked every single one we tried.  The guy was super cool.  They have a huge fire pit area outside and in the summer they do live music and have a bbq food truck, too.  We will be back.  You should go, too.

adk

We checked into the hotel room, which was kind of weird.  The place we stayed last year (was pretty nice…use it if you can) no longer accepts dogs, and we really wanted a hotel with a pool/hot tub, but also didn’t want to spend a lot (we are used to camping…getting a hotel room is a splurge that we don’t love making to be honest–more than once I actually said I wished we’d just camped since it was so warm haha).  We ended up booking a different one.  The room was ok (nothing special…but alright…we aren’t ever there for long because there’s too much else to do and see to waste time in a hotel room).  The hot tub and pool area were disgusting.  We’re talking paint peeling, ants crawling everywhere, stuff in the bottom of the pool, and no jets in the hot tub.  This of course didn’t stop us from using it (it almost did, but then I realized that normally when we’re in the ADK, I’m swimming in a lake with god only knows what, and as Eric pointed out, this pool clearly had a lot of chemicals in it so it was at least “clean” water).  We will not be staying here again, though (unless they update their pool area).

sign from the pool area...pretty sure it hasn't been updated since the sign was put up in 1980...

sign from the pool area…pretty sure it hasn’t been updated since the sign was put up in 1980…

 

We decided to head out to grab dinner at a pizza place called Bacci’s in downtown Placid.  Then we swung by the Lake Placid Brewery for a quick Ubu ale.  We got “home” and went to bed relatively early because we were going to get up early the next day to try to make it a 3-peak day.

 

For the report on climbing Porter, go here.  It was a great climb, super warm, and relatively easy.  At the top, there were very clearly storms moving into the area (the cool thing about being up so high–you can see stuff like that), so we headed back down to try to beat the rain.

 

We started to drive toward the ADK Loj and Street and Nye, and it began to pour.  Yikes.  We discussed our next move while driving around the ADK Loj and made the decision to skip Street and Nye this time.  It had been so wet and muddy and slick on Porter, we didn’t want to chance getting hurt or not being able to finish before it got dark (that lack-of-headlamp was coming back to bite us haha).  Better to be safe than sorry.  As we’d been driving toward the loj, we had seen a trailhead sign pointing down a closed-off seasonal road.  It was a trail to South Meadows and the Marcy Dam.  We decided to try it out since it was still early and from what little we could find online, it seemed this trail was about 3-4 miles long, but pretty flat, which meant we’d be able to make good time on it.

Picasso earned a trail name: Tour Guide, or TG, since he's always out front leading the way haha

Picasso earned a trail name: Tour Guide, or TG, since he’s always out front leading the way haha

It ended up being a great find!  The seasonal road led to a trailhead and register about 3/4 mile in, and then the trail was another 3ish miles to get to the dam.  It was well-worth the hike, which was over gently rolling hills and across some pretty creeks.  We chatted as we hiked and made it to the dam to find STUNNING views.  As soon as we got there, I didn’t want to leave.  It felt other-worldly.  There was one other family there, they were very nice, we chatted for a bit, and then we headed back to the car.

one of many creek crossings

one of many creek crossings

simply stunning

simply stunning

my favorite guys

my favorite guys

some of the pretty trail heading toward the dam

some of the pretty trail heading toward the dam

I had packed stuff to make crock-pot beef stew for Christmas Eve dinner, but we were starving and it was about 2:30.  On our way back to the hotel, we made a stop-off at the Lake Placid Brewery again for a quick snack (their mac n cheese is AMAZING fwiw).  We got back to the hotel, I prepped dinner, Eric gave the dog a bath, we opened Christmas presents and then headed back to the hot tub.  The rest of the night we just chilled, watched Christmas movies and drank in bed.  Relaxation at its finest.

 

The next morning, we had decided to check out the Peninsula Nature Trails.  I had read that they were very pretty, easy, great trails for running.  We figured we could hit up the trails for a quick run before heading back to Rochester.  We ran for about a mile before deciding to hike because a. the trails were EXTREMELY technical–a broken ankle waiting to happen and b. I kept stopping every 2 minutes because I’d seen something else beautiful and wanted to take a picture.  We did about 3 miles, checked out the views of Lake Placid and the Placid Dam, and then headed back to the car.

adk5

adk4

Runnnnn!!!

Runnnnn!!!

I think it’s safe to say that this is a tradition that’s here to stay.  Eric and I don’t really like the commercialized, stressed-out feeling of “normal” Christmas, so this version of Christmas suits us both much better.  I am already itching to go back and climb more.  Everyone you meet in Placid is always so friendly and interested in the same things Eric and I love to do.  There are so many beautiful trails–everywhere we go, I think we can’t find anything more beautiful, but then we do.  We spent a lot of time this trip talking about how much we’d love to live in Placid or the ADK, how there’d be a different trail to hike or run every day, how everything everywhere is so pretty.  It’s incredible.  I am already counting down til we can get back there to do some more exploring!!

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One Response to “2nd Annual Christmas in Lake Placid”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2015 in review | shmeruns - December 31, 2015

    […] annual Placid Christmas trip–hiking, new breweries, hot tubbing, opening presents early, climbing another 46er.  Good […]

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