I have always been something of a creature of habit. Even as a young child I remember being so upset one year because my parents had decided to put the Christmas tree up in a different location. Now that I am raising a family of my own, I've discovered that my need for routine has become apparent in every aspect of my life and it is rubbing off on my children. From my favorite restaurants and where I shop, to where I choose my recreation, I realized that I live in the middle of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park and was only really exploring a small handful of areas annually (and the same ones over and over again). It is not that these locations, eateries, and shops aren't great - they are - but it's good to discover new places and try new things.
So in 2014, I made the resolution to get out and explore more and I haven't turned back. It has felt like I was playing tourist in my own backyard (seriously, I step out of my home or office and I have been on vacation... can it get much better than that?) I've paddled in beautiful locations and discovered new trails. I have taken different tours and visited historic sites & museums. I've tried new restaurants, visited a mysterious cave, started learning how to hunt and even went ghost hunting. I also learned how to SUP and participated in new events. It has been so much fun that for 2015, I decided to put together a bucket list of activities that are a "must-do." I have kept it short, with only 5, as part of my other bad habit is never being spontaneous. This list is designed to get me started, the rest I will leave to chance and adventure...
2015 Bucket List - 5 Things To Do This Year in the Adirondacks
1. Cross-Country Ski at Lapland Lake Nordic Center
First I will admit that I have not been on a pair of cross-country skis since I was a child. I remember enjoying it, but once I found my love of downhill skiing... you couldn't get me off the mountain. But as I have gotten older, I have found a greater appreciation for the solitude of the trails and I find myself looking for any way to spend more time on them. Snowshoeing is fun, but this year I am looking forward to re-learning how to cross-country ski. So what better place to learn that on the 50k of meticulously maintained trails at Lapland Lake Nordic Center in the southern Adirondacks. The fact that they rent equipment only sweetens the deal for me.
2. Go Whitewater Rafting
Here is something else that I hate to admit: I have never gone whitewater rafting. To make this statement worse, my father was actually a guide on the Hudson River in Indian Lake for many years. How I have never gone amazes me... practically in my own backyard I have had the opportunity to experience one of the most thrilling recreational activities available and I have never gone. Well, that is going to change, this year it is officially on my bucket list!
3. Take a Seaplane Ride
There really is no better way to experience the beauty of the Adirondacks than from up high. Why do you think that our mountain hikes continue to be some of the most popular? It's the view! It has been some time since I have taken a seaplane ride, so I have added that to my list for 2015. With seaplane tours offered in both Inlet and Long Lake, now it is just up to deciding which area I want to tour from above.
4. Tour the Adirondacks by Horse
In 2014 I took quite a few different tours offered in the Adirondacks, but time went by too quickly and with so many different options, I was not able to do them all. One of things that I really wanted to try was the horseback tour offered by Adirondack Saddle Tours in Inlet, NY. This year I will! With a variety of different tour packages available, for different lengths of times and destinations, I am looking forward to spending a day touring the Adirondacks on Horseback. I might surprise my mother with this one and take her along for a ride (could make for a unique Mother's Day gift - shhh don't tell).
5. Jump off Rock Island
This past summer, I learned about an awesome "swimming hole" from Crabby Bob (Bob Booth) and his son Quin at the Blue Mountain Lake Boat Livery. They were so convincing about this swimming spot that it is now on my bucket list for 2015. Rock Island sits in the middle of pristine Blue Mountain Lake and is essentially exactly just what its name indicates... a rock island. The giant rock protrudes out of the lake with only a few trees on it, but jumping off the island's 15 foot high ledge into the water has been described to me as "a right of passage" to those who live or frequently visit Blue Mountain Lake. I got to ride past Rock Island via a historic boat tour last summer, but this year will be the year that I take the plunge.
Your 2015 Bucket List
So, now I've put it in writing. I've shared my 2015 Bucket List. What's on your list? Come visit our beautiful mountains and take a hike up a new trail, jump into a cold lake and paddle to parts unknown, try snowmobiling our miles and miles of trails. The options are limitless - make sure you take pictures, we'd love to see your adventures!