NYc: Street photography, food, and The oculus

For my eighteenth birthday, I visited New York City with the intent of creating a lot. Now that I have my point and shoot, it makes it a lot easier for taking photos. I had places I needed to hit and I was beyond stoked. From the Oculus, great food, and street photography…I think it was pretty fulfilled. I love creating more in the wilderness but switching it up is incredible to do as well. Anyways, lets get right into this trip and I hope you enjoy!

The oculus

Stepping through those doors, the scene that unfolded in front of me was incredible. I’ve seen it so many times from other creatives and that’s where I first stopped. I started shooting photos right away once I was in there. If you were wondering, yes it feels like you stepped into the spine of a whale. It is a massive mall and there’s one place I’d recommend to eat. That would be Eataly(pun intended). It’s a huge marketplace of Italian food and there’s a restaurant as well. There’s millions of options in there if you’d like to grab some food or sit down and eat too. Since we’re on the topic of food I might as well suggest another place.

Brendan’s Bar

Brendan’s Bar is located just a few minutes away from the Empire State Building on foot. This is where I went for my birthday dinner and it was fantastic. The restaurant has redone the historic space it occupies giving a different atmosphere. It was incredible to go into such a place when most of the time they’re noisy and well…it’s NYC what should I expect?

Street photography

The only time I’ve done street photography was in Nashville, so you know I was ecstatic! Any opportunity I had, I was putting unique perspectives to any architecture/buildings I could. I stayed at a Hilton and had the Empire State Building right outside my window. Later that night, it was green and yellow for Kobe Bryant who passed on my birthday. I didn’t watch basketball but I’ll be honest, it did affect me. He was an inspiration to many people so it was very unfortunate. Now I think when someone feels emotions, the art they’re able to create is spectacular. The next day, I looked for puddles to take reflection shots and we went into Times Square as well. On this day, I took one of my favorite shots. My friend said he thought it was an advertisement for the actual movie which fired me up. Creating in NYC is fun but I definitely need to be cautious of my surroundings. I’m always watching around me now due to an incident in Nashville but I’ll never let anyone stop me from creating.

Wrap up!

In total, spending a day in the city was fantastic for creating. If I had to choose the wilderness or a city for photography, I think you’d know what I’d choose! Although, there’s still places I’d love to visit to do some photography in the city. Such as DUMBO (Down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and the Manhattan Bridge itself at sunrise. There’s other options too but those are my main locations! A day in the city taught me a lot, including the fact that people pick fights in bathrooms. Penn Station is really something special. The food was great and the Oculus was unreal. I’m stoked about the street photography I pulled off for the first time and I hope you enjoy them.

Thank you!

To anyone who took the time to read this and check out the photos, I appreciate it so much. I plan on having my own store set up based on my blog too and I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ll also be opening up this blog to become more self hosted to allow guest blogging. I really want to make everyone a part of this. Stay tuned and as always…adventure hard my friends!

-Alex

Nashville: NYC mixed with country vibes

That’s the way I viewed Nashville after I spent a couple days there. It’s honestly so unique and hopefully I’ll go back in the future. Walking towards town, music becomes louder each step and you fill with happiness. There’s so much to see in Nashville and a lot of good people too. The bars come even more to life at night as people sing at the top of their lungs. From gorgeous architecture, museums, restaurants, and plenty of music…I think there’s something for everyone!

View of Batman (AT&T) Building in Nashville, TN
On the way to town in Nashville, TN

The Parthenon

Walking about 2.5 miles from my hotel to here was a bit out of my comfort zone. I’ve never really walked on city streets by myself, but it was well worth it. Most of the days spent there I used my Canon Powershot G9 Mark 2 and for a small camera…I’m impressed! When I arrived at the park, I was astonished. The Parthenon in photos do not do it justice. The scale of this replica is absolutely incredible. Looking up, I felt everything dissipate and it was just me enjoying a new experience. This is the only full size replica in the world and let me tell you…please go check it out! The architecture was phenomenal and I’d love to visit it again to take more photos.

Museums and tours

One highlight of my trip was definitely seeing a variety of Johnny Cash’s belongings. The museum is located across the street from Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant which has great music! Adjacent to the museum is the Johnny Cash restaurant which I didn’t eat at, but the atmosphere seemed very neat. Walking through the museum, I was able to see some of Elvis Presley’s belongings as well. The day before, we visited the Grand Ole Opry which highly successful country artists become members of. The wooden circle came from The Ryman which is near downtown Nashville. These artists are invited to this place and it’s a very high point in their career stepping into that wooden circle. On the tour, we saw the fitting rooms and we had the chance to stand in that special circle too. On the last day, we finally visited American Pickers store. They had antiques on display from their show and many were for sale too! Growing up watching this show, it was phenomenal to see their picks in person. These three experiences I remember very well from my trip!

One of my photos from the Grand Ole Opry tour!

Country music

Growing up, I used to think country music was the worst! Now that I’m older, I can really connect with some songs. Most of country music tells a story which I’ve learned to appreciate. I went to Nashville with an open mind and I’m glad I did! I enjoyed some time at the New Year’s Eve concert in Nashville but two performers stood out to me the most. This wasn’t from the New Year’s Eve concert, it was from the third floor in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant. These two young singers held my attention throughout their performance. They engaged with the audience and were very approachable as well. The name of this fantastic duo was Lance and Lea.

Quick shot on my iPhone from New Year’s Eve concert

Lance and Lea

While in Nashville, we saw Lance and Lea perform twice. After I spoke with them in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant, we exchanged our social media handles. It was actually really neat to have a talented duo follow along with my aspirations as well! A couple days later, we went to Ole Red for dinner. When I walked in, I heard their music playing and I didn’t care when dinner was! Lea had approached us during their break and told me “you’re the guy who takes photos!” and gave me a hug afterwards. They’re truly the most down to earth singers I’ve met and I highly suggest you should listen to their music. I’m proud to say, I could relate to a lot of the songs! Lance and Lea are definitely two I hope for future success within country music.

Meeting with Lance and Lea in Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant

The Opryland Hotel

The last time I stepped into a hotel that made my jaw drop was Mohegan Sun. Now looking back, it’s nothing compared to this place. After the lobby, the whole place opens up to a waterfall and restaurant. A bridge takes you up closer to the waterfall and keep moving and you’ll soon reach more openings. Waterfalls, plants everywhere, and could I mention going on a boat through a small river? There were many restaurants located within the hotel and I had a fantastic vegetarian burrito. The hotel was still decorated from Christmas and it must be an incredible place for the holidays. The main thing I’d go back to here for is that vegetarian burrito though! A-Frames in the woods are more my style, any wooden house I see…I dream of living in. Anyways, what else is there? Oh, more restaurants!

Where to eat

I had dinner at many places throughout the week but nothing beat Ole Red. I ate a vegan burger with vegan nacho cheese and let me tell you…I was very impressed. The atmosphere in Ole Red feels so alive and it always brings some positive vibes. Another restaurant I’d suggest going to is Acme, which has different foods on each level. I mowed vegetable sushi rolls and a garden salad. Disclaimer, the one sauce at the table isn’t ginger sauce…I learned that the hard way. The last place I’d recommend would be the City Tap House. From incredible corn dip, pizzas, burgers…basically anything you could possibly want to eat is there. These are my top three places I ate at in Nashville but try other restaurants! Believe me, Nashville has a lot to offer. If you wake up early, be sure to get breakfast at the Frothy Monkey and you MUST have a firebender. It was possibly the greatest espresso I’ve ever had. I hope you might ponder checking out one of these and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Tofu/Quinoa bowl from the Frothy Monkey

Thank You!

To anyone who read this blog, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I definitely covered a lot of ground in this trip and created many photos. Nashville allowed me to meet wonderful people and expand my creativity onto city streets. I’d encourage anyone to check out this unique destination whenever they get the chance. I hope this post helped inform you about Nashville if you plan on going. I loved it here and I’m certain you would too. Until next time…stay adventurous my friends!

-Alex

Jay Peak: A challenging icy ridge

My close friend Cole and I decided the day after Christmas that we’d hike Jay Peak. We knew this mountain had a ridge and desired to climb it since this summer. Considering we were both busy, we never really had the time to do it. Hiking in the winter has its challenges and it was well represented throughout this one. Here’s to my last hike of 2019 and let’s get right into it!

Does the trail head exist?

I think part of this has to deal with my friend and I both on about 3 hours of sleep. We always use AllTrails to find directions to our hikes but it kept taking us to the right of where it was. We didn’t realize this until 20 minutes later. The positive about this was the fact that it brought us down a windy road to a huge open field. It was a bunch of farm land and the sky was lit in pink which created a wild scene. Once we found the trailhead, we jumped out of the car and started as soon as we could.

Trailhead for Jay Mountain

Before the ridge

I found this part of the hike very easy and my friend did as well. Although icy, it wasn’t too bad for a climb. It was a gradual incline and there were multiple switchbacks. Without the use of my Kahtoola, I fell a handful of times. I specifically remember an area on the trail that had a dropoff to the right with a little coverage of trees. I had fell right next to it from the ice and I’m happy to say I fell where I could catch myself away from that dropoff. Adrenaline shot through me but in the end it’s a risk that could happen through any winter hike. There were many falls after that as well, but they were in locations without the potential of any dangerous injury. It became even more interesting once we reached the first false summit.

Rock scrambling

Reaching the first false summit, my friend and I had to navigate a very narrow area of the trail. We began climbing up the side of the trail adjacent to another drop off but clung to the wall for safety. We both look after each other so we made sure nothing would occur that we were actually putting ourselves in danger. One of the last false summits was even tougher due to more ice and snow. We continued to rock scramble a bit and when we reached the last false summit it appears to be the highest point. I must admit that it felt a bit demoralizing. Once we hit the top though…we were very happy to complete a new mountain.

Looking at Jay Mountain from the last false summit

A quick stop

We didn’t stay at the summit for too long since my friend had to get back in time for work. I ate the amazing PB & J sandwich from Stewart’s, took some photos, and began to head down shortly afterwards. Understanding that we had to go up and over a couple false summits was definitely discouraging. We took our time and once we kept descending, we took frequent breaks to hydrate. When we were near the car I had to sign us out and I realized all of the destinations said “Jay Range”. I didn’t realize it was considered a range before we went, but I’m glad we did it. It’s one of those adventures that I’m sure both of us won’t forget any time soon.

View of Adirondack Mountains from Jay Mountain
Clouds rolling over below the ADK mountains
Looking at Whiteface Mountain from the summit

Thanks!

I really hope you enjoyed this blog and maybe found some parts useful for your own reference. I always put in mistakes that have occurred without certain gear to emphasize in a way that it is useful. Especially crampons. These adventures and photos mean everything to me and I can’t to see what’s in store for 2020. I’ll be going away soon and I’ll be covering a blog on that as well! To everyone out there, keep adventuring as we get closer to 2020!

-Alex

Reflecting on 2019

I must admit, 2019 was a year of triumph and tragedy. There wasn’t much in between for me. But if I had to go back, I’d do it all again. Why? Because it was something that made me grow as an individual and I think tough times are vital for anyone’s life. But the adventures…they made me realize I was just getting started.

Acadia National Park

One of the highlights this past summer was going to Bar Harbor, Maine. Visiting my first National Park was really special to me and I created one of my “many” favorite photos there. Entering the park with my brother, I was ecstatic to climb the Beehive Trail. It’s a trail that features a handful of ladder rungs and exposed areas while climbing. In my opinion, it’s a bit different from a casual hike and I wouldn’t call it family friendly. My other great adventure was taken on the famous Cadillac Mountain. During the hike, a thunderstorm was taking place over the ocean. You can guess that…yes, we got nailed with rain at the summit. Moments afterward, the sky opened up and revealed a beautiful scene. This is one that I’ll always remember.

Egg Rock Lighthouse
Rainbow after storm near Cadillac Mountain

Creativity

A little different from an adventure but, near the end of 2019 I realized that my creativity began to soar at a level I’ve never seen before. I invested a lot of my time into photography and learning new perspectives. Putting myself in a chat with other creators inspired me too. When you put yourself among others with similar aspirations, they will help you grow. I opened up my own print shop and had someone help me with creating shirt designs. Making a logo for this website was exciting as well but nothing beats Polaroid recognizing my work. I have many goals within the photography realm for 2020 and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

Winter vibes from my first snow day
Polaroid photo that I had recognized!

New Hampshire

My brother and I decided this year we were going to tag one of our most sought after peaks in the Northeast. Standing at 6,288 feet, Mount Washington awaited us in New Hampshire. This would be our first “real” mountain together. What I mean by that, is the fact that this hike was deadly and it was a new challenge that faced us. The prominence on Washington is almost near the height that it stands at. I remember waking up with excitement but made sure I was focused, especially for the icy areas. Although nothing happened, Washington made it apparent to us why so many fatal injuries have occurred. Out of 365 days a year, 65 of those days are clear views on the mountain. We were blessed to experience one of these days and I’ll always remember it. Going to bed that night, I knew I achieved something great for myself and can’t wait to see what’s up next.

Views from Hermit Lake Shelter
Mount Washington summit

The Adirondacks

For this year, I didn’t bag as many High Peaks, but I did a lot of hikes throughout the changing of seasons. I was able to see the peak foliage in the Adirondacks with close friends on Hurricane Mountain. I started getting into winter hiking after my brother and I tagged Esther Mountain. My all time favorite though, is hiking a range. Being out in the wilderness throughout the entire day is something special. I didn’t really hit any ranges this year except for Jay Range. It was one of the tougher hikes in the Adirondacks in my opinion, at least in the winter. I’m excited to see where this year takes me in the ADK’s and hopefully I’ll tag many high peaks! My brother and I plan to become 46er’s this year and well…we might need to grab more mountains in New Hampshire.

My brother and I near Phelps Mountain
Beautiful scenery from summit of Jay Mountain

As for 2020

There’s a lot of goals that I have for 2020 and I’m stoked to keep pursuing my dreams. For photography, I’ve always hoped to be published in a magazine so I’ll keep contacting them until I get one yes because perseverance is key! I’d like to to create more beautiful photos for everyone and hang up some work in public. Creating a small shop for this website would be very cool as well. My brother and I are considering a lot of hikes when we’re in Washington and I can’t wait for all of the new stories to blog to you about!

Thank you

The support in 2019 is just the beginning but I’m very grateful for each and every one of you. If you have any recommendations on blogs you’d like to see, feel free to reach me at travelersandhikers@gmail.com. I can tell you that there’s many exciting things coming in 2020 and I’m happy to share them with you!

-Alex

Tabletop Mountain 19/46

On Black Friday, we don’t go shopping…as always we chase our passion no matter what. It was 30 degrees when we started unlike the last trek which was well under 25. Luckily, after using snowshoes for 10 miles last time, I picked up carabiners from Eastern Mountain Sports. Hanging them off the back of my pack, we started one hell of a trek.

Quick stop at Marcy Dam

Marcy Dam was strikingly beautiful for a day with no views in sight. The green appearance of the trees dissipated into a snowy white as lifted up by the mountains. My brother and I took awhile when we stopped here and shot some photos. I started learning how to vlog as well and it felt so awkward at first. I’m hoping to get a video out before New Year’s, but we’ll see! After our stop at Marcy Dam, we started making tracks!

Moody views at Marcy Dam

A steep and lengthy climb

Climbing this mountain in my winter hiking boots was very tough considering I didn’t have crampons on. I bought myself carabiners to have snowshoes on my backpack but my crampons I own are more for intense amounts of ice. My brother uses YakTrak’s crampons which actually work great. I slipped countless times and with how steep the climb was, it’s definitely difficult without the proper crampons. My brother and I both agreed that this hike was more challenging than Phelps Mountain.

Head towards Marcy to get to Tabletop
Stream running through the ADK’s under wooden bridge

The narrows

This trek was technically an unmarked trail, but it was very easy to follow in the snow. I will be honest, making our way up the mountain…the trail becomes very narrow. I’m glad I didn’t make the mistake of wearing snowshoes the whole time because there’s no way I’d make it up! After what felt like a long time, which reached the summit to no views.

Summit sign
My hair did start to freeze on the summit!

Remember this is winter hiking

Hiking in the winter definitely comes with unpredictable weather and frigid temperatures which you must embrace. We waited it out for at least a half hour while the sun teased us by appearing underneath the light clouds. We ate vegan pumpkin bread from Thanksgiving and shortly after, we began to head back down. Once we reached the Marcy Dam again, my brother and I teamed up to create a photo. By far it’s one of my favorites and afterwards we went back towards the car.

My brother: “Let’s Peter McKinnon this”
Water was still flowing!

Thank you!

To anyone who enjoys reading or following along with my adventures, I really appreciate it. I’m really excited for the adventures to come in 2020 and you’ll easily enjoy the stories! If there’s any blogs you’d suggest, feel free to email me at travelersandhikers@gmail.com. I might try to see if there’s any way I could have people guest blog on here this year as well. I’m certain you have some interesting stories and photos! I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and I’ll be back very soon!

-Alex

Winter has begun

My brother and I decided to take on Phelps and Tabletop Mountain in the Adirondacks this past weekend. The hike was quite the adventure and as always, many memories were created. Hiking in twenty degrees or less will make your eyelashes/ facial hair freeze in a quick amount of time. With this, comes a lot of preparation because it’s much different than hiking during the summer. You’ll realize this throughout our trek and sometimes you’re bound to find some slippery sections. In my case, it was a rather new perspective instead of ice. Anyways, let’s get right into this gorgeous journey in the Adirondacks.

The next 4 hours

Oh, where I realized I made some mistakes. Number one, never put gear between your back and backpack unless you know it’s 100% stabilized. Number two, you’re going to need hiking snowshoes…not a pair for cross country. Lastly, always have a balaclava to cover your face during hikes under 30 degrees. I’ll get to these very soon but I thought I might as well mention it beforehand. After starting the trek, we reached a split in the trail. We went to the left towards Marcy Dam which was actually stunning. As mentioned from earlier, lesson one was due to my eyelashes starting to freeze. When this happens, I constantly rub my eyes so nothing else freezes over! Once we crossed the water bridge near the dam, we kept pushing forward. Climbing over icy streams and rocks, we came to another split on the trail. We took a left at the sign and the last mile was basically straight up. Afterwards, on blue bird day…we laid eyes on a beautiful moment in the Adirondacks.

Outlook on trail before the summit

Views upon views!

My brother and I enjoyed numerous lookouts before we eventually reached the summit of Phelps Mountain. I downed two PB & J’s on the summit while enjoying the views. Since it was such a clear day, it was one of my favorite hikes in the Adirondacks. We took plenty of shots and obviously created some videos for TikTok too. Once we began to descend, this is where I learned lesson #2.

Views from the summit of Phelps Mountain
View of Marcy from Phelps Mountain
Macintyre Range on the right from outlook

Descending with cross country snowshoes!

This is where the fun really started. Descended over large rocks was going well but the tree roots…they were my enemy. After awhile, I reached a root and that’s where I was very lucky. My brother was farther down the trail, and I totally ate it. My snowshoe caught onto the root and I fell face first. Luckily, I didn’t fall into any rocks which were a few inches in front of me. Trekking around 10 miles in cross country snowshoes was no joke. My feet were extremely sore and I’ll be investing in hiking snowshoes soon enough!

Bridge after Marcy Dam

The other lesson…

Ah yes…the snow pants! We were just about to reach the summit, when something crossed my mind. “Ant, did you put my snow pants in my backpack?” Once I realized they were lost, I knew there wasn’t much of a possibility finding them. We kept our eyes out for them but either someone brought them to lost and found or decided to be a savage. Well, if someone took them…I hope they’re put to good use. Either way, I’ll get a new pair soon but I learned a couple lessons on this day!

To everyone!

Thank you so much if you took the time to read this because I’m very passionate about the outdoors. Whether it’s capturing those freezing moments in the mountains or enjoying the journey, it really is a lifestyle. Once hiking takes a grip on you, I can promise it won’t let go. My brother and I are hoping to become 46er’s by the end of 2020 so I’ll have many stories to tell. Keep adventuring my friends!

-Alex

Panther Peak: A battle against my mentality

I didn’t even want to wake up for the first time in my life when it came to hiking. Hell, I had a full day ahead of me and that’s the last thing I wanted. I promised my brother, Anthony and our friend, Adam that I’d still hike. I knew for a fact that nothing would be better if I sat home all day. Therefore, I grabbed my backpack and set off for quite a journey.

Back to the Adirondacks

The drive to the Adirondacks wasn’t too bad, considering that I fell asleep. Afterwards when we arrived at the trailhead… I could just feel the battle I was going to take on with myself. For the beginning of the hike, it was relatively flat until you make a right hand turn onto the next trail marker. This is where we began to ascend for awhile and came to a stop when we heard that cascade of water flowing. We took some photos and began one brutal ascent shortly thereafter.

Right turn onto the trail
Small cascading falls during the ascent

The rocky ascent

I definitely underestimated this hike and yes, I did look forward taking in the views. Once we kept climbing, the weather became overcast and the ascent was very hard on my legs. I went into this hike with a quitter’s mentality and it’ll always bother me. I’m not someone who likes to give up at all but my mind was torturous. I will always respect my brother and his friend pushing me on during this trek. We kept going and had to go through numerous rock scrambles. I remember reaching the summit after climbing up bare rock and it was this incredible feeling. After wanting to give up multiple times, I realized I still had the potential I’ve always possessed. We stayed on the summit until we knew to keep moving for warmth. Once this began, we made our way down the mountain.

Sign at the wooded summit

Such solitude

Trekking down the mountain felt like a victory for me. Nature really does heal you in a way that I cannot put into words. I was still hit with moments of struggle and doubt but felt accomplished. When we made it to the car, two of my toe nails were broken. Just another reason to realize it was a good journey. These adventures are everything to me and teach me persistence. When life gets tough, that’s when you pick up all of those obstacles and demolish them.

Wooden planks leading the way back

To everyone

I apologize it has been such a long time since I’ve posted a new blog. My brother and I are hiking in the Adirondacks tomorrow, so anticipate something awesome! Thank you for the support and if you’d like to check it out, I have my own photography website now! The link to the website is https://alexbonacio.darkroom.tech/. I’m very excited to share more adventures with everyone and stay tuned for the next blog!

-Alex

Mount Washington: A year in the making

My brother and I were both mesmerized by this mountain when we saw it last year. Towering over the Omni Mount Washington Resort and gloomy clouds covering the summit. I knew that under those clouds revealed one hell of a mountain. We thought about doing it last year but the weather wasn’t great. Our main mission this time was to go after that mountain and nothing else. Terrifying stats of deaths and “home to the worst weather in America” couldn’t hold us back. Winter storms can occur in August and hypothermia is common due to the exposure near the summit. Anyways, I’m certain you’d like to hear about the journey so lets get right into it!

Mount Washington towers over Omni Hotel

Two miles at ease

The first two miles of this hike were pretty straightforward and there wasn’t much difficulty. Early on, there’s a striking waterfall that anyone should stop at that’s called Crystal Cascades Falls. We stopped to take photos for awhile and decided to keep on moving. I’ll admit that it does get steep in certain areas for the first two miles. Not as steep as later on though! When we arrived at the Hermit Lake Shelters, we couldn’t help but become mesmerized by the views. After enjoying the scenery of jagged rocks above, we began the true ascent!

Crystal Cascades Falls
Snow Ranger Quarters near Hermit Lake Shelters

The Tuckerman Ravine

Many stories of misadventure have occurred at this point of the hike which is where skiers enjoy their winter as well. Ranging from falls, hypothermia, and avalanches. All of these become very understanding as one would climb this trail. Becoming closer to the headwall, cascading waterfalls fell gently into the ravine. A freeze warning was due during that night and we noticed that quickly. The hike became very sketchy and we took our time throughout these sections. Climbing up rock scrambles with ice is really no joke. Even more nerve racking was having a dropoff behind us and the ravine to our left as well. A young couple had passed my brother and I on the trail as we kept navigating the icy rocks. I could hear a loud crackling noise and when I looked up, both couples covered their heads as ice fell off of a rock wall. There has been accidents where this has happened and the outcome was either injury or death. After gaining elevation, we crossed a stream with more icy rocks and the dropoff remained to the left of us. Luckily, my brother noticed where a tricky spot was and we were able to avoid any mistakes. Successfully making it past the Tuckerman Ravine, we began to make the final push on one of America’s deadliest mountains!

My brother standing before the headwall
Waterfalls’ located on the headwall

6,288 feet in the air

Getting through the field of large rocks before reaching the summit was brutal on my knees. No matter what, I knew we were close and the feeling was incredible. I’ve had this mountain constantly on my mind since last year. Trekking up the steep incline of rocks for 0.6 miles, we finally reached the road near the summit. Afterwards, feeling extremely sore…we walked up the wooden stairs and noticed the Mount Washington sign. When we stood in line for it, people joked with us that we should be in front because we climbed the mountain. We spent awhile on Washington and felt very grateful because we had one of the sixty five days of the year where the weather is clear! People spoke to us inside the summit center and how inspired they were that we’d climbed the mountain instead of taking the road. There was a multitude of visitors who came up by car because it was so awe inspiring to be on that frosty summit. We had taken many photos and decided it was time to head down.

Cog Railway Train coming to Mount Washington summit
Frozen snow at the observatory tower

A leisurely descent

Descending Mount Washington was more relaxed than I expected it to be. I was anticipating icy rocks but it was all melted by the time we made it there. Be careful going down the ravine with loose rock because my brother knocked one down and anxiety shot through my body. I’m happy to say that it didn’t go too far! We took in the views of the headwall with the sun glistening over it before getting down the ravine trail. We passed many hikers with sneakers on and cotton t shirts which is the reason for some causes of hypothermia. The main point is this…don’t be that person! We grabbed water at the Hermit Lake Shelter and made our way to the parking lot. I knew with this mountain to expect anything and to be safe. Watching my brother sign out of the hiking registry felt fantastic. I went from fearing this mountain, to looking out past six states and feeling more alive than I’ve ever felt before.

Fall foliage from Mount Washington’s summit
A change of seasons

To everyone:

I’d like to mention my cousin, Jake in this blog because he’s the reason I’ve become so invested in this! My brother has solidified that as well and there’s so many adventures to come. This is just the beginning for us and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next. To anyone who’s become supportive of the blog or my photography, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you enjoy the photos I took on this hike and it was probably the best journey I’ve been on. Keep it real my adventurers and I’ll be seeing you in the next blog!

-Alex

Hiking challenges in the Northeast

A multitude of challenges have been created throughout the Northeast for all hikers. From historic fire towers, High Peaks, and shorter challenges…I believe there’s something for everyone. For now, I’ll speak of hikes located closer to the Adirondacks. Yes, there’s an incredible challenge in New Hampshire but lets focus on where I’ve come from.

Fire Tower Challenge

This could easily be one of my favorites, especially during the winter season or fall. Climbing up that rusty fire tower as it makes odd noises really makes me feel a bit more adventurous. Yet, nothing can beat feeling those high winds at the top of the tower (mostly in the winter). Although, five of these fire towers are in the Catskills, the rest are located in the ADK’s. There’s 23 towers and I think this might be one of the most interesting of challenges. If hiking up to historic fire towers is your thing, go for it!

Winter hike from Hurricane Mountain (Fire Tower Challenge)

The Great 46

I believe just about everyone is familiar with this challenge. The 46 High Peaks is probably the most popular in the Adirondacks and it usually takes quite some time to finish. I’ve hiked 17 out of 46 so far and I’m going to keep getting after it because I finally have a lot of time to do so! Some of these hikes can be extremely tough but that’s what makes you realize how strong you are. These mountains are found throughout the Adirondacks but in my opinion, the best are located in Keene Valley. If you’d like to feel all of the mental and physical pain from a hike, take exit 29 into Newcomb. I’ll probably explain why I said that in the next blog! Anyways, I should let all of you know about a smaller challenge as well.

View from South Dix Mountain (High Peaks)

Saranac Lake 6er

I really love this area of the Adirondacks and I think it’s a very fun challenge. Settled further in the ADK’s, six mountains are calling any adventurer’s name. I’ve completed three out of six and there’s only one that I found demanding. When you finish this challenge, there’s the option of heading into the town of Saranac. Located in the town is a bell that someone can ring after completing the challenge. To me, that sounds like a really neat Adirondack tradition. This so far has become one of my favorite challenges and I think any of you should give it a try!

Hike to Scarface Mountain (Saranac 6er Challenge)

Thank You!

Thanks so much for the patience as I haven’t posted a blog in awhile. I’ll definitely be writing more often and have many adventures on the way. Also, to anyone who’s supporting with my stickers…that means the world to me. I think everyone will be excited to hear about some of the treks my brother and I are going to take on! I’ll be back very soon and I hope you enjoyed this blog! In the mean time, adventure hard my friends!

-Alex