A love affair with an outdoor activity all comes with time and it often starts out simply - y'know, with hanging out with friends, then a first date, then the dating scene, and then all out true love and for a lack of better terms, “a long lasting marriage.” Oh...I remember it like it was yesterday.

Hanging out with friends

It all starts out with some fun and games; you hike around on local trails, climb some popular peaks, take a dip in some of the cool mountain waters, and maybe venture into a bit of the unknown. For me it started with the smaller mountains of the Adirondacks and then the High Peaks. Friends and I would plan days out to flirt with the forest but never venture out into the unknown. I would keep it safe, stay in the familiar, and maybe put out some feelers about that attractive forest resting over there in that corner of the park. The forest would be so striking with its wavy figure, sweet smell, and look so inviting, just beckoning me to venture over; but I was still too shy. I would continue to venture out and slowly invite other friends, but we would always sit on the edge of our perch and just flirt with her. Sometimes my love would be dressed and painted in all sorts of lavish colors, other times subtle in her dress of white, then other times nearly completely naked, and almost never in the same mood. It would be so tempting, I knew one day I would walk over and strike up that first conversation, step beneath her veil, and discover her secrets, and maybe she would invite me back.

Our first date

I did it. I finally walked over and planned our first date. I feel ashamed I can't remember where or when it was, but I am sure it was a good one —full of adventure, adversity, wonders, and awe. I was still scared though, I didn’t want to go alone on the first date, so we had a chaperone, one with a bit more experience on the whole first date thing. We held hands. She kissed my cheek, brushed against my arm, massaged my feet, and left a lasting impression upon my soul and delicate exterior.

The dating scene

The first date was behind us, we felt much more comfortable with each other, now we needed to get to know each other. We would go out often and enjoy the company of one another. I would call in sick to work to spend more time with her, I would make lame excuses why I couldn’t do things with others, just so we could see one another. I would learn more about her around every corner of our time together: her beautiful complexion; her thick black hair; her soft delicate side; as well as her coarse nature. In time she would get to know me too: my quirks and my temperaments; when I needed alone time; when I was grouchy; and when I was joyous. We went on several dates and hung out in many different areas, in all kinds of weather, with all sorts of promise, but often alone in our thoughts and dreams. We often went on double dates - and even triple dates. We hung out at all different times of the day and even spent the night together a few times, innocently cuddling under the stars. I would protect her by not taking more than what I was offered and capturing only pictures. She would protect me by placing here coat over my head during the rain, or blocking the wind on cold winters day. I think I was falling in love.


I was in Love, it’s true. The forest and the trees, the birds and the bees, the waters and the rocks, everything about her — I was in love. But it wasn’t until I really dove into her being that I would truly learn all there was about her. We would have our moments and we will continue to have our arguments and share impolite words of wisdom. She will slap me; I will push back. I will fall; she will pick me back up. I will have a rough day; she will make it nice again. She would be bullied by the elements; I will help her heal. When I need peace and quiet she’s silent. When I need an adventure she delivers. We are one, for the love of bushwhacking.

Oh, the stories we could tell from all our years together... here's a taste of one of recent epic adventures.

Ready to start your own love story? Need a guide to show you the way? Not ready to commit to spending the night in the unknown? Schroon Lake makes a great Adirondack Base Camp - check out our lodging options, and plan to fall in love with hiking in the Adirondacks.

This week: Fall in love with the ADKs

In sickness and in health (literally)

Getting closer, playing harder

14 outdoor dates that don't suck

The heart of the ADKs

Signs of love

Peak of endearment

Coasting into romance