It couldn’t be much further now.
It seemed we had been hiking for hours. It was only supposed to be a little over three miles away, and the trail was mostly flat. What was taking us so long? Had we taken another one of our notorious wrong turns?
Where was Lake Placid?
It was a mere one degree Fahrenheit when we left our car along Route 86, just east of Lake Placid Village, and headed out, snow shoes in toe, in search of the frozen lake. Just three inches of snow dusted the ground, but a slippery layer of ice underneath necessitated the use of our snow shoes.
My fingers were absolutely freezing, and Justin’s snow pants were falling down. Not the best day for either. Justin insisted we run the first half mile or so in an effort to raise our body temperatures and relieve my chilly hands. Crunch, crunch, flop, flop. Running on snow shoes makes you look like an toddling penguin even on a good day, but the potential for embarassment was hightened by me waving my freezing hands in circles above my head and Justin’s awkward struggle to keep his pants on.
I really hope no one sees us like this. They might report us.
Finally, after several minutes of running, my hands heated up nicely and Justin managed to secure his trousers just in time to notice Connery Pond to our right. The pond was completely frozen, and dozens of people were ice fishing.
Our hike continued along, winding through the trees for several miles before we grew concerned about the accuracy of our directions. Were we supposed to turn right after we passed the pond? Had the snow obscured our path?
After a half mile or so more, we finally saw it: Whiteface Landing.
Just .3 miles to our left was the elusive Lake Placid, a place I had dreamed of visiting since I was a teenager. We trudged through ice chunks and climbed over tree roots to find the best vantage point for our first view of the frozen inspiration for summer recreation and cheesy horror films. Finally, framed by pine trees and drift wood, lay before us Lake Placid. For a moment, we just stood in awe, admiring her stark white beauty.
Suddenly from the east, blew a blistery wind that chilled us to the core and forced us to turn back. But we didn’t mind.
We got the view we came for.
What view(s) have you found to be most worthy of any discomfort or physical effort?