I did Mt. Lafayette yesterday – I hiked up the Old Bridle Path, past the AMC hut and summited, then I turned around and came back down. I didn’t do the loop because I was worried about getting caught on the mountain and not having gear to spend out the night. This hike is easily in my top five hikes of all time and may be my most favorite, because the views were breathtaking:
The weather was absolutely perfect. It was sunny out and warm, but not as oppressively humid as it was when I did Waumbek. The hike itself was relatively low key – there were parts that were definitely challenging (but hey, you’re climbing a mountain right?!) but the views were so worth it. I am also constantly amazed that people attempt to do mountains like these that have no business doing them. There was a guy that I literally lapped – for lack of a better word. I was about halfway down and he hadn’t even made it up to the AMC hut yet. I felt badly for him because he totally remembered me passing him on the way up. I stopped to talk to him – but there was no way that he was going to make it up to the summit in one piece. As i was getting back to the parking lot, but about half a mile away yet, I saw two people – a woman and a man probably in their mid-20′s dressed like they were going to a club – she was wearing these gold, sparkly sandals and he was wearing nice shoes. It made me wonder what was going on because they totally couldn’t be hiking up dressed like that could they?
With some hesitation, I must admit that until this past weekend, I hadn’t seen the inside of an AMC mountain hut before. I was really impressed. There were a lot of bunks available, even for that night. The hut was clean – spotlessly so. The area that you entered into was a common area – it was a big and open space that served as a cafeteria. There were about a half a dozen tables where people could sit and eat their lunches, dinner or breakfast. There was also a full service kitchen – the hut is full service during the summers I learned, which means that the workers will prepare dinner and breakfast for the hikers. During the fall and winter and spring, the hut is open; however the hikers are responsible for cooking their own meals and are allowed to use the kitchen. The workers are on for 11 days and then are off for three days at a time. They are required to make four separate trips down the mountain during that time period in order to bring back perishable supplies and while I was on my hike, I saw one of the workers leave and come back with the goods. Seeing this made me eager to do a hiking weekend or something along those lines, hopefully with the kids when theyre older. There is also a sense of friendship and camaraderie amongst the hikers that you pass – at least the ones that are somewhat serious about it and are more then amateurs. People stop to talk to you on the path or say hi to you as you pass each other on the trails. I loved that sense of community. I still do love that and can’t wait to experience it more thoroughly by staying overnight at a hut or at a campsite. Doing long, overnight hikes is starting to act as a motivator for me as it relates to getting healthy.
Speaking of which, I having been working hard to change my lifestyle in the hopes of being more healthy. I’m exercising more and look forward to spinning classes three times a week. For the last 3 or 4 weeks or so, I’ve been doing a hike on Saturdays and a walk on Sundays. I want to try working in a light cardio with some weightlifting on the days that I don’t do spin or hiking and maybe do a yoga class to change things up. I’ve been trying to change what I put in my body as well. I have been making a concerted effort to cut animal products out of my diet. Meat was really easy to cut out (with the exception of Friday when I went out to lunch with Cheri and had turkey then had sushi for dinner!). I find that the hardest part for me is cutting the milk out of my coffee. I otherwise do pretty well. I eat a lot of fruit, smoothies (no dairy!), nuts, salads, hummus, beets, tofu and beans (green beans are yummy!!). Rice and bread round it out too. We’ll see how this works!