We learned from a good source that Cook Mountain was a good climb for novice climbers. It was said to be a gentle climb with only a slight and short steep incline. Our house was just across the lake and our view all week. We chose a coolish day of 60 degrees to try the gentle climb which we thought was 1.9 miles and would take an hour or so! Oh, were we in for a surprise!
At the trail entrance, we found some hiking sticks that we were happy to borrow. The first section was a lovely trail where we crossed streams, looked and the plants and just laughed and talked as the kids would run ahead and then wait for us. Soon, the grade became steeper, at first in a gentle incline barely noticeable. Soon though, it became steeper by half and people talked less and breathed heavier. Only one person had hiking boots, though we all had significant treads on outdoor shoes. Twisting ankles on slick rocks or protruding roots became an obvious danger.
I noticed that my son Chris was walking behind me, stopping when I needed a break and being my very patient guide. I would ask, “Don’t you want to go on with your family?”
“No, I am staying with you , Mom.”
Here we were at the summit, tired but wowed by the view. Well, I said, “It should be easier and faster on the way down, right?” The silence was deafening. Someone noted that the climb seemed steeper and longer than we expected.
On the descent, both my children stayed with me. Chris before me and Katie behind. Here is a picture of her with her family at a ball game because I didn’t get a picture of her on the mountain.
We kept saying, “This must be the last steep section!” And then there were more! We laughed and decided not to say that anymore! Finally, we did reach the bottom of that gentle climbing mountain. Chris checked his watch and we had hiked 4.3 miles and it had taken us 3.5 hours! Thankfully we had brought water, though no trail mix or Granola bars.
Writing this brings tears to my eyes, remembering my two precious children who so gently, calmly and lovingly helped me climb and descend the mountain. A mountain is a good metaphor for life. Now it was their turn to step up and became the the parent when I needed them.
Thank you Chris and Katie for your love, laughing, and help. I will never forget that hike and the precious time we had together!
Chris with his children.
Another view from the mountain.
This Is the Adirondacks !