Hiking with Friends.

Tim and I had a great weekend hiking in the Adirondacks with our good friends, Mary and Dan.  I love being in the woods, the leaves at their peak color, the soft, pine covered ground cushioning every step – in between the rocks that is! And I love to challenge myself to make it to the summit.  The view never disappoints and the ceremonial apple is always such a great reward.  Being with friends makes the hike that much better.

We met Mary and Dan square dancing 4 years ago, and one of our first evenings together I was talking about my bucket list.  (Seems I’m always talking about my bucket list  )  I asked Dan what was on his list, and he said simply. “I’d like to climb Snowy Mt.”  I thought, that’s it? That’s doable!  What are you doing next weekend???  So late in October 2012 we found ourselves heading North, the summit of Snowy Mt in our sights.  We left on a perfect fall day, we awoke in the midst of a snow storm.  Undeterred, we set out on our hike. Snowy Mt lived up to it’s name!!  The trail was snow covered, and the summit was blowing like an Alaskan wilderness.  The fire tower was covered in icicles – sideways icicles. We were glad to make it down and find warmth.  And, Mary and Dan still liked us!  And so we find ourselves hiking each October, like this past weekend.

It reminds me of a hike we took with our lumber supplier, Jim.  We purchase the ash we use for all of our Talic products from Rex Lumber, a lumberyard in Connecticut.  It is harvested from sustainable forests throughout the North East, milled to our specifications, and trucked to our shop here in Upstate New York. We have worked with Jim for a number of years, but he was just someone at the other end of a purchase order.

A few years back, one of us mentioned an upcoming trip in an email.  Over time, Jim and I began sharing the stories of our adventures, we both love to travel.  We shared trip ideas, he loaned a travel book of Ireland, I sent coconut cookies via the delivery driver.

One late September day a few years ago, Jim emailed and said he and his wife Becky were going to Vermont for the October holiday weekend.  Joking around, I replied that Tim and I would love to join them – we could sit around and talk – wood?

Before you knew it, we had all decided to hike Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, together.  We reserved a B & B in Stowe, the same place Jim and Becky were staying.  At breakfast, I remember saying to Tim, “Do you think that’s them?  Or maybe that couple over there?”  We had no idea who we were looking for.

After breakfast, the four of us started the day’s hike.  We shared many stories, and yes, we even talked about wood, lol.  I remember Jim saying, “Wow, you guys do pretty well, for being so old.”  Ha!   We went to dinner together, shared more stories and laughs.  We talked about work, we talked about travel, we talked about life.  It was a great time.   No longer just the shop and the lumber supplier, we were friends.

Jim and I still email often – still goad each other with the trips we have planned.  This year he and Becky have been to Iceland, while Tim and I have hiked the National Parks of Utah. He just wrote and invited us on a climb up Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts.  We can’t make this one, but we look forward to meeting again.  Maybe Marcy next summer?

I love hiking, and hiking with friends is even better.