As many of my friends know, I got a start in the outdoors when I was very young as my father built a ski lodge. Not just any ski lodge but the Mammoth Mountain Inn. I started skiing, hiking and swimming as soon as I was able and this eventually led to backpacking, rock climbing, river rafting and kayaking.
I've kept up the kayaking and over a decade worked my way through up through the American Canoe Association instructor hierarchy to become an instructor trainer educator.
One way this has paid off for me ties into my love of travel! In August I received a consulting contract in the Adirondacks to oversee an instructor trainer candidate and a Level 2 course held for the wonderful instructors of The Black River Outdoor Education Program.
Aside from the lovely environment in upstate New York, this also fed into my interest in real estate. We were told we would stay in the Wildflower guest cottage. Our cottage was a beautiful two story cottage on a grand scale made of hardwoods.
It is placed on a large piece of property which emulates a great camp such as the ones the early vacationers had. I like to call it a mini great camp!
On the main floor we found the master bedroom and bath, casual living area and a wonderful screened in porch where we managed to have our coffee one morning. The second story had the library and second bedroom with a wonderful four-poster bed.
Our cottage had a kitchenette but the dining room and commercial kitchen are in the lodge next door.
A stroll down a lane through the forest brought me to a carriage house with a horse washing station, and hidden in the woods were more homes and guest houses.
We drove each day to Nick's Lake near Old Forge, New York for our classroom and then were often treated to steak, red wine and chocolate desserts.
My hosts, Jeff and Laura Liebel, have a canoe and kayak company called WECANU and are also quite involved in the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (dear to my heart as I am the current president of the Washington Water Trail).
I ended up extending my stay and drove as far as Lake Placid, visited a friend on Lower Saranac Lake and toured the Wild Center Natural History Museum.
The architecture of the museum is inspired by studies that show that seeing the living world each day can make one happier and healthier! More than ninety-five percent of the spaces inside have a direct line of sight to the outdoors.
Overall it was an exceptional trip which fed into many of my interests!