Back in the fall the Northern Forest Canoe Trail reached out to me asking if I would be willing to do a presentation to a local outdoor club on their behalf. I’m not your typical motivational speaker but I jumped at the chance to talk about something I feel passionate about. This past week I traveled to Utica, NY to give my presentation. I’m truly grateful that the NFCT felt confident enough in me to even ask.
As winter pressed on I had been keeping an watchful eye on the volume of snow in the north country “Adirondacks”. As my presentation date grew closer I decided I would spend the night in Utica with my sights set on some snowshoeing. The next morning I would do my 4 mile run before checking out of the hotel and continue my trek northward.
I arrived in Old Forge at the Bisby Road trailhead under cover of overcast skies with temperatures around 28 degrees. In my opinion this was almost near perfect. Strapping on my snowshoes, throwing a few last minute items in my backpack I was soon off on my adventure.
The first mile of trail had been broken by XC skiers but that soon would change. The next 4 miles I would have to break trail myself and around the half way point my legs were beginning to feel it. I took a few rest breaks standing in awe of the beauty and the silence. I was the only one out here on these particular trails, I saw not one other human being until I returned to my car.
Once back to the trail junction and my final mile before returning to civilization I stopped for a bit to strip down some of my clothing. I worked up a pretty good sweat over those 4 miles, it was time for a snack and some water.
This 6 mile journey took me 4 hours in which I took a few breaks, some photos and a few video clips. The day could not have been more perfect as the clouds gave way to a blueberry Adirondack sky.
It has been over a year now since I’ve put my snowshoes on but this past weekend I cinched them up and headed out to play.
First I hiked with my son Michael out to Nanticoke Lake in the Lisle, NY. Michael had to take some photographs for his college photography course and we thought this would be a great little adventure. Spending time with my son was the highlight of my day. We had the entire place to ourselves! While we were out there taking in the beauty of our surroundings Micheal remarked to me “Dad it is so quiet out here, there is literally no sound what so ever”. I simply responded “Exactly”!
I loved watching him dash and bound through the snow exploring things to photograph. It was even more entertaining since he doesn’t have snowshoes.
My next adventure for the day would be a 3 mile solo hike of the IBM Glen. The snow had clung to the trees like powdered sugar on a tasty dessert, truly a winter wonderland. I did see one couple hiking the trails and one person cross country skiing but that was it.
It had been so long since I was out winter hiking I forgot how much I enjoy it and cannot wait until I can get out again.
One of my favorite foods are sweet potatoes with a drizzle of maple syrup, oh man my mouth is watering now.
So I decided to combine my love of sweet potatoes, wing sauce and make some homemade buffalo sweet potato wedges that are out of this world good. I mean these are cosmic!
First I began with two medium potatoes washed and the ends trimmed off. Then I cut them lengthwise into wedges, placing these babies in a bowl. I followed with 1 tsp olive oil, kosher salt and smoked paprika. Now things are starting to get happy.
I then placed the seasoned wedges on a wire backing rack into a 425 degree pre-heated oven, set my kitchen timer for 25 minutes and BAM, these babies are even happier now.
Once baked I put them back in the bowl, tossed them with 2 Tbsp of Frank’s wing sauce and placed some buffalo wing heaven on a plate. Now I use Frank’s wing sauce because I like it but also it is a vinegar based sauce and does not have any added sugar. However feel free to use whatever sauce makes you happy.
In my ongoing quest for delicious healthy eating I’m always looking for creative EASY meals. Well I think I just created one!
We’re fortunate to have a Wegman’s grocery store here in our area. Many times while perusing the produce section I’ve seen packages of butternut squash noodles but have been hesitant to try them. Hey don’t get me wrong I love butternut squash especially roasted and also as a soup. Yesterday I decided to give them a try.
I wanted to keep it simple but delicious. So I boiled a small pot of water and added the squash noodles, some sliced mushrooms and cooked for 5 minutes. While I was doing that in a small cast iron skillet I heated a tablespoon of olive oil. I drained the noodles and mushrooms adding them to the hot skillet, with some minced garlic, kosher salt and a dash of crushed red pepper sautéing another 5-6 minutes. Once done I plated it and hit it with some grated parmesan cheese. WOW!
I woofed this down as it was absolutely out of this world. I was truly sad once it was all gone because I craved more.
I boiled the mushrooms with the noodles because fresh uncooked mushrooms soak up the oil like a sponge. I believe boiling first helps prevent a lot of this. A few minor changes next time I make this. First I’d boil just a few minutes more as well as adding in some onions, garnish with fresh basil as well.
You’re kitchen is a studio so be creative as you want with this.
Part 1 in a 3 part series, Little Colby Pond in Saranac Lake, NY is very small but one of my favorite ponds to paddle in the area. I don’t know why but there is just something magical about it. Maybe it’s the thought of long New York Central freight trains echoing off the mountains that once crossed the fill splitting Little Colby Pond and it’s big brother Lake Colby. Or conjuring in my mind an Adirondack moose coming for a drink in the early morning hours under the cover of a ghostly fog.
No matter the intrigue it is definitely a peaceful place to paddle where one can take a few moments to reflect on life or better yet a floating nap.
Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for part 2, enjoy the short film!
I’ve been having fun plotting and planning healthy dishes over the past several weeks. Last nights dinner was really yummy so I thought I would share.
However there are just a few minor changes that I would make. First off I would omit the eggplant. Not that I don’t like it I thought it threw the texture of the dish off a little. And the other change I would make is go easier on the amount of rice I cooked.
With that said I will post the recipe exactly how I made it.
1 green bell pepper (chopped or sliced)
1 red sweet bell pepper (chopped or sliced)
1 sweet Italian pepper (chopped or sliced)
Half of a medium vanilla onion sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 small package Bella button mushrooms
1 small package Bella sliced mushrooms
Half of a medium eggplant (Cubed)
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1.5 cups rice
I prepped my vegetables and put them in a ziplock bag with the 2 TBSP of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Made sure everything was coated and put in the fridge for a few hours.
This evening I decided to grill the veggies but you can do them either on the stove or in the oven, the choice is yours.
While the veggies were cooking I cooked my rice. Now I used just water but you can use any stock you like for added flavor. Once everything was done I plated the dish.
I really enjoyed this and definitely would make it again. This made two large servings but hey I was hungry anyway.
A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about running. For starters what I was doing just wasn’t working, I mean part of my personality is to over do pretty much everything.
I decided I needed a total running re-boot so I’m starting from scratch. So far all my runs have been short distance 2-3 miles and at a conversation pace. I have to say this has been wonderful! I’m after consistency and fitness above all but longevity is the ultimate goal.
I was also refitted for new running shoes which have made a huge difference in comfort. I’m currently in the Brooks GTS Adrenaline 2020’s. Wow what a difference in the weight compared to their older model shoes.
I’m excited and I feel energized and look forward to just taking my time and rebuilding.
Last evening Julie, the boys and I along with another couple traveled to Syracuse, NY to see the 30th anniversary of the classic film “Christmas Vacation”. This event was held at the beautiful Landmark Theater in downtown Syracuse and was followed by an hour long Q&A with none other than Clark W. Griswold himself.
The Landmark was completely sold out to the tune of 2,800 seats. I won’t lie the seating is cramped. I loved this event and to see Christmas Vacation on the big screen was just great. At the end of the movie where aunt Bethany sings the National Anthem the entire theater sang right along.
A few minutes after the movies end Chevy Chase came out for a Q&A about this movie and others along with some Saturday Night Live stuff as well. I didn’t realize until last night that Chevy Chase is 76 years old. I’ve always envisioned him as Clark Griswold.