“Ode to the Adirondacks”
by Lisa Szymanski, September 2010
by Lisa Szymanski, September 2010
We all got on the van in Albany,
Excited for the adventure that was about to be.
Sid and Jackie dropped us off at the side of the road,
Saying, “So long, ladies! The van will carry your load!”
The first long hill nearly did us all in;
“What?” we call cried, “we have to climb more again?”
We finally rolled in to The Hedges before dark,
A charming little camp in Adirondack Park.
We stuffed ourselves at dinner and we talked biking lingo,
Then WomanTours kicked butt during Sunday night bingo!
The rain started falling but it didn’t get us down;
Ann showed us how to kayak (and hopefully not drown).
Our destination: a picnic spot “just beyond that next pine;”
“Are we there yet?”, “My arms hurt!” We were not doing fine!
A little lunch, a warm fire, and we were back on our way,
But the wind had picked up – felt like the Chesapeake Bay!
Hours later, paddling as hard as we could,
We finally docked – land never looked so good!
Next came “The Hike” – straight up a rock!
We followed Sid and Jackie, the unsuspecting flock.
We slipped and we tripped, we grabbed roots and huffed and puffed;
“How much farther?”, “My legs hurt!”, “I think I’ve had enough!”
But oh, the peak! The vista! The view!
We wolfed down our lunch and hit the “green room!”
On to more cycling; by now we all knew the drill:
Get into your lowest gear if you wanna make it up that hill!
Barely crawling up them at 3 miles per hour,
“Damn! I’m out of lower gears and my legs are out of power!”
But oh, those downhills – I tell ya, it was scary!
(Kind of like the feeling when we almost lost Mary!)
Our first day in Keene Valley and it’s rained and rained some more;
Some of us went hiking – we are so hard core!
We scampered over puddles while others relaxed back at “home,”
But we had our own treats – “Would anyone like a scone?”
Now it’s Thursday and we’re toasty, fed, and (mostly) dry;
“Only 2 days left?!” in disbelief we all cry.
One more day to cycle and one more day to hike,
To lace up our boots and to hop on the bike.
Each day we started low and we climbed together high,
Even with the raindrops falling from the sky.
Sid and Jackie kept us well-fed and watered every day,
Encouraged us and cheered us every step of the way,
Believed we could do it, no matter what our skills –
I think we’ll miss them dearly, but not these frikkin’ hills!
The weather looked iffy, so we split up the group;
A few drove to Lake Placid while others cycled the loop.
The drizzle splattered our glasses ‘til we couldn’t see nothin’
Yet we had to work off those banana nut muffins!
The mountains were hidden in cold clouds of mist;
The road was slick with wet pine needles – well, you get the gist.
We thought about sagging at the 11.2 turn
But Jackie missed the stop – yeah, we got burned.
Made us climb up the grade – thank god for that granny!
(My toes were going numb, not to mention my fanny!)
Oh the joys of cycling – the fresh air, give me a dose!
And what better way to see road kill up close?
We finally re-grouped in the Olympic Village;
Twelve women with credit cards, the stores we did pillage!
Now the last day is dawning – it is cold, crisp, but clear;
One last walk in the woods as the end draws near.
An easy trek over bridges through sun-dappled trees;
We’re all feeling good – no achy knees!
One last picnic together, some last M&Ms;
A lot of us planning to do this again.
So goodbye to our saddles and paddles and wool socks;
I think we all agree: WomanTours rocks!