Believe it or not, I open the blinds, put on real clothes, turn off my laptop, and step outside into the world—even if the sun is shining. I did that very thing with Phil a couple of weekends ago. We took a hike to Marcy Dam, the first two miles of a hike that leads to the top of Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York State and part of the 46 mountains that comprise the Northern New York Adirondack Mountains. Phil is a downhill skier and a hiker and knows these mountains well, so when he suggested going for a short, easy hike, I was all in. I trust him and he never underestimates anything.

The day was gorgeous and there were more cars on the narrow road to the parking area than rush hour on Friday afternoon in Gotham City. We parked at least a mile from the trail head. Our “short hike” just got longer.

Just letting us know what we're getting into...

Once we got to the trail head, we had to sign it, so the Forest Ranger would know where to begin the search once, I mean if, we turned up missing.

Doesn't he look cool and confident?

I'm trying to look just as cool and confident. But look at my shoes. Not exactly hiking-approved...

Ah, just what we came to see.

I love a babbling brook. Look, can you see our shadows in the foreground?

Our destination, Marcy Dam, which is supposed to be a lake but is a mud hole because the floods earlier in the year from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee washed out the dam. Dam shame.

Dam view in the background. Dam and bridge washout in the foreground.

Can't read this sign? Neither could I. We had a choice to go back the way we came or loop back another way. I think this sign said "Go back the way you came, Fool." But I couldn't read it.

After deciding to loop around the other way, we saw this sign. I wasn't encouraged mostly because I didn't understand this sign either, but Phil was his ever-optimistic self. Plus he had on hiking boots.

I looked up to the Universe for comfort and saw this. I was comforted.

We had to cross two, count 'em, two passages with boulder and water and tree roots that would have challenged a billy-goat. I had the kind of sneakers that rock when you walk and I'm dizzy all the time. You do the math. I'm here to tell you: there's crying in hiking.

Okay, no surprise. You all know I'm prone to melodrama.

We signed out as proof the Forest Rangers could rest easy and so could we. But our journey wasn't over yet.

Snapped this one our long trek back to the car.

All in all, we figured we walked/hiked about seven miles. Short? I don’t think so. Easy? Yes, if you don’t count the panic attack I had crossing the death trap most hikers would call a stream. We brought snacks but were hungry. As we were looking for places to eat, we spied this establishment but decided to pass. They looked closed and probably didn’t have anything healthy anyway.

I'm retired on a disability, so NO, I am not considering applying for a job here.