Who We Are
Our family includes Ben, 17; Ian, 14; my husband, Rich; and me. We have always loved hiking, camping, paddling, and just being outdoors together. We relish the feeling of adventure and we value what hiking has taught us.
When we are on the top of a mountain, we realize just how small we are in this world. Through the experience of hiking, we are reminded that there are powers at work much greater than ourselves, that we are at the mercy of the mountains and conditions, that we have a place and a role to serve, and that we have great potential.
A Little More on Ben
Ben is a committed young man. He's an accomplished musician and who played tuba in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for four years; bass guitar and acoustic bass in his high school jazz band; and tuba in the high school wind ensemble. He's also a member of the National Honor Society. He is dedicated to the outdoors, too. Every year, he volunteers with the Adirondack Mountain Club's teen trail maintenance program. He is also a member of the Boy Scouts' Venture Crew program, a group that participates in regular adventure outings such as an annual portage in Canada's Algonquin Park. Next year, he is off to Clarkson University as an honors student who plans to major in chemical engineering and minor in sustainable systems.
Hiking and Climbing
Our biggest hiking adventures have been in the Adirondack mountains of New York, about five and a half hours from where we live. We’ve gone up there ever since Ben and Ian have been little, each year venturing a little farther into the woods and a little higher on our hikes until the boys started surpassing us on the trails.
Our family is working on becoming 46ers—climbing the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondacks, all of which are more than 4,000 feet high. Although for some that may not seem very high, many of these are challenging, rock-hopping hikes that test your mettle while challenging and lighting up your spirit at the same time.
I've climbed 42 of the high peaks and so has Ben. We hope to finish together this summer. We got a bit derailed this past summer when I broke my ankle four+ miles in on a remote trail in the Adirondacks. We'll get there though--the mountains will wait for us! Ian has climbed 31 and aims to finish next year or the year after.
The Comeback Kids
Almost two years ago, Ben and I came close to winning a contest to participate in a family climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro. The contest was sponsored by Backpacker magazine, Whittaker Mountaineering, Eddie Bauer, and Rainier Mountaineering. Out of 900 entrants, we finished in the very top but another great team won.
What we learned from that experience is what we’ve learned from the mountains: never give up, dream big, and know that we can always do more than we think we can. We also got to know the folks behind the scenes of the contest and for that we are very grateful.
That experience prompted us to want to do something big and this climb is the result.
I'm confident the boys and I will continue to have adventures together and on our own. Ian and I are scheming now. Perhaps there's a big adventure in store for us soon. Stay tuned!