It was dark when we packed the truck with our gear. Backpacks, snowshoes, trekking poles and food for the long weekend ahead of us. Bleary eyed we headed out of the driveway, my thoughts about a hot cup of coffee and the weekend to be spent with my son. The Tim Hortons sign beckoned and the smell of coffee faintly tickled my nostrils. We pulled out of the drive-thru and pointed the truck North. I set the GPS so we would be able to tick away the hours until we reached our destination in the middle of the Adirondack Park.
The brief stop at the tool booth marked one small portion of our trip. I put the truck into gear and began the long trip down the NYS Thruway. I clicked on the cruise control and set the speed at 70 MPH. Stephen and I shared conversation about the coming trip; our excitement and anticipation growing with each passing mile. As we continued the interior of the truck grew quiet. I looked at Stephen and found him happily asleep. I smiled. His happiness and comfort was my happiness and comfort. Any remaining fear and anxiety rapidly melted away.
We were met with the familiar sign which welcomed our arrival to the Adirondack Park. I felt at home. The next stop was the lodge at Indian Lake.
We pulled into the parking lot and unloaded our gear. Dinner was made and consumed with zest. Nancy had packed chowder which she had made and froze several days before. We washed dishes and pots, made hot chocolate and settled in for a quiet, relaxing evening. A quiet knock could be faintly heard on the door. We looked at each other wondering who decided to visit in -25-degree temperatures. I twisted the door knob, pulled the door open and smiled as my eyes met those of Barry and his wife Kathryn. What a pleasant surprise. Barry and I shared a greeting of Namaste and we welcomed them into our humble lodging.
We sat and talked, smiled and laughed. We rekindled old friendships and made new ones. We discussed plans for the morrows hike and discussed the anxious anticipation of once more being able to strap snowshoes to our feet and enjoy the silence that is the Adirondacks.
Barry and Kathryn departed, our souls overflowing with joy. Stephen and I dressed warmly and wandered out into the cold night, snow crunching beneath our boots. We looked toward the heavens and marveled at the stars. Despite being many millions of miles away, they appeared within easy reach…ready to be plucked from the sky for safekeeping. Several streaks crisscrossed the sky; shooting stars. We both stood silently and marveled at the view. Our breath added another dimension to the night. When we could stand the cold no more, we retreated to the warmth and safety of our cabin, wrapped our hands around mugs of steaming hot chocolate, marshmallows floating on the surface like the stars we had just witnessed. All was right with the world.
I read and Stephen watched television, sleep beginning to creep into our consciousness. I looked at Stephen and found sleep had already found him. Sleep was rapidly encroaching on me. My head began to bob against my chest. I rose and went to my bed where I thought I might revisit my book. The thought was good but sleep would let this happen for only the briefest of times. Minutes later sleep swept over me and consumed me like a warm blanket. I drifted off with the happy thought that I was able to share this day with Stephen.