20 Miles to/fro Spruce Lake
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Location: Spruce Lake , as approached from the Piseco Trail Head to the Northville-Placid Trail (where Haskell Road crosses Cold Stream)
When: June 12-13, 2010

Mike M.
Oliver P.
 Zach C.

John Ivory, Mike Fitzsimmons, Brian Pratt,
Tony Caltigirone, Jason Musits

Notes: Special thanks to "Toasty" for helping with some of the photography.

Honestly, this was without a doubt one of the more challenging and painful hikes of the year (as you be able to guess from the expression on the young man's face to the left). 

The terrain was much more difficult than the 900 foot elevation change would have suggested.  The weather was just miserable, with it being a steady, cold, rain all the way out.  The rocks were slippery, and our packs got heavy and waterlogged.

We didn't even bring dogs with us for this one, as we knew it would be kinda rotten.

It was hard starting a fire, and we never did get warm.  The lean-to was small and cramped (again, as you can see in some of the photos).

There were falls in streams, soaked feet, and bruises and blisters that took weeks to heal.

Some on the trip were even rather ill before we even began walking.

But you know something... despite all of that... or perhaps because of it all... this also turned out to be one of our better hikes.  We gained a better understanding of how we work as a team (which was one of the goals in prep for our trip to Yellowstone).

Kids who thought they'd never make it past the first mile ended up making it the full 20!  Dad's had a chance to experience some trauma and challenges with their sons, and shared the load to overcome them together.  We ate well, and laughed at the lunacy of this little adventure.

And the result was worth it.  Spruce Lake is peaceful and serene.  We came out of the woods exhausted, but also stronger.

It doesn't always turn out this way, but I suspect that this hike will be remembered, and talked about, and laughed about more than any of the others we did this year.

If there is a difficulty or an unknown on the path ahead, some people see it as an obstacle or threat to be avoided, cowering and turning away.

Others see the exact same thing as a test and a challenge, and rise to meet it.  The adults and scouts on this trek chose to do the latter, and are the better men for it.