Spring has made its appearance in the Adirondacks, and while the arrival of spring signals a time of renewal and helps a lot to break out of the “winter blues”, the onset of spring also means gray skies, soggy yards and snow. mud, a lot.
What better time to showcase the serene beauty of the Adirondack region, while showcasing the artistic talents of an Adirondack grandmother who found rejuvenation, peace and serenity in the mountains, sparking new adoration for the hike which she hopes will span many generations in her family. .
Beth Pashley, who lives in Old Forge with her husband of nearly 48 years, Mike, works part-time at the Old Forge Library and has an affinity for arts and crafts, reading and thinking outside the box when he is about spending quality time with his two children and five grandchildren.
Other than short family hikes on their camping trips, Beth didn’t take her first big hike until she was 17 at Blue Mountain with a group from high school.
“I had no idea then, just 2 years later, in 1973, that I would be living in the Adirondacks full time,” Beth said. “Even then, apart from a few hikes here and there with friends, [our] pack of wolf cubs etc, the hike wasn’t a big thing.”
Like most locals, Beth found she was too busy working (as a clerk at the Old Forge post office for 10 years, then as a postmaster in Inlet for 15 years, retiring in 2009) and to raise a family, to be able to enjoy all the Adirondacks have to offer. Fast forward to summer 2020, the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beth said she was looking for outdoor activities she could do each week with her grandchildren, which is when “The Grandma Chronicles” came to fruition.
“[The Grandma Chronicles] didn’t always hike, but it made me want to be outdoors more and I started hiking seriously,” she said. “I was not in my best shape and some hikes were a challenge. Blue Mountain was certainly a challenge at 66, [and] it had been 49 years since I had hiked! [The] winter 2020-21 was my first winter hiking experience. I find it’s actually easier, in some ways, than other times of the year, as long as you’re properly dressed and have the right gear…snowshoes, poles, spikes depending on the conditions.
Now Beth has said she’s proud to proclaim she’s officially a “hiking addict”, noting that she’s reaped mental and physical benefits over the past two years.
“I hope I can continue [to hike] for many years to come, and maybe I teach the grandchildren [that] you are never too old to start something new! said Beth.
Beth said she hiked the backside of McCauley Mountain yesterday morning (March 26) and will definitely be hiking somewhere semi-local next week.
“I try to hike at least 2 times a week…the retreat is awesome!” she says.
See below for a collection of some of Beth’s favorite hiking adventures:
Top photo: Old Forge resident Beth Pashley at Cascade Mountain in 2021.
Photos by Beth Pashley.