Cloud nine

I am a food enthusiast, so it goes without saying that finding a French bakery down my cousin’s street was a real treat. They have a chocolate brioche bread, which tastes better than a few I’ve tried in France. Also, they are not greedy, so you can actually taste the cheese in the cheese bread. There we were, sitting around the wooden table, enjoying late breakfast and reconnecting with our childhood gustatory memory. Time travel, taking us back to another kitchen table, with the invading and perfect smell of Grandma hot chocolate.

Faithful to our roots and genetics, we got lost later that day in Mont Royal – the hill that sits right in the middle of Montreal city. Small world existing in the effervescence of the city,the Mont Royal sets different standards. Time stops, stairs wrap all around the cliffs, rocks are chairs, trees support slacking walkers, drummers make everyone’s heart beat on the same rhythm. Spring and tulips have arrived. Twisting, jumping, dancing; we eventually made it back home after climbing up the shelves of the cereals alley in the grocery store. It is also part of our education to not sleep on a serious discount on our favorite cereals brand.

This morning, after a generous bowl of the precious loot, I hit the road towards the United States of America. They used all the letters, in bright white and silver, on top of the toll desks at the border. Fancy. As I keep driving on those open roads, following the double yellow line, I eat up the horizon line, getting more and more curvy. Here we are, in the Adirondacks High Peaks. Hiking trails start up from the main road, leading you up to one of the many tops of the world. Passed Elizabethtown, I lost my network – again – and found another way to paradise…

Somewhere between Mont Cascade, Lake Placid and Mont Whiteface; nestled between high pines and glowing trees, a huge lodge made of wood and magic. Walking around the house, surrounding by laughing birds and lush grass, I feel like Goldilocks. When I step in, I know for sure this place comes right out of the children’s book. Remember that story? Strolling in the woods, the nosy Goldilocks sneaks in the Bear family’s house while they are wandering. She tries out their food, and once she has had her fill she tries out all 3 beds in the house and falls asleep in the one of baby bear. Tonight, I have a bear’s house for myself : so many beds I do not know yet in which one I will dream about tomorrow’s hike.

Today’s walks took me to one of the green peaks stuck between Mont Cascade and Mont Porter; and later to a hidden waterfall. Driving down to Lake Placid, I was intrigued by the crystal clear lakes along the road. Following the cliffs, strewn with trees, they extend for miles…

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A small driveway takes me to a parking lot, where blue signs indicate the start of a trail. Clueless and not accordingly equipped, I take my camera and my canvas shoes for a walk anyway. For a little while, I go up the forest trail following a tiny squirrel ; he seems to show me the way, still carefully checking if I am keeping my distance. I lost him when the way got rocky – lot less to eat from there on , and I started to climb up to the top of the hill. Breathtaking view, clear sky, wide green forest as far as my eyes can see. I sit on a rock, which the sun has warmed up all day. Cloud nine. Infinite peace. There is not limit, no boundaries, no time and no other place to be. 

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When I finally make it down the hill – slippery shoes, not the best choice – I find a tiny beach. There is not real way there but, following the advice of the three guys I just bump into, I follow the way up. Indeed, I would not have wanted to miss the view. Finding my way through rocks and a growing water stream, I make it to the feet of the waterfall. Dominating the lakes, I have here my very own belvedere. Stunning view, from the other side of the hill I just left behind.

Before the sun goes down, I bring back the stars shinning in my eyes to my safe shelter where I dive into the hiking guides. Adirondack High Peaks, here I am !

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