By Bryce Schnaars

Last week, I made my usual 7-hour drive back home through the heart of the Adirondacks, and because packing is always saved to the last minute, I arrived pretty late (around 10 pm). After dropping off my 75L bag full of dirty laundry, camera gear, and granola bar wrappers, all I wanted to do was sleep - but that’s not what this trip was about. I sat down at the kitchen counter, opened All Trails, and planned my trip; tackling Poko Moonshine for sunrise.

Once I knew what I was about to face, my alarm was set for 4a.m and I went off to bed. The night before an adventure I never sleep well; the combination of excitement and anxiety makes me restless. Just three hours later, I woke to the screeching of my phone, and if waking up at 4a.m isn’t painful enough on its own, I realized I was starting to feel ill.


I laid their for a few moments, going back and forth between my medical and adventure-seeking mind, questioning if I risk getting seriously ill in the freezing cold, or if I should seize the day and hike through the beautiful Adirondacks.

Well, you know the outcome of this story; my medical side never stood a chance. With pockets overflowing with cough drops and tissues, I was on my way. I wasn't given the vibrant sunrise that was hoped for, but the sense of adventure was the best reward I could have received.

As a kid, I grew up watching my parents lug 100lb bags of camping gear up Mount Washington, while I complained from the background about carrying my sleeping bag. While its importance may not have been as clear to me then, the outdoors have since become an integral piece of my life.

They’ve challenged me physically and mentally, making me a stronger, more confident person, and I will forever seek out opportunities to explore. While I prepare for an outing, whether it’s a sunrise hike or an evening climb, I’m always filled with excitement for the adventure just beyond the horizon.