Adventure is what we make it

Tough Cookie getting ready for her new adventure , being a big sister.

Tough Cookie in the nursery getting ready for her new adventure , being a big sister.

And just like that, we find ourselves celebrating the changing colors of the leaves. Tough Cookie and I have certainly come a long way, and now as the summer segues to autumn, and school work piles up, we find our roles and ambitions changing as well. The long days on the trail have made Janelle tougher and stronger. She’s joined her Cross Country Team at school, and has worked hard to fulfill her pronouncement to me earlier this year, that in 2014, she will run. Well, indeed she has.

This has meant less time on the mountains and more time for me, on the sidelines. Watching. Being proud. But, I’m ok with that.

This month will be the final round of presentations for Buffalo and Tough Cookie until 2015. And that’s been quite a journey for us as well. We’ll finish off the year with three big events, Pembroke, New Boston and Statham. Check the events listing above for your last chance to see us for a while. And don’t forget that we’ll appear on Windows to the Wild on NHPTV, next week, Wed., Oct. 8 at 7:30pm

But everything has a reason. And ours is simple. Janelle is working hard at school, and running. And I am getting ready for my own, next, enormous, challenging and wonderful, adventure. In December, we’ll welcome a new hiker into our odd, misfit family. And the twins have stepped up to the task of being older “siblings” to their coming “sister”

This journey has provided lessons too numerous to list at this point, but the one we all keep going back to is the most obvious, and the most difficult: Your family is the people who you love, and who love you back. So, this last weekend, we gathered with our family (they are our FAMILY, I don’t bother putting the word in quotes any more), to clean, paint and decorate the new nursery, and I could not have been any happier, or lost in wonder, then if I had stepped onto a mountain summit.

Aaron has already begun thinking about what instrument to teach the baby. And Janelle, well, I think it’s clear that it won’t be long before that little one is stepping up onto her own mountain summit, perhaps on Janelle’s back. We gather together. We learn and celebrate each other. Life itself is an adventure. Onward!

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Categories: Updates and Plans | 1 Comment

Date set for the Windows to the Wild broadcast!

Well friends, as you can see by the new picture in our header, we’re excited about the upcoming broadcast of the Windows to the Wild show featuring Buffalo and Tough Cookie! The air date is, drum roll please, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 at 7:30pm on New Hampshire Public Television. We even already have a blurb on their site, check it out: An Unusual Hiking Duo

I’ll post more as the time draws near, but until then, here’s one of my favorite shots from the hike. Big thanks for the pics to Joe Klementovich. Our banner and the pic below is © Joe Klementovich for New Hampshire Public Television.

Guess who was the center of attention all day long?

Guess who was the center of attention all day long?

Categories: Press and Promotion | 1 Comment

Letting go of fear on Mt. Sunapee

Rebel and Tough Cookie tearing up the trail on Mt. Sunapee.

Rebel and Tough Cookie tearing up the trail on Mt. Sunapee.

At our presentations, Janelle and I always look for kids or young adults in the audience.

When Tough Cookie fell in love with the mountains, she was barely more than a baby, but she chose faith over fear. This isn’t religious faith I’m talking about, but faith in her own capacity as a human being to be empowered, to step into a new world and embrace the challenge and not be afraid of the natural world. And now, when we see the looks in kids’ eyes when they hear about that faith, it makes this whole amazing trip worth the sweat and tears and laughter.

One of those kids is Sam (trail name, Rebel) whose family has become friends with our little misfit tribe and has begun to hike with us. He’s new to New Hampshire and new to hiking, so we started with Mt. Sunapee. Though only about 2,700 feet high, we picked a path that was a challenge, and a hard rain the night before made the trail slick and wet.

Janelle threw everything she had at Sam on this wild, muddy, amazing hike (and Tough Cookie has a considerable arsenal) but the boy kept coming. Sam ended the day wet, dirty, banged up and sore, but I’m certain he’ll be back for more. (And Sam’s mom is no hiking slouch either!)

Calm at Solitude Lake

Calm at Solitude Lake

Is there any greater day in the mountains then to be able to hear the gasps of new hikers as they take in a glorious view? Is there any greater personal challenge then to pull yourself up out of the mud, brush the dirt off your face and say, “I’m good, let’s keep going!”

Tough Cookie and I love being on the trail together, the two of us, now old friends, understanding each others’ pace and strengths. But taking someone new – wide-eyed and giving it all they have – well, that’s a real treat.

Some days now, it feels like Buffalo and Tough Cookie have begun a new chapter in our journey. Janelle rarely sweats now when we hike together. I can count on her understanding the woods enough to give her some space, to allow her some unfettered time alone with the hills. There’s little more precious than that. She’s beginning to recognize the mountains, like visiting the comfortable home of a friend. So bringing Sam up was new, and a little chaotic, and wonderful.

A big thanks to Sam and his mom, Elsa, for giving us a little bit of new wonder. We cannot wait to go again!

Categories: New England Hikes | Tags: , | 1 Comment

My goodness, time does fly!

Tough Cookie, and her new hiking buddy, Rebel, enjoy the views from near the summit of Mt. Sunapee.

Tough Cookie, and her new hiking buddy, Rebel, enjoy the views from near the summit of Mt. Sunapee.

Goodness, has it been that long since a new post has appeared here at Buffalo and Tough Cookie central! This has been a busy summer and there’s so much to write about. Our big, big event, of course, was our amazing hike with Willem Lange and the crew from New Hampshire Public TV’s Windows to the Wild. I promise I’ll have a write-up soon! Meantime, here’s a shot from our most recent hike up Mt. Sunapee.

By the way, our Facebook page remains very active and continues to be the best way to get news about our hikes, new pics and all sorts of fun info. If you’re not a subscriber yet to our Facebook page, click here and join up: Buffalo and Tough Cookie on Facebook.

Thanks for the support and we’ll be back soon!

Categories: Updates and Plans | 1 Comment

And away we go!

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Janelle gives the thumbs up from the tower atop Mt. Megalloway. We’ll be there again this week with Windows to the Wild!

Hey adventurers! The time has come. Janelle and I will be dropping off social media for about a week as we head to the Great North Woods. Yes, it’s Windows the Wild time!

We’re going to be spending a few days waaaaay up in Pittsburg with the one and only Willem Lange as we hike Mt. Megalloway together. To say we’re excited would be a wild understatement. But if that’s not enough, we also have a event scheduled for Stoddard, NH on Thursday, THEN we’ll head to Vermont on Saturday for a double event day, The Adventures in Hardwick and The Nepal Chronicles in Morristown.

We love being on the road together, especially north of the notches. I’m sure there will be swimming, hiking and a visit to our favorite mountain town, Littleton, in store as well. And pasta. Lots and lots of pasta eating!

Anyway, I’ll try to post some updates on my Facebook page, so if you are not yet following me, drop me a like for all the latest on the books or events at DanSzczesny. Either way, we forge on. Time flies and we’re just trying to fly right along with it!

Onward, and we’ll see you when we return from nature!

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