Northville-Lake Placid Trail

Personal Statement for the Common Application


Two years ago at summer camp, I hiked the better part of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail.

No one from camp had gone on this trip since some time in the seventies, so we had a certain air of bravado. We were a group of 14 and 15 year olds attempting to match the endurance of what were, according to camp lore, seven foot giants with beards like rhododendrons.

When it rains in the Adirondacks, water cascades in wholly indecent chunks. If you're on a trail, you cover up as best you can and keep going; there’s naught else to do. Your pack absorbs water, as does anything in it that hasn't been waterproofed. Boots will stay dry, but only if you keep to the shallow puddles. If you have to sleep in a tent, you aren't going to enjoy it.

Operations commenced well and ended wet, tired, and with the unmistakable odor of a dozen teenagers who hadn’t bathed in a week.

To maintain the trails over swamp, long logs are split in half and laid in pairs across what the path ought to be. When wet, these logs are slippery, and when slippery, oversized football players have a tendency to slip on them.

Incidentally, one such footballer was on our trip. George slipped, bellowed in pain, and punched open a small tree. The new source pain...

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