Outdoors with Upstate Coffee: Publication #1

A warm welcome to you.


Upstate Coffee is proud to be collaborating with the Leader Herald newspaper to create a unique bi-weekly newspaper column, Outdoors with Upstate Coffee.  The goal of this column is to offer a publication platform for some of the most talented, fun and just plain cool people having awesome Upstate adventures. Read the full article below; to find out why logging OVER 250 hikes in one year with 3 (now 4) dogs is definitely AWESOME 🤟 Brittany is also one of our brand ambassadors, so check it out on her Upstate Coffee profile!   

Coffee with my dogs on a mountain top

Throughout the last year I’ve logged over 250 hikes, 80,000 feet of elevation gain, and more than 200 hours in the woods. I’ve drank Upstate Coffee on countless summits, caught sunrises and chased sunsets, and fallen in the mud more times than I can count, all with my dogs by my side.

The beautiful summit photos make it out to be much more glamorous then it is, often times we wake up at 1, 2 or 3 a.m. to beat the crowds, drive hours, climb tired, get sweaty, muddy and so dirty. We get bit by bugs, have to constantly check for ticks, have cold toes and fingers, and multiple times have had us caught in the rain or on a clouded in summit with no view in sight after a long tiring climb.

Everyone asks why I spend so much time in the woods, and the truth is mostly for the dogs, and now for me too. I grew up in Upstate New York, but I didn’t grow up hiking. I spent lots of time outside, but I never really spent much time climbing mountains.

Having four dogs is a lot of work, and I knew they needed a kind of fulfillment we would never find in a backyard or at the park. They needed to be a little wild, to be dogs, to do what dogs do. It wasn’t long after we started hiking that I saw how much they loved it, and learned how much I loved it. There’s nothing quite like a quiet hike only lit by my headlamp and the moon, with my best pals by my side to put it into perspective, to watch them effortlessly jump over logs and scale rock faces all while turning to make sure I’m still right behind them, and let’s face it I’m always behind them.

Nothing changed the relationship I had with my dogs like letting them do the things they’re naturally meant to do, they thrive in the trails. It wasn’t long until they were running to the door when they saw my hiking shoes come out, or they were sitting by our packed bags we prepared the night before a hike making sure that we know they are ready too. It’s a peaceful inexplicable feeling to sit drinking your morning coffee with a dog belly up beside you on top of mountain, feeling like you’re the only ones awake and watching the world come alive around you. It’s a lot like how I felt watching them come alive. Watching them find purpose in romping through trails, checking in with me, and standing on the edge of a summit breathing in the fresh air, and I think they watched me come alive too.

Our bond has never felt stronger, it seems like we can speak without words, we both know how mutually happy and grateful we are to be spending those quiet peaceful moments together. 

- Brittany Cummings