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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.10: A River Story.
    Hints of Balsam and Pine: Nature Reflections in a minor key from our quiet corner of the Adirondacks. For Fourpeaks Guests and anyone who ever dreamed about a wilderness getaway. CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   Adirondack Letter No.10: "A River Story."   (On the next page.)   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "A River Story" Adirondack Letter No.10
    Subject: "A River Story." Adirondack Letter No.10
    Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 16:31:34
    From: < >
    To: < youremailname@youremail.address >

    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    The river has two ends which few of us get to see. Our view is
    limited by geography, which is at the middle for the most part. An
    inclination to consider only strictly human events is another
    factor. But natural thought is a gift, and one that can develop in
    any of us, given the right circumstance.

    Most seasons little sun gets through the overhanging canopy along
    our forest brooks. Today just some wet snow clings to the bent
    branches overhead and bright beams light the place up. The sound
    of moving water is muffled by the white blanket covering it over
    with only a few great rocks protruding. Some guests walk the path
    along it starting at the stone fence behind Thoreau House. I see
    them coming out in the next field at Gypsy--kids, dogs and
    grownups just a few small specks in the broad field with Jay
    Mountain, Clements and Ebenezer behind them.

    At Perkins Farm the sugarbush is laid out along the same rocky
    channel that has its source by Ebenezer and Rattlesnake. The old
    sugar house is at the bottom by the stream and sizeable maples
    follow the course as far as their logging camp. Fifty or so of the
    largest ones, all over two feet accross, are grouped together by
    the rough kitchen with the tin roof still in place. The road
    crosses the brook over a stone culvert and there's still a soft
    spot where they laid logs accross it corduroy-style. They
    collected with a tin tank in an iron frame and drew it on a coarse
    sled to the boiling pans.

    Driving along the flats on 9N the other day, fields are blank
    except for the line trees, pale stalks and occasional winter
    flowers that poke through. There the waters run black, the channel
    for it shaped by sun and wind and the contour of the riverbed.
    Translucent thin ice borders the flow, getting more opaque as the
    layers thicken. Where it's solid, snow glints white along the
    edges. The bright surface blends with the river bank which is
    otherwise bare. A mild winter, it never froze through. I miss
    seeing the great cakes of green ice piled along the shore from the
    alternating freeze and thaw.

    In contrast to this, the waters follow deep cuts in bedrock at the
    little gorge in Wilmington close by and farther along in
    Keeseville at the Chasm. A famous area attraction since early
    motoring days, I have a photo of my Dad with friends in the
    twenties. The men wear knickers, argyle socks and peak hats and
    the girls are slim in long dresses and no hats. They're standing
    at the water edge and the sky is just a sliver between the high
    barren walls. It drops fast and a cold spray rises on the air
    currents. The path is all broken rock with no evidence of organic
    debris. The river empties into Lake Champlain not far from there.
    I'm told it's marshy with pools and drowned trees that extend
    along the shore, but I've never seen it.

    It's 40 degrees today. Snow hangs over the roof edge a foot or
    more until the weight breaks it off and it crashes down. Where
    it's been walked or driven on the surface is water and clear ice.
    The melt flows down the path toward the little brook just below.

    Thanks for reading this. If you've ever been a guest here, go to for a earnest invitation to visit us
    again. If you've never been--look at our up-to-date
    Availability Calendar and make some
    time. There's a lovely quiet season coming up. Till then please
    visit On-Line: "Explore our 700-acre private rest and play-ground." Pretty Camps in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--What they said.

    Your Adirondack Guide,

    Martin Schwalbaum

    P.S. If you liked this Letter, CLICK HERE to Tell a Friend!
    If you didn't like it please reply to this with "REMOVE" in the
    subject heading. Thanks.

            Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    This is   No.10  of a really occasional   Letter,  "Hints of
    Balsam and   Pine  from our Corner  of the Adirondacks,"  for
    Fourpeaks guests   or  anyone  who   ever   inquired about  a
    Fourpeaks   Vacation/Getaway. To get off this list reply with
    "REMOVE" in the subject heading.

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