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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.13: A Dog 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.13: "A Dog Story."   (On the next page.)   The Zen of Dog Walking.   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "A Dog Story" Adirondack Letter No.13
    Subject: A Dog Story
    Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 23:22:06
    From: < >
    To: < youremailname@youremail.address >

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

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    We started walking together just a year ago when George was brand
    new. April our open space lights up with sun and the urge to
    explore is irresistable. He's on lead and I decide to follow his
    insistent tugging--a sort of experiment in letting go my own way.
    He turns decisively to Wolf.

    Tracks from winter travel are long pools of water by the storm
    fallen oaks we harvested last year. Brown leaves float on top or
    lay waterlogged on the bottom already beginning to soften and
    merge with the elements. He follows the road.

    Where it rises up, the strewn branches, stubble and stones are
    warm and dry. I sense the joy as, head down, alone in his world
    of doggy smells, he excitedly tracks a new scent. It strikes me
    how his kind of information is entirely absent from my sensing,
    which is visual and tactile--the still air, soft earth underfoot,
    the welcome light and tentative warmth of the early Spring sun.

    He stops at First View. The old side trail makes a fair beginning
    but soon ends in a tangle of forest debris. Nearby at a small rise
    in the forest years ago I made a cedar bench for contemplation.
    Between two pines set close together through an accident of growth
    it was a perfect spot for experiencing natural beauty in a minor
    key. Scraggly juniper and cedar thicket by an unspectacular rock
    formation. The distant view was mostly just tree tops with a speck
    of Clements above and then all sky. It was a prospect I could
    never share with others. I'll bring the saw one day and open the
    way again.

    Farther up the fragile soil gives out and snow melt runs over the
    bare granite. It shines black with tufts of green moss between.
    Water finds the channel we dug accross the new road and spills
    over the rock retaining wall. Just below it collects in a natural
    spring. It's pure enough I let him drink.

    At Wolf he jumps onto the deck unsure of himself on the high
    structure. Whiteface is all snow the upper third. The tip of
    Stewart shows beyond our Ebenezer and Rattlesnake close by. The
    big flat top of Clements is clear. Farther along Jay Mountain is
    part hidden by trees. Sun begins to lower over the Lookout to the
    West. The view is framed by just a few big Eastern pine we left
    for effect. He's wrapped his lead around my chair and whimpers at
    me to move on.

    He finds the old horse trail for the way down. Too rough even for
    jeep travel today we hauled Wolf building materials up it with a
    farm tractor in '73. We pass the open ledge where it took smart
    driving and luck to get over. He gets tangled in deadfall and
    wraps the lead around a tree several times before we hit the woods
    road by Back Field and The Cabin at the end.

    Next day I make a special effort again to indicate no preference
    of my own, keeping the lead slack at all times whatever the effort
    it takes. After a half hour I realize we've not gone more than a
    hundred yards from home. At one point the scent takes him on an
    erratic zig zag. One moment he slows and stops. Another he's
    off in a rush and I have to move hard to follow and keep the lead
    from pulling.

    I urge him to Back Field through the woods and over the little
    stone bridge. When I look ahead at Farmhouse Field two white tails
    are traveling through. Head down at the ground he has no notion of
    this. He's skittish crossing the open brook, hesitating and back-
    tracking, and I lose balance and step in over my boot.

    When first I learned the Buddhist story, Taming the Wild Ox, and
    viewed the ancient drawings of Kaku-an, I rather thought my own
    zen-mind was more like a dog. Curious--sniffing here and there in
    the most godawful places. Clever perhaps--but often oblivious of
    what is clearly to be seen around. Relieving itself without
    embarassment. Highly dependent. But trust it to get home. A
    faithful friend.

    For more about this CLICK for "Taming the Wild Ox." Have a pet? CLICK for "The Zen of Dog Walking," something to think about when you next walk your dog. And visit George at his Doggy Home Page. He loves to play.

    Thanks for reading this. If you've ever been a guest here, go to for an attractive offer to visit us
    again. If you've never been-- check 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 rest and play-ground." Upscale Camps in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--Meet our guests! NEW! "Stay Awhile In Style"

            Your Adirondack Host,

            Martin Schwalbaum

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

    This is   No.13  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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    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
    Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all.    Are you in this picture?  CLICK HERE to find out!    [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]

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    'Hints of Balsam and Pine from Our Corner of the Adirondacks.' Keep up with us through occasional newsletters. CLICK for sample.
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