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No.21: A Road Story.
Pick your road with care. Get off hard pavement onto a nature track. Take time to look around, enjoy the quiet. CLICK & GO! (On this page.) Adirondack Letter No.21: "A Road Story." (On the next page.) Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.
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"A Road Story" Adirondack Letter No.21
Subject: A Road Story
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:09:13
From: Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)
To: Fourpeaks Visitors
At: < email@example.com >
Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,
I've traveled the road to camp maybe thousands of times in all
the years. A five hour drive up from the city, you could say I
know every turn and tree. And the states of mind as well, that
come along with it. The frustration stuck in traffic, before
getting out to where it's open and less travelled. The impatient
sense of fun with a just a girlfriend alongide, some food and
wine. The noisy excitement with all the kids aboard and Albert
on a family visit. And just me after breaking up with her, alone
and empty, away for months. There's a spot on 73 where the road
turns up into the mountains by Keene. I feel it every time.
On Stonehouse road, except for the Peckham place and a few
culverts, the landmarks are all natural. A high sandpit ringed
with great pine at the top, a deep hollow on the Granite Company
land, the sag, a swamp, and giant maple opposite Perkins. We cut
one years ago that died. It took forever and the broad stump
defied Willy's saw to the end. Three feet across, you can still
find it on the right near Sugar. He spotted another one not long
ago, but I told him to let it be. Time enough when it falls down
on it's own. (Not likely we'll bring that in any time soon.)
Anticipation builds in increments along with the rise in
elevation, till it levels out for good at Halsey Straight's place.
His farmhouse spruce, grown tall and majestic, now join the
canopy of oak and maple above. Stretched out ahead with a gentle
curve, the road feels peaceful, like home. Years ago Mitch made a
fine color photo of it in Fall. Looks like a cathedral interior
with bright stained glass around. I'll find it and put it on the
webpage. I framed some of his other stuff in the kitchen at The
Snowbound in Winter, even for just a day or two, feels like
shipboard at sea. Nothing on the horizon and nothing expected
either, considering the location. The town plows their part right
away, but I tell Willy not to rush with my quarter-mile driveway.
I don't need anything, no guests for a while, and I enjoy the
isolation. White and deep, with no tracks but my own, I shovel a
path to the privy, for the exercise. Later, traveling on it, even
with good studded tires, you develop a special sense of control,
like skiing. Maintain momentum, keep the wheels in track, and
brake gently or not at all.
Spring thaw, for a brief period, the road is nearly unnavigable.
Ditches and culverts clogged with mud and trash, water comes down
hard making deep cuts in the sandy soil. You must take care to
stay off the shoulders no matter what. Up from the city in this
season many years ago, I found a barricade, "Road Closed." I
moved it over, and went up. Only a mile to the end, the blocked
and broken road that day gave me the feel of my backcountry. They
came a few days ago and plowed it smooth, but there are wet soft
spots in it still and it'll be a while before it dries out enough
for proper planing and shaping the ditches again.
Time to clear the road to Ridge. Winter guests spoke of deadfall
on the way. Got to High Meadow early on and cleared some good
sized popple there. But I was more concerned about mud and water
on the long flat after Great Rock. Billy's strongest with the
chain saw. He came up after work just yesterday and we went up
together. It was dry on the grade and we picked up rotten birch
and broken limbs of all kinds. On the flat I put my wheels high
on the side for traction just to be sure. No need. The water cuts
Kevin put in last Summer, though they made for bumpy travel at the
time, did fine. One really troublesome big jack pine, several
trees hung up overhead, and lots of smaller stuff. We picked up
birch at the view spot and entirely cleared the "go-round" that
connects to the corner swamp and the ridge beyond. All oak mostly.
We cut and loaded the blocks for firewood. It was near dark by the
time we got done. Billy wants to come back to get birch bark for a
decoration at his new house. And harvest more oak that's down. I
Thanks for reading this. Pick your road with care. Get off hard
pavement onto a nature track. Take time to look around, enjoy the
quiet. And stay awhile. With just this in mind, I took a roadtrip
this Winter. It took considerable effort and application to get
far enough away from the miles of housing developments, Walmarts,
national chain hotels, and the food and other outlets of all
kinds. Read about it-- http://4peaks.com/pprdhome.htm
I can make finding quiet much easier for you. Visit my Fourpeaks,
a natural place just hours from home. Get the views--
Enjoy the comfort and seclusion of a real Adirondack cabin--
Make some time to experience it! (Availability Calendar.)
Your Adirondack Guide,
P.S. If you liked this letter, save it for the links, and tell a
friend! If you didn't like it, please send it back with "REMOVE"
as the subject. Thanks.
Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau
This is No.21 of a really occasional Letter, "Hints of
Balsam and Pine from our Corner of the Adirondacks," for
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