In two days, on December 13, it will be St. Lucia’s Day- the patron saint of light, which I mentioned in a post from about this time last year.
As the Northern Hemisphere plunges into its darkest time of year, I’m once again thinking lightward, but this time in visions of this past summer:
These were taken throughout the Adirondacks and Hudson Valley of New York during the summer of 2012 – Velvia 100 (water-damaged) in a Holga.
Here are a couple of related posts:
Cotton Candy It was that sort of summer- -wind that comes in like a breath of cotton candy From creaking boardwalks and sand it comes, filtered by the brilliance of long long days, and even longer nights.
Despite their location within 300 hundreds miles of New York City, the Adirondack Mountains are a world away. Along with the the backwoods of Maine, this area is the last great wilderness of the Northeastern United States. Spanning a territory larger than that of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Great Smoky, and the Grand Canyon National Parks combined, these mountains have the distinction of being part of the largest state-protected area in the lower 48 states. They are also unique in that the area covered by the Adirondack Park is a mixture of protected wilderness, towns, and logging. In many ways, for better and worse, it is an experiment in the balance between enterprise and nature- simultaneously a region of tiny towns and raw land, and a region that has twice hosted the Olympics.
Some areas of the mountains are so remote that the legendary source of the Nile was found by Europeans/Americans before the source of the Hudson, on the side of Mt. Marcy, the highest point in the state.
The earth here is deep-green and speckled with lakes, ponds, and streams, many of which are inaccessible by road, and many of which are interconnected. It is possible to canoe or kayak hundreds of miles, and even reach the St. Lawrence River. The Adirondacks have been catching rain for millennia.
Nestled in the heart of the mountains is Long Lake, a 14 mile long widening of the Raquette River, which has drawn summer visitors since the Gilded Age. Many areas of the lake are sparsely populated (especially towards the north end), but near the town one can do the usual summer activities – boating, waterskiing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, camping, etc. In addition, Long Lake is the home of Helm’s Aero Service, an outfit that, with reasonable rates, provides extraordinary aerial tours and excursions by floatplane. There is great mountain climbing in the area as well, with many hikes ending atop one of the legendary (and rickety!) Adirondack fire towers, peering over a huge landscape.
For all the daytime activity, people know how to chill here- fires and fishing abound as the sun falls, and the lake stills to glass, and the lucky few catch the haunting calls of the loons.
By the way, if you’re of the mind to canoe or kayak, head to Raquette River Outfitters, in town near the bridge. Stacy and the rest of the staff there are awesome and have a deep passion for the outdoors.