Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adirondack Country. William Chapman White (1).

New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1954.

Why read it? The history of the Adirondacks, the names, the lakes, the peaks, the guides and impressions of the tourists and the seasons. “As a man tramps the woods to the lake…he knows he will find pines and lilies, blue heron and golden shiners, shadows on the rocks and the glint of light on the wavelets, just as they were in the summer of 1954, as they will be in 2054 and beyond; he can stand on a rock by the shore and be in a past he could not have known, in a future he will never see; he can be a part of time that was and time yet to come.”

“Almost all the Adirondack peaks have those rounded tops, worn by storm and time.” P. 11. ………. “The belief that between two mountains there must be a valley is not always true in the Adirondacks; likely as not, a lake is there instead.” P. 11. ………. “Two ambitions have marked Adirondack climbing: the first was to climb every one of the forty-six peaks over four thousand feet; a second ambition, popular twenty years ago, was to start as early in the morning as a man could wake, and by going in marathon fashion see how many peaks, what total elevation, and what mileage could be made in one day.” P. 13. ………. “Men have tried to describe mountain scenery and mountain views; it is futile.” P. 13. ………. John Cheney, mountain guide, 1837: “It makes a man feel what it is to have all creation under his feet.” P. 14. ………. “The Adirondack country has more than 1345 lakes named, and more nameless.” P. 14. ………. “Lake Champlain is not usually counted as an Adirondack lake; if it were it would far surpass all of them in size and depth, for it is 107 miles long and 12 miles wide at its widest, with a depth of four hundred feet at one place.” P. 15.

To be continued.

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