Monday, July 26, 2010

Adirondack Country. William Chapman White (6)

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."
Another view of the Adirondack guide: "A more impudent, lazy, extortionate, and generally offensive
class... would be hard to find." P. 153................ "Each Adirondack guide worked in only one part of the
country and took pride in being known as a 'Lower Saranac,' a 'Loon Lake,' a 'Blue Mountain,' or a 'Lake
Pleasant' guide; he never guided a party outside his own district." P. 157................ "The Adirondack guide
boats had to be storm worthy; few guides ever learned to swim." P. 157............... "If the great number of
stories which they knew and which, in retrospect, they seemed to tell around the clock, were not all based
on personal experience, they were at least the guide's in the manner of telling." P. 158................ "Well, sir, I
remember one day I was hunting in the swale over to Ampersand and I'd fired my last bullet; all I had for a
weapon was a bottle of iodine when along come a ten-point buck; I hit him with that in the tail; the iodine
itched and the deer started scratching and by the time I catched up to him he'd rubbed himself all away; all
that was left was a pair of antlers; I got 'em home over the fireplace." P. 158
To be continued.

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