“I got up and shook my sleeping bag. And there on the road, six feet from my bed, so freshly imprinted in thick dust that I half expected to find the cause still strolling down the road, I saw a perfect set of bobcat tracks. The low sun floodlit their indentations in sharp relief. As in a coarse-grained photograph, each speck of dust had value. I could almost hear the animal padding past while I slept.
After breakfast I walked on northward along the road. The bobcat tracks preceded me. The plateau that the road cut across was not a particularly beautiful place: just a rolling tableland with dark, buttony junipers dotting the pale green sagebrush. But some special quality in the light gave it a quickening vividness…
I was standing still, devouring every detail of the scene, when for some reason I remembered it was Monday. Back in San Francisco another weekend was over. All around the world people were pouring back into their squirrel cages.
And all at once I understood how lucky I was. For the first time I saw quite clearly that what mattered in The Walk were the simple things -- snow and vivid light and sharp-grained bobcat tracks. My exhilaration swelled up and overflowed. And when at last I walked on past the two juniper trees toward the far side of the plateau I found I was feeling sorry for any man who was not free to abandon whatever futility detained him and to walk away into the desert morning with a pack on his back.”
-- Colin Fletcher (1922-2007), The Thousand-Mile Summer (Oak Tree Publications, 1964)
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September will be arriving in less than 3 weeks, and we’ll be starting the month with our next-to-last wilderness camping trip of the year, our 4-day Labor Day weekend trip (9/1-4) in the Lake George Wild Forest area of NY’s spectacular Adirondack Park.
If you haven’t already reserved, and don’t yet have plans for that holiday weekend, consider joining us on a peaceful yet potentially exhilarating end-of-summer mini-vacation, where we’ll be hiking in several easy miles to camp at a wild and beautiful mountain lake and taking day hikes from there (ranging from easy to advanced-moderate).
Once we’ve set up our tents, all day hikes are optional, and swimming is another possibility each day. If you haven’t camped before you’re very welcome to join us, but it’s important to have some hiking experience. If you’re new to wilderness camping, you can learn everything you need to know on the trip and beforehand.
After Labor Day weekend we have our final camping trip of the year coming up in October, our 4-day Columbus Day weekend trip in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness of the southeastern Adirondacks, where we’ll be camping near the shore of extremely scenic, lake-size Rock Pond. This also happens to be fall foliage time in the Adirondacks, and magnificent fall colors are the norm here – typically the most impressive we see on any of our autumn trips.
Every year we have beginners on our trips, along with seasoned campers (some of you have been coming with us on these trips for 10-20 years!). If you’re tempted to give wilderness camping a try why not now? You’re virtually certain to experience many of the rewards and pleasures that almost always make these trips memorable, and that bring enthusiasts back year after year. If you’ve been before, why not imbibe another delicious dose of wilderness before fall arrives?
Both of our two remaining camping trips still have spaces available, which may not remain the case for long (when a trip will fill is impossible to predict, but this year’s Memorial Day weekend & July 4th weekend trips filled many weeks in advance). To reserve, or if you have questions about these trips and what’s involved, send an e-mail or call (845)357-3380.
-- Charlie Cook