Saturday, May 8, 2010

Time Travel

Some places feel wild even if they aren't really. They've seen mining and quarrying and logging and dam-building and all sorts of activity. When I took this snapshot, I had been wandering through a very serene and wild feeling world, on my way to Bald Mountain. I didn't see or hear another human being for over 3 hours of steady wandering.

I have two state parks that are easy walking distance from my house. Since the closest one leads right into the other, it's even better, since I only have to walk through a little bit of suburbia to get there. But they aren't wild at all. They've been designed and landscaped a bit-- iris and daffodils have been planted near cozy little picnic areas under blossoming trees chosen to shade the picnickers. I enjoy seeing kids on bicycles or skateboards zip along on the black-topped paths. It's all good.

There are almost wild places within these parks, where you can dream as you go along, that you've gone back in time...

I hope to vacation in The Adirondacks this September. Here are some Bill McKibben quotes from his book
"Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape: Vermont's Champlain Valley and New York's Adirondacks."

" I'd hiked Giant several times in my life--the best was on the first anniversary of meeting my wife, Sue, when we walked up in a grey fog with a bottle of champagne, only to have the clouds instantly part as we sat on the summit, pulled away like stage curtains to reveal the late-September glory below."

"A world without Giant Mountain, or a Giant Mountain with a toll road on it, or a gondola, or an ATV mosh pit, seems more worth fighting against than ever. 'Forever Wild' as the New York Constitution puts it, even if 'wild' means a little less than it used to."