Last weekend a friend of mine and I went to the Adirondacks. I haven't been there for a while, but it always feels like a homecoming, like visiting the house of an old friend. No matter what is happening in the world, Giant Mountain guards the Keene Valley, the Ausable River runs from the Lake under Route 73 and Chapel Pond is more glorious than any cathedral I have ever visited.
We decided to hike from South Meadow to the Marcy Dam, which actually was wiped out by Hurricane Irene, but will always mark that spot which is the gateway to many of the high peaks. It is a very modest hike, but my friend is very patient and I am ecstatic to be hiking in the Adirondacks.
The path is really along a road of sorts. I say of sorts because it is probably just enough road to accommodate emergency vehicles and trail crews. The path is lined with woods - deciduous trees that have given up their leaves and sturdy conifers who stand in green hope all year long. The road is crisscrossed with some bridges over streams. The sound of running water and swishing pines fills the air with a quiet melody. The air is heady with the smell of balsam and wet earth. These streams are laced with ice which clings to the rocks and bobs on branches. The sculptures created are mesmerizing.
The sky is brilliant blue, shimmering on every tree branch, cascading through the hemlocks and balsam in rays of gentle light. This is my favorite - these rays which dapple the boughs and turn them into deep mysteries. I am always reminded of Creator reaching down and caressing all of nature in care.
How are you experiencing this "shoulder season" - the time between Fall and Winter?