|fishing on the island|
Where do I go and what do I do when I unplug? My family and I spend most summer weekends in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. The Adirondack Park Region is one the most unique parks in our country and possibly the world. It is the largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark. The park covers some 6.1 million acres, a land area greater than Vermont, or than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined. However, over half of the area is privately owned*
Because the park is a combination of private and state owned land there can be a lot of tension at times between the year round residents and the state, especially the state’s environmental protection depart, who’s job it is to protect the wildlife of the area. Of course, local residents benefit from visitors to the park in the summer and fall months, but the winter can be harsh both in climate and in commerce. Local residents want to develop more land and are looking for year long industry, like the timber business that is not as prosperous as it once was, to help support the local economy.
The Adirondack's has alway been a place of extremes. Extremes socially: the Gilded Age elite built their own private railroads to carry them to the wilds of the Adirondack's to their “camps” as any size vacation home in the Adirondack's is called. Some of these “Great Camps” as they are called, are open to the public. I have visited one of these "Great Camps" the Sagamore, more than once... it is so funny to think that the millionaires of the 1800’s bothered to travel so far from New York City to be in nature, and yet really didn’t do without many of their city comforts. There is a bowling alley at the Sagamore along with communication lines from the outdoor camping areas to the servant’s quarters.... you know in case you want some tea and biscuits while "roughing it".
Our refuge is fairly remote. We stay in a log cabin on an island in the middle of one of the larger lakes in the Northeastern part of the park. We do have electricity and phone service, but no TV or radios. Kids are electronics free, and adults are asked to limit their computer and phone time, so we can all get a break from our media driven world.
We spend most of our days fishing, canoeing, reading books and playing board games. Occasionally we go hiking and my husband is looking into buying a sailboat. We bring friends up often and enjoy good food and drinks on the deck.
I hope you have an opportunity this summer to unplug and reconnect with family and friends. It is so important to try to do this. The stress of always needing to be connected is wearing on all of us. So please, this summer try to spend a few weekends with your phone and computer shut off even if you are not away from home. Give your nerves a rest and reconnect with the simple life.
The following are some pictures from a visit with friends. Most of these retro shots were taken by a friend who is a very talented graphic designer check out his site: http://www.smaydesign.com/
* Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adirondack_Park