Apr 09 2013
Like Rick, we came for the waters. Unlike the wise-cracking proprietor of Casablanca’s hottest nightspot, however, we found them. We’d come to scout a whitewater drop on a river only ten miles from our home. So far, everything had gone according to plan. The two-lane town road narrowed to one. The pavement gave way to gravel, then the gravel turned to dirt and the road ended in a bulldozed clearing. Just beyond lay a towering mound of trash and discarded household appliances. This didn’t appear on the Chamber of Commerce’s recreation map, but we weren’t surprised. The distinction between public land and public dump is often ignored in New York’s North Country.
We didn’t let this discourage us, though. We ignored the stink of rotting garbage and the lazy, droning flies. It was a glorious autumn day, and we could hear falling water singing in the distance. Leaving our kayaks on the roof rack, we bushwhacked down to the riverbank through a tangle of mixed second-growth. One look round and we knew it was no-go: the stream was too narrow and too obstructed for our touring kayaks. The next time, we agreed, we’d bring the pack canoes.
We climbed back toward the truck, enjoying the unusually warm fall weather and paying little attention to our route. After all, we were on public land. Or so we thought. We began to have doubts when we came across the first salt block. By the time we saw a permanent tree-stand, our doubts had become certainties. We knew we were trespassing.
So did the four guys standing on the road where we broke out of the woods. They were all suited up in woodland camouflage, and each cradled a rifle in his arms. They didn’t look welcoming. “Oh, Hell!” we both muttered. And the chords of “Dueling Banjos” started echoing in my imagination… Read more…
Questions? Comments? Just click here!