Almanack Contributor Teresa Desantis

Teresa Desantis

Teresa DeSantis is a freelance cartographer, organic gardener, and backwoods explorer.

She is currently working on a book of her experiences in the out-of-doors. She can be contacted at teresadesantis@studioboreas.com





Sunday, May 5, 2013

Going Solo: Considering An Adirondack Retirement

101_1541Earlier this April, my friend retired full-time to an Adirondack lake shaped like a large starfish.  She wrote to say that ice-out was last Friday, and that she was having quite a time adjusting to her retirement.

“Retirement?  Having a hard time adjusting?  What could be so hard?” I found myself thinking.  Unplug the alarm clock.  When you wake up, relax and savor the sounds of an Adirondack by-the-lake morning.  Listen to the wind in the pines. Hear the creaking and groaning of the ice, replaced by soft spring waters and an endless sunrise.  What’s not to like?

At mid-career, moving frantically through my business each week, an Adirondack retirement like my friend’s is a treasure.  Our lives are so busy, why not a permanent unwind?


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Going Solo: Organizing Backcountry Gear

Camping_Equipment_(542927498)I read with pleasure Dan Crane’s recent post “The Anxiety Of An Empty Backpack.”  I always thought it was only women who had problems deciding what, and how to pack.  Friends have told me that my motto is to “Make every trip an expedition!”

Many women have anxiety about traveling alone, but filling a 40-50 lb pack with gear and going out into the “howling wilderness” by themselves can be another matter altogether.  Since packing for a backpack can seem so onerous, time-consuming, and just plain confusing,  I came up with short-cuts over the years to save time, and to lessen the ever-present fear of leaving something important behind. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Going Solo: Ferris Lake Wild Forest’s Goldmine Creek

18March2013GoldmineIndigoJust up the road from Powley Place is a tree which is occasionally blazed with a ribbon. This is the start of the Goldmine Trail in the 147,000-acre Ferris Lake Wild Forest. The unmarked trail starts wide and broad and then narrows. The trail squeezes among the spruce, which scratch at my thighs and try to tear the backpack from my back. (Is this the price of admission?) Finally, after a thrash up the trail, I reach the vicinity of the Goldmine Falls, and set up my tent.

I’m camped near Goldmine Creek. I checked the high water mark on the rocks and shore. What if something bursts upstream? This stream is draining such a wide area. It drains Morehouse Lake, and the Coon Vly, and half a dozen little wetlands spread out like little beads on a silken necklace of streams in the aerial photo I’ve brought along. » Continue Reading.