It was early afternoon of a warm, windless July day, eight years ago. Bits of sunlight flecked the ground, filtered by the dark foliage of the forest stand in which I found myself. Minutes before I had been with my family, gathered together in conference along a faint trail. Now I was alone, off trail, pushing through a phalanx of young hardwood growth dotted with cedar, hemlock and spruce. Though my wife and three sons were spread out in the woods somewhere within shouting distance, the only sound I could hear was that of my own labor, of leafy branches pushing past my ears as I forged up a steep and uneven rise.
As I have so many times in the Adirondacks I felt a deep sense of loneliness. No doubt due in part to the nature of my quest I experienced that disconcerting and enchanting feeling of being unmoored from time, as though I might next encounter Alvah Dunning or Mitchell Sabattis at the top of the ridge… or more to the point, David Henderson. I imagined that my explorations might channel me back in time more than a century, never to see my family again, instead to have to live a life out of any generation I have known, perhaps as a guide or trapper of old. » Continue Reading.