Tuesday, July 20, 2021

To Lapland with Zia

     Conventional wisdom says we have kids to be reborn ourselves. To see the world anew thru the eyes of our children as they grow, explore and discover. Sometimes it actually works that way. Other times you want to close your eyes, shake your head and wonder ... 'What's happening?' That's when you start to think, maybe it would be easier to just get a puppy.

     With no offense to our wonderful child ( whose all grownup anyway ), we recently decided to get a puppy. Gwenne found an Amish family whose female Norwegian Elkhound had rendezvoused with a male poodle to produce a litter of seven little ones. That's how Zia, at eight weeks of age, came to live with us.

     Have we been reborn or are we just a couple of senior citizens doing our best to keep up with this furry bundle of unlimited energy? Well....  One things for sure, we laugh a whole lot more than we used to. And our activity level has gone up a few notches. Mostly plenty of walks on the farm where there are many things for a puppy to see and smell ( and chew ). But after Zia had been here a week or so and proven she could cover some distance, we decided it was time for her first real hike.

     We picked a day when a torrential downpour didn't seem imminent and drove up to the Black Mountain trailhead on Pike Brook Road in the Town of Dresden. But Black Mountain,  Washington County's highest peak, wasn't our destination. It seemed a little ambitious to ask Zia to do a steep climb her first time out. Besides, though Black Mountain has thrilled generations with its breathtaking views of northern Lake George, it has now been trashed by New York State with antennas, chain link fences and a noisy, obtrusive windmill. Its summit seems more like a junkyard than an oasis of natural beauty. Sad, but that's the way it is.

Old postcard view of Black Mountain looming above Lake George
web image

      So we chose to visit Lapland Pond instead. It's a two mile hike with little climbing involved. It's a 13 acre pond with brook trout fishing and a lean-to for camping. A rock ledge slopes down from the campsite to the water and makes a good place to enjoy snacks and the scenery. 

     Lapland is one of several ponds in the wild forest on the east side of Lake George and it's the easiest to visit. Continuing on the trail past Lapland leads to Millman and then Fishbrook Pond. At 35 acres, Fishbrook is the largest of the cluster of ponds. It has two lean-tos, good swimming and has been stocked with the native Horn Lake strain of brook trout.

     Most of the ponds drain east into the South Bay of Lake Champlain. The Black Mountain Ponds are the exception with their outlet stream tumbling precipitously west into Lake George. The land here is a tilted block of the Earth's crust with a steeply faulted slope facing west, thus creating the dramatic scenery Lake George is famous for. The dip to the east is gentler but also collects more drainage, channeling it into the upper reaches of Lake Champlain.

Black Mountain rises above this beaver pond and lodge on the trail to Lapland Pond

     Zia did great on her first outing although she was tempted to follow another hiker who called her "The cutest puppy in the Adirondacks." It took a little coaxing but she finally decided to stay with us. As for this old farmer, I've been to Lapland Pond many times before, but damned if it didn't look first-time fresh this trip. As if I was looking at it anew thru young eyes... 



     P.S.  Gwenne says 'Zia' means source of light, splendor and glow. OK, but I sometimes think of her as May Ham. Like right after she has just chewed up some of my important papers. A cure for boredom and a test of patience, all in one lovable bundle.

No comments:

Post a Comment