The Adirondack hamlet of Long Lake and its cadre of seaplanes have been a favorite subject of mine over the past years since I came to New York, but I was particularly lucky on this evening to arrive at sunset on this nearly longest day of the year. Huge banks of clouds in the distance mark exactly where I imagine the aircraft exploring.
Students bring energy and excitement to my world, so there’s no more exciting time of the year than the start of fall. Though the school year has just ended and summer is beginning, I’m already looking forward to the next season. I live in some bizarro-world version of what I remember experiencing as a boy, when I awaited the start of summer and dreaded the return of the school year.
In the past week, I’ve explored the Adirondacks in autumn. This particular setting (just across the street from last week’s sea plane) is another irreducible representation of the glassy water, expansive sky, and intimate beaches of the region. Though we’re officially into fall, I’m pretty confident that these canoes and kayaks are going to see at least a few more weeks’ use. (Will they be dodging icebergs eventually?)
Driving through the Adirondacks during these first few weekends of fall, the summer vacationers are in full retreat. The rear guard hangs on for a few more weeks as the trees turn to oranges and reds, but the end is near. Even if I know rationally that the sea plane is grounded (watered?) for the night, I can’t help but imagine the plane waiting to carry away the summer’s strong survivors.
The seaplanes dotting the shores of Long Lake offer amazing views and transportation to visitors to the aptly-named Long Lake. On this rainy Sunday afternoon, however, they were quietly bobbing by their docks. The 1960s-era motels, the float planes, the miniature beaches and vacation homes: driving through Adirondack Park is like taking a step back in time. (The complete absence of cell reception furthers the effect.)