Lower Ausable Lake
A September day was trying to hold on to summer while I climbed a loop that took me up to Sawteeth, then down the lesser used Scenic Trail, yellowing in dotted lines on my Adirondack High Peaks map. The path down had been kind of mind numbing, my senses concentrating on caution, given the steep nature of this more primitive trail. In late afternoon I hit a wall, and stopped at Outlook #2, still a mile and a couple hundred vertical from the end of the lake, where I would cross the barrier and begin the long hike out. Next to me is a large erratic that occupies this flat outcrop of gneiss. I feel a certain camaraderie of having also tumbled down the mountain and come to rest, to gaze out on the evidence of the great ice sheet that once wedged its way through the this part of the Adirondack Dome. It hurts the mind to guess at how long it took for a glacier to move down to the vanishing point of the lake. It stretches below me like time itself. As a record of the past, you must reimagine the landscape as barren, scraped raw in the ice’s retreat, most of that hidden now under generations of growth. Harder to imagine is the future, hidden in the deep, sun speckled waters and what would be a slow movement through an uncharted forest, towards a horizon less than blue. So I see it now, looking back at a moment some years ago, when I breathed unburdened with history past or to come, only concerned with the outlook of the rest of the day.