I was out walking on a trek
through forested Adirondack hills,
looking for a good place to camp,
to drop my pack and just chill.
It was a weekend excursion,
and I’d already done eight miles,
seeking out the kind of peace
a man only finds in the wild.
Summiting a gentle knoll,
the forest dropped by the wayside,
for a moment I couldn’t register
what lay before my eyes.
There stood a sprawling logging camp,
hewn from rough, fallen trees,
and a beaten path where horses
had trod upon the scene.
I stood there in stunned silence,
how could this all exist?
How could they be profitable,
and in this modern world persist?
Maybe It was a niche thing,
some sort of nostalgic deal,
or a camp of recreationists
who wanted to make it ‘real.’
Just then one of the ‘jacks waved,
and I walked into their camp,
He smiled, saying,”You look like
a right regular deep woods tramp.
“Cookee’s serving up chow soon,
why don’t you come and stay,
we can always find a spare bunk,
you won’t get in the way.”
Now a hot meal in the deep woods
is not something to turn down,
so I went inside and feasted
On beef, beans, and bread brown.
After eating I settled on in
to the spacious, if rank, bunk room.
The men told stories of their times,
of log drives and forest gloom.
Their names were Dutch, Red, Albert,
Guillame, Flash, and Scotty,
They frowned but once, when they said
they sure missed their friend Guy.
We all played cards to pass time,
and a few smoked long pipes,
one by one we all dripped off,
and slept a quiet, peaceful night.
The next morning after flapjacks
I set back upon my path,
and waved to the fellows true
who’d recreated the past.
They were such a friendly lot
that I went back two more times,
a fine summer, I do say so,
but something itched in my mind…
That itch came to the forefront
one chilly, October morn,
I was talking with my good bud,
local historian Nick DeLorn.
Nick had a brace of posters,
pictures of old logging camps.
He was putting them up above
the town museum’s wheel-chair ramp...
CONCLUDES IN PART II
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2018