A paddling classic back in print with new maps, photos, details, and afterword.
Christine Jerome walked into the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY, and promptly fell in love with a 9-foot, 10½-pound canoe named the Sairy Gamp. More than a century before, in 1883, the Sairy Gamp had been paddled and portaged through the Adirondacks by a sixty-one-year-old writer named George Washington Sears (his pen name was Nessmuk). The more Jerome learned about Sears, the more she wanted to follow his route, despite her lack of camping or canoeing experience. In August 1990 she embarked in a 9-foot canoe made of Kevlar and, with her husband, John, accompanying her in a slightly larger boat, set off to retrace Sears’s journey.
An Adirondack Passage is part social history, part natural history, part biography of Sears, and part chronicle of a voyage. Summer turns to fall while the Jeromes make their way north, through sunshine and storms, down cottage-lined lakes and lonely wild streams. Gusting winds bully their light canoes and by mid-September the days are colder and shorter; but the longer they paddle, the more attached they become to the beauty around them. Canada geese fly overhead, monarch butterflies flutter southward, and on the larger lakes, young loons gather for their first migration to the sea. Along the way the author pauses to tell us what Sears saw when he passed by, and what happened to his favorite haunts in the ensuing century. As the history of the region unfolds we meet hermits and millionaires, hunting guides and society women, hotelkeepers and dime-novel writers, and one lost dancing bear.
Christine Jerome has given us a memorable wilderness experience that readers who have never lifted a paddle will find fascinating and invigorating.
This new release from Breakaway Books is the third edition, revised and updated with extra photos, maps, and a new afterword.
PRAISE FOR AN ADIRONDACK PASSAGE
“A fine piece of work and a great delight. ”
“An enchanting record of a canoe trip.”
—The New Yorker
“A writer of fine and watertight prose. . . . An Adirondack Passage is uncategorizable—at once history, naturalism, sociology, and a love story—but unfailingly graceful.”
“Personal, witty, and thoughtful—one of the best introductions to the area ever produced.”
“As refreshing a break from the busyness of life as I’ve come across in awhile.”
“The writing . . . is a constant pleasure. Jerome has a style that suits her subject, quiet and gentle as a paddle in still water. She delivers her lore with wit and whimsy, with fine descriptions and without shrill preaching or righteous posturing.”
“The closest thing to a national nonfiction best-seller that the region has seen in ages, and deservedly so.”
“A captivating account. . . . She takes us into a world of hermits and millionaires, of wild streams and glorious mountain scenery.”
“A delightful tale. . . . An informative, readable adventure whose history and environmental lessons are taught well.”