What if a large lake stood between you and the trail you wanted to hike? That is exactly the situation at Big Moose in the western Adirondacks.
Moxham is a multi-peaked mountain that straddles the Essex-Warren county line. At about 2441 feet in elevation, it is well off the list of the highest summits in the park—actually, its highest point is just about even with quite a few ponds in the central highlands.
She was a pit bull, a tough dog by her own estimation and not one to pass up an adventure. The Hunter of Frogs, the Chewer of Sticks, the Champion of Tug-of-War, a dog with an 0-for-3 score to settle with the porcupines. But here she was being undone by half a mile of ice.
If there is one time of the year that I wish would last much longer, it’s the period from mid-September through mid-October. The lack of bugs, the cool days and cooler nights, the brilliant sunshine and the crisp moonlit forests — these are all the things that form the roots of life’s deepest pleasures.
When I moved to Upstate New York in 2013, acquaintances kept telling me about the Adirondacks, how magical they are, with their steep-sided mountains and layers of forest, mirror-calm lakes and clear-flowing creeks; bears, moose, loons. Having lived most of my adult life in the West and coming to New York from interior Alaska, I was skeptical, but hopeful. Could there really be such a large protected area in the Eastern U.S.?
As he ate the moose slowly moved toward shore, unperturbed by his mucky environment, his ears occasionally flicking away a nuisance fly. From what I could make out through the camera’s viewfinder his bulbous nose spent much time in the water. Then he would lift his head up, displaying his broad rack like hands splayed in supplication. They looked ponderous, an evolutionary over-indulgence, even if I already knew that evolution had produced much larger racks on other cervids lost to extinction.