The needles of the pine
All to the west incline.
CONCORD, _July_ 19, 1842.
Summer and winter our eyes had rested on the dim outline of the mountains in our horizon, to which distance and indistinctness lent a grandeur not their own, so that they served equally to interpret all the allusions of poets and travellers; whether with Homer, on a spring morning, we sat down on the many-peaked Olympus, or, with Virgil and his compeers, roamed the Etrurian and Thessalian hills, or with Humboldt measured the more modern Andes and Teneriffe. Thus we spoke our mind to them, standing on the Concord cliffs.--
Henry David Thoreau ... Beginning Line of "A Walk to Wachusett"
In 1842, Henry David Thoreau and companion Richard Fuller sauntered from Concord, Mass. to the western mountain called Wachusett. Inasmuch as no one had done a reenactment of that journey when I came upon the essay in 2003, it became a project for me. In the summer of 2005, I completed the walk. I am sure that were Henry alive today, he would approve of changes on the mountain, changes which improve the summit and enhance the experience of all who visit.
And while this blog has heretofore been a report on the progress of the construction of a new fire tower, today's report is a report on what it means to the people, and this of course, is certainly part of what the Commonwealth was building all along.
The Freedom's Way National Heritage Area (www.freedomsway.org) asked me a while back if I would be interested in leading a walk on the mountain during the summer following the route that I described in my book Walking to Wachusett: A Reenactment of Henry David Thoreau's "A Walk to Wachusett". http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rmyoung Naturally I agreed.
|Still Life by Alan Rohwer|
It was the beginning of a wonderful day. We had 32 people join us at the Visitor's Center. Following a brief introduction, we moved down the road about a mile to the Superintendent's House where we would walk to High Meadow, move down Bicentennial Trail and finally join the Mountain House Trail which is my best guess as to how Thoreau ascended the mountain back in 1842.
|Group Assembles at Superintendent's House|
|Headed to High Meadow|
|Gathering Along at Bicentennial / Mt. House|
|Bob with Mark Spencer|
|Rest Stop on the Rocks|
|Rest Stop at Jack Frost Trail|
|Almost there - Up-Summit Road Crossing|
|Final Push to the Summit|
|Summit in Sight|
|Kim Protects Us From the Trffic|
|The Tent Mystery Revealed|
Many years ago, when camping on Wachusett mountain, having carried up milk for drink because there was no water here, I picked blueberries enough through the holes in the buffalo skin on which I lay in my tent to have berries and milk for supper. from Wild Fruits.
|New Tower with Fire Ranger's On Site|
|Interpreter Kim and participants - What a View!|
|Observation Deck in Use|
|View to the East|
|Alice Hollaran Meets Bob|
|First Ladder to the Ranger Cab|
|North to Monadnock|
|Down ... Crossing Up-Summit Road|
And now that we have returned to the desultory life of the plain, let us endeavor to import a little of that mountain grandeur into it. HDT, A Walk to Wachusett