Up in the High Peaks today, the mountains brooded and sulked a bit as they tried to cast off the last vestiges of winter, like a huge, waking dog shaking off the hazy mantle of sleep. Green was just popping out up here, as the snow and ice hung on in a few places like Chapel Pond, below.
There were a couple of guys in a rowboat with two spin cast rigs, dragging around who knows what, in search of big spring Brook Trout. They looked cold, distracted, and not terribly happy as the oar lock’s creaking echoed off the cliffs across the pond. I noticed they had two paper bags from Subway sitting out on top of their bright red cooler, and I remember thinking to myself, “If you’re smart boys, you’ll hang onto those subs, because as I look in my crystal ball, I wouldn’t count on trout for dinner tonight!” Just then the sun popped out for one of its brief appearances today, and I took it as a sign to move on toward Lake Placid.
As you can see to the right, I didn’t get very far before I came across evidence of what had happened to the rest of the snow I remembered seeing piled so high in this little valley only weeks ago. As I told my boys, this last winter was more like those I remember from when I was their age than any since they were born. The snow came in early, the day after Halloween for us down home in the Hudson Valley. There were still plenty of snow capped peaks as I wound my way through the little town of Keene at the foot of Kerosene Hill. As the van climbed up toward the Cascade Lakes, I decided to pay a visit to an old friend to see how it had fared over the winter.
This is the fabled “Stagecoach Rock”, if you look carefully you can see the image of a stagecoach etched into the rock that sits beside the road at the head of Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes on your way into Lake Placid. Over the years it’s worn a bit, but you can still make it out, although it’s a bear to photograph. (This one to the left I found on the internet, the one below is mine.) Over the years I’ve heard more stories about how this thing got here than you can shake a stick at! Everything from Aliens, to immigrant road workers, to the director of the Museum of Natural History hiring the local gravestone carver to come up and do it in the dark of night just to weird people out! However it got here, I think it’s cool, and the next time you drive by you should check it out!