Hey guys. Jessica here! It’s gettin sticky out, and when it gets to the sticky time of year my mind starts to wander. Dreaming of that summer escape that stills the body and unwinds the mind. Oh how I long for this. But I have a wedding to plan people, so there’s no time for that now. But wait… whats that thing that comes after the wedding, you know the part where you get all relaxey and romancey? Ahhh yes the HONEYMOON! Oh how I can not wait for the honeymoon.
Now I’d love to share with you my plans to jaunt through Europe before sailing off to that remote island that you haven’t yet heard of because it’s that uber esclusive, alas, I have no such plans. Poo. Another time perhaps. Not to worry though, I have a back up. I will scrap together whats left of our bank accounts after the money piii… uh wedding is over and fix us up something good, real good! I fancy myself the unfussy outdoorsy type, with a nostalgia for the simpler times (as I sit with my laptop and iphone simultaneously texting, chatting, typing. I said “fancy”) and I just so happen to live in an area of the country with an abundance of nature and history at my finger tips. Which brings me to my destination of choice, the Adirondack region of NY. It’s more than just chairs.
And now a brief history: The Adirondacks remained vastly unpopulated until the publication of “Adventures In The Wilderness” in 1968. An account of hunting, fishing and boating in the area. The following attention began a pilgrimage with the likes of J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers all claiming territory. The grand structures they built in the distinctive Adirondack style became known famously as “Great Camps”. Opulent compounds of intricate log and stone lodges, cabins and boat houses. Some compounds so lavish they included bowling alleys and covered walk ways between buildings. Now thats camping.
I love this account of Sagamore, the Vanderbilt great camp: “As the horse-drawn carriages drew near to camp, fires and Roman candles were lit all along the miles of road. It was part of a tradition; a drum roll of sorts, to alert people in camp that visitors were arriving and to tell the visitors that they were about to experience something extraordinary.
As the fires were lit, the woods would have come alive from the sound of the coach wheels, harnesses and the horses’ hooves striking gravel. Trail guides would have waved to the guests from their positions along the road. And then, as the carriages slowed, approaching the entrance to camp, the travelers would have felt the deep, healing peace of the Adirondacks.
And then as they came over the rise, Sagamore appears like a jewel. Those extraordinary wooden buildings set perfectly on the glittering lake with a manicured croquet lawn as its centerpiece. The lights in the Main Lodge, Dining Hall and cabins would have sent a warm glow across the compound; the smell of wood fires and delicious food wafting up from the kitchen. And at last, as the horses came to a rest, the weary travelers would know they had found heaven.”
Just a few of the original camps with there signature use of log construction and decorative branches. The Idea was to “blend in with” rather than intrude upon the land. Of course there were less elaborate camps for the not-so-elaborately wealthy. Lean-tos were a popular choice and still used today.
I have fallen in love with the romance and the charm of this vision. An idealized wilderness utopia created for entertainment and leisure. A secret escape for the the who’s who of the era. It’s all just too good. And while the “gilded years” may be over the nostalgia lives on. Only a few of the famous great camps still remain but there are many authentic Adirondack cabins and cottages with loads of charm. Being the area is still a hot spot for the booming northeast metropolis you can find everything from uber ritzy lodge-spas to fully restored hipster-esq 1930′s cabins. I’ll take it! So honey poo and I are on the look out for just the right combo of lost-in-the-woods and comfortably-cool accommodations.
I stumbled upon a pretty amazing collection of little gems here. All totally affordable and hipster approved.
I want to make pancakes in this kitchen.
I am sooooo looking forward to this.
There is nothing I am going to need more come September than some time in the woods. Away, far, far, away. Well actually like five hours.. but you get the point. I NEED THIS.
And talk about perfect timing. I recently learned a key piece of info thanks to one knotty bride; honeymoon registries. Uh yeah… how did I not know these thing existed? THA-RILLED! You bettah believe I signed my a** up! I don’t need no stinkin china! Here is the link to my registry www…. nah, I’m not THAT crazy :)
But I will accept your recommendations on hikes, food, activities, stuff-ta-do. Do you have any ideas for us? Any other outdoorsy types like me?
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. I will think fondly upon you as I bite into that killer antelope burger you suggested.
(Alison here! Jessica is one of our fabulous Real Bride Bloggistas, and she’s planning her Fall 2012 vintage wedding. Jessica is the coolest, and if you dig her half as much as I do, you can also check her out over at The SoupChic on Facebook. Note: thoughts expressed in guest posts are not necessarily the opinion of The Knotty Bride. Simply put, we encourage free speech.)