It's your last summer vacation before college. It was supposed to be a once in a lifetime, knockdown drag-out, road trip with your best friends. Your parents on the other hand wanted to spend one more summer as a family before you left the nest. So they put the kiabash on your awesome plans and packed up the family van and headed north, to the Adirondack park.
Ah yes, the Adirondacks! The largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark.
The park covers some 6.1 million acres, a land area greater than Vermont, or of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined.
Much of the land is directly controlled by the state's Forest Preserve, but more than half the land within the Adirondack Park is privately owned, including several villages and hamlets.
Trees and lakes. Lakes and trees. The landscape rolls by for what seems like days as your car winds deep into the mountains along the old snaking rural routes. Towns blink by, some lasting only a few seconds. The roads are dotted with dirt and gravel trails branching off and worming into the thick forest, leading to God-knows-what.
Those hills old, and the park is massive. Hidden away in the northern portion of New York state. Even today much of the park is unexplored, not to say it isn't mapped, it is. Those maps can only show you the way, some things have to be seen with your own eyes. Then again, somethings shouldn't see the light of day.