The “Williams Camp Early History” diaries, written by a young doctor from Boston in the early 1900’s say, “We are thoroughly en see some new joying ourselves these days. It takes…almost three days to get really broken in so you enjoy things -- I mean so they all sink in and make an impression. The first day or two you see the mountains and their beauty and you appreciate the place, but not for three days or so do you get all there is to get out of it. Then it begins to sink in deeper and deeper and you see new beauties in everything, and every time you turn towards those grand old mountains you see some new thing to fill your soul with wonder and admiration.” Wednesday, January 10, 1912
The writer was sitting across the cove from us when he wrote those words. The pond hasn’t changed a great deal in 100 years. It still is a “wild” pond, an untouched wilderness. Yes, a little more accessible as we came in by road instead of by canoe, but in essence, the “grand old mountains” are still looking down on us.
The wildest part of Loon Lodge is the loons. The cry of loons signals wilderness, and their eerie laughter across the pond on a dark night can still raise the hair on the back of my neck. This year there are at least ten loons, but four seem to like our cove.
Morning mist blanketed the pond as the sun rose this morning. And like frigates taking against the wind, the four sailed past the dock. Two are adults, two are full grown fledglings, but their color is rusty brown instead of the stark black and white so distinctive of the adult loons.
Mid-morning there was a fishing lesson. The two adults cruised back and forth, dipping their heads and coming up with little fish, and then smoothly transferring them to the beaks of the “kids” in a swift, seamless move. Later afternoon apparently was diving lessons. One adult, two fledgies. Adult dives and comes up, two fledgies dive and come up. Over and over, right in front of the dock, cruising back and forth. Just before supper one fledgie came and hung out in front of the dock, preening feathers, practicing dives, and incredibly, coming up with fish in its beak. Lessons learned.
Dark has fallen, and it is incredibly black. There is no moon, just starshine out across the pond. When you stand on the dock and look out, you can see the water shining, and the dark outline of the mountains. When you look back, if we have turned off all the gas lights in the lodge, it is black as pitch.
Day three settles into a rhythm. The silence is overpowering. The emptiness is overwhelming. The glory of the wilderness is “filling my soul with wonder and admiration.”