My friend Gordon Fisher has become an expert on the history and utility of Adirondack guideboats and paddles. Here’s a link to his website http://adirondack-guideboat.com/index.html In his book titled Guideboat Paddles, An Adirondack Treasure, he tells about the use and evolution of these graceful vessels and their elegant if short-lived use on the waterways of upstate New York. I like the lightness and simplicity of the boats and the ease with which they transported guides and hunters quietly into sensory experiences on earth quite extraordinary . Gordon includes this quotation by John Burroughs, from the environmentalist’s essay, “Nate’s Pond”.
The surface of the lake, when we reached the center, was slightly luminous from starlight, and the dark, even forestline that surrounded us, doubled by reflection in the water, presented a broad, unbroken belt of utter blackness. The effect was quite startling, like some huge conjurer’s trick. It seemed as if we had crossed the boundary line between the real and the imaginary, and this was indeed the land of shadows and spectres. What magic oar was it that the guide wielded that it could transport me to such a realm!