Monday, December 15, 2008
The Lost Guideboat
There are few things as essentially and uniquely Adirondack as the guideboat. I have thought about purchasing one for many years, but keep thinking that once I have it, I will never actually take it out. Since we built the house, I have spent most of my time focusing on the house and landscape, rather than the water and water activities. I used to waterski and swim almost every day and over the past ten years have stopped doing both. It's strange because I used to love going in the lake; now, it seems somehow unappealing. Anyway, back to the guideboat. Penwood had an antique guideboat that sat unused in the old garage, maybe it came with the camp when it was first bought by our family. Years later, it was donated to the Adirondack Museum. I guess it would have been expensive to restore and the Museum would accept it for its large collection of guideboats. But the thing that troubles me is that it is another lost piece of camp -- something gone and never to be recovered, like the original boathouse that burned down when guests started a fire in a broken fireplace; the pump house, torn down when it began to rot; and the hemlock bark shingles that covered the exterior of the camp, removed when they became infested with bugs. Would a new guideboat be the same as that old one that was somehow a part of the camp itself? If I did buy a new guideboat, there is a guideboat builder I would use that looks pretty good: Adirondack Guide Boat. The boats look beautiful and purely Adirondack.