Smuggler’s Notch 2012 Travelogue, Part III

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August 22nd

Sterling Pond, blue water rippling. Madonna rises behind it, a mother holding a bowl on her lap. All the short breaths and hard sweats on the steps of the Sterling Pond Trail ascending above the Notch are forgotten.

We snack and lounge
At this mountain pond

Spruce Peak overlooks the surrounding mountains. Camel’s Hump rises in the distance. We see all of Mansfield’s features.

Our legs are so much trembling Jell-o by the time we finish our descent of the Rumrunner’s Trail. The Sterling-Madonna Base Lodge at the trail’s base is a sudden oasis of rest.

Verdant Vistas
Overcome by our own

Peeling red paint on weather-worn siding of a glorified barn — not an auspicious first impression!

We wait to be seated. The décor is both trendy and quaint: Dim light, dark paneling, streamers with various-colored lights, sombreros on one wall.

Seated at last, we order. My enchilada is as good as any I had at home. A delightful surprise!

Summer sunset
A bite of refried beans, washed down
with sangria

The fire beckons every child with a stick and marshmallow. Then Goodtime Charlie arrives to sing and strum.

Larry and Erica join us. Their daughter hops along to the music on both feet.

“Nice Night! Cool Night!”
Beyond the songs and “Hot Fire!”
Summer stars


next: Read Smuggler’s Notch 2012 Travelogue, Part IV

previous: Read Smuggler’s Notch 2012 Travelogue, Part II


photograph by Jordan McQueen


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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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