Smuggs Chronicle ’14, Day 16: August 9, 2014

wet road in forest

I awake at five. Toss and turn until seven. Then give up and center on the deck for the last time at Smuggs this season. Birdsongs, so different and yet similar, to home; the hum of AC units: they fill the air. The sky brightens, though it’s still quite cool.

We’ll soon depart. I feel the usual sadness arise at the though.

silence a perfectly still row of Laurels

We’re packed before ten. One last look off the deck, and we leave Mountain Laurel 15. Drive down Mountain View, past the Willows and Trailside Executives, the original condo communities of the resort, and Courtside Pool to the Visitor’s Center. Kim smiles pleasantly as she hands us our zero-balance sheet. One last glance at the Welcome Sign, the Smuggler’s Notch Sign, the Village Lodge and Meeting House: then, we drive out and away.

Later, on the ferry to Plattsburg, I watch Grand Isle—our last stop in Vermont—fade from view.

churning wake a final view of Mount Mansfield

The cavernous sides of Ausable Chasm in the Adirondacks rise over thirty stories above us. Fissures and stone formations, with names like elephant’s head and Cathedral, emerge from either side of our trail. The path continues.

upside-down evergreens on the cliff face bathe in the sun

We take Frankie’s photo with the rainbow falls in the background. A sign states that it’s the most photographed waterfall in the Adirondacks, a miniature Niagara pouring into the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

I then take a photo of Mira and Frankie together with the Ausable River in the background. Its roar echoes of the cliff walls.

visitors boarding rafts the road of a rushing cascade

A walk through the big dry chasm. A shuttle ride back. Lunch. The Runaway Railroad museum visit. Then the drive south, leaving first the Adirondacks, then the Capital, and finally the Catskills behind.

A full moon over the Hudson Highlands welcomes us home

Photo by John Arano

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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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