Today (my first full day in the Adirondacks) I continued to be amazed at how the builders of this place spared no expense to bring the luxuries of their urban mansions to the wild. Camp Huntington has not one by two (maybe three?) boat docks, kerosene lanterns (now fitted with electric bulbs) were used as streetlights of a sort along the paths through camp, and one of the ‘rustic cottages’ has a 7 ft bathtub. To what extent this actually enhanced the experience of nature is debatable but I can now tell you from experience that it is really nice to stay some place where nearly all the conveniences of modern life have been brought to a remote and scenic location. There are kayaks and canoes (and a small sailboat) waiting and available for me to use, meals are announced every 4-5 hours, today free rides in a seaplane were available, and a somehow each evening a campfire has been (magically?) produced right by the water.
As you can see I’m living a very luxurious wilderness experience much like the builder of this place would have expected (we even have wifi). I don’t have any poignant thoughts about this at the moment except to say that this kind of experience has become easier to have since the 1870’s. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live it up in the woods, stay at the paradise hotel in Mt Rainier, or take a cruise to Alaska, or snorkel in coral reef. What are the effects good and bad of more people being able to have these easy convenient ‘wilderness’ experiences? I’m not at all sure but I think its important to consider those questions.