An immersive journey into the past, present, and future of a region many consider the Northeast’s wilderness backyard.
Out of all the rural areas of the United States, including those in the West, which are bigger and propped up by more pervasive myths about adventure and nation and wilderness and freedom, the Adirondacks has accumulated a well-known identity beyond its boundaries. Untouched, unspoiled, it is defined by what we haven’t done to it. Combining author Matt Dallos’s personal observations with his thorough research of primary and secondary documents, In the Adirondacks rambles through the region to understand its significance within American culture and what lessons it might offer us for how we think about the environment. In vivid prose, Dallos digs through the region’s past and present to excavate a series of compelling stories and places: a moose named Harold, a hot dog mogul’s rustic mansion, an ecological restoration on an alpine summit, a hermit who demanded a helicopter ride, and a millionaire who dressed up as a Native American to rob a stagecoach. Along the way, Dallos listens to locals and tourists, visits wilderness areas and souvenir shops, and digs through archives in museums and libraries.
In the Adirondacks blends lively history and immersive travel writing to explore the Adirondacks that captivated Dallos’s childhood imagination while presenting a compelling and entertaining story about America’s largest park outside of Alaska. The result is an inquisitive journey through the region’s bogs and lakes and boreal forests and the lives of residents and tourists. Dallos turned toward the region to understand why he couldn’t shake it from his mind. What he learned is that he’s not the only one.
In the Adirondacks explores the history and future of the most complicated, contested park in North America, raising important questions about the role of environmental preservation and the great outdoors in American history and culture.