From a high point of 1,942 feet back in Freeland, PA, I began to fall today. The climbs still come and go but it’s going my way more often than not. There was break time down in Lehigh Gorge where I sat near ruins at waters edge. A marker identified the ruin as a 18th century tannery destroyed by fire in the 1870’s. What caught my attention was a quote from John James Audubon. He visited the Gorge to sketch and wrote in his journal, “Trees one after another were … constantly heard falling. In a century, the noble forest around should exist no more.” You see, they used the giant Hemlock along the river to provide the tannic acid. They cut them down, stripped the bark, and left the trunks to rot where they fell. The river was said to run black and the area a ecological disaster before the old tannery burned down in the midst of a forest fire. Imagine
what Audubon saw all those years ago. It is reforested now and quite beautiful …still one wonders what Audubon’s “noble forest” looked like.
Taking my time as I wander through these Poconos. The GW Bridge and Peoples Climate March are 9 days and 104 miles away.