Adirondacks, New York
July 13, 2015
When I was young, during the time my hair was still almost white, I ran barefoot down the two-acre hill behind our house, across the plank to cross the creek and into the woods beyond. There, I knew what trees to climb, what black raspberry bushes were ripe, what paths led to the cornfields above. At one point, I found a crumbling tree house and decided to live there. I planned to make it my home with the things I found, like the bones of a wounded forgotten deer. I would survive off the fish I’d catch with the rod I fastened from a stick, a feather and a hook I stole from the garage. This was the first time I plotted to run away…
So recently, when I escaped to the Adirondacks with friend, nomad and photographer, Travis Martucci, it was like remembering a part of myself again after returning east. The same seemed true for him as upon entering the mountains after driving through the night, Travis leaned out the window, screamed and breathed deep, finally returning to where he’s best. Travis had lived in those mountains for three years and knows them better than he knows himself. Being able to see a person in an environment that brings out their purest self is a privilege. Witnessing Travis track an eagle on the horizon, reminisce with locals, spot a delicate butterfly wing on a worn hiking trail, give directions to strangers or capture the wilderness through his camera was like observing a species native to the Adirondacks in their element.
In the two years I’ve known him, and after numerous bottles of whiskey, I’ve realized Travis possesses a raw turbulence that can surface in many forms. I find his conflicting tides refreshing in a society where convenience, technology and false connection are numbing the masses into complacency. He is chaos in its best form and a dying breed. Travis is one of the few who still understands what a life worth living looks like, making him a worthy adventurer and partner in crime. It’s also rare to find someone you can be comfortable with in silence and just co-exist before returning to vastly different lives.
This is the kind of dynamic that granted me just the escape I needed in the Adirondacks. For a while now, it’s felt like someone was pilling cinder blocks on my chest. I haven’t been able to breathe from the inevitable pressure that builds from simply surviving and attempting to defy the odds. This year has been especially brutal with the whirlwind of my cross-country move. However, while swimming in Moss Lake, I was finally able to slow down, remember myself, and rediscover the depths of my lungs.
Now… back to reality.