I’m Dr. Doolittle

Last night, after a twenty minute drive down a long and winding private dirt road, we arrived here, deep in the Adirondack Park, and all I could think was, sure, this hundred and fifty plus year old wilderness retreat may be on Outside Magazine’s “Bucket List,” but it is not really a place where you want to be having a heart attack. The lodge was rich in taxidermy – the obligatory bucks but also a coyote, a beaver, and a fisher, an animal I’ve never before seen or heard of – and we were greeted not only by a big, friendly dog, but also a turtle strutting the floorboards. “I’m Dr. Doolittle,” said the man who checked us in and handed me both a bottle of wine and a corkscrew. Our cottage by the lake, which had looked beautiful on the website, was beautiful, but it also had a rusted over fridge, spider webs and a thin layer of pebbly grit on the floor. “We’re lucky we even have electricity,” said my fourteen year old, who is the most rugged among us. “It’s better than camping,” said my husband, who was once as rugged as our son, “and I’m too old for camping.”