In Praise of Quiet Waters: Finding Solitude and Adventure in the Wild Adirondacks
In Praise of Quiet Waters is an account of my twenty-five-year search for adventure and spiritual renewal on the waters of the Adirondack Park. I tell my stories of the joys and fears while paddling lakes, ponds, and rivers of the Adirondacks (map by Nancy Bernstein) alone and with other women, with gratitude that the quest continues as I age. I show how brave environmentalists counteracted political and economic interests with efforts to preserve and restore wilderness.
I’ve been developing my own environmental ethic for our Adirondack waters, a principled guide to help me be accountable to the place I treasure—the six-million-acre Adirondack Park—a mix of public and private lands that contains thousands of lakes and ponds and miles of rivers in New York State.
I have studied scholarly books, magazine articles, paddling guidebooks, and environmental reports. I interviewed individuals on their role in shaping the protection of the Park. Finding my own sense of place on the waters of the Adirondacks has been enriched by studying this history of the recovery of our lands and waters. The result is a historical narrative interwoven with personal stories.
Reading about my experiences and of those who advocated for the mountain waters of the Adirondacks is one way of knowing, of acquiring the knowledge of and the appreciation for the waters.
Another way of knowing is through direct experience. Sit by a raging river, paddle on a placid pond, swim in the clear pure waters of a wilderness lake.
Join me in helping to protect these gifts of nature.
“Those of us who love to paddle the quiet waters of the Adirondacks can learn something from Lorraine Duvall. Friendship and determination can keep us going to the woods and lakes we love, even as our hair turns gray and our backs bend.”
—Betsy Kepes, Adirondack Explorer
“The book is a pleasure to read. I really like Duvall’s voice when she tells of her experiences and reflects on them, interweaving Adirondack history and advocacy for quiet waters.”
—Sandra Weber, Adirondack activist and author of 10 books, including her most recent on the history of the women’s suffrage movement