Lake Luzerne is a small town in Upstate New York without cell reception for three of the four major telecoms and spotty electricity during thunderstorms. The town is a quaint stop on a rolling highway called 9N that winds its way through reservoir lakes and rivers amongst the Adirondack Mountains between Albany (the closest airport) and Lake George, a popular and frustratingly touristy vacation destination for New Englanders from the big city and other areas of New York state. Lake George is the Capitol of arcades, fudge, and gaudy t-shirts.
The Hudson River is at its thinnest point as it rolls through downtown Luzerne, which is me using the word “downtown” very liberally. Lake Luzerne is one of those places that doesn’t even have an economy.
I’ve been alive for 32 years. I’ve been to Lake Luzerne 32 times. Every summer since I’ve been alive, no matter where on the planet I was during the week our extended family spends at the Lake, I’ve made the trip into the wilderness to sit on the back porch with aunts, uncles, cousins, and my parents and two sisters. What began in one cabin purchased by our grandmother in 1921 has grown to 12 cabins, three generations, and various other sides of other families who join in the fun.
We call it Family Week and it’s our lifeblood.
I spent the last few weeks in Lake Luzerne, fortunate to have the ability to work remotely and spend extra time in the place that might be the one I could most call home, especially as I grow older. I spent my mornings on our side porch with the sounds of the Adirondack woods humming, sipping coffee and catching up on email and pushing startup things forward.
I’d take an hour around lunch to run around the lake pictured above, jumping back into work for a few more hours each afternoon. Through the miracles of the web I was a FaceTime or HipChat away from our team in Vancouver all day long.
Evenings meant a grilled dinner and family time. After Family Week, things quieted down quite a bit. Days stretched out a bit longer.
A few days of thunderstorms rolled in, blanketing the region in a heavy drum and cooler air. There’s nothing quite like working on tomorrow’s technology while you’re on an old porch during a heavy thunderstorm in a National Park. The intersection of these worlds is a truly beautiful thing.
Take time away from your normal. Retreat to your lifeblood, and bring your world with you. Escaping to a beach and unplugging is important and admirable, and not to be discounted, but you don’t always have to escape.
Find new and novel places to do what you do. It’ll give what you do a new sheen, a new hue. You’ll appreciate what you do in new ways. You’ll feel renewed.
If you don’t have a spot to hole up in, I know a small lake in Upstate New York that I highly recommend:)