Journal in the Woods

A little black leather-bound mystery fell into my lap today.  My friend Marjie, another English teacher in my school, handed me the journal 9th period.  A student’s father had found it in the trees alongside a trail when he was hiking in the  Adirondacks.  They looked for a name.  Nothing. They read bits and pieces of it but couldn’t figure out who might have left it in the woods.

I opened the front cover and saw this.

The journal was filled (half-filled, actually) with beautiful sketches, poems, and thankfulness for the role that nature plays in grounding us when we need it the most.  But no name.  No clues.  Just lovely pencil sketches and descriptions of the moss, the ferns, the pitcher plants in the bog.  It is lovely.  And homesick, I can tell.  This journal needs to get back to its owner.

Here’s our best hope.  At the end of each entry was a date and the name of the trail the writer hiked that day.  The Department of Environmental Conservation leaves log books at the trailheads of many Adirondack hikes.  Did this hiker sign the logs?  I took the journal home tonight, and my kids are on the case now, too.  We’ll be hiking this weekend, following Mystery Writer’s trail and checking the log books to see who hiked on those days.  I’ll post a progress report next week!

12 Replies on “Journal in the Woods

  1. Okay, sorry. I’m still stuck back at the beginning on the fact that your school has NINE periods?!? How long are the classes? Twenty minutes?

  2. Each class is 40 minutes long, but my team uses block scheduling, so I see my classes for 84 minutes every other day. It’s much better having that larger block of time.

  3. That’s almost verbatim what my five-year-old daughter said.

    “We’ll be like Nancy Drew!”

    (which, of course, has always been a secret fantasy of mine anyway!)

  4. This is a fun mystery! Dyken Pond Environmental Center is in Rensselaer County, just outside Albany…. It is a DEC owned site. Maybe someone there or at Five Rivers Environmental Center in Delmar might recognize it. Can’t wait to hear the updates.
    Good luck!!!!

  5. Wow! What a neat find. While I hope it gets back to the person who lost it, I can’t help but think of what kind of novel you could make from this experience.

  6. Weekend

    Hey Kate,
    Jim and I are going to the 2nd Annual Adirondack Literary Awards Ceremony in Blue Mountain Lake today. We’ve never been. I’ll let you know how it goes, ok?
    Take ‘er easy, eh?

  7. Re: Weekend

    Fantastic! How was the event? I just read about the Adirondack Mouse story that won in children’s writing. It sounds like a cute book.

  8. Re: Weekend

    It was great, what a nice group to be with. There were a lot of books up and several new categories as it’s their second year so they’re learning as they go. Book cover is everything. It really is. So is marketing. Writing? I guess that counts, too, LOL but it’s not my strong point.

    Sold 10 Adirondack Nightmare books on the way to Steve at the Adirondack Buffalo Company in North Hudson. What a great guy. What a great store he has!