I’ve had the privilege of vacationing in the Adirondacks for a number of years. They are an incredibly beautiful place, full of gorgeous lakes, evergreen mountains, unique adventures, and terrifying rural homes. Its finest and only college is a leader in northern Appalachian forestry management, and its winter sports facilities are incredibly nostalgic places for those that remember 1980 well. So I was sad to see the negative attention brought to the area by this summer’s escape of two convicts from Clinton Correctional Facility, especially since it overshadowed Dannemora’s fascinating history of iron smelting. Fortunately, the saga ended before I came up and had to worry that they were hiding in one of the many scary houses available for rent to escaped criminals.
However, the area has another, bigger problem: a huge and incessant mold infestation. Everywhere you look, there are mushrooms carpeting the ground, growing out of tree trunks, and being used as subsidized housing by disadvantaged gnomes. People decorate their homes with pictures drawn on giant shelf-mushrooms instead of supporting local visual artists who need income due to the mycotoxins in their lungs. It’s a little known fact that the word “Saranac” derives from an Indian word meaning “expelled sneeze globs,” and Lake George is actually just a bowl of fungal gelatin.
Within moments of arriving at our quaint uninsulated cabins, I immediately develop an irritating scratch in the back of my throat, sneeze on each rustic Adirondack chair, and start wondering if I should respond to those val-pack coupons for ductwork cleaning back home. I’m pretty sure I’ve become a vector for mold spores and that numerous fungal species view me as an equally annoying but necessary symbiote. Within days, I’m happily blanching my gonads in the freezing lake, hoping that the floating ice cubes sterilize the shroom-bits on my skin.
It’s a big challenge for the community. There are limited options for addressing this plague, but I have some initial suggestions. First, I think the locals should really use furniture and decorative items that are planed and sanded. It’s simply not a good idea to just cut off a tree branch and stick it in your bannister. Second, residents should stop using birch paper as actual paper. It’s not paper. It’s tree bark. Third, some of the countryside is a bit marshy and would be better converted to parking lots and Amazon data centers—really, anything that wastes a lot of water and generates a lot of hot air, like nut processors or Trump golf courses.
But probably the best thing that we can all do is make a stronger effort to contribute to climate change. After all, all that water in those serene lakes isn’t going anywhere unless we can make the Adirondack climate more like Albuquerque’s. So please consider renting a charming, out-of-the-way cabin, driving from California to get there, and double-checking that your rental’s previous occupants haven’t left any meth equipment behind. Together we won’t be put in a wood chipper.