“The Night Before Christmas in the Adirondack Mountains”
Written by Kinnon Appleton
Adapted from Clement C. Moore’s poem, “The Night Before Christmas”
T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the Park
There was snow softly falling, it was quiet and dark.
The backpacks were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would bring some new gear.
The hikers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of summit views danced in their heads.
And me in my tech wick and my darn tough socks,
I just couldn’t sleep; I dreamed of climbing those ice-covered rocks.
When out of my window I saw the moon rising,
I gathered my gear and I started off driving.
Down the road to the Loj I sped with great hast,
Not a moment more of this night did I dare want to waste.
The moon it did glisten on the new fallen snow
So I laced up my boots and I started to go.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a view of the High Peaks so close and so near.
With their summits jutting up into the night sky,
I knew in a moment up the trail I must fly.
More rapid than eagles the mountain views came
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Up Marcy, up Redfield, up Gray, Cliff, and Wright
Up Street and up Nye and then on to Skylight”
To the top of the mountains, I must reach every summit.
“I can do this,” I said, I know hiker’s who’ve done it.
Trekking poles in my hands and snowshoes on feet,
I was making great time, not a moment to eat.
So up to the mountain tops, this hiker he flew,
With my backpack full of gear, and water, and goo.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard through the trees,
The crunching of snow by boots with great ease.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the trail St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in Gortex, his suit was bright red,
And a big floppy hat sat on top of his head.
A compass in hand, and GPS on his back,
He had all the right gear in his Santa Clause pack.
His microspikes how they glistened, his headlamp how bright,
And I thought to myself, “Am I seeing this right?”
His boots were laced up tight with a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The hose of his camelback he held tight in his teeth,
And his scarf it encircled his heard like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he hiked, like a bowl full of jelly.
He started along, that old elf was fast
And I yelled from behind him, “Hey Santa you ever heard the 46 of 46 podcast?”
He nodded his head as he trekked through the snow
And I said to myself, “OK! Time to go!”
He spoke not a word, but went straight up the trail,
I tried to keep up but I was chasing his tail.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, to the summit he rose.
He sprang up the rock face, to the top he did climb.
So fast, and so quick, he left me behind.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he hiked out of sight.
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”