Beauty Isn’t Only Tree Deep

I never get tired of staring out over a beautiful Adirondack vista. Who ever could? What could be better than landscapes of the high peaks, white birch and fluttering red cardinals in an ever changing tableau of green springs, flaming foliage and pure white snows. This beauty has brought poets, painters and philosophers, even an invasive species like myself, to the area for as long as eyes have looked upon the mountains.

I’ve been coming here with family since I was a child and now call the North Country home. After all the mountains climbed, the photos taken and the endless natural beauty I’ve been lucky to witness, it came as a shock to realize… I’d been looking at but not seeing all of it.

In just the Adirondack Park there are 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of river and that’s not even including the massive Lake Champlain. While we have all probably spent an afternoon gazing out across a lake surface nursing a beer, waiting for a tug on a fishing line or just taking in the beauty, we are only looking at the surface. But beneath the tranquil lapping shores of these lakes, ponds and rivers teeming with life is history and an otherworldly topography seen by only a few.

So, on a sunny summer Sunday perfect for relaxing on the shore, I instead found my self diving from the side of a boat. This was a first for me, climbing to the edge of the boat with a scuba tank on my back and doubt in my head. If you’ve watched my previous episode about kayaking and stand-up paddle board yoga, you’d know I am less a duck to water than I am a brick.

At first I had serious doubts about whether I could do this, but Doug, owner of Jones Aqua Sports in Willsboro and Plattsburgh, NY, was an amazing teacher. With 45 years of diving experience he walked me through the technical, safety and even philosophical aspects of this amazing experience.

Beneath the water I found what I can only describe as an alternate universe. Lying bellow is a serene place with lake plants swaying in slow-motion, fast moving fish startled by this odd looking lake monster and entombed history literally cast into the lake by long gone residents of the North Country.

Now when I consider that same classic Adirondack view of lakes and mountains, my mind can’t help but wonder what lies beneath, unseen. It’s pleasant, though, to know that this bucolic beauty isn’t only tree deep, but can be found beneath the waters.

Have you ever tired it? Let me know in the comments if you have or if you ever would!

Get more info on Scuba Diving in Lake Champlain with Jones Aqua Sports at

Their 2 hour “Try Scuba” experience costs only $45 including gear rental. Scuba license courses start at $499. For those who already have a license, rental costs only $70 a day, 50% off each additional day. Boat charters are also available!

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