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Life With Noah

Stories and Adventures of Richard Smith with Noah John Rondeau
by William J. O'Hern

Noah John Rondeau, an old-style mountain hermit lived alone in a small log, board, and canvas hut for 37 years. "Red" Smith, a young woodsman, was one of Rondeau's true friends. In both, stubborn endurance and hard work prevailed. At ease with isolation and wild animals, the brave men looked stern reality in the face unflinchingly, took what their surroundings had to offer to conquer hunger, deep snow, cold, and brutal storms. Both possessed a sensitivity to see the poetry of nature behind the life of hardship - making the men interesting people. The spirit (and lives) of these two Cold River backcountry adventurers yield clues to the mysterious, fascinating pull the Adirondack Mountains has always had for so many people. Read about them and profit from them.

Product Details
Paperback: 288 pages
$21.95

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First Person

My homeland of a lifetime is the mountains of the Adirondacks. The scenery is matchless with wilderness areas so vast they beg you discover the hidden natural treasures. Each season offers something new. One can get caught up with the ever-changing surroundings.

My old friend, Richard "Red" Smith's memories helped me to step back in time to the old ways of life in the rugged Adirondacks. "Red" was a woodsman: a fisherman, trapper, hunter, and a loyal friend of Noah John Rondeau, hermit of Cold River Flow. (Rondeau is the last and most famous hermit the Adirondacks has known.) In the final years of Richard's life he spent many hours relating stories of his life in the wilds to me. Noah took Richard "under his wing," taught him the skills and the way of life of the mountains, and divulged to him his secret writing code.

Rondeau and Smith's woods life impressed me so much. Their way of living is a nostalgic look back to simpler days. Every so often a few ordinary people come along with a lot of daring and taste for adventure (as well as the utmost interest in human beings). Life With Noah is a timeless story - full of jore de vivre. Readers write, telling me Life With Noah is one of their most prized nonfiction books. Not only is the book read time and again but it has fostered many pilgrimages to the former site of Rondeau's Cold River hermitage.

- William "Jay" O'Hern

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