Walden Pond: Warmer Waters and Loads of Mocha Syrup
The pond turned into a latrine is the perfect metaphor for today’s mass tourism. Thoreau’s Walden Pond, which is only half an hour’s drive from Boston, MA, is invaded every year by half a million “incontinent tourists”, more than double those visiting Guyana or Bermuda… and apparently, things get really wild…
More than half of the summer phosphorus budget of Walden Pond may now be attributable to urine released by swimmers, while a footpath to Thoreau’s cabin caused large amounts of soil to wash into the lake.
Despite all this, the site has a high rating on Google Maps and, judging by the reviews, the real issues are elsewhere. According to most visitors, Walden Pond Reservation remains “a true transcendental experience” and “a must visit if you are an American Literature fan”, but there are no showers, parking sucks, the staff is unfriendly, and well “ice mocha has way too much mocha syrup”.
Not exactly what Thoreau had in mind when he wrote “Walden” in 1854…
How Much Nature Do We Need During Winter?
12/29/56, Journal, IX 200. We must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day. We must make root, send out some little fibre at least, even every winter day. I am sensible that I am imbibing health when I open my mouth to the wind. Staying in the house breeds a sort of insanity always. Every house is in this sense a hospital.
Bonus: Thoreau’s “Excursions” is available for free on Project Gutenberg.