Almanack Contributor Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a humor columnist for Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, Md., and a New York Times bestselling author. His books include High Peaks; A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene and Strange and Unusual Stories of New York City. He has climbed the 46 high peaks, is an avid bicyclist, and trout tremble with fear when they see his approaching shadow. He and his wife Beth will be residing in Jay, N.Y. by spring.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Words Of Wisdom From “Old Mountain” Phelps

Plenty of entertaining statements are attributed to Orsen “Old Mountain” Phelps, the over-commercialized Betty Crocker of Adirondack Mountain guides.

I don’t know exactly who Phelps was, but after 30-plus years in the journalism business, I recognize the type: He wanted to be a lot of things, and was pretty good at it, but lost something of his identity in the process. His Swiss Army Knife approach to life led him down paths not just as a guide, but as a writer, scientist, geographer and philosopher-at-large.

The one thing he seemed pretty clear on, and I can relate, is that he did not want to go through life as a manual laborer. He cut trails, sure, but in Phelps’ world this was no more work than writing is to me.

Phelps was no intellect, but neither was he the semi-literate hayseed he passed himself of as when trying to land a guiding gig. I always fantasize that Phelps talked like Sir Kenneth Clarke when he was at home, but broke into a full hillbilly rag on the job, ladling in heaping helpings of dagnabbits and conswarnits to impress the clientele. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tim Rowland: The Cub Hunter At Old Forge

bald mountain post cardDespite visiting the summits of the hallowed 46 High Peaks over the years, I believe it’s still hard to beat the view from lowly Bald Mountain just north of Old Forge. I know it’s officially known as Rondaxe Mountain today, but I still call it Bald Mountain in the way that old people still call NYSEG “the light company.”

I first climbed it when I was 6; at that time it seemed quite the mighty massif, but by the time I was 10, scooting up the gentle slopes barely took the edge off of a mischief-seeking boy. » Continue Reading.


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