Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Balloon Festival

Sometimes my husband and I take turns doing something special with the children. We each need our own one-on-one time with our son and daughter. Each child also gets that special time with a parent where he/she doesn’t have to compete for attention.

Last year my son and I attended the Adirondack Balloon Festival. Since we live outside of Saranac Lake, making the 5:00 am Big Balloon Breakfast at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport hanger in Queensbury was no mean feat. The biggest challenge wasn’t so much the early drive but getting my son out of bed. He agreed much later on that is was definitely worth the trip. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Author Russell Banks Event On Thursday

The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) and Paul Smith’s College will host an evening with author Russell Banks on Thursday, September 13 at 7:30pm at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Banks will read and discuss his latest novel, Lost Memory of  Skin.  A prolific writer of fiction, Russell Banks’s other titles include The Darling, The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter, Rule of the Bone, Affliction, Success Stories, and Continental Drift.

The reading starts at 7:30pm and is free to Paul Smith’s College faculty and students, $5 general admission. Books will be for sale, provided by Bookstore Plus of Lake Placid, and there will be a book signing before and after the reading. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Watertown’s Leonard J. Farwell: Wisconsin Governor

A few weeks ago, I wrote here about Joel Aldrich Matteson, a Watertown native who became governor of Illinois―and among other things, established a level of corruption perhaps matched by recent governor/inmate Rod Blagojevich. To balance the scale, here’s a look at another Watertown native who, during Matteson’s tenure, served as governor of Illinois’ neighbor to the north, Wisconsin. Though there was plenty of corruption in Wisconsin’s government during that time, the governor was not believed to be directly involved.

At worst, the wrongdoings of others may have soiled his good reputation, but he left plenty of accomplishments behind as well. He also became tied to a pair of signature events in American history. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cabin Life: Early Fall

Pico was just digging in the ground, making a cool spot to lie down in.  After the rain we got last night, the disturbed ground had a nice, earthy smell to it.  A week ago, it would have been just dust, floating up into my face and choking me.  Now it smells good.

This is my favorite time of year.  The leaves are starting to change color.  There are bright yellows and orangeish-reds.  Most of the trees are still green, but that just makes the few that are changing really stand out.  They look striking.

The road is covered with dead leaves that blow around on the dry days.  The good news is that since there are dry days, there must be wet days.  The rain we’ve gotten isn’t making up for summer, but at least it’s raining once in a while.  We needed the water, and it’s also nice to get a free car wash now and then too. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Hal Burton’s Peak

When I first set out to explore Lost Brook Tract one of my burning curiosities was to discover what views there might be.  After all I knew the land was situated on the side of a high ridge surrounded by significant mountains; surely there had to be some great sights.  Like everyone reading this I love my Adirondack views, so I could hardly wait to go hunting. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Adirondacks: A Place to Dream

View from High RockSept 7 – 9 there will be a congregation of artists, scholars, historians, and writers in Lake Placid for an exploration of Adirondack cultural heritage (more info). Free and open to the public, it should prove to be enjoyable and informative to all who love this place. I was thinking about this event as I paddled with a group of friends on the Oswegatchie River, in the Five Ponds Wilderness. Our objective was High Rock – not a terribly difficult or long paddle, although it was challenging in places because the water levels were pretty low and rocks were exposed. Having recently returned from almost four weeks in Glacier National Park – where the “big sky” glacier carved landscapes are truly magnificent – I couldn’t get over the fact that I was still moved by the scenery flowing past me along the Oswegatchie.

Orange brown rocks just beneath the surface, covered with colorful paint swatches from all the boats that have scraped across them for more than a century. Massive white pines that probably were too scrawny to harvest during the logging booms of the 1900’s, were now towering over the river. The tag alder filled flood plain that this wild river was meandering through. The Five Ponds Wilderness is a prime example of how this amazing place can inspire. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

One Adirondack Family’s Commitment to Equality

While opponents of same sex marriage deny the existence of any correlation between marriage equality and extending voting rights to women and civil and social rights to African-Americans, the three movements are clearly within the American grain. The famous photo by Mathew Brady of Abraham Lincoln with his son Tad suggested that thought to me, in a round about way.

When my parents moved to the Adirondacks in 1956, they rented a cottage on the Lewis estate of John Milholland, who had made a fortune from the pneumatic tube. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Lawrence Gooley: Authorship And The New Book ‘Paradigm’

If you write books or read them, prepare to be amazed (I certainly was), and if you shop online for books, the information below is important to you. Somewhat of a fraud has been perpetrated on the public in the world of books. While it doesn’t meet the legal definition of fraud, it violates what we might call “the spirit of the law” in providing information (in book form) for resale.

Yes, if you write a book, you can write anything you want, but the fact that you’ve written a book doesn’t mean anyone is reading it. Feedback in the form of sales, comments, and media coverage will eventually let you know if anyone is reading your work. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 3, 2012

25th Rustic Furniture Fair at the Adirondack Museum

The Adirondack Museum will host its 25th Annual Rustic Furniture Fair on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 in Blue Mountain Lake. Renowned artisans from throughout the United States will showcase and sell their one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, furnishings, and artwork.

The show will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Visitors interested in an early buying opportunity can visit on Saturday, September 8 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at the door, and are available now online. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cabin Life: Lying in the Hammock

I love lying in the hammock.  There’s a cold beer on the upright log next to me and Pico is lying on the other side.  Shamelessly, I use Pico as a push off to swing the hammock.  He weighs enough to absorb the push, and seems to be content with the petting.  Luckily he hasn’t attempted to join me in the hammock yet.

There are a couple of spider silks strung between two branches, and the afternoon light is glinting off of them.  When the light breeze blows, they disappear and then reappear as a shimmer in the middle of nothingness.  I can’t see where the silks tie into the leaves, but the suspended middle of the strings is visible more often than not. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Living History At Fort Ticonderoga This Weekend

Visitors can explore the Continental Army’s first major initiative during the Revolutionary War at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming living history weekend “Onward to Canada: Reinforcements Head North to Join the Attack on St. John.” The September 1-2 event will recreate how the American army prepared to invade Canada in the fall of 1775.

Special programming offered throughout the weekend will recreate a unique and busy moment in Fort Ticonderoga’s history when the “Old French Fort” served as hub of activity for the fledging American Army and a launching point for an invasion into Canada. Programs will highlight close-order marching; the issuing of muskets, supplies, and clothing to the troops; special tours, weapons demonstrations; and regimental training exercises. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Hosting Railfan Weekend

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad will mark their 20th anniversary during this first weekend in September, 2012. In celebrating the occasion, Thendara Station will host a massive railfan event on Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd starting at 11am daily.

The two day, family friendly celebration will have over half a dozen locomotives from companies such as EMD and ALCO, private rail cars, snow plows, classic freight cars and other railroad maintenance equipment. Guests are welcome to tour the cars and locomotives, sit at the controls and even try their hand at operating the locomotive simulator. Caboose hops will be available throughout the day featuring New York Central’s 705 and a historic caboose from the Boston & Maine Railroad. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saranac Lake’s Hobofest Set For Sunday

The Fourth Annual Hobofest, an all-day music festival “at-the-tracks” in Saranac Lake NY celebrating railroad culture and the “hobo spirit,” is happening on Sunday, September 2nd. This year’s Hobofest will take place under the “big top,” to assure against the variables of weather, from noon until 11pm. Eat and Meet Grill & Larder will serve local fare, also a children’s activities booth and festival & artist merchandise tables.

This year’s special guest is Washington State legend, Baby Gramps. A former street musician and train buff, Gramps plays antique resonator National Steel guitars, and sings his own unique arrangements of rags, jazz, & blues songs from the 20’s & 30’s, and many originals with wordplay, humor, and throat singing. His appeal is to a wide range of audiences from “jam-band” – having toured with Phish and the Flecktones- to punk to old timey traditional and to kids of all ages. He has performed across the States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Joel Aldrich Matteson: We Report, You Decide

If one were researching the careers of highly accomplished New York natives, you might encounter the glowing, capsulized review of Joel Aldrich Matteson’s life as offered on a website titled, “National Governors Association: The Collective Voice of the Nation’s Governors.” Matteson was born in Watertown, New York, in 1803. As the website notes, he “taught school in New York, and built railroads in the South.”

Moving to Illinois, he “established a career as a heavy contractor on the Illinois and Michigan Canal [the canal connection will be key to this story], and opened a successful woolen mill.”

After attaining financial success through business endeavors and the sale of land to the state, Matteson became an Illinois state senator in 1842. After a decade in the senate, he took office as governor in 1853. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Long Lake Native Finishes 2nd In Timbersports Championship

Long Lake native David Andrews finished second this summer in the 2012 Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Championship.

Andrews, who graduated in May from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse (ESF), finished just two points behind the winner, Timothy Benedict, a third-time competitor from Penn State. Andrews competed in four events, placing first in the standing block event and second in the underhand. He was one of six competitors from around the country who earned a place in the national competition by placing first in a regional qualifier. » Continue Reading.


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