Saturday, August 15, 2015

Silent Paddling: Quiet Adventures In Group Settings

Dock - ist Silent Canoe TripFinding the balance between solitude and companionship during a paddling trip is often a challenge.

Looking for companionship a few years after moving to the Adirondacks, I found myself sitting with a group of eight women on a rocky outcrop on Moose Pond, taking a lunch break on a canoe outing. “We went to Germany for three weeks this winter” one of the women said. “Our trip with the grandchildren turned into a nightmare” replied a second. They go on-and-on talking about their travels and grandchildren. What’s happening? Why am I here listening to all this chatter in this supposedly tranquil wilderness, my confused mind shouted. We might as well be in Starbucks! » Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Community Concerts Planned For Cycle Adirondacks

Cycle Adirondacks 2The Wildlife Conservation Society has announced the lineup of a free community concert series happening from August 22-29, as part of Cycle Adirondacks – the first fully supported road-cycling tour of the Adirondack Park and surrounding region. The concerts are open to the public.

The eight-night series will feature live music and other entertainment in the tour’s overnight towns. From bluegrass to bike stunts, the community concert series features homegrown musical acts as well as national artists. Each venue will also offer a beer and wine garden with local craft beverages, food concessions and a local vendor village. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Flatwater Paddling: Raquette Lake’s South Inlet

Lunch spot a turnaround point for South InletMy canoe was starting to look lonely. That was my excuse to go paddling.

Skimming through my collection of paddling guidebooks, I decided on South Inlet, a tributary of Raquette Lake. With deep water and no discernible current, the inlet is one of the more reliable places for a mid-summer paddling trip, when many of the North Country’s waterways have dried up. And unlike other streams in the area, there are no beaver dams to carry over, making this a great trip for children and those with a limited sense of adventure. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (July)

DEC Forest RangerState Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

July missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Distressed Swimmer
On  July 2 at 2:49 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of an unresponsive man in the water near the “Bluffs” on Lower Saranac Lake. The 31-year-old man, from West Barry, jumped off the Bluff and resurfaced face down and unconscious. A Saranac Lake Islands campground staffer, in a boat close by, witnessed the incident and maneuvered his boat to the swimmer who had regained consciousness and began yelling for help. » Continue Reading.

Monday, August 10, 2015

West Mountain Adding Triple Chairlift

West Mountain Triple Chair lift in vermont aWest Mountain, a small ski and snowboarding operation just outside the Blue Line in Queensbury, NY, has announced the recent purchase of a triple chairlift from the Hermitage Club in West Dover, Vermont. The investment marks another turn in the fortunes of popular downhill resort, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013.

The newly acquired triple chairlift is over twice the length needed to replace the almost 60-year-old Summit Double Chairlift located at West Mountain’s base area. Spencer Montgomery, West Mountain’s co-owner and General Manager, has secured a second drive terminal and bull wheel, with intentions of replacing the Northwest Triple Chair as well. “There is a 50% chance that both lifts will be replaced this year,” Montgomery told the Glens Falls Post Star. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New 40-Mile Snowmobile Thoroughfare Approved

snowmobile trailA new 40-mile snowmobile thoroughfare will be built by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), mostly on “forever wild” Forest Preserve lands between the towns of Minerva, Newcomb and North Hudson. Construction of the 9 to 11 feet wide route, which was approved by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) in July, is expected to begin immediately. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Impact of Stormwater on Adirondack Streams

Roaring Brook Falls 2014 by John WarrenIn peaceful streams, aquatic macroinvertebrates such as crayfish, stoneflies, and caddisflies travel over and under submerged rocks, foraging for other invertebrates, leaves, and algae. When rain falls, their world turns upside down. At first only the surface is disturbed, but before long, runoff reaches the stream and increases its flow many fold. Silt and sand blast every exposed rock surface. At peak flow, boulders are propelled downstream by powerful currents.

How do small creatures survive such crushing chaos? They hunker down. Water-filled nooks and crannies extend deep below streambeds and far beyond river banks. These deep interstices provide a safe haven even while turbulent water pulverizes the riverbed, comparable to a storm cellar in a tornado. » Continue Reading.

Monday, July 27, 2015

When the Compass Says North is Everywhere

Compass BearingsThe recent pursuit of prison escapees near Mountain View and Owl’s Head in northern Franklin County ignited for me a few memories from the area, both related to iron ore. Lyon Mountain, a few miles northeast of Standish, produced the world’s highest-grade iron ore for a century. Standish was home to the iron company’s blast furnace, and the village is linked to Mountain View by an unsurfaced, 11-mile stretch of the Wolf Pond Road.

When I interviewed old-timers back in the early 1980s for a couple of books about Lyon Mountain’s history, they told me of how the blast furnace stood out several decades earlier for residents of Franklin County, south of Malone, especially in the Mountain View area. Across the valley where the Salmon River flows parallel to the Wolf Pond Road, there was a nightly bright glow on the eastern horizon. At times the furnace, which ran 24/7, looked like a giant torch in the distance. The effect was powerful when nights were truly dark, before everyone decided that floodlights were a great idea. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Paddling the Upper Hudson and Opalescent Rivers

Mann_opalescent-600x388Brian Mann and I had been on the water for several hours when we came to a fallen tree stretched across the river. We pulled over to a sandbank to carry our canoes around.

“Human footprints,” Brian remarked.

“So I guess we’re not Lewis and Clark,” I replied. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Saranac Lake Skate Park Opening Event July 26

Saranac Lake Skate ParkThe Grand Opening Celebration of the new Saranac Lake SkatePark will be held on Sunday, July 26th, from noon until 3 pm. The highlight of the day’s events will be a skateboarding demonstration by designer Brad Siedlecki of Arizona and skaters from the Artisan SkatePark construction crew.

There will also be free food, drinks, music and free raffles for a complete skateboard, t-shirts and assorted skate gear. Kiwanis Club of Saranac Lake will be present to distribute free helmets. Other safety gear is available. » Continue Reading.

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