Thursday, October 4, 2012

Outside Story: Peregrine Falcons

When asked to name the fastest animal on earth, many people will respond “cheetah.” But it is the peregrine falcon – a cliff-dwelling raptor –that holds that title with the ability to reach speeds of 200+ MPH as they stoop (dive) in flight. (The cheetah tops out at a mere 70 MPH).

Equally remarkable is the fact that this speed demon of the skies was nearly wiped out 50 years ago; its recovery ranks among the great success stories of conservation biology and endangered species management.

Historically, the eastern peregrine falcon population was centered in New England and the Adirondack Mountains, ranging south along the spine of the Appalachians to western Georgia. In 1940,the population was estimated at 350 pairs; by the mid-1960s, the species was completely gone from the region, a victim of the devastating pesticide DDT. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oufitter: ‘No Idea’ Guide Was Drunk

The owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company said today he couldn’t comment on a fatal accident on the Indian River last week other than to assert that he did not know if the employee guiding the raft was intoxicated.

“We had no idea he was drunk,” Pat Cunningham said, “and I don’t know all that happened.”

State Police say the guide, Rory Fay of North Creek, was indeed intoxicated when he undertook the whitewater trip last Thursday morning. They arrested him on a charge of criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Baxter Mountain Tavern, Keene

We certainly felt like we’d covered every main route in our travels through the Adirondacks, but if it weren’t for several referrals to Baxter Mountain Tavern in Keene, we might have missed this one. Its location on Route 9N, between Elizabethtown and Keene, eluded us. We’ve traveled to Elizabethtown, then back, and have been through Keene numerous times on our way to Lake Placid and beyond, but never connected the dots. One more reason to abandon the GPS and find your own way.

Recommended to us by numerous hikers, the Baxter Mountain Tavern was obviously well known to so many others – locals, seasonal residents and tourists. As afternoon turned to evening, the bar, restaurant and deck filled with expectant diners. With at least eight people at the bar, our foursome filled it to capacity. Sarah the bartender was kept busy between serving the bar customers and preparing drinks for the diners, but always kept up the smile and attentiveness to all. As Baxter’s got busier, she referred our questions to the owner, Dave Deyo. Equally busy greeting and seating guests, he graciously managed to share information with us. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dan Crane: Wilderness First Aid Lessons

Discovering an injured person in the wilderness is probably a common nightmare amongst those intrepid souls journeying into the Adirondack backcountry. The only situation more dreadful is actually being the one in need of assistance when there is not another person within miles.

A myriad of questions run through one’s mind when imagining such an emergency. What should I do? Help the injured person? Run for help? Just run and hide? Faint and let the next person to come along deal with two injured individuals?

The only way to deal with such an unpleasant situation is to be prepared. Preparations for an emergency event start at home, long before ever leaving for the backcountry. Familiarizing yourself with first aid texts, carrying a personal locator beacon and keeping a well-stocked first aid kit handy are just a few ways to equip oneself for a potential backcountry emergency. The single best way to prepare for such an event may be to attend a wilderness first aid class, which is exactly what I did recently.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DA Seeks To Reinstate Charges Against Cunningham

The owner of a rafting company in the spotlight after a drowning last week is accused of violating a court agreement stemming from criminal charges lodged two years ago, according to court papers.

Patrick J. Cunningham, the owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company, was indicted in November 2010 on misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment.

In one count, Cunningham was accused of sending two customers downriver in an inflatable kayak even though they lacked kayak and whitewater experience. Free-lance writer Mary Thill reported last year that the customers capsized in the second rapid and then hitched a ride in an overloaded raft, which also flipped. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Kids Day in Inlet

There are a lot of events and activities around the Adirondack Park, but The Adirondack Kids father and son co-authors Gary and Justin VanRiper wanted to make one event a family affair. Along with wife, mother and The Adirondack Kids’ book illustrator Carol VanRiper, the family worked together to plan the first annual Adirondack Kids Day for Saturday, October 6, 2012 as a celebration of children’s authors, illustrators and activities. This event will take place in Inlet from 10 am – 5 pm with over 20 authors and illustrators as well as workshops with a focus on family-friendly experiences.

“The idea for an Adirondack Kids Day evolved from conversations with Reggie Chambers at the Adirondack Reader, the Inlet Information Center, Kiwanis of the Central Adirondacks   and many other area businesses,” says Gary. “We choose Inlet for the event because this is where the Adirondack Kids characters were born. We always receive so much feedback from readers that either want to visit the settings for our books or have followed the places in the books to create their own adventures. Having the event in Inlet seems a natural place to help children, parents or grandparents discover more about the Adirondack Park.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Oktoberfest Planned at “New” Titus Mountain

Base lodge expansion at Titus MountainSkiers will have more terrain choices this winter at Titus Mountain, in Malone. 15 new trails, eleven of which are glades, have been added, bringing the ski area’s trail count to 42. The new terrain encompasses all ability levels, from beginner to expert. A second terrain park has also been added, and a major expansion of the ski area’s base lodge is underway. “We’ve completely gutted and renovated the lodge,” said Bruce Monette, Principal at Titus. “People will not recognize the place.”

The expansion comes less than a year after Monette and his two brothers, Brian and Christopher, purchased the ski area from long-time owner Paul Augustine. “With all the changes, upgrades and excitement, we’ve modernized the logo and website and are calling ourselves the “New” Titus Mountain.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Climbing the North Face of Gothics

A wall of rock 1,200 feet high and a quarter-mile wide tends to stand out. Indeed, the North Face of Gothics is one of the most conspicuous landmarks of the High Peaks, drawing the eye whether you’re in downtown Lake Placid or on top of Mount Marcy.

Yes, the North Face is big, and if you want to climb it, plan on a big day. The same goes for the other two rock walls on Gothics: the South Face and the Rainbow Slide. All three offer rock climbers spectacular routes in a wilderness setting to one of the Adirondacks’ most beautiful summits. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Adirondack Wildlife: Osprey Exit the Park

As the temperatures in the many lakes and ponds that dot the Adirondacks begin to cool, the fish inhabitants of these waterways start to spend more of their time at greater depths. While this change in the routine of these gilled vertebrates impacts the way late season anglers pursue them, it also affects the life of our region’s most effective surface fish predator – the osprey.

With its 4 to 5 foot wing span and 2 foot long body, the osprey is a bird that is difficult to overlook as it soars over a picturesque mountain lake, or perches on the limb close to the shore of a pristine pond. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Commentary: Disgraceful Reporting on Invaded Privacy

Thousands of untraceable searches, some of them into the personal information of family members and people with whom they had personal relationships, were made by employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Plattsburgh. The NYS Inspector General’s Office a few days ago released the full report on the violations occurring at that office, and an article in last Friday’s Press-Republican (Plattsburgh) has left me livid.

I both enjoy and work hard at researching stories. Like most writers, I hate making mistakes, but when I make them, they are honest mistakes. I don’t attempt to distort or embellish―my preference is for interesting or unusual stories that stand on their own merit. It’s embarrassing and downright mortifying to publish an error, but it happens to most of us at some point. But we don’t blame anyone for honest mistakes. » Continue Reading.


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