Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adirondack Museum Reopens Friday:
New Audio Tour Features Locals; Free Residents Days

The Adirondack Museum will launch a new audio tour when museum reopens for its 55th season on Friday, May 25, 2012. Year-round residents of the Adirondack Park are invited to visit free of charge every Sunday, and on all open days in May and October. Proof of residency such as a driver’s license, passport, or voter registration card is required.

This year, visitors will be invited to take a fresh look at the Adirondack Museum using the new audio tour. The voices of real people who live in the Adirondacks today will guide visitors to a deeper understanding of the museum’s exhibitions, it dramatic setting, and what makes the Adirondacks unique. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adirondack Family Time: Carousel Grand Opening

On Saturday, May 26, will be the grand opening for the only year-round carousel in the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Carousel has been a labor of love for many and according to President Marge Glowa it would not be possible without all the volunteers that have stepped up to dedicate time and money toward the completion of this project.

With 20 original paintings, 24 hand-carved Adirondack animals (18 working and six in reserve) and a handicap chariot in the shape of a mahogany Spencer, The Adirondack Carousel will finally open its doors. Adirondack carver Karen Loffler, who dreamed of a wooden carousel made of Adirondack indigenous animals, conceived the project and will also be at the event. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Discussion: What Is Snowmobiling’s Economic Impact?

A number of debates in the Adirondacks revolve around snowmobiling, including opening long-closed backcountry roads to sleds, expanding trail networks or routing connector trials on state lands, and shared use of trails. Snowmobilers often cite their positive economic impact as a reason to expand the approximately 800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails on state land.

A new study of the 2010 – 2011 snowmobiling season commissioned by the New York State Snowmobile Association and undertaken by the SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research, offers some insight. It concludes that snowmobiling statewide contributes more than $428.5 million annually in direct spending, but much of that money is spent in Adirondack feeder markets on sleds, trailers, maintenance, and equipment.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Indian Lake Offering Historic Walking Tour, Events

The newly created Indian Lake self-guided walking tour of historic buildings on Main Street will be rolled out during an inaugural public ceremony to be held 11 A.M., this Saturday, May 26, at the Indian Lake Theater. The ceremony will mark the formal opening of the Historic Walking Tour.

Following the ceremony there will be an inaugural tour with Town and County Historian, Bill Zullo. The walking tour features 13 historic structures along Main Street and provides a glimpse into the lives of the Town’s pioneers. The Main Street Revitalization Sub-Committee, part of the Community Planning Committee worked with the Adirondack Architectural Heritage, Indian Lake Theater, Adirondack Museum and the Indian Lake Museum to develop the tour. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Adirondack Birding: The Barn Swallow

Barn SwallowCoinciding with the onset of bug season in the Adirondacks is the return of our insect eating birds. While nearly all of these perching birds have an attractive musical call that announces their presence, most maintain a secretive routine so they are rarely spotted.

The swallows are the most visible bug consumers as their preference for perching in exposed places and feeding over open settings allows these skilled aerialists to be regularly seen.

Additionally, their habit of placing their nest close to human dwellings and in plain view of any passerby makes them well known to residents and visitors of the Park.
» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 21, 2012

North Country Abolitionist James Rood Doolittle

Slavery nearly destroyed this country. We now mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which many consider to have been a battle over slavery. But in the big picture, the battle over slavery has been ongoing since this nation was formed. In our infancy, it was outlawed in some states but not in others. With great gall and to our utter embarrassment, we called ourselves the Land of the Free. In fact, when Francis Scott Key wrote those words in 1814, about half of the states allowed slavery.

There were still plenty of lynchings 150 years later when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. That time is now 50 years past, yet there’s still plenty of bigotry and racism to go around. Judging by where we stand today, it’s shameful to suggest that we’ve come far. More than two centuries, and this is the best we can do?

But many people have fought hard for equality, and they should be remembered. Among the stalwart anti-slavery activists of the mid-1800s was a North Country native, James Rood Doolittle. He was born on January 3, 1815, in Hampton, New York, on the shores of the Poultney River in the northeast corner of Washington County. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Adirondack Astronomy: Transit of Venus Events Planned

Coming up in the month of June is a rare astronomical event. The second planet to the sun, Venus, will pass between us, and the sun. Venus transits have a strange pattern of 121.5, 8, 105.5, 8 years, and the one prior to the transit in June of 2004 was 121.5 years ago in 1882. The next pair of transits wont happen again for another 105.5 years, so this will be the last chance any currently living human get’s to witness this event.

The reason transits don’t happen more frequently is due to the orbits of Venus and Earth not being on the same plane. Venus’ orbit is slightly inclined to the orbit of Earth, so when Venus passes between Earth and the Sun every 1.6 years Venus is either slightly above or below the Sun. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vote Online in Champlain Area Trails Writing Contest

From the power of a turtle-crossing sign to the secret of the “Coon Mountain panther,” from the healing potential of a hike to the 1.5 tons of Vidalia onions sold in Willsboro, the 11 final entries for the second CATS Travel Writing Contest offer a  taste of the riches that the Champlain Valley offers.

“We invite everybody to visit our website, read the articles, and vote for their favorite,” said Chris Maron, executive director of CATS. “People can read the stories describing trails, local businesses, and the enjoyment of this area at our website (www.champlainareatrails.com).” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cabin Life: Back to Work

I’m sitting on a picnic table on the shore of Lake Champlain. Valcour Island is in front of me, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.  Tonight is the calm before the storm so to speak, as the campground opens tomorrow.

Paved roads, electricity and hot showers are now plentiful, as is the wildlife.  There are three osprey nests within a half mile of my new cabin, and of course, the raccoons are around a lot.  Pico has been marking the yard, and that’s keeping them away for now, but the cats still aren’t going outside. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches:
Safety, Comfort and Back Country Attitude

Last week I began a short series of Dispatches about safety in the back country.  I suggested that safety depended upon taking three things into the woods, the right experience, the right attitude and essential gear.  I wrote a little bit about experience first.

This week I’d like to focus on attitude, which is all too often overlooked in safety guides.  It is likely the most important factor: a strong attitude in a dangerous situation can prevail over a lack of experience and/or poor or missing gear, but all the experience and gear in the world cannot overcome a destructive attitude.   After all, attitude is about human psychology.  There is nothing more debilitating than personal psychology gone wrong and the Adirondack wilderness has an uncanny knack for accomplishing that. » Continue Reading.


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