Friday, July 8, 2011

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories

Each Friday morning Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers the previous week’s top stories. You can find all our weekly news round-ups here.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adirondack Fish and Game Report (July 7)

Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday afternoon, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (July 7)

This announcement is for general use – local conditions may vary and are subject to sometimes drastic changes.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

The Adirondack Almanack also publishes a weekly Adirondack Hunting and Fishing Report.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Familypalooza at the Adirondack Museum

The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, will host Familypalooza 2011 on Saturday, July 9, 2011. The Adirondack Museum invites children age 17 and under to visit free of charge for this special event.

Familypalooza will be a full day of family fun, adventure and exploration at the Adirondack Museum. Kid-friendly music, presented by Radio Disney, Albany and the Zoomobile from the Utica Zoo will be on-site with animals of New York State. Special programs will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of the Adirondack Mountain Club, Albany Chapter will be offering introduction to kayaking and safety and rescue demonstrations.

Children can jump and tumble in the bouncehouse, play at the museum’s Tot Lot and Little Log Cabin. Families can go on an Adirondack scavenger hunt together. Kids can make believe with the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, and put on a skit for family and friends.
There will be costumed animal characters, face painting, arts & crafts and more.

The museum is open May 27 through October 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays. There will be an early closing on August 12, and adjusted hours on August 13; the museum will close for the day on September 9. All paid admissions are valid for a
second visit within a one-week period.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Changes Planned for Independence River Snowmobile Trails

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced its plans to amend the Independence River Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP). The Independence River Wild Forest includes over 79,000 acres in Lewis and Herkimer counties.

The draft amendment proposes the rerouting of several trails or trail segments to reduce environmental impacts and the designation of several old roads as new snowmobile trails. Additionally, the amendment will classify all snowmobile trails as Class I, Secondary Trails or Class II, Community Connector Trails, as defined in Adirondack Park Snowmobile Management Guidance [pdf]. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Lowville DEC sub-office located at 7327 State Route 812. The public will have an opportunity to offer comments regarding the draft amendment. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Zig Zags Lake Placid

Two days of Happy Hour indulgence began with the first bar we encountered as we walked from our hotel down Main Street in Lake Placid. Somewhat amused by the bobsled parked on the sidewalk, we entered Zig Zags without hesitation.

As we approached the bar in Zig Zags Pub, Kim commented that there were no women in the bar. The bar itself was fairly full, but she was correct in her observation. The bartender approached, and Pam, once again, couldn’t resist. Sometimes she has no filter between thinking and speaking. “Do you serve women?” she asked him, a fleeting deadpan look on her face, then she flashed her ‘I just can’t help myself’ smile. He came right back with something like, “When they’re available. On a plate,” etc. Ice broken and raucous greetings ensued…

A pool table waited in the center of the room and Pam’s competitive streak was kept in check due only to our time constraints. Darts (traditional and electronic), foosball and a few video games are placed around the room. An area near the entrance is occupied by several pub tables looking out onto Main Street. ZigZags is named for curves 13 and 14 on the bobsled run, and numerous posters, photos, signs and memorabilia support predominant theme.

We ordered our drinks and soon launched into describing our purpose. Conversations started to fly, left, right, up, down, zigzagging, about Zig Zags. Suggestions about where else we needed to go came from other patrons. We were introduced to Rob Kane, the owner of The Great Adirondack Brewing Company, who gave us the bartender’s name there. That would be our next stop, but we had work to do here. We met Lisa Randall from The Cottage Bar and Restaurant on Mirror Lake. A few women had slipped in unnoticed. Our bartender and owner of Zig Zags, Brett, was kept busy by his patrons and with exchanging insults with the regulars at the end of the bar. Lisa helped Pam with questions about Zigzags, then continued by answering questions about The Cottage. We promised her that The Cottage was on our list for the next day.

While Pam conducted interviews, Kim snapped some photos of the bar, declined a marriage proposal (being already spoken for), and made some new friends, including Wayne, Adirondack Guide and owner of Middle Earth Expeditions whitewater rafting adventures, and Tony, who offered to take us to some “real” bars not on the map. We’d have to get there by four-wheeler or snowmobile, and it all sounded just a bit sketchy. Ladies, Wayne claims that “If you’re looking for a man, come here,” listing his qualifications as hardworking, can hunt deer, build a log cabin and skin a bear.

Zig Zags, the only true “bar” in Lake Placid, is open daily throughout the year from 3 p.m. until 3 a.m. Lisa claims the best time to visit is between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., but we know otherwise – anytime is a good time. They have been in business for 10 years, have Happy Hour Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. with varying specials daily, and feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights. With plenty of draft and bottled beers and a standard liquor selection, Zig Zags has a come-as-you-are, I am what I am, laid back and fun personality. We talked to almost everyone in the bar, who seemed both accustomed to and tolerant of tourists, which is not always the case. The impression was one of a locals’ hangout that likes to have company.

Regretfully, we left Zig Zags, hopeful that our subsequent stops would be as rewarding. In the coming weeks we’ll review several of the bars on the Lake Placid leg of the summer tour. Next week we review the second bar on our Lake Placid tour, the Great Adirondack Brewery. Workaholics that we are, we’ll be continuing the summer tour in Old Forge this weekend. Suggestions are encouraged! Cheers and bottoms up!

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Wild Adirondacks, Pioneered by Painters

Yes, you read it right. We have artists to thank for bringing us to the Adirondacks. At least, that’s what the Adirondack Museum suggests, with a new exhibit of paintings by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait.

Maybe the name isn’t familiar, but the paintings certainly are, since Tait was the most popular painter to have his Adirondack paintings published by lithographers Currier and Ives.

Already successful in New York City for his extraordinarily realistic paintings of wildlife, the Currier and Ives exposure made him nationally famous, and drew attention to the Northeast Wilderness so close to New York and Boston.

Born in England in 1819, Tait was just over 30 when he relocated to New York City and not long after became enamored of the Adirondacks. He summered at a shanty near Raquette Lake painting sporting scenes amongst the lush landscapes that were to become some of his best-known works. Paintings such as “A Good Time Coming” (1862) featured the artist, two guides and a friend from Brooklyn enjoying the day’s catch around a campfire, while the dogs stand by. Hunting and canoe fishing were often depicted, but he also painted a number of nature “portraits” of bears, beavers, and quite a few farm animals in stunning detail.

Tait’s eye for detail is evident in every one of the more than 50 paintings exhibited, 38 of which are part of the Adirondack Museum’s permanent collection. Many of his works are part of our national consciousness, and to see them in person not only recalls a déjà vu kind of feeling, but it also helps to connect us to the fairly recent history of this region.

Well worth the trip to Blue Mountain Lake on State Rte 30, try not to miss this exhibit, which goes through October 17, 2011. The ADK Museum is a full-day event, with plenty of other exhibits, and a really nice café with a great view of the lake itself. Museum admission is $18 for adults, $16 seniors and $12 students. Take a look at the visitor’s guide here.

Along with ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, A. F. Tait will be featured in a special lecture by David Wagner, author of American Wildlife Art, at the Adirondack Museum on Monday, August 15, 2011, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Illustration: Above, “A Good Time Coming,” 1862, by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. Courtesy the Adirondack Museum.

Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Almanack Welcomes Arts Writer Linda Peckel

Please join me in welcoming the Almanack‘s newest contributor Linda J. Peckel. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts. Originally from Croton-on-Hudson, she developed a lifelong interest in the Hudson River School of painting, and has since expanded her appreciation to many types of art that hail from the Hudson River Valley and the Adirondacks.

She managed the Lakeshore Gallery in Bolton Landing during the 2009 season, and has reported on the arts from Albany to Canada for and her own ArtsEnclave blog. Linda has crewed on film sets, worked on film and music festivals, and interviewed painters, photographers and artists of all kinds.

Also a health writer, Linda often writes about mind-body connections. She has written for magazines such as Boston Home & Garden, Family Circle and Fairfield County Woman. She co-wrote the e-book, Just What the Doctor Ordered—An Insider’s Guide to Medical Writing with Nancy Monson, and contributed to Monson’s book, Craft to Heal—Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting and Other Pasttimes.

Peckel’s first contribution to the Adirondack Almanack, on the new Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait exhibit at the Adirondack Museum, will appear this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Short History of Johns Brook Lodge

Johns Brook (the apostrophe fell away long ago) is said to have been named for John Gibbs who lived at (or at least owned) the spot where the brook enters the East Branch of the Ausable in about 1795 (about where the Mountaineer stands today in Keene Valley).

The trail from the Garden Parking Area to Mount Marcy, on which Johns Brook Lodge sits, is said to have been laid out by Ed Phelps, son of legendary Keene Valley guide Old Mountain Phelps. Known primarily as the Phelps Trail (but also called the Johns Brook or Northside Trail), the route also serves as the northern boundary of the Johns Brook Primitive Area. The Primitive Area is one of four DEC management units (the High Peaks Wilderness, Adirondack Canoe Route, and Ampersand Primitive Area are the others) that make up the High Peaks Wilderness Complex [UMP pdf]. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

‘Dreaming of Timbuctoo’ Showing in Essex County

The “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” Exhibition will be on view at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall in the Champlain Valley from July 3-9. The Grange is located on Route 22, five miles south of the village of Essex, NY.

When it premiered at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake in 2001, “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” revealed the little-known antebellum history involving black homesteaders granted land in the Adirondacks in the mid-1840s—a step toward winning the vote for free black New Yorkers. » Continue Reading.

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