Heat and hard physical work can be a debilitating combination. Two of my experiences with them from the long-ago past were a challenge and a heck of a workout — under a blazing sun, doing the haying, and, my personal favorite, picking rocks. But the most exhausting of all was harder than both — digging graves with a shovel and pick during the hottest days of summer. I quickly understood why the veteran diggers joked that people who died during the summer were so inconsiderate.
Decades ago, while researching my first book, the details of another very hot and difficult job were revealed to me by a kind and accommodating woman named Emma Johnson, who was 85 years old at the time. The subject was a remarkable place in northern Clinton County known locally as the Altona Flat Rock. New York State’s Natural Heritage Program, established in 1985, defined the Altona Flat Rock as “sandstone pavement barrens,” a natural rarity. » Continue Reading.
With New York State officials contemplating new ways to induce economic development in the Adirondack Park, the idea of connecting communities more directly to the surrounding Forest Preserve makes plenty of sense.
As Governor Cuomo said at the 2017 Adirondack Challenge this summer:
“You want to develop the asset (the Adirondack Park) because we need jobs, we need the economy, we need tourism. It has to be done in a way that doesn’t disrupt or deteriorate the asset. Because the Adirondack Park is not just an economic asset, it’s not just a state park, it really is a gift from God. I believe that. There is a spirituality to the Adirondack[s] … that is undeniable. And the last thing we would want to do is diminish that asset. Our goal is to leave it even better than before for our children.” » Continue Reading.
William J. O’Hern’s new book Adirondack Camp Stories: A Treasury of True Tales, Lore, History, Recreation, and Colorful Characters of the Mountains (North Country Books, 2017)is a storybook with archival photos that connect readers with early Adirondack camps — from the simplest backwoods shelters, to boarding houses and hotels that offered more comfortable amenities. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced improvements to the Meacham Lake Campground in the Adirondack town of Duane, Franklin County, under the State’s Adventure NY initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature. The improvements, supported by a $1.2 million state investment, include a new accessible boat launch on the eastern shore of Meacham Lake, a parking area, and green infrastructure features.
The boat launch project includes a concrete ramp with floating docks designed for use by people with disabilities; 21 parking spaces for vehicles and boat trailers – including one parking space reserved for people with disabilities; an information kiosk; and landscaping with native plants. The parking lot includes gravel pretreatment filters, a bio retention area and an underground infiltration gallery to manage stormwater. The roadway through the campground to the boat launch was repaved.
Recently, I was returning from Nubble Cliff in the Giant Mountain Wilderness when I passed a tent on the southeast shore of the Giant’s Washbowl and heard someone breaking branches or dead trees, presumably gathering wood for a campfire.
Campfires are an Adirondack tradition. Who doesn’t like a fire when sleeping under the stars? Nevertheless, I couldn’t help thinking that this was not good for the environment. Rather, it was destructive. » Continue Reading.
While navigating the spellbinding terrain along the Pacific Crest Trail, I found it difficult to resist the temptation to take photos.
Each endless vista around each corner was more jaw-dropping than the last! As I hiked onward, smartphone in hand, impermanence was weighed against the magnitude of the moment. “After all, you may never see these places again,” reminded my sage hiking partner. I had to contemplate whether looking at the staggering scenery through an electronic screen was detaching me from the present experience. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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