The Adirondacks and hikers of the Northville-Placid Trail lost a friend when John Washburn passed away in September.
John and his wife, Jane, ran the Trailhead Lodge in Benson in the southern Adirondacks, near where the NP enters the Silver Lake Wilderness. Many a hiker spent the night there before embarking on the 120-mile trek to Lake Placid.
I used to speak with John fairly often as he wrote a number of articles for the Adirondack Explorer and sometimes provided us news tips. I also came to know his son, Michael, when he headed the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks.
I didn’t know much about John’s history other than that he used to teach. His obituary fills in some of the details. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and was discharged in 1964 as a first lieutenant. He taught in the Gloversville School District from 1968 to 1987. After retirement, he founded the Search Team 5-1, took part in many searches for lost hikers, and wrote a manual for rescuers titled Point Last Seen. He also wrote a book on Irish history. He and his wife ran the Trailhead Lodge from 1989 to 2011.
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