It’s spring in the Adirondacks! This is a photo of one of the participants in the ‘Perfect Pictures Every Time’ photo workshop I did during the last weekend of April at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. I saw him move into place by the cascades, and moved over to place him in front of the falls. Zoomed in to a telephoto focal length and shot with about a 1 second exposure to have a nice motion blur in the water. What a beautiful day it was for a workshop and photography.
Posts Tagged ‘Lake Luzerne’
For much of the past summer, Chris Shaw was busy organizing workshops and staging concerts of the region’s traditional music at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. “It’s vital that we preserve these songs,” said Shaw. “Nothing gives you better access to the Adirondack experience than listening to the music.” But it’s not the mission of the Adirondack Folk School to display the region’s hand crafted products behind glass, nor to make craftsmen into re-enactors; it’s to ensure that the traditions will be continued, said Shaw.
“That’s what’s so cool about the Adirondack Folk School; you don’t just learn the history of Adirondack pack baskets, you make one. It’s the same with music. We want to maintain the musical traditions, but also, to see them live and evolve,” he said. Shaw, a native of Lake George, has made a career of singing Adirondack folk songs and telling Adirondack tales. » Continue Reading.
A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake George, the Saratoga Region & Great Sacandaga Lake (Blackdome Press, 2012) is the latest effort by Albany writer Russell Dunn, a licensed guide and author of 10 books on the great outdoors of eastern New York and western New England. The guide includes detailed directions, information on launch sites, maps, GPS coordinates, photographs, safety and comfort tips, a wealth of historical and geological information, and directories of paddling outfitters, organizations and clubs.
The 352-page book features 58 paddling adventures in the southeastern Adirondacks, including Lake Desolation, the upper Hudson River, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Great Sacandaga Lake and the Sacandaga River, the Champlain Canal and Glens Falls Feeder Canal, Kayaderosseras Creek, Round Lake, Saratoga Lake, and Ballston Lake. » Continue Reading.
When Sally Svenson, a summer resident of Upper Saranac Lake and occasional contributor to Adirondack Life magazine, was writing Adirondack Churches: A History of Design and Building (2006, North Country Books) she stumbled upon the life of Eliza Warren Price, known as Lily, Duchess of Marlborough.
Lily, who was born in Troy, NY in 1854, was reported in an old history to have provided the funds for a chapel at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lake Luzerne. That turned out to be a questionable assertion, but Svenson found Lily’s obituary in the New York Times and was hooked on her incredible life story which is told in Lily, Duchess of Marlborough (1854-1909): A Portrait with Husbands (2011, Dog Ear Publishing).
Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill, was one. Consuelo Vanderbilt, wife of Winston’s cousin, the Duke of Marlborough, was another. But it is not widely known that there were three American women who married into the illustrious Churchill family of England in the last third of the nineteenth century. Lily was the third. Sister-in-law to Jennie and stepmother to Consuelo, she was, for a brief four years, the reigning Duchess of Marlborough and chatelaine of Blenheim, the Churchill family seat in Oxfordshire, and among the most stately homes in Great Britain. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne has finalized its 2012 schedule of over 200 classes focusing on the traditional folk arts and crafts of the Adirondacks.
Executive Assistant Mary Stevens says,” We do have some nice classes going on this month with the majority of our programs ranging from a few hours to a few days. Currently we have courses such as ‘How to carve an Adirondack Loon,’ with Walt LeClair, and ‘Making Gourd Art’ as well as the popular ‘Stick and a Hike.’”
Stevens says that planning ahead is essential, as classes do tend to fill up. Classes at the Adirondack Folk School are geared toward individual attention, so attendance is intentionally kept low.
We are a small, non-profit,” says Stevens. “We are always open to having people interested in volunteering to come and fill out a registration form. Up until this year, 2012, the Adirondack Folk School was completely run by volunteers. We have 25 new instructors at the school this year for a total of 75. We are very excited to have them and all that they are offering.”
Stevens says, “Our whole goal is to promote the arts, crafts and culture of the Adirondacks. We aren’t looking for students with previous skills. We want people to able to walk out of class with a nice piece of art or something functional.”
“We have a number of classes for children,” says Stevens. “What we call ‘A Stick and a Hike’ is very popular. An adult comes with the child and they learn to carve their own hiking stick. During the morning the students learn about trail etiquette and what to take on a hike. Later they can enjoy the trails. It is a nice day to share for anyone ages 8 to 80.”
Other classes geared toward children are Nature Photography, Tinsmithing for Young People, Basic Blacksmithing, Fly-Casting Basics for the Young as well as Creative Clay Construction for Kids.
On April 21 the Adirondack Folk School will be hosting a free event called “Song and Story Swap” with singer and musician Colleen Cleveland. People are encouraged to share songs, stories or poems in a round robin, focusing on a specific theme. The Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) will be there with plans to record and present the evening of music on their website.
“We also have a new open air bread oven and will be teaching a series of cooking classes we didn’t have in 2011,” says Stevens. “We will be teaching a class on ancient grains and baking in a wood-fired oven. In the fall, we will be having a Colonial Fest and students will be using colonial cookbook recipes to make food by traditional methods, such as cast iron Dutch ovens.”
The Adirondack Folk School opened its doors in 2010, offering 90 classes to almost 300 students in that first year. Housed in the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building, the school hosts inside or outside classrooms in fiber arts, basketry, woodworking, ceramics, woodcarving, felting, quilting, blacksmithing, boatbuilding and more.
Photo provided by the Adirondack Folk School.
Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time: Lake Placid and the High Peaks, Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities. Her second family guidebook will be in stores summer 2012.
Sometime in early January, the first participants in Double H Ranch’s Adaptive Winter Sports Program will begin arriving at Double H’s facility in Lake Luzerne. The program offers children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to participate in downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Around 30 children per day typically participate in the program, which runs every winter weekend from January through March. Most children participate for 3 or 4 days over the course of the winter, and five Family Sleepover Weekends allow the entire family to participate in winter sports together.
The program takes place on Double H’s ski slopes, which are equipped with a double chairlift and snowmaking. Like all programs at Double H, the Adaptive Winter Sports Program is offered completely free of charge to participants, and thousands of children and their families have been served since the program’s inception in 1998.
Double H’s program has been remarkably successful, with participating families enthusing about the sense of accomplishment, warmth, and joy that participants experience. The word “magical” comes up a lot. “We are so profoundly grateful for the opportunity to feel the magic of Double H,” wrote one family. “The weekend made a huge impact on all six of us. The welcome, the warmth, and the pride that we all felt was transformative. To see Zak, with hemophilia, skiing and knowing that he was learning in a safe environment, and beaming on the slopes, on his skis, skiing faster than his mom, with two talented and kind instructors, made me want to cry from joy!”
Just as remarkable is the enthusiasm of Double H’s volunteers. Dave Theobald, a volunteer from Ballston Lake told me “This will be my third winter, and I can’t say enough about the program. It helps me stay grounded with what life’s all about. My passion is skiing and helping people. Ever since I became involved with Double H’s winter program, I have the best of both!”
The volunteer ski instructors and National Ski Patrol allow Double H to provide a one-to-one support ratio for participants, who suffer from conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and cerebral palsy. All equipment is provided by Double H, including adaptive equipment such as sit-skis. There are more skiers in the program than snowboarders, but the number of snowboarders is growing. Peg Nelson of Gansevoort, another volunteer, described working with one snowboard participant. “I had a boy who wanted to snowboard, and he had never been on a chairlift before. I worked with him and we got him riding the chairlift and going down the hill on his snowboard the first day. It was just so inspiring and exciting. When people say that Double H is a magical place, it truly is. Until people experience it first hand, they can’t understand how special it is.”
With the start of the Adaptive Winter Sports Program just over a month away, Double H is looking to round out its roster of volunteers, particularly ski and snowboard instructors and National Ski Patrol. Nancy Driscoll, a volunteer from Niskayuna, told me “My motivation to volunteer is a selfish one – I truly get more than I give! The children are courageous & inspiring, the volunteers are generous & kind, and the Double H staff is a group of people that I just love to be around! Double H keeps my life in balance!”
To learn more about Double H Ranch and their Adaptive Winter Sports Program, including information about volunteering, contact them at (518) 696-5676 or visit their website .
Photos courtesy Double H Ranch
Jeff Farbaniec is an avid telemark skier and a 46er who writes The Saratoga Skier & Hiker, a blog of his primarily Adirondack outdoor adventures.
The coming weeks will provide lots of opportunities to shop for interesting handmade items, but one opportunity you won’t want to miss is the 2nd Holiday Gift Fair at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne this Saturday, December 3rd, from 9AM to 3PM.
The quality of the folk arts products is the best you will find anywhere, produced by the students and faculty in the Adirondack tradition. The types of articles you can find for sale include handcrafted furniture and woodworking, basketry, caning, ceramics, photography, leathercrafting, fiber arts, paintings, and so much more.
A special preview members-only event for the school’s supporters will be held on Friday, December 2nd from 7PM to 9PM showcasing the arts and crafts that will be later on sale. An individual membership starts at $25 annually. Contact the school to donate and register for this event. Donations go toward expansion and outreach efforts to make this school a success.
Opened for just over 18 months, the Adirondack Folk Art School is the first of its kind, designed to preserve an American tradition in Adirondack folk arts that is usually passed down from family to family, friend to friend. The school provides instruction in more than 20 types of crafts throughout the year at its beautiful Lake Luzerne setting with more 90 classes and workshops.
The holiday gift fair is a great opportunity to see where the traditions of Adirondack folk art live on—and to pick up a few Christmas gifts in the process. While there, you can pick up a course schedule and talk to the instructors to learn more.
Photos courtesy of Adirondack Folk School.
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.
Melba Mae’s was one of the few places we visited in the wee hours of the night (9 p.m.). Although the hand painted Melba Mae’s Riverview Inn sign is a bit difficult to read, the lighted message board in front touting the weekend’s band lineup is a beacon to passersby traveling along North Shore Road near the Conklingville Dam in Hadley.
Our visit to Melba Mae’s was prompted by recommendation from people we’d met at some of the Luzerne area bars we reviewed, as well as the fact that Kim’s husband is a member of the Ralph Kylloe Band, Melba Mae’s entertainment that night. The parking lot adjacent to the inn was full, but plenty of parking was available along North Shore Road. We wondered whether that was a good idea in the wintertime.
We entered through a side door, greeted by pleasant cooking smells, quiet chatter and a friendly and cheerful bartender. Kim looked over the beer lineup while Pam checked out the cocktail specials. Plenty of draft and bottled beers are offered. A Davidson’s brown ale, named Aurora Borealis, caught Kim’s eye. She hadn’t heard of that one. Manette, the bartender, explained that it was Davidson’s generic brown ale, and the establishment is allowed to create its own name, this one after the owner’s daughter. Pam settled on a vanilla white Russian. When we asked Manette about the white Mexican, she explained that it was the result of an accidental switch of tequila for vodka. The customer liked it, so they decided to keep it.
Family and community seem to be predominant themes at Melba Mae’s. Greeting cards, drawings, old email jokes, and handwritten menus on day-glow paper are posted all over the wall behind the bar. Melba Mae’s sponsors several community benefits and events throughout the year, hosting holiday parties and dinners; the St. Patrick’s Day party, featuring free corned beef and beer specials, is the biggest celebration of the year. During the summer months, Melba Mae’s is a popular charity bike run stop. Luzerne music camp counselors gather to let off steam and rafters make it an annual tradition.
Melba Mae’s is the kind of joint where you don’t feel like you have to take your shoes off at the door. It feels “lived in”, with low ceilings and hardwood floors. The walls are a combination of sheetrock, pine and blackboard. The L-shaped butcher block laminate bar comfortably seats 16 and several tables provide seating for 20 more along a windowed wall. A small patio provides an outdoor area to enjoy the view or escape the noise. An unusual feature is a separate smoking room, which, surprisingly, doesn’t leak tobacco smells into the main bar area.
Setting them apart from most establishments, the kitchen is open during all operating hours. If the bar’s open, the kitchen’s open. The menu consists of the usual bar fare – burgers, wings (accompanied by their homemade bleu cheese dressing), fried seafood, “Bands ‘n’ Beans” award-winning chili, sandwiches and salads.
Melba Mae’s has been owned by the current owners, Linda and Don for the past 19 years and is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday noon to midnight. Tuesday is Open Mike night, with live entertainment on Friday and Saturday. If you go, leave your credit and debit cards at home. Melba Mae’s is a cash only bar, though they anticipate adding an ATM in the near future.
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, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.
By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™
The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will be showcasing its new pavilion and blacksmith forge this weekend with free blacksmithing demonstrations on June 18th.
The school is located at the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building. Classes in traditional Adirondack arts such as basketry and twig/rustic furniture building are available as well as other folk art traditions such as weaving, ceramics, quilting and fly tying.
For families, one popular course is the “stick and hike” workshop. Parents and children can come create a walking stick and then go take their stick for a hike around the beautiful 6.8-acre Adirondack Folk School property that borders the Hudson River.
Adirondack Folk School Founder and Acting Director Jim Mandle says, “We recently had a group of high schoolers use the same techniques for the ‘stick and hike’ but instead of a walking stick created a memory stick with markings and carvings to highlight events that have influenced their lives.”
Mandle explains that a true “folk school” is based on a Danish principle in which people learn for the sake of learning, not to earn course credit. Some classes are set over a specific time frame but most classes are for a day to appeal to locals as well as visitors.
“The property is located on one of the most beautiful spots on the Hudson,” says Mandle. “It is the last free-flowing spot where the Hudson is untouched. Rockwell Falls is where we hold some of our painting classes.”
“The core idea of the Adirondack Folk School is to keep the Adirondack crafts alive,” says Mandle. “We just celebrated our one year anniversary on June 5th. We have a course catalog available. In the beginning I made a list of ideas for classes and sought out those instructors. Other people have since come to us and asked if they could teach a class. I am amazed what has happened in the past year.”
Mandle encourages people to just drop by and see the new blacksmith forge and maybe even get an opportunity to become a blacksmith for the day. With the addition of the outdoor pavilion the event will happen rain or shine.
The Adirondack Folk School is located on Main Street in Lake Luzerne. Offering over a hundred classes in traditional Adirondack folk art, there is bound to be something for everyone.
Make sure to check their schedule of events for free summer events such as Saturday Evening Campfire-Sing-Along and July 2nd Anniversary Party.
photo: students participating in Adirondack Folk School blacksmithing class
photo credit: Jim Mandle, Adirondack Folk School
content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George.
The Long Horn Restaurant and Pub at Lake Vanare in Lake Luzerne has been owned by Jeremy and Shannon Carner for three years. Right off the area snowmobile trail, they were kept very busy with an abundance of snow this winter. Glad to see some good come from that snow. In the summer months, the Long Horn caters to vacationers and motorcyclists. Lake Vanare, Fourth Lake and Lake George are all close by. In the immediate vicinity are camping, cabins for rent, an assortment of motels and vacation homes. A few dude ranches draw yet another crowd.
The exterior of the Long Horn boasts a rustic wood and brick theme. Patios adorn both sides, but were not yet set up for use. Upon entering through the bar entrance, the eye is drawn to a specials board mounted on the backside of a large fireplace, the centerpiece for both rooms. Slate and hardwood floors complement the fireplace; log rafters and pine paneled walls lend warmth. Pub tables on both sides of the room, only moderately distanced from the bar, were empty as we arrived, but filled up quickly. The dining room, which features another fireplace, is completely separate from the bar to afford a quieter atmosphere. A pool room at the other end offers enough seclusion to be a part of the bar scene, but to play a serious game.
The bar was full, but we found an empty pub table adjacent to the bar, close enough to feel a part of the crowd. We were immediately greeted by the waitress who took our drink orders and offered menus. Specialty drinks like the Almond Kiss, Hot Bootie and Peppermint Pattie, the usual liquor stock, and plenty of bottled and draft beer selections were available. The Long Horn also has a “mug club” with members’ only discount benefits.
XM Radio music from our generation (not giving that one away) played at the right volume in the background. We found the patrons to be friendly almost immediately. We met a member of the local band, Hill Billy Rocker, who goes by the name of Wild Bill, and learned the story behind the moniker as well. Carl was just passing through from a window tinting job and had decided to stop in. He shared a story about already being mentioned in a book, and seemed to be looking forward to a new story along that line. Pat and Jim, whose business cards boast “snowbirds” as their occupation, overheard the summary of our endeavors and eagerly shared a story of a similar encounter in Myrtle Beach as well as the inside scoop on a number of fantastic local happy hour venues. Better keep an eye on those two!
We eventually settled in and ordered from the varied and creative menu. Evidence of the influence of Deadheads was discreet, but menu items cleverly named after Grateful Dead songs, a small framed drawing of Jerry Garcia, and a skull hidden above the fireplace quietly suggested we were among friends. We ordered a half-order of supreme nachos ($5.69), a chicken fajita wrap ($7.89), and Cosmic Charlie’s Chili ($3.49 cup; $4.99 bowl). The nachos were indeed “supreme” and the wrap and chili both delivered an unexpected and subtle smoky flavor.
The Long Horn was closed for a week in April. The owners took a vacation, but it was obvious that the floor had just been resurfaced with polyurethane, a complete cleaning was performed and I believe I smelled fresh paint in the restroom. I admire a business willing to forgo a week’s income to freshen up for a new season.
Eventually a few stools opened at the bar and I was able to interview the bartender. Since most of the facts needed were available on their website, I didn’t have to burden Leah with too many mundane questions. She confirmed that the Long Horn is closed on Tuesday all year round. My margarita was served in a pint glass, and I wanted to know if that was the norm or if we were getting special treatment. Leah’s answer was this: “I’m Irish! If I can’t get drunk, I’m going to get you drunk.” Very quotable and evasive.
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.