Monday, September 8, 2008

End of Summer 2008:Reports from Adirondack Travelers

Even though for many of us summer is just beginning, the summer crowds have now gone, so it’s time to take our annual look at some of the folks who were here over the past several months. Some were joyful, amazed, or awed. Others were disappointed , annoyed, or angry – they were all here, and here’s a sample of some of the summer’s more interesting. You can find last year’s look here, and 2006 here.

A number of visitors were rekindling old Adirondack experiences. After 40 years Doctroidal Dissertations made a fourth generation trip up Blue Mountain:

Back around, oh, I’d guess the late 1920s, my grandfather took my father for a hike up Blue Mountain in the Adirondacks. Forty years later, my father took me up Blue Mountain. Now it’s another forty years…

It was, by the way, a great time for Adirondack hiking. The weather was warm but not hot, and it being weekdays after Labor Day, the tourists were pretty much gone. We saw one other group of hikers on the entire Castle Rock hike. Something like 25 hikers signed in at Blue Mountain between the time we arrived and the time we left, but that stands in contrast to something like 150 of them on Sunday. The down side, of course, is that a lot of the businesses that cater to tourists close down after Labor Day. Like Enchanted Forest / Water Safari in Old Forge, which Kenny wanted to go to: I told him we could go to Old Forge but I couldn’t guarantee we’d be able to go to the theme park, and indeed we couldn’t. Instead we played miniature golf (had the course to ourselves) and ate lunch, then came home.

Greater New York returned to the Raquette River after more then 25 years to find “deep forests, friendly paddlers, and plenty of quiet. It was all fine with us.”

kallison seems to have had a great (if somewhat dangerous) time, mostly, except for maybe some of the hiking and camping:

The sun setting over Marcy was fabulous as well, but should have had us more concerned. Note to hikers, if you can see the sun setting while on top of a mountain, you may not have enough time to get down the mountain while it is still light. The final 2.5 miles were in darkness, near total, with only a small headlamp to guide us through the land. I imagined bears, slippery rocks, roots, mud. My legs were shot. My joints were aching. The soles of my feet were sore… I literally could not stand up, and kept falling. My last two falls were while standing on a rock in a stream, close to our camp, and my legs giving way. Finally, we had a glorious moment when we realized that we’d reached “home.” I climbed into my sleeping bag to warm up, and Jeffrey proceeded to open his Chef Boyardee ravioli can. When I grew concerned that we might risk starting a forest fire where the stove was, he thought I was rushing his cooking. He dropped the ravioli on the ground, and began a temper tantrum not seen since he was a food-stressed 2-year-old. It included throwing the dirty ravioli at me, and telling me that I was greedily waiting for my can of beans, thus causing him to rush his ravioli. It was a low-point, and necessitated leaving the tarp for the nearby lean-to, as scattered ravioli might attract bears.

Diane at ADK Family Time took a family vacation to the Battle of Plattsburgh Interpretive Center and came to the conclusion that “It is challenging at the best of times to explain war to an eight-year-old child. His understanding is directly related to bad and good. There is no in-between. To him war is a game played between lunch and dinner and casualties are usually a few lampshades.”

The author of Dictator Journal, HATES mushrooms, and “stupid deers.”

There were lots of mushrooms growing there. Nate’s Mom had a book to identify mushrooms, and took pictures of them. When she wasn’t looking, sometimes I would stomp on them. Nate nicknamed me Mycozilla. I like it. Then I saw deer eating the mushrooms. I caught a doe one morning scarfing mushrooms like candy. She came within eight or so feet of me and Nate on her mushroom hunt. After that, I retired my Mycozilla ways and left the shrooms for the wildlife, even though stomping on squishy mushrooms is totally fun. Stupid deers.

willowluna had some peak experiences while in the Adirondacks, including this gem:

Teaching my daughter to pee in a hole in the woods that we dug. Truly, this was such a high for me. I loved that she was completely open to it and didn’t mind having to do it more than once. Much better than an outhouse! Go ahead, call me a freak.

The author of Cook, Study, and Be Crafty had a great time in the Adirondacks, except for that part where her daughter broke her arm!

On the outdoor sports front, Bicycling Affair chronicled their trip from Rochester through the Adirondacks on the way to Burlington; Ironhokie blogged about his experience at the 2008 Lake Placid Iron Man; and Kayaker Musings spent the summer building a boat! Somewhere in NJ posted a large birding trip list and some nice photos.

A couple of folks spent the summer getting ready to move in or moving into the Adirondacks.

City Mouse / Country House has been coming to grips with the APA, exploring the variety of toilet bowls, and, well, praising Zone 3. Mauigirl has been blogging her experience of buying property in Lake George.

Also of note:

Although they’re at different skill levels, both Jeff Harter and Rat Girl 3 spent time in the Adirondacks practicing their art.

Moonraking spent some time at a former great camp and Disenchanted Youth explored the old mining operations in Essex County, including the Republic Steel property.

Tarnished Poet’s blogster rant wondered [very] aloud about whether anybody would care about her trip to the Adirondacks –

i dont know, theres just so much going on inside my head constantly. normally i LOVE camping, and cant get enough of it. this year? not so much. all i wanted to do was get high, have sex, go shopping, whatever. i just did not want to be up there. but finally, on the second to last day, i enjoyed myself. i dont know why im rambling on about all of this. its not like anybody ever reads what i have to say. i guess that can be a positive. i can write whatever the hell i want and know that it will never be found out. imagine that, huh? im writing personal thoughts and posting them on the internet for the world to see, and no one gives a f*** about what i say. pretty intense, huh? yeah, not really.

The Photography

Some of the greatest photography this season came from local photog The Landscapist whose Adirondack Coast series reminds us of the variety of life in the region:

We live in a state park in a village that is somewhat of a geographic oddity. Approximately 25 miles to the SW of us is the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks – rugged wilderness with 46 peaks over 4000 ft. The same distance to the SE is the Lake Champlain Region (AKA, The Adirondack Coast) – a 130 mile long lake with gentle rolling farmland and quaint New England-style villages dotting the shoreline. The 2 areas could hardly be more different from each other. In fact, it’s difficult to think of them as part of the same Adirondack Park.

Also worth mentioning is Mountain Trail Photo Blog, a group photography blog that is boasting “some of the most respected and published nature photographers in the country”; Maraca’s Vacation 2008; and on a more amateur photography note, check out the 5th Annual Gentleman’s Picnic,

For your dose of different check out Peeling a Pomegranate, a blog of “Earth-based Magickal Judaism, often known as Jewitchery – writings, rituals, midrash, magick, prayers, and more…” that found some interesting related images on a 2008 Adirondack Adventure.

The Video

YouTube has been popular way to post some great (and not so great) footage of the Adirondack family vacation. There has been a ton of new footage posted of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, but taking a look at tallvivian’s reminds us that the Adirondack Scenic Railroad Wine Train was probably a lot of fun.

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