This summer is my first experience in the Adirondack Park. I’m a New York native but I’ve called Westchester County my home for forever and while only about 300 miles apart, the park and my childhood home feel worlds apart.
I’m studying to be an engagement journalist. Which means that half of my job is to interact with people and most importantly – to listen. My secret; however, is that I’m an introvert so it’s always slightly nerve wracking approaching people to chat but the people of the Adirondacks have made it easy. So many of you who have lingered to chat have remarked on something similar, the sense of community you feel living here – and I can see it. Those who don’t linger still smile and greet me and everyone else with kindness.
Everything I’ve learned is news to me (pun intended). As someone who isn’t from this area I am intrigued in knowing and seeing everything. I’m sure I’m not the only one but I find myself staring into the horizon every chance I get to catch a glimpse of the mountains. Every time I drive past a body of water I can help but peek out of the corner of my eye to take it in. In between our tour stops we’ve identified wildflowers near Schroon Lake, hiked Big Crow, seen the Covered Bridge in Jay, and with every new stop we will explore more pieces of each community.
The sightseeing has been thrilling but my favorite part of our Summer Tour has been the stories. Everyone who’s stopped to chat has their own story to tell. I’ve heard about the need for childcare and the new preschool being built in Keene, the increased cost of living and the lack of housing availability, the beliefs in art as a healing practice, and more. We met one woman who shared the story of her grandmother who got lost and hiked Poke-o-Moonshine all by herself at the age of four. She even went as far as to bring back the news clipping of the story.
These are the stories I would never hear if we didn’t beckon you all to come chat with us. We want to hear what you have to say, regardless of whether you think it’s significant or not. Sometimes your life story can be the story we need. It’s my job to always have the gears turning, listening and thinking, you just have to talk.
Well, we are four stops on our summer tour in with nine left. Check out the full list here, with some virtual sessions and other dates to be added soon. Which stop will you be joining us for? In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts and/or share what you love most about the Adirondacks: [email protected].