Sitting on the dock, we sip our drinks while reading. The sun is bright and almost hot, but our sunscreen protects us. There are a few deerflies, but they will be dispatched if they do not subscribe to the peaceful vibe.
The appearance of the eagle was startling as it left its unseen perch and flew low and directly overhead. Paddling upstream through the channel to Canada Lake, it disappeared around the corner where a sawmill once stood in 1867.
After the Hornbeck Canoe also turned the corner, it was pleasing to see that the eagle had perched once again, even if much higher off the water.
In his seminal 1869 book, Adventures in the Wilderness, William H. H. Murray is less than enamored with the southern Adirondacks. He calls the area “the least interesting portion of the Adirondacks. It is the lowland district, comparatively tame and uninviting.”
We lowland residents would not agree.
Is the Adirondack High Peaks region less appealing because the Rocky Mountains are higher? Do the waterbodies of the area suffer in comparison to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota? Do the splendid attractions of the High Peaks render the remainder of the Adirondack Park irrelevant?
The mountains of Adirondack Park in northern New York are the high ground. Due to elevation and temperature, the fall change from green to multi-hued occurs prior to that in most other parts of the state. And the thinly-settled park provides opportunities to enjoy natural beauty unspoiled by the hand of man.
What’s the primary building material when you live in the woods? Wood, of course!
Where do you get wood for projects when you live in the woods? At the local sawmill! There is always one nearby.
When wood is locally sourced, it’s significantly cheaper than from a corporate home store. Plus you are supporting the economy in an area where jobs and opportunities are in short supply. And there is no shaving of truth. A 2 by 8 (2×8) is the full two inches by eight inches.
An article recently appeared in the Adirondack Almanack newsletter extolling the virtues of camping. In 10 Reasons Why I Camp, Melissa Hart recounts the joys of car camping. All are great and valid reasons to spend time at a Northwoods campground.
But there are some differences between Melissa’s recent experience and going a little deeper into the woods. Here is a list, in no particular order, of reasons to leave a few more comforts behind, and go backwoods camping.
“I have a signal,” said Dennis after we reached the parking lot, about 250 yards from the trailhead.
“Great! now we need to figure out where to call,” said JR. He started playing with his phone to see if Google would help.
“How about on the board over there?” asked Dennis. He pointed to the information station at the other end of the parking lot.
Dennis is quite resourceful and has good eyesight. Also, he has a phone with a charged battery, which JR quickly found to be lacking with his own.
Before long, Dennis connected with the listed number and the Rangers were on the way. Dennis and JR were instructed to wait in place.
Never having been any good at waiting, or following instructions, JR took one of their party’s two cars on a short to exploratory mission to see if the access road came out close by. The likely suspect was a road labeled with a Northern Frontier sign. But there was a bright yellow tubular-steel barrier that convinced him that he was not entering. He went back to wait with Dennis.
Every Winter Olympic year, there is a huge upswing in interest in curling. People unfamiliar with the sport are intrigued by its odd means of play, and also by an Olympic Sport that looks like fun for everyone. (It is!)
Curling is the greater of the two well known games invented by the Scots. These games have at least 3 things in common.
Though you play on a team, you are really competing against yourself, which can be both highly gratifying and incredibly frustrating.
One can imbibe while playing. “What’s the point of a game without a wee draught?” asked one of the originators, while towing his rocks to the frozen Curling Pond early in the 1500s.
Looking north across Essex Chain’s Third Lake. Photos by Author.
Geezers Paddle The Adirondack Essex Chain Lakes
“Is that rain or water bugs?” was the question upon arriving at the 3rd lake put-in, after walking a mile or so from the trail head.
Walking is not quite the right word. Carrying is more accurate. I am very glad I don’t carry an extra 60+ pounds all the time. A canoe and pack for a little over a mile is more than enough. And thank you, Peter Hornbeck, for keeping the canoe portion of the poundage to a minimum. May God rest your soul.
The gout is in retreat, but the large knuckle on my left foot’s big toe is still sore. Perhaps the modified gait to baby that joint was the reason for missteps, but twice I was happy to be wearing above-the-ankle hiking boots. The boot saved a rolled ankle both times.
How Amazing Music Has Come To A Beautiful Location
In July and August, music and more will fill the Town of Caroga and the surrounding communities. The Caroga Lake Music Festival features multiple styles of music performed by excellent musicians from all over the country. The quality and quantity of performers and performances is well beyond what one might expect to find in a small town of 500 souls in the southern Adirondacks.
The festival presents a variety of musicians from nationally recognized orchestras, chamber ensembles, and bands who regularly perform on reputed stations and shows including NPR, PBS, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Saturday Night Live, Ellen, Steve Harvey show and more. GRAMMY award winners include artists from multiple genres, including Sierra Hull, Geoff Saunders, Sandeep Das, Mike Block, and Cara Samantha.
With the water down for the winter, it’s easy to imagine the channel as the Mohawks of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy once saw it. Though the current dam on Stewarts Landing determines the summer level of the water, the top of the upstream rapids appearing when the level goes down is the determining factor for the winter level. This waterway was suitable for canoeing long before any dams were constructed.
What we call Stewarts Landing is the 2 mile stretch of flat water carrying the outflow of Canada and Lily Lakes to a concrete dam. Once called Fish Creek, the stream through and below Stewarts Landing is currently known as Sprite Creek. Below the dam, the unnavigable rocky stream flows into East Canada Creek, which joins the Mohawk and then Hudson Rivers.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.