Almanack Contributor Dick Monroe

A veteran north country writer & story teller raised in Saranac Lake, Dick enjoys “Living in the Day I Am In”, and then writing about it. A severely speech impaired 3x cancer survivor, his pen is his voice. He shares many of his Adirondack Outlaw adventures & tales here. Read the rest on his blog @ adirondackoutlaw.com.


Friday, July 19, 2024

A Treasured Island

A rain deluged road trip home. An afternoon tour of The Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Cottage. A presentation on the celebrated author’s life and works in the Historic Saranac Lake Museum’s John Black Room. All accomplished under the water-soaked eye of what remained of a hurricane. 

For the full story, click the link & read on.    


Thursday, July 11, 2024

Bittersweet Memories

A Canoe Trip Down Memory Lane, A New Pair of Shoes, and My SLHS Classes of the ‘80’s Reunion.

With this year’s graduations behind us  (Congrats to all Class of 2024 Graduates!) & Class Reunions before us, I thought I’d share this authentically Adirondack class reunion adventure.

(As a side note for those who read it, this is the “whole ‘nother story” recently referenced in my piece titled “The Bear Minimum.”)

For the full story, click the link & read on. 


Thursday, July 4, 2024

The Bear Minimum

Man holding blueberries

A Nostalgic Lookback at Some Bear Truths of Adirondack Economics 

As I sit here penning this story to page, the minimum wage here in New York State is $15.00 an hour. Life’s economics were far simpler for bear cubs growing up in Saranac Lake in the mid-1970’s.

For the full lookback story, click the link and read on.


Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tracking the Trail

An Updated Look at the Adirondack Rail Trail

Including a sneak peek at renovations inside the Rail Trail’s station house!

(I am, after all, an Adirondack Outlaw.  Gotta keep up my street cred.)

For my updated Rail Trail pics & report, click the link & read on.


Thursday, June 13, 2024

Locked or Unlocked?

Saranac Lake upper locks

An On-site Saranac Lake Upper Locks Construction Project Update

I made a road trip home this past weekend (June 8th, 2024).  With camping season upon us and the Saranac Chain of Lakes projected upper locks opening date seemly something of a moving target, my brother and I (and his dog Pepper) decided it would be prudent to conduct our own scout recon mission of Saranac Lake’s upper locks construction and get eyes on target.

We achieved mission success and even outraced the rain home to get back down through the lower locks to Lake Flower without getting wet!

To see and read the results of our joint reconnaissance effort, click the link and read on.


Sunday, June 9, 2024

The Messenger

New Testament image

North Country life can sometimes feel overwhelmingly hard; cold climate, harsh winters, economically challenging, limited career opportunities, lack of adequate housing and services, an unending array of environmental issues and regulatory quagmires, blackflies.

I’ve never been a particularly religious man, at least not overtly. But every once in a while, even a seasoned Adirondack Outlaw survivor’s soul benefits from an uplifting message. Sometimes that messenger appears quite unexpectedly, and in the strangest of places.

One such experience came my way this past winter. For the story that message inspired, click the link & read on.  


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Adirondack

Fisherman standing in water

Well, one more turkey hunting season has reached its conclusion. As spring turns towards summer and camping season approaches, I wanted to share this brief poem & pictorial collection of camp memories and life Adirondack.

I hope and pray that everyone has a safe and enjoyable 2024 Adirondack camping season.  Oh! And yes! Wild Turkey soup shall once again grace the Monroe Camp Chef menu. 

For my Adirondack camp poem & pictorial reflections, click the link & read on.


Monday, May 27, 2024

Drone Hunter

black and white image of a drone

As technological advances by the day become more routinely mainstream, they very frequently outpace regulatory adaptation, oversight and law enforcement capabilities. While most of these technologies unarguably offer many benefits, they also all too often collide with aspects of the connection with life outdoors that folks treasure most. Though it’s an issue I have neither heard nor seen much focus on or discussion of, I suspect the increasing availability and affordability of drone technology may well be one of them.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

“Beam Me Up, Scotty!”

Exterior of Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

As I’ve navigated deep space on my survivor writer life’s journey, every once in a while, something momentous has happened. I thought I’d take a brief moment from other writing projects I am currently focused on to share this look back piece on one of the best of them.

April 26, 2023: The day I got to sit down for an interview with Adirondack Daily Enterprise reporter Aaron Marbone, in the very hometown newspaper offices where I began my route back in my days as an Enterprising lad. 

Click here & read on.


Thursday, May 2, 2024

MS in the Mountains

man camping in the woods

Multiple sclerosis is an insidious disease. It’s like that big spider, hiding in some shadowed corner, sneaking into an unsuspecting camper’s sleeping bag & creeping up their leg whilst they peacefully sleep in a lean-to in the midst of the night.

I’ve written frequently of the many obstacles that cancer survivors with a desire to enjoy life outdoors face.

I’ve shared little, if anything, of the often much less visible challenges MS presents those living life in the mountains.

As a fifteen-year Adirondack life outdoor survivor blessed with a dual diagnosis, I hope my experiences, insights & lessons learned are of value to others who may be struggling to cope.

Each day we are in is a blessing!

In life there is hope! 

To share my survivor’s journey, click the link & read on.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

An Arbor a Day…

Little girl and her grandpa planting a tree

Mark your calendars. Arbor Day is upon us! April 26th. In commemoration, I wanted to share my 2024 tree planting journey.

This story earned Grampa an Ari Rae fist bump of approval. (This piece could have been alternatively titled: “A Forest for the Trees-The Sequel.”)

For the full story, click the link & read on.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Finding Totality

Turkey in the woods

I suppose that by now many folks out there are eclipse totality story saturated. My path to totality tale admittedly has found its way to daylight a bit later than most others. Sometimes our most unique life experiences are like that. They find us quite by accident and take time to unfold.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dinosaur Pike

Aerial shot of a lake

Adirondack lore is replete with legends, stories & tales of wilderness encounters. A shadowed array of wild creatures, monsters, and beasts time has long since forgotten. Some lurk High Peaks forests. Some prowl the night.  Still others lurk the hidden depths of mountain lake waters.

Some legendary creatures are oft regaled as campfire stories. Some are etched for posterity on cedar log lean-to walls. Others are whispered tales held close to the vest by greybeard backwoods old-timers. Some tales carry with them out of focus photography of debate topic provenance. A select few gain widespread notoriety via news media coverage.

Most Adirondack folks who’ve lived life in the mountains have a monster creature encounter tale or two of their own.

For one of mine, click the link & read on.


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Coyotes Howl Wild

coyote in winter

I know some sportsmen, outdoorsmen & hunters don’t hesitate to shoot on sight every bobcat, coyote, fox, fisher cat & predator they encounter. Some of them without regard to hunting regulations or whether that particular species is in season or out.  While in some ways I can understand & empathize with certain aspects of that sentiment, I’ve simply never been one of those guys. 

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Wood Ducks Wild

Wood Ducks on the water

Three things that bring me joy in this world are trail camera photography, waterfowl, especially wood ducks, and, in all of its various formats and forms, writing. Here’s a piece I put together merging all three. A specially selected trail camera waterfowl photography collection. A celebration of wood ducks. All framed in a Japanese short verse poetry form called Haiku. To share in my tribute to the wood duck’s wild beauty, click the link & read on.