Almanack Contributor Richard Monroe

Richard Monroe

Lifelong NYS resident. Raised in Saranac Lake. Cornell graduate(ROTC). Army veteran, Airborne/Ranger qualified, 10th Mtn Div, stints in Honduras and with JTF VI. 3rd degree Black Belt; 3x cancer survivor; published writer with several featured stories in Adirondack Life Magazine. Residing in Watertown NY with wife Robin & our 3 adult children. Loving Life. Living in the Day I am in. Follow my adventures at https://adirondackoutlaw.com/


Friday, November 26, 2021

Blown Up & Stuffed: Football memories

Varsity Football Memories & Lessons, taught by a true Adirondack coaching legend

saranac lake football

Saranac Lake High School. Varsity practice field – July, ’78:

“Hey MONK!  Get over here!”

I shot my best friend Chris a quizzical look. (Yes! THAT Chris, SLHS track star of Olympic Outlaws fame).

“Does Coach Raymond mean ME?!”  Chris shrugged and nodded.

“Looks that way.  Better hustle over find out.”  My first ever football practice. Already I was “Monk.”

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Thursday, November 18, 2021

What’s In a Gnome?

gnomes

Early one fall, several years ago, my wife Robin & I were planning our Christmas gift shopping list.  We asked my mom, who lives with us, and has everything;

“Mom-What do you want for Christmas?”

Mom’s answer?

“A really neat Garden Gnome.”

» Continue Reading.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Adirondack Dinosaurs

pitcher plant

“Adirondack Dinosaurs are far from extinct. In fact, certain species are quietly expanding their territory, migrating. Ancient carnivores slowly reclaiming what was once their domain. Patiently biding their time while they plot their next move. Watching us. Waiting to reclaim their Adirondack apex predator throne.”

Ever since I was a young boy, there have always been three things I’ve dreamed of being when I grow up: major league baseball player, writer, archeologist.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Hunter: A (nearly-true) High Peaks tall tale

hunter

“What was that noise I just heard? Was that just a squirrel or a chipmunk? Or is somebody watching me? Are we ever truly alone in the woods?”

 “In the mountains lurk predators that remain undiscovered.”

**********

Author’s Note: Everything in this story is either true, or could be. I truly enjoyed writing it.

**********

» Continue Reading.


Friday, October 29, 2021

When The Gales Come Early

misty morning

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee’

The lake it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy”

      These classic song lyrics from Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” haunt the forefront of my mind as I put pen to page in an effort to somehow capture the events of this true Adirondack Outlaw father/son canoe mounted duck hunt survival story.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Phoenix Rises! Celebrating a restored lean-to

new leanto

From the ashes of our beloved Bull Rush Bay lean-to’s old cedar logs, life rises anew!

Meet “The Phoenix”

  » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Adirondack Reflections

paw patrol

Fantastic fall foliage. NYS DEC Forest Ranger rescue tales. A hike along Paul Smith College VIC trails with wife, family, and our own troop of “Paw Patrol” canine companions. Adirondack memories reflected, shared, and new ones made at the VIC.   

I recently took time before heading full on into hunting season to spend some weekend time at Paul Smith College’s Visitor’s Interpretive Center, aka: “The PSC VIC.”

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Friday, October 8, 2021

Camping, with a stranger

richard monroe(A True Story) 

“Folks would pay big bucks for this experience.”

 My non-hunting brother uttered those words, as he sat dining fireside one early September lake evening.

Taking advantage of the special early NYS military/veteran’s waterfowl hunt, I had experienced success, and bagged several ducks. What good is hunter’s bounty not shared? So, I called up my brother;

“If you want a “Camp Chef” duck dinner, meet me up on the lake. I’ve got my spices, some olive oil, butter, and an onion already. Bring a frying pan, spatula, some scallions, and a fork. I’ll kindle a fire. When you get up this way, just look for the smoke.”

     I didn’t have to ask twice. There were no leftovers.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Outlaw Duck Hunters

Author’s Note: It’s hard to believe that my 1970’s childhood was a half a century ago. As I look back, which I seem to do as time passes with increasing frequency, I cannot help but thinking:

Life Adirondack for kids growing up was so much simpler back then. We didn’t get criminal arrest records for every heinous kid crime, like playing down by the river and chucking a few rocks at some ducks. Police gave kids stern warnings. When it came to kid enforcement, our MOMS were the law!

     If I & my neighborhood crew of Adirondack Outlaws had been held to the same societal standards for kids that exist today, by the time we were teenagers, we’d have all collectively been sent to reform school, never again to see light of day.”

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Saturday, September 11, 2021

Poem: Breathe

breathe

Author’s Note:  Greetings. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone. Your reads, RETWEETS, FACEBOOK shares, compliments & comments have all been so all greatly appreciated. I especially want to thank Editor Melissa Hart & all the great folks at Adirondack Explorer & here at The Adirondack Almanack. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity they have given me to share some of my adventures & stories with all of you.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Those cedar logs

“Adirondack lean-tos are so much more than simple cedar log structures built in the woods.”

lean-to

 The Bull Rush Bay lean-to is scheduled some time later this month to be demolished and replaced.”

     This news hit me like a heavy weight title fight sucker punch in the gut. I’ve been barely able to catch my breath since I first heard this news in a reader comment to my most recent Adirondack Almanack story, “Smoke on the Water,” posted just last week.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Monday, September 6, 2021

Smoke On the Water

A True Adirondack Lake Rescue Story

smoke on the water

“Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky”

Those famous lyrics may have meant one thing when they helped propel the 1970’s band Deep Purple to worldwide Rock n’ roll stardom, but to someone paddling a canoe on a wilderness lake in the Adirondacks, they quickly took on an entirely different meaning, as a group of young canoeists was about to find out.

It was the summer of 2012, and the Monroe family, as has become tradition over the past 40 plus years, once again established camp at our favorite spot near the mouth of the river flowing from the middle of the chain of Saranac Lakes, the site officially designated on the DEC reservation web page as “site 63”, but affectionately known by the locals as “Bull Rush Bay.”

Having grown up in the Adirondacks, worked, hunted and hiked the high peaks, done a stint in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, graduated Army Ranger School- I take pride in my hardiness and skills in the woods; nights spent alone under the stars, packing only an Adirondack woodsman’s most essential tools, matching wits with Mother Nature, the elements, and high peaks terrain.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Great Canoe Race Conspiracy

How the Adirondack Park Agency lead counsel’s legal shenanigans denied the Environmental Conservation Department a canoe racing victory 

The year was 1977. I was 13 years old. It was the summer before I entered my freshman year at Saranac Lake High School.  My Dad, Tom Monroe, had just been appointed in April by Commissioner Berle as DEC’s (then referred to as “Encon”) Region 5 Regional Director, following the long and distinguished career of the legendary William E. Petty.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Sunday, August 22, 2021

High Peaks Treasure at Livingston Pond

treasure

Most of us have reoccurring dreams.  Some of them are pleasant, some less so.  Psychologists write books about them, and each of us probably spends time puzzling over their meaning.  I think few of us ever expect them to come true, or even want them to come true.  Who really wants to show up in public in their underwear?  There are exceptions, moments when dreams do come true, if even only for a moment.  One of those moments, and those dreams, happened for me, while I was a young man, living and working in the Adirondack High Peaks.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Dill Pickle Pike: A fast camp favorite

My brother and I, circa 1969, at our Dock on the Sacandaga by our boat with a stringer full of walleyes we caught with our dad. 

“While many a pickled pepper peck Peter Piper may have indeed picked, I ponder: How many pickled pecks would have Piper picked if perhaps Peter were picking dill pickle pike.”

     My first youthful pike encounter was actually with walleyed pike, as opposed to great northerns. I’m not even sure Walleyes are technically really a true “pike”. Pickled or otherwise, I believe they are more a cross between a pickerel and a perch.

My Dad, younger brother and I used to fish the walleye run on the Great Sacandaga. We’d troll up and down, back and forth on the river, near where we kept Dad’s boat tied to our floating dock, out behind our rented grey stucco house, just above the bridge.  We trolled with yellow bucktails in Dad’s little Starcraft, at first putt-putting along with my Grandad’s old 5 HP Scott-At-Water. Somewhere along the line, Dad upgraded to a new 20 HP Johnson that started a lot easier and worked a lot better.

» Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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