Almanack Contributor Sarah van Rijsewijk

Sarah lives in the northern ADK's with her husband, 2 daughters, sled dogs and 15+ chickens. She is an aspiring children's book author, and professional Tarot advisor. She wears many hats working with The Adirondack Explorer, and she loves them all.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reflections on Leap Day & Using Time Wisely

Time on toes Photo Credit: Horst J. Meuter, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

We celebrate Leap Day this year… and maybe celebrate is not the word 90-percent of the population refers to. A quick Google search shows us that it actually takes Earth 365.242190 days to orbit the sun, resulting in a “bonus” day if you will, once every four years. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Journey to Eagle Mountain

sled dogsI’ve always been happy to live in the Adirondacks and enjoy the four seasons that come with it. This year I learned to really love the month of November. Weird, right?

November is tan, gray, and bleak. ‘Brace yourself’ she says. ‘Winter is coming and I’m just the beginning.’

For my family, we are content when the temperatures dip and the clouds suggest snow. November is the introduction for the cooler months to come. My husband and I raise Alaskan Malamutes; sturdy and stubborn sled dogs, with a natural desire to pull, complete with thick undercoats. As their name suggests, they hail from Alaska and thrive in the cold.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Stories we love

heart mugMaybe it was just coincidence that the coffee mug I reached for this morning bore a big red heart, or maybe it’s seasonal subliminal messages. 

However, these posts aren’t really focused on overpriced roses and Hallmark greeting cards. Digging through the Almanack archives, I thought it would be better to highlight more of the unconditional stuff that you can’t find at the grocery store.


» Continue Reading.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival – Past and Present


2024 Saranac Lake Winter Creepy Carnival

Driving through Saranac Lake the last few days has been exciting, getting to witness construction of the Ice Palace – brick by icy brick.

The theme for the 2024 Winter Carnival is ‘Creepy Carnival’, which should be pretty fantastic!

We’ve compiled images and a few fun articles  (courtesy of the Almanack archives and of the buttons and posters from the last decade of carnivals.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, January 1, 2024

A Joyful Journey to an Adirondack Home


Sarah and Jeramie van Rijsewijk on the top of Mt. Marcy

When I was 15 years old, I realized that I loved being in the mountains. I was introduced to hiking, eventually attended college in southern New Hampshire, and would regularly snowboard with my partner during weekend trips to Vermont. One day on our way home, we started discussing where to live full time someday. I was happy to settle in the green mountains.

“Instead of Vermont, could we consider living in the Adirondacks?” my partner asked.

That hadn’t occurred to me.
I quietly realized he may be on to something. 

On Columbus Day weekend of 2011, approaching our first wedding anniversary, we set out to climb Mount Marcy with our Alaskan Malamute, Luna.

The morning of Oct.9 we made it to the summit, where we relit the unity candle I had made for our wedding the year before. He shielded the wind while I managed to get the candle lit briefly –honoring our hike to this high peak, our first married year, and the many years to come.  » Continue Reading.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

From the Archives: Animals in Winter

Black bear mother and cub hibernating - University of Minnesota
The past few days have been a strange start to our Adirondack winter, with warm temperatures in the 40s and a drizzly rain.
But, don’t be deceived… winter is officially here! So, what happens to the wildlife in the ADKs when the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall?

Check out some of these great articles from the Adirondack Almanack archives:


» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Spooky Season: Adirondack Almanack Roundup

pumpkins on a table

The end of the year is closing in on us. The leaves continue to fade and fall, the nights are long and we’re all slowly realizing that winter is only a few weeks away.

Smell the crisp fall days and maybe a subtle hint of candy corn.

We’ve gathered up a few of our all time favorite “Spooky Season” posts for you to reflect on.
Check them out!

1. History Matters: Humble Spirits:

This beautifully written piece by Amy Catania is sure to give you a few goosebumps. We get so wrapped up in our day to day lives, it’s important to remember the ones who had lives BEFORE us.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Fall in the Adirondacks

It’s a subtle shift in color that takes over. One morning you notice a grove of little maples along the road full of vibrant crimson, magenta and orange. Some of the bigger and older trees ease into their fall outfits, dressing in deepening shades of amber, a bit more dramatic each morning.

Fall is here in the Adirondacks, and with it so many of our favorite pastimes. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

MAKE IT: Perfect Pesto Sauce

fresh basil

When I was young, maybe eight or nine years old, my mom made dinner one evening in the middle of the summer. She served spaghetti to us, with a very odd looking green sauce. She encouraged me to try it, and that was when my love for pesto sauce began. 

My mom has always had a green thumb. Her garden is impressive every year, and her massive pots of basil growing all summer long mean that we will have a bounty of fresh pesto to eat during the summer and freeze for the winter. I can’t explain it… but in the middle of February when there is endless snow, defrosting a batch of summer pesto is a sure fire way to pull you out of the winter blues – even if it’s just for one meal.

I will say though, as much as I have loved pesto sauce for most of my life, I think the recipe my mom follows is the best. And we have to give credit where credit is due, her recipe was a hand me down from my Aunt Debbie, my mom’s sister in law – who received the recipe from a little Italian restaurant in Clifton Park NY. (Where it came from before that, is beyond me!)

Now I share it with all of you!

» Continue Reading.