Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Window on an Adirondack Holiday Tradition

Kathy and Lonnie Ford own a small hillside home in Saranac Lake. They’ve lived there for three decades, raising two sons along the way. The dominant feature of the 1931 Sears catalog bungalow is a large plate glass window installed by the original owner to support his wife’s cultivation of African violets. For the past 25 years Kathy, who is Production Supervisor and Senior Designer at Adworkshop in Lake Placid, has used the picture window for pictures: as a temporary canvas for her annual holiday greeting to neighbors and passersby.

The tradition was inspired by memories of smaller holiday window paintings made by Kathy’s mother. Since December 1987 Kathy has painted colorful images, from outdoor snowscapes to warm indoor scenes, across the eight-by-six-foot window. Lonnie, as chief window washer, is also in charge of setting up the floodlights that keep the mural visible after dark.

Over the course of 25 years, the composition of Kathy’s paintings has grown increasingly complex and detailed. What began as an image of a goose nested in a wreath had developed by year 20 into a three-point perspective Victorian streetscape, complete with carolers and a horse-drawn carriage.

As she swept this year’s mural sketches out of view, Kathy suggested that the 25th installment may be the most ambitious yet. For a project that most years takes up to 50 hours to complete, Kathy expects to spend over 60 hours this year.

The trick to this unique holiday offering is in the technique. As the windows are painted from the inside to be viewed from the outside, Kathy must apply the opaque acrylic paint in reverse sequence, moving from the finest detail to the most general shapes. It is an artistic discipline dating back to the Middle Ages and goes by the name “verre églomisé,” or in German, the appropriately tongue-twisting “hinterglasmalerei.” In any language it is an artistic challenge roughly similar to reproducing a Vermeer upside down and behind your back while gripping the paintbrush between your toes. The result—in Lonnie’s words—is “a Norman Rockwell from the outside and a Van Gogh from the inside.”

For all the effort, these ephemeral works of art remain only through the holiday season. Early each new year, Lonnie, as self-described art assassin, scrapes the paintings off the window in long acrylic ribbons.

To view the completed mural, drive or walk by the Ford’s at 194 (formerly 91) Lake Street (the hilltop section between Lake Street’s two intersections with Petrova Avenue) after the end of the week, but before the New Year.

To see some of Kathy’s paintings from previous years, see the following post.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Louise Gaylord Mystery Set in the Adirondacks

Known for her unexpected twists and well-researched storylines, Louise Gaylord features an Adirondack mystery in Dark Lake (Little Moose Press, 2011), the fourth installment of her nationally acclaimed Allie Armington series.

When asked why the Adirondacks is so special to her, Louise said, “The first time I came up here I hated it. My husband’s brother said we were going to the club. A club to me meant a place for a dress and heels. They took us out to a camp with no electricity or running water for five days. It was quite a shock and I didn’t want to come back. But then I came back again and again and again, for over 40 years. It became my heart’s home.”

In the new book the brave and intelligent Allie Armington returns after 15 years to her aunt’s cottage retreat in the Adirondack Mountains where she spent most of her childhood summers. She anticipates a happy reunion, but instead finds her Aunt Sallie dead, and a close-knit community trying to portray the tragedy as suicide to keep it out of the news. Allie must clear her aunt’s reputation, navigating her way around a compromised police department, wealthy neighbors with agendas, and a drug conspiracy that gets wackier every second.

Gaylord got the idea for the murder mystery series after spending three months on a grand jury panel in Texas. The series includes three prior novels to Dark Lake, with stories ranging from the Southwest (Anacacho and Spa Deadly) to New York (Xs).

Gaylord’s first Allie Armington Mystery, Anacacho, won the National Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Mystery/Suspense and many other awards. Gaylord divides her time between homes in Houston; Santa Barbara, California; and Old Forge, New York.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.


Friday, December 2, 2011

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights

On Friday afternoons Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers a collection of the week’s top weblinks. You can find all our weekly web round-ups here.

Subscribe! More than 7,500 people get Adirondack Almanack each day via RSS, E-Mail, or Twitter or Facebook updates. It’s a convenient way to get the latest news and information about the Adirondacks.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Adirondack Events This Weekend (Dec 2)

Visit the Almanack on Fridays for links to what’s happening this weekend around the Adirondacks.

The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry conditions and hunting and fishing reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters this weekend.

Region-wide Events This Weekend

Lake Placid Region Events This Weekend

Old Forge Area Events This Weekend


Friday, December 2, 2011

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories

Each Friday morning Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers the previous week’s top stories. You can find all our weekly news round-ups here.

Subscribe! More than 7,500 people get Adirondack Almanack each day via RSS, E-Mail, or Twitter or Facebook updates. It’s a convenient way to get the latest news and information about the Adirondacks.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adirondack Fish and Game Report (Dec 1)

Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday afternoon, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** WINTER CONDITIONS
Winter conditions exist throughout the area. Snow, ice, and cold temperatures can be expected, especially at elevations above 3,000 feet. Night time and morning temperatures are commonly below freezing at all elevations. Be prepared at all elevations by wearing appropriate footwear and outerwear including a hat and gloves or mittens. Dress in layers of wool and/or fleece (Not Cotton!) clothing. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to hypothermia and eat plenty of food to maintain energy levels and warmth.

** SNOW DEPTH REPORT
Snow cover from last week’s winter storm has all but melted away, except at elevations above 3,000 feet where some snow remains.

** WET AND MUDDY TRAILS
Mud and/or puddles may be found on trails and access points in some locations, particularly in lower elevations, along waterways and wetlands and in low lying areas. Wear appropriate footwear.

** ICE ON WATER
Ice has begun forming on water bodies, especially in smaller ponds, higher elevation waters, bays and backwaters. At this time no ice is safe. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.

** MOST WATERS RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL
With the exception of the northwest corner of the Adirondack Park, this week’s snowmelt has raised to the level of the region’s rivers and streams to above normal levels for this time of year. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.

BACKCOUNTRY ROAD CLOSURES
The Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed with no current timetable for reopening (though it is likely to reopen next year). A few roads in the Hudson River Recreation area are open but have significant washouts and should only be accessed by 4-wheel drive and other high clearance vehicles, these include: River Road; Buttermilk Road north of the Town line; and Gay Pond Road before Campsite #13. The following roads or sections of roads remain closed to motor vehicles due to damage caused by Hurrican Irene, they are passable on foot: Buttermilk Road Extension north of the Gay Pond Road; Gay Pond Road past Campsite #13; and the access road to Darlings Ford Waterway Access Site. In the Moose River Plains all roads designated for public motor vehicle use are open and in good shape. The public should use caution as the road is also being used by log trucks to haul forest products from League Club property. The Otter Brook – Indian Lake Road is open to Squaw Lake which is the permanent termination point for motor vehicle usage in accordance with the approved Moose River Plains Complex Unit Management Plan. A temporary barrier has been placed just past the Squaw Lake Trailhead, a gate will be installed in the future. DEC Region 5 has updated the Moose River Plains Wild Forest map.

MOTORIST ALERT: WHITETAIL DEER
The peak period for deer-vehicle collisions is October through December, with the highest incidences occurring in November. This corresponds with the peak of the annual deer breeding cycle when deer are more active and less cautious in their movements. Approximately 65,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur throughout NYS each year and two-thirds of the annual collisions occur during this three month period. Most of the collisions occur between 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Motorists are advised that the best way to avoid a collision with a deer is to reduce speed and be alert for their presence on or near the highway.

MOTORIST ALERT: MOOSE
There are upwards of 800 Moose in the Adirondack region, up from 500 in 2007. Motorists should be alert for moose on the roadways at this time of year especially at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility when Moose are most active. Much larger than deer, moose-car collisions can be very dangerous. Last year ten accidents involving moose were reported. DEC is working to identify areas where moose are present and post warning signs.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods or heading onto the waters and be aware of weather conditions at all times. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region.

** Fire Danger: LOW

FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.

ADIRONDACK HUNTING REPORTS

** Weather Blamed in Off Deer Hunting Season
Adirodnack deer hunters and DEC wildlife biologists are blaming this season’s warm weather for a lower-than-anticipated harvest. DEC Region 5 wildlife biologist Ed Reed attributes the lower take to warm weather causing less deer movement, fewer hunters as many wait for colder weather and snow, and above average takes over the last several years. According to Reed The statewide deer harvest is down 14% as of late October according to Reed. Late muzzleloader season opens December 5 in several Region 5 or 6 Wildlife Management Units.

Deer Management Plan Now Available
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that it has adopted a five-year deer management plan. The final plan, which has been revised based on public comment on a previously released draft version, is now available online. DEC has prepared an Assessment of Public Comment as a brief overview of what seemed to be the principal issues identified with the draft plan, and including their responses to those issues.

** Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands
Public access to and use of the easement lands is prohibited during the regular big game hunting season which is currently open. The big game hunting season closes on Sunday, December 4. Public use will once again be allowed beginning Monday, December 5. Also public hunting is prohibited until the end of the year. Public hunting will once again be allowed on January 1, 2012.

Lewis Preserve WMA
The Brandy Brook has jumped its bank creating a braided stream channel across the main foot trail adjacent to the existing foot bridge. Users should use caution while attempting to cross this new stream channel as it may be deep and swift moving.

Kings Bay WMA
A section of the access road to the parking area off Point Au Fer Road has washed out. The damaged road is still passable but very narrow. The washed out section is marked with an orange barrel at each end.

Some Small Game Seasons Open
A number of small game seasons are now open including: Grey, Black and Fox Squirrel, Crow, Snipe, Rail, Gallinule, Ruffed Grouse, Cottontail Rabbit, Pheasant, Woodcock, Coyote, and Varying Hare (Varying Hare in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R, 5S & 5T where it opens December 12). Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum and Weasel seasons are now open. Bobcat season is open in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R which does not have a season. See the DEC Small Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Canada Goose Hunting Seasons Ending
Canada Goose hunting seasons in the Northeast Hunting Area has closes Monday, December 5; the season closes in the Lake Champlain Hunting Area Saturday, December 3. DEC Canada Goose hunting info is online. Note that the boundary between the Northeastern and the Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones now runs east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York – Vermont boundary.

** Regular Bear Season Closing (WMUs 5A,5C,5F,5G,5H & 5J)
Regular bear season closes Sunday, December 4. See the DEC’s Big Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Northern Zone Deer Seasons
Regular season closes Sunday, December 4; Late Muzzleloading season opens Monday, December 5 and closes December 11 in Region 5 WMUs 5A, 5G and 5J. See the DEC’s Big Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Waterfowl Seasons
In the Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zone Snow Goose season closes December 29; Brant season is now closed; Duck season has reopened and closes December 22. In the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone Duck season closes December 10; Snow Goose season is open until December 31, then reopens February 24 and closes April 15; Brant season is now closed. Note that the boundary between the Northeastern and the Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones now runs east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York – Vermont boundary.

2011 Duck Season Outlook
Most duck populations in New York are doing well this year due to excellent habitat conditions across the continent for waterfowl nesting and brood-rearing. However, breeding populations of eastern mallards and wood ducks – the two most commonly harvested ducks in New York – were lower this spring than in 2009, and Atlantic Flyway biologists are concerned about a long-term decline in eastern mallards that became more apparent in recent years. Sixty-day duck seasons were approved by federal and state authorities for another year, but this situation will be closely monitored in the future. Bag limits for all duck species will be the same as in 2010-11 and can be seen at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28888.html.

2011 Goose Season Outlook
September Canada goose seasons have just ended, but hunters can look forward to another 45 days or more (depending on area) to pursue these popular game birds later this fall and winter. Resident geese remain abundant in many areas of the state, and migratory populations that pass through New York were estimated to be higher last spring. Hunters are reminded that Canada goose seasons are set for different geographic areas of the state than other waterfowl seasons; therefore maps should be closely reviewed. A special spring season for snow geese will continue for the fourth year in all of upstate New York. These birds have become so abundant that they are causing harm to wetland habitats throughout their range. Special spring seasons have been established in many eastern states and provinces to increase hunter harvest and help reduce this population. The daily limit for snow geese is 25 per day.

Migratory Bird Hunting Requirements
Hunters 16 or older must have a 2011 federal duck stamp to hunt during any of the 2011-2012 seasons. Federal duck stamps cost $15 and are available at most post offices and some sporting goods stores. They are also available by calling toll-free 1-800-852-4897 or at www.duckstamp.com. Stamps must be signed across the face by the hunter before they become valid, but they do not have to be attached to the hunting license. All migratory game bird (waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, rails and gallinules) hunters, including junior hunters (age 12-15), must register with New York’s Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) prior to hunting in any of the 2011-2012 seasons. Hunters must register every year and for each state in which they plan to hunt migratory game birds, and also must carry proof of compliance whenever going afield. To register in HIP, call toll-free 1-888-427-5447 (1-888-4 ASK HIP) or visit www.NY-HIP.com.

Waterfowl Consumption Advisory
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) periodically evaluates data on chemicals in wild waterfowl to ensure that hunter harvested birds can be eaten without concerns about adverse effects on human health. The current advisory states that “Mergansers are the most heavily contaminated waterfowl species and should not be eaten. Eat no more than two meals per month of other wild waterfowl; you should skin them and remove all fat before cooking, and discard stuffing after cooking. Wood ducks and Canada geese are less contaminated than other wild waterfowl species and diving ducks are more contaminated than dabbler ducks. The latest DOH advice on consumption of waterfowl and other game can be found online.

Trapping Seasons Now Open
Fisher season closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs; Marten season closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R, 5S & 5T where there is no trapping season; Bobcat season closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5R where there is no trapping season and in 5S and 5T where it closes February 15; Mink and Muskrat season closes April 15 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5R, 5S & 5T where it closes April 7; Coyote, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum and Weasel season closes February 15 in all Region 5 WMUS. The use of bait or lure is prohibited with body gripping traps set on land between December 11 and February 15 in all Region 5 WMUs, except in WMUs 5R, 5S & 5T. Otter season closes April 7 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5S and 5T where it closes February 28 and in 5R where there is no trapping season. Beaver season closes April 7 in all Region 5 WMUs.

ADIRONDACK FISHING REPORTS

Water Temperatures
Water temperatures in many of the Adirondack waters have dropped into the upper 30s, colder water temperatures can be expected in higher elevation waters.

Ice Fishing open – No Ice Yet
Ice fishing season is officially open however even at higher elevations the lakes and ponds have not yet begun to freeze over.

** Black Bass Season Closed
Black Bass (large and smallmouth bass) season has closed. Catch-and-release fishing for bass is allowed in the following Region 5 Counties; Clinton, Essex, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, and Fulton Counties.

Special Fishing Seasons Remain Open
The statewide trout season is closed but there are some exceptions to this regulation. The catch-and-release areas on the West Branch of the Ausable River, Saranac River and the Battenkill remain open as well as a few ponds such as Mountain Pond, Lake Clear & Lake Colby in Franklin County; and Connery Pond in Essex County. Lake Champlain and sections of its tributaries are open all year for trout and salmon fishing. To find out which waters near you still have trout fishing opportunities, check the special fishing regulations by County.

Currently Open Fishing Seasons
Open seasons include Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, and Sunfish. For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.

Chazy Lake Boat Launch
The Chazy Lake Boat Launch is essentially unusable due to the water level draw down by the Town of Dannemora. The concrete ramp ends several yards from the water’s edge.

West Lake Boat Launch
The West Lake Boat Launch in Fulton County is presently not suitable for launching of trailered boats. Storm runoff resulting from Irene deposited a large quantity of gravel in the area of the ramp. Car top boats can still be launched.

Hudson River Rogers Island Pool Boat Launch
The floating dock has not been installed Rogers Island Pool.

Lake Clear
The gate for the road to Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp is open, but due to the condition of the road until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.

Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
The gate to access Catfish Bay has been closed. Road improvement work and logging to improve habitat are underway.

Use Baitfish Wisely
Anglers using fish for bait are reminded to be careful with how these fish are used and disposed of. Careless use of baitfish is one of the primary means by which non-native species and fish diseases are spread from water to water. Unused baitfish should be discarded in an appropriate location on dry land. A “Green List” of commercially available baitfish species that are approved for use in New York State has now been established in regulation. A discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved baitfish species is available online. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the “Green List” is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle. Anglers are reminded that new regulations for transportation of baitfish are currently under consideration, and these proposed regulations can be viewed online.

Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to dry or disinfect their fishing and boating equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found online.

Lake Champlain Anglers
Warmwater anglers on Lake Champlain are requested to report any catches of sauger to Emily Zollweg at the DEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg at (518) 623-1264. The status of sauger, a close relative of the walleye, has been unknown in the lake for a quite some time, until a single sauger was caught in a DEC survey last spring. Sauger can be distinguished from walleye by the three to four saddle-shaped dark brown blotches on their sides, the distinct black spots on the first dorsal (back) fin and the lack of a white tip on the lower lobe of the tail fin.

Health Advisories on Fish
The NYSDOH has issued the 2010-2011 advisories on eating sportfish and game. Some of fish and game contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to human health. See the DEC webpage on Fish Health Advisories for more information and links to the Department of Health information.

——————–
Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park hunting, fishing, and trapping information can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].

The DEC Habitat/Access Stamp is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Stamp proceeds support the DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. A Habitat/Access Stamp is not required to hunt, fish or trap, nor do you have to purchase a sporting license to buy a habitat stamp.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Dec 1)

This announcement is for general use – local conditions may vary and are subject to sometimes drastic changes.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

The Adirondack Almanack also publishes a weekly Adirondack Hunting and Fishing Report.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** WINTER CONDITIONS
Winter conditions exist throughout the area. Snow, ice, and cold temperatures can be expected, especially at elevations above 3,000 feet. Night time and morning temperatures are commonly below freezing at all elevations. Be prepared at all elevations by wearing appropriate footwear and outerwear including a hat and gloves or mittens. Dress in layers of wool and/or fleece (Not Cotton!) clothing. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to hypothermia and eat plenty of food to maintain energy levels and warmth.

** SNOW DEPTH REPORT
Snow cover from last week’s winter storm has all but melted away, except at elevations above 3,000 feet where some snow remains.

** WET AND MUDDY TRAILS
Mud and/or puddles may be found on trails in some locations, particularly in lower elevations, along waterways and wetlands and in low lying areas. Wear appropriate footwear and to stay on the trail – hike through muddy areas and puddles to avoid widening the trails or creating “herd paths”.

** ICE ON WATER
Ice has begun forming on water bodies, especially in smaller ponds, higher elevation waters, bays and backwaters. At this time no ice is safe. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.

** CROSS COUNTY AND DOWNHILL SKI REPORT
There is currently not enough snow for cross country or backcountry skiing and cross-Country ski areas remain closed. Gore Mountain and Whiteface, which opened last Friday, are each struggling with the weather to keep one lift open. At Whiteface, the Upper Valley, Lower Valley and Fox trails are expected to be open through the weekend, but the snow cover is thin. Gore, which has been closed all week, is attempting to offer a continuous run from the Northwoods Gondola to the base, along Foxlair, Sunway, and Quicksilver this weekend. Adirondack Almanack has published previews for the cross-county, backcountry, and downhill ski seasons here.

** SNOWMOBILE TRAILS REMAIN CLOSED
DEC Northern Zone snowmobile trails may open December 5 snow cover permitting, but with little to no snow cover throughout the region, it will be some time before sledders can hit the trails. Each individual club has the final authority as to whether to open their trails or not and snowmobilers should show restraint in areas with insufficient snow cover to avoid damaging the trails. Also, a reminder to respect the landowners who have given permission for trails to cross their land. Check with local clubs before venturing out. A map of New York State Snowmobile Association Member Clubs by county, complete with contact information, may be found here.

HURRICANE IRENE DAMAGE TO TRAILS
Backcountry users may encounter missing bridges, eroded trails and blow down when entering the backcountry in the Eastern High Peaks area. Pay close attention as many trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and low water crossings have been created near the location of many of the missing bridges. Caution: Eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails. Users should be able to navigate by map and compass. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant. DEC updated closed trail map can be found online [pdf]. Full coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene is available here.

** MOST WATERS RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL
With the exception of the northwest corner of the Adirondack Park, this week’s snowmelt has raised to the level of the region’s rivers and streams to above normal levels for this time of year. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.

MOTORIST ALERT: WHITETAIL DEER
The peak period for deer-vehicle collisions is October through December, with the highest incidences occurring in November. This corresponds with the peak of the annual deer breeding cycle when deer are more active and less cautious in their movements. Approximately 65,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur throughout NYS each year and two-thirds of the annual collisions occur during this three month period. Most of the collisions occur between 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Motorists are advised that the best way to avoid a collision with a deer is to reduce speed and be alert for their presence on or near the highway.

MOTORIST ALERT: MOOSE
There are upwards of 800 Moose in the Adirondack region, up from 500 in 2007. Motorists should be alert for moose on the roadways at this time of year especially at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility when Moose are most active. Much larger than deer, moose-car collisions can be very dangerous. Last year ten accidents involving moose were reported. DEC is working to identify areas where moose are present and post warning signs.

HUNTING AND TRAPPING SEASONS NOW OPEN
Hunting and trapping seasons have begun. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters and trappers on trails. Recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution and now would be a good time to keep pets leashed and on the trail. Adirondack Almanack issues weekly Adirondack Fish and Game Reports each Thursday evening for those practicing these traditional sports.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times — if weather worsens, head out of the woods. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region. NWS Burlington provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3,000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]

** Fire Danger: LOW

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, BE PREPARED
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry as conditions at higher elevations will likely be more severe. All users should bring flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.

FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.

PRACTICE ‘LEAVE NO TRACE’
All backcountry users should learn and practice the Leave No Trace philosophy: Plan ahead and be prepared, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others. More information is available online.

CAVE AND MINE CLOSURES
DEC has closed the Eagle Cave between October 15 and April 30 to protect hibernating bats. White nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s wiping out bat populations across the northeast has spread to at least 32 cave and mine bat hibernation sites across the New York state according to a recent survey. Populations of some bat species are declining in these caves and mines by 90 percent. White nose was first discovered in upstate New York in the winter of 2006-2007 and is now confirmed in at least 11 states.

ADIRONDACK CONDITIONS BY REGION

NORTHVILLE PLACID TRAIL

Blowdown Report: Blowdown has now been removed from the NPTrail with the exception of West Canada Creek north to Sucker Brook Trail and from Tarbell Rd. trailhead north to Shattuck Clearing. Those areas still have some major blowdowns but are passable. The rest of the trail may have a few blowdowns but in general are clear.

West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers and may be impossible this weekend. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.

Lake Durant to Long Lake: About 4 miles north of the Tirrell Pond lean-to, a bridge is out that crosses Chick-a-dee Creek in the middle of a former lumber camp clearing. It may be possible to cross on the remains of the bridge in low water situations.

ADIRONDACK CANOE ROUTE / NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL

** Ice has begun forming along shorelines and in backwaters.

** With the exception of the Raquette River, waters are generally running at above normal levels for this time of year. Always consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.

HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks

** Snow and Ice: Snow and ice are present above 3000 feet. Traction devices such as “stabilicers” should be packed and used when conditions warrant.

DEC Closed Trails Map: DEC updated closed trail map is available online [pdf]. The trails depicted on the map will remain close through the winter. The opening of these trails will be evaluated next spring.

** Deer Brook Flume – Snow Mountain: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on the Deer Brook Trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.

Duck Hole: The Roaring Brook Bridge near Duck Hole is out. One side of the Duck Hole Dam has washed away and the pond has dewatered. The bridge over the dam had been previously removed due to its deteriorating condition. A low water crossing (ford) has been marked below the dam near the lean-to site. This crossing will not be possible during periods of high water. Note: This affects the Bradley Pond Trail and not the Northville Placid Trail.

Marcy Dam Footbridge Reroute: The footbridge over Marcy Dam was washed away. A reroute has been created to low water crossing below the dam. The crossing involves hopping from rock to rock to cross Marcy Brook. Hikers concerned about “rock hopping” can use the Marcy Truck Trail from South Meadows Trailhead to access the Mt. Van Hovenburgh to Mt. Marcy and other trails beyond Marcy Dam. Also the crossing may not be passable during high water. Tom Martin, regional forester for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, has told the Adirondack Explorer‘s Phil Brown that the state will either rebuild the bridge over Marcy Dam at the dam site itself, or nearby. The project is not expected to begin before winter.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve Closed Trails: The first (northernmost) cross over trail between the East River Trail and the West River Trail in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve remains closed. The other four cross over trails and bridges are open and can be used to travel between the East River and West River Trails. The trail will remain close through the winter. The opening of this trail will be evaluated next spring.

Johns Brook Valley: The Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Outpost remains closed due to landslides. The trail will remain close through the winter. The opening of this trail will be evaluated next spring. Due to the significant erosion caused by Ore Bed Brook the Ore Bed Brook Trail from John’s Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Saddleback and Gothics) is open but may not be recognizable. Pay close attention to trail markers and watch for reroutes.

Cold Brook Trail: The Cold Brook Pass Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass remains closed. The trail will remain close through the winter. The opening of this trail will be evaluated next spring.

** Elk Lake Trailhead-Dix Mountain Wilderness: The Elk Lake Trailhead and the trails accessed from it are closed during the regular big game season. The trailhead and trails will reopen on Monday, December 5.

Elk Lake-Marcy Trail: The bridge is out in Marcy Swamp on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail. Also there is light blowdown between Marcy Swamp and Panther Gorge Lean-to.

Klondike Trail: The bridge near South Meadow Road on the Klondike Trail is out. The Mr. Van Trail and the Marcy Truck Trail will need to be used as a detour to reach South Meadow Road. The Mr. Van Trail is clear of blowdown between the lean-to and the Klondike Notch Trail, however there are a number of bridges out.

Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold Trail: There is heavy blowdown on the trail between Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold.

Indian Pass: The Indian Pass Trail is clear of blowdown to the Wall Face Bridge, but the Wall Face Bridge is out and the Henderson Bridge is damaged. All bridges encountered on the Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works are gone, the trail has been rerouted to low water crossing in many locations.

Calkins Creek Horse Trail: The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.

Dix Mountain Wilderness: The Carry Trail from Adirondack Mountain Reserve to the Colvin Range Trail contains some blowdown. The Colvin Range Trail from the summit Blake Peak south to Pinnacle and beyond remains closed.

Giant Mountain Wilderness: The Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead is open though some DOT equipment remains on site. Beaver activity has flooded the North Trail to Giant Mountain from 9N just past the lean-to.

Hurricane Mountain Wilderness: The Jay Mountain Road between Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness is closed. The Hurricane Mountain Road is closed except for local traffic, therefore The Crows Trailhead and O’Toole Road Trailhead are closed at this time. Hurricane Mountain may be accessed from the Route 9N trailhead or the Hurricane Mountain Lane trailhead. The bottom third of the East Hurricane Mountain Trail from Hurricane Mountain Lane has some minor wash but is easily passable. The middle third of the trail has blowdown but hikers can scramble through most of it. Only two places require a minor bushwack. The top of the trail had only minor debris on the trail.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Blowdown remains the McKenzie Mountain Trail above the intersection with the Jack Rabbit trail. The Connery Pond Roadway suffered some minor erosion, but it is passable. Connery Pond Truck Trail is in good shape with minor erosion and minor scattered blowdown. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.

** Wilmington Wild Forest / Flume Trail System: The River Trail at the Flume has been repaired.

SOUTHERN-CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake

Black River Wild Forest: The Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed with no current timetable for reopening (though it is likely to reopen next year).

** Blue Mountain Wild Forest: Blowdown has been cleared from the following trails: Blue Mountain Trail, Tirrell Pond Trail, and Northville-Placid Trail.

Eagle Cave in Jessup River Wild Forest: DEC has closed the Eagle Cave between October 15 and April 30 to protect hibernating bats.

Moose River Plains: All roads designated for public motor vehicle use are open and in good shape. The public should use caution as the road is also being used by log trucks to haul forest products from League Club property. The Otter Brook – Indian Lake Road is open to Squaw Lake which is the permanent termination point for motor vehicle usage in accordance with the approved Moose River Plains Complex Unit Management Plan. A temporary barrier has been placed just past the Squaw Lake Trailhead, a gate will be installed in the future. DEC Region 5 has updated the Moose River Plains Wild Forest map.

** Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: The South Castle Rock Trail is clear of blowdown. The Upper Sargent Pond Trail beyond Castle Rock has some blowdown. The Outlet Bay Lean-to on Raquette Lake is damaged and in poor condition from a tree fallen on its roof.

Silver Lake Wilderness: There is heavy blowdown on the Northville Placid Trail between Benson and Silver Lake.

West Canada Lakes: Two through hikers on the Northvillle Placid Trail report plenty of blowdown north of Spruce Lake and also from Stephens Pond to Lake Durant.

West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.

Wolf Lake: The Wolf Lake Landing Road from McKeever on Route 28 east toward Woodhull Lake is passable only with high clearance vehicles.

EASTERN-SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co

Buck Mountain: The two trails up Buck Mountain in Lake George Wild Forest have been marked with blue and yellow markers to avoid confusion. The trail from Shelving Rock Road to the summit of Buck Mountain has been re-marked with blue trail markers. The trail from Pilot Knob to Buck Mountain is still marked with yellow markers.

Crane Mountain: The Crane Mountain Trail Head is accessible from the south by car and truck by way of Ski Hi Road via Putnam Cross Road. The south end of Ski Hi Road is washed out but Putnam Cross Road bypasses the washout. The north access by way of Crane Mountain. Rd is washed out and not accessible with any vehicle.

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest: The bridge on the trail to Lapland Pond from Pike Brook Trailhead has been repaired.

Hammond Pond Wild Forest: A bridge over Crowfoot Brook on the Crowfoot Trail is out. The bridge over the Berrymill Brook on the Hammond Pond Trail is out. The Lindsey Brook Trail remains closed due to flooding by beaver activity.

Hoffman Notch Wilderness: Some stream crossings do not have bridges and may be difficult to cross in high water conditions.

Hudson River Recreation Area: A few roads in the Hudson River Recreation area are open but have significant washouts and should only be accessed by 4-wheel drive and other high clearance vehicles, these include: River Road; Buttermilk Road north of the Town line; and Gay Pond Road before Campsite #13. The following roads or sections of roads remain closed to motor vehicles due to damage caused by Hurrican Irene, they are passable on foot: Buttermilk Road Extension north of the Gay Pond Road; Gay Pond Road past Campsite #13; and the access road to Darlings Ford Waterway Access Site.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: The bridge over Mud Pond Outlet between Putnam Pond and Treadway Mountain Trail has been washed down stream. It is possible to cross the stream in spots without the bridge. The trails along the northern and western sides of Pharaoh Lake (the two trails between the Lake and Glidden Marsh) have extensive blowdown in the sections along the lake. The Rock Pond Trail has moderate blowdown but is passable. The Springhill Pond Trail has extensive, large-sized blowdown along the entire length from parking area on West Hague Road to Pharaoh Lake. The Goose Pond Trail is in fair condition. The Bear Pond Trail has extensive blowdown but is passable. The Grizzle Ocean Trail is clear to southern end of Putnam Pond. The Blue Hill Trail has larger sized blowdown (greater than 2 feet diameter)and some minor trail washout from streams jumping banks. The trail is very wet with flooding in some areas deeper than the top of hiking boots. The Sucker Brook Horse Trail contains extensive blowdown and is need of brushing out. Mill Brook is flooded 100 yards up Beaver Brook Road; water is 2 feet over the road and old parking lot. The Mill Brook Bridge on the Pharaoh Road Trail is out and currently floating downstream from far abutment. The crossing on beaver debris at bridge site is 3 feet deep and the Mill Brook Bog Bridging has shifted more than 4 feet and is floating in spots. The bridge is out over Pharaoh Lake Brook halfway in to lake. Beaver dam upstream from bridge is breached and dewatering the pond behind it. DO NOT attempt to cross the stream as the water volume is too high. The Putnam Pond Campground Access Road is washed out. This road provides vehicle access trailheads for Berrymill Pond, Grizzle Ocean, and Rock Pond. The bridge at Pharaoh Lake Outlet is intact.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness – Eagle Cave: DEC has closed the Eagle Cave until April 30 to protect hibernating bats.

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: The Spur Trail between West Stony Creek Road and Baldwin Springs has extensive blowdown. There is substantial blowdown on the Stony Creek Trail to Wilcox Lake beyond that to the east Stony Creek bridge; blowdown continues up the trail to Wilcox Lake. Mud Pond Road has been cleared of trees to the Mud Pond Trail Head, due to washouts it is recommended that it be used by trucks only. There are multiple trees down on the Pumpkin Hollow Road at the Wilcox Lake Trailhead preventing access to the Wilcox Lake Trail, the Murphy Lake Trail and the Pine Orchard Trail. The bridge over a small stream just north of Fish Ponds on the Bartman Trail is out. The bridge over Georgia Creek on the Cotter Brook Trail is under water due to beaver activity as is the Pine Orchard Trail .5 mile south of Pine Orchard. The Dayton Creek bridge is out on the trail from Brownell Camp (at the end of Hope Falls Road) to Wilcox Lake. During low water conditions crossing can be made by rock hopping. The Murphy Lake Trail is brushy and difficult to follow along the east shore of the lake from the lean-to to the outlet and is also flooded at the north end of Murphy Lake.

NORTHERN-NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila

Lewis Preserve WMA: The Brandy Brook has jumped its bank creating a braided stream channel across the main foot trail adjacent to the existing foot bridge. Users should use caution while attempting to cross this new stream channel as it may be deep and swift moving.

Kings Bay WMA: A section of the access road to the parking area off Point Au Fer Road has washed out. The damaged road is still passable but very narrow. The washed out section is marked with an orange barrel at each end.

Chazy Lake Boat Launch: The Chazy Lake Boat Launch is essentially unusable due to the water level draw down by the Town of Dannemora. The concrete ramp ends several yards from the water’s edge.

Lyon Mountain – Chazy Highlands Wild Forest: The re-route of the top section of the Lyon Mountain Trail is complete and the trail is clearly signed and marked. Hikers should use the new trail and avoid the old trail which is not maintained and is in poor condition due to erosion.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands: The Barnes Pond Public Use Area campsites #4-6 on the Barnes Pond Road are currently inaccessible due to a road washout. Access to these sites will not be reopened until road repairs can be made and the road beyond the washout is assessed for storm damage and cleared of blowdown. The three furthest campsites along the True Brook Road are inaccessible due to poor road conditions

** Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands: Public use of these easement lands is prohibited during the regular big game hunting season which is currently open. The big game hunting season closes on Sunday, December 4. Public use will once again be allowed beginning Monday, December 5. Public hunting is prohibited on the easement lands until December 31.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: There is blowdown on the Deer Loop Trail between Route 30 and the bridge. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest: Access to the Split Rock area can be difficult for people unfamiliar with area roads due to the numerous closings. Trails are open and usable with some blowdown.

Taylor Pond Wild Forest: Access to Catamount Mountain is not possible; a road is washed out 1 mile from trailhead. Forestdale Road has been closed by the Town of Black Brook. In Terry Mountain State Forest both the Red Road and the Tower Road have been repaired and are open to public motor vehicle use.

St. Regis Canoe Area: Ice has begun forming on smaller ponds, bays and along shorelines. A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will required a short paddle across the beaver pond. Significant work on campsites in the Canoe Area was conducted last year. A new webpage has been created to provide information including maps and recreational opportunities.

Norton Peak Cave / Chateuagay Woodlands Conservation Easement Lands: Norton Peak Cave has been reopened to the public following the expiration of the cave closing order on March 31. The cave is a bat hibernacula with white nose syndrome present. DEC is considering whether to close all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population. It’s best to stay out of caves at this time.

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Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation and trail conditions can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].

The DEC Trails Supporter Patch is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adirondack Winter Atheletes Update, Outlook

A number of Adirondack athletes have been competing in World Cup and international events around the globe. Here’s how they fared over the past several days, and the outlook ahead:

In alpine skiing, Lake Placid’s Andrew Weibrecht and Keene’s Tommy Beisemeyer competed in the World Cup series opener in Lake Louise, Canada. Weibrecht, the 2010 Olympic Super G bronze medalist, finished 30th in Saturday’s, men’s Super G event. Beisemeyer did not finish the race, but both are off to Beaver Creek, Colo. for this week’s Audi Birds of Prey World Cup.

Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid and Tim Burke of Paul Smiths will headline the American squad at the IBU Biathlon Workd Cup series which opens today, Dec. 1, in Ostersund, Sweden.

Bobsled’s Europa-Cup series visited Koenigssee, Germany over the weekend and Lake Placid’s John Napier, a 2010 Olympian, piloted his two-man sled to a fifth place finish on Saturday. The following day Napier drove to a 13th place result in the four-man event. The World Cup tour begins this weekend, Dec. 2-4, in Igls, Austria.

High winds in Kuusamo, Finland forced officials to cancel Saturday’s nordic combined jump and instead use Friday’s provisional round for seeding. Vermontville’s Billy Demong was 30th in that round and started his ski more than three minutes back. The two-time Olympic medalist was the 11th fastest skier on the course and finished 19th overall. The series moves on to Lillehammer, Norway for a pair of events this weekend.

Photo: Andrew Weibrecht (Courtesy U.S. Ski Team).


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Join the Land Use and Ethics Conversation

You are invited to contribute to the discourse, re-interpret the topic and skew the pitch. Join in the process and take part in influencing the way we think about land use and ethics. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Northern Forest Institute invites submissions for its Symposium of Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Land Use and Ethics, to be held at the Adirondack Interpretive Center on Huntington Wildlife Forest in Newcomb. See full symposium details here.

On its best day, philosophy succeeds in sending “the conversation off in new directions.” With a free exchange of ideas and a commitment to inquiry, philosophy as both catalyst and conveyor ought to “engender new normal discourses, new sciences, new philosophical research and thus new objective truths.”

I envision this project as an opportunity to open up the dialog around issues of land use and ethics on local, national and global scales. This is the place for ideas in-process, unfinished research and to introduce work in its various stages of development. We’re welcoming research from across professions and disciplines on topics related to balancing individual and community priorities with respect to land use and the associated expectations for human and ecosystem stewardship and social and environmental ethics.

I hope to see independent scholars alongside industry and agency professionals and students from across the humanities and the sciences. Presentations are meant to generate conversation around a variety of approaches to land use, the moral implications of these approaches, as well as the ways that they influence the ongoing debate over how to achieve social and environmental justice.

Philosopher John Dewey referred to active discourse as “breaking the crust of convention” and I’d like us to use this symposium to get together and get on with it.

For information on how to join the conversation email mpatinellidubay@esf.edu

References from Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty

Photo of Arbutus Lodge, compliments of Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, NY.

Marianne Patinelli-Dubay is a philosopher living, writing and teaching in the Adirondacks.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

An Adirondack Folk School Holiday Gift Tradition

The coming weeks will provide lots of opportunities to shop for interesting handmade items, but one opportunity you won’t want to miss is the 2nd Holiday Gift Fair at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne this Saturday, December 3rd, from 9AM to 3PM.

The quality of the folk arts products is the best you will find anywhere, produced by the students and faculty in the Adirondack tradition. The types of articles you can find for sale include handcrafted furniture and woodworking, basketry, caning, ceramics, photography, leathercrafting, fiber arts, paintings, and so much more.

A special preview members-only event for the school’s supporters will be held on Friday, December 2nd from 7PM to 9PM showcasing the arts and crafts that will be later on sale. An individual membership starts at $25 annually. Contact the school to donate and register for this event. Donations go toward expansion and outreach efforts to make this school a success.

Opened for just over 18 months, the Adirondack Folk Art School is the first of its kind, designed to preserve an American tradition in Adirondack folk arts that is usually passed down from family to family, friend to friend. The school provides instruction in more than 20 types of crafts throughout the year at its beautiful Lake Luzerne setting with more 90 classes and workshops.

The holiday gift fair is a great opportunity to see where the traditions of Adirondack folk art live on—and to pick up a few Christmas gifts in the process. While there, you can pick up a course schedule and talk to the instructors to learn more.

Photos courtesy of Adirondack Folk School.

Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Olde Log Inn, Lake George

Located just north of Lake George Village on Route 9, The Olde Log Inn is open year-round for vacationers, campers and locals from Lake George and Warrensburg. As a restaurant and bar, The Olde Log Inn is a great place to escape the bustling village in the summer, eat a nice lunch or dinner, and sit on the patio and enjoy the mountain view and late afternoon sun.

As the name implies, The Olde Log Inn is of log construction inside and out, but has been remodeled recently enough to not appear “olde”. Originally Lanfear’s Country Tavern, the business has been in existence since 1976 and owned by Mike and Gigi Shaughnessy since 1999. The glossy pine bar seats about 15 patrons and is partitioned from the dining room by a windowed half wall that doubles as a bar counter, seating six, and close to the bar. The U-shaped bar allows for easy banter back and forth across the bar, and we became engaged in several conversations during our visit. Additional seating on the patio includes four pub tables for four each and five picnic tables, all equipped with shade umbrellas for use in the warmer seasons.

The cozy interior features checked country valances over the many windows, creating a homeyness which softens the predominantly rustic log interior. Currently decked out in holiday style, the canoe over the bar is trimmed in lights. Evergreen wreaths, swags and a tree tastefully invite the holiday spirit with your spirits. Windows on three walls allow plenty of light into the space, countering competition from the surrounding pine.

A stone fireplace in the dining area warms the far corner of the open floor plan. The dining room is an intimate space with seating for about 40 in closely spaced tables with appropriately rustic chairs. The Olde Log Inn caters to a healthy lunch crowd with its tempting offerings of sandwiches, salads, burgers, soups and appetizers all at reasonable prices. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. Entrees include pasta, steaks, ribs and chicken priced between $13.99 and $17.99. Their full menu is available online.

The Olde Log Inn’s Happy Hour is immensely popular with locals of all kinds and is offered from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Though no unique drink specials are advertised, a light assortment of flavored vodkas inspired Pam to create a mixed drink with a huckleberry vodka base, which she dubbed the Huckleberry Crush. A handful of beers on tap include Smithwick’s, Stella Artois, Bud Light, Sam Adams Seasonal (Winter Lager at the moment), and local craft favorites Bear Naked Ale from Adirondack Brewery and Davidson Brothers Brewing Company IPA. Most popular domestics are available in bottles. The bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday noon to 11 p.m. The kitchen is serving lunch, dinner and light fare Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Quick Draw is available at the Olde Log Inn as well as wi-fi so you can follow our blog or look up one of our drink recipes.

Summer tourists can find solace in the hum of traffic on the nearby Northway or perhaps a cool afternoon breeze from the patio. Campers on the other side of Flat Rock Road might find comfort in the cleanliness and hot running water in the bathroom. Snowmobilers may huddle by the fireplace to warm up and peel off some snowy layers. Local professionals and contractors can meet up with their friends, or make new friends, and seasonal workers from the village shops can hide out, leaving behind the over-stimulated parents and children vacationing in Lake George. Bikers might escape the crowds of Americade or stretch their legs after a long ride in the Adirondacks. The Olde Log Inn is a year-round destination.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adirondack Lean-to Etiquette

Lean-tos are three-walled shelters scattered throughout the backcountry of the Adirondack Park. Typically, they are conveniently located near picturesque lakes, ponds or streams. They are often convenient substitutes for tents (except during bug season) and especially popular with backpackers on a rainy day. Unfortunately this popularity often leads to overuse and sometimes downright abuse.

For example, this past summer I visited and revisited the Sand Lake lean-to within the Five Ponds Wilderness during a bushwhacking trip. Over the eight-day period the lean-to went from clean and well-kept to having garbage strewn within the fireplace and abandoned equipment scattered all about.

Obviously there is a need for some rules of lean-to etiquette. These rules need to be adopted and promoted by all backcountry adventurers. They should be posted on an attractive sign in a prominent place on each lean-to to remind those users that seem to forget their obligations when visiting the backcountry. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Annette Nielsen: Lofty Thanksgiving Leftovers

Tamar Adler’s op ed piece in the New York Times last week struck a chord – eating like we eat during Thanksgiving all year round: “Thanksgiving Thrift: The Holiday as a Model for Sustainable Cooking” (November 22, 2011). Her premise is simple – we prepare a nice holiday dinner (typically with lots of leftovers), and spend many days eating and recreating turkey and many side dishes, ‘shopping’ our refrigerator for breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

So while we’re inspired on Thanksgiving, as well as other upcoming holidays, to eat with enthusiasm from our leftovers, we can use that mindset throughout the year – each week, in fact, if we’re creative. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: A Cold Fort Ticonderoga

For the first year Fort Ticonderoga is providing a unique experience with “Hot Chocolate at a Cold Fort.” On December 3, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Fort Ticonderoga will have a special opening allowing guests to witness how soldiers celebrated Christmas in 1776.

One way to snap children out of their glassy-eyed “I wants” from the onslaught of daily catalog deliveries is to experience an 18th century Christmas celebration at Fort Ticonderoga.

There will be opportunities to learn of past traditions and the winter hardships of limited resources. Fort Ticonderoga is only open during the winter months on special occasions, so this will be an interesting treat.

Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga Director of Interpretation says, “We hope this event will demonstrate how people were celebrating Christmas in 1776. On a basic level the goal is to show what the solders’ lives were like during the American Revolution to how we celebrate Christmas now.”

“At that time people did not have all the traditions that we have now. I think that true comfort of Christmas at that time and the other saint’s holidays was the camaraderie with the people around them,” says Lilie. “It was enjoying a simple meal that was perhaps better than they were used to. It was something as simple as a nice cut of meat. There was more focus on those around them. The simplicity.”

The event starts with a tour of the historic fort and will make use of re-enactors portraying Colonel Anthony Wayne’s Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion. The English and Dutch Christmas traditions of these Pennsylvania soldiers will be demonstrated. Colonel Wayne’s soldiers will also work around the mess hall to make hot meals for the officers, the sick and to try to find ways to feed the rest of the battalion.

Museum Curator of Collections, Christopher Fox will be on hand for the tour of “The Art of War: Ticonderoga as Experience through the Eyes of America’s Great Artists” exhibit. This exhibits brings together 50 of the museum’s most important artworks with works including Thomas Cole’s “Gelyna.”

The fort tour will attempt to tackle such issues as shortage of clothing, medicine and how the long transportation from Albany, at the time, was an overwhelming challenge. Through it all the soldiers manage to make a festive gathering with very little.

Of course there will be a musket demonstration, as those soldiers need practice in case of a winter raid. There will be an opportunity to see how muskets work and learn how they were the main weapons during Colonel Wayne’s command.

So with a bit of history and a fun day at the fort we can witness how the Fort Ticonderoga soldiers appreciated what they had in a cold winter in 1776.

Throughout the weekend there will also be the 2nd annual Ticonderoga North Country Christmas with other children’s activities throughout the weekend.

Photo by Diane Chase.

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates), the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next book Adirondack Family Time Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga will in stores summer 2012.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

View Presents Cinderella The Enchanted Edition

The performance of the classic musical “Cinderella The Enchanted Edition” by Rogers and Hammerstein will be performed by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at View at 3PM on December 3rd.

This timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike soar when the slipper fits. This Enchanted Edition is based on the 1997 teleplay. Adapted for the Stage by Tom Briggs From the Teleplay by Robert L. Freedman.

As a kingdom celebrates its Prince’s decision to give a ball for the express purpose of finding a bride, Cinderella’s two stepsisters and their mother enter. This less-than-lovable trio is followed by what seems to be a large pile of packages, but in fact is Cinderella carrying the ladies’ ball gowns, frills and frou frou from a successful shopping spree. Cinderella, it becomes apparent when they arrive home, will have the formidable job of making the Stepmother and Stepsisters beautiful for the ball—in addition to her other jobs, which include cooking, sewing, cleaning, washing and everything else imaginable. Although she won’t be allowed to go to the ball herself, Cinderella is happy for the others. She always tries to be cheerful and never complains. Sometimes, however, she retreats to her “own little corner” and dreams of a more exciting life.

The Queen and King are not in complete agreement about the Prince’s ball (which should in fact be called the Queen’s ball, since it is entirely her idea). The King doesn’t want to have it at all, since it will be a great deal of trouble, a large expense, and why would a red-blooded boy want to get married in the first place? But the Queen has her heart set on it, and neither the King nor the Prince (who dreads the whole idea) can bear to disappoint her. The preparations continue.

On the night of the ball, Cinderella helps her Stepmother and Stepsisters get ready. After they leave, she sits alone in her corner and imagines what it might be like at the ball. She’s not alone for long, however, for her Godmother appear at the window. Despite this lady’s sensible looks and practical manner, she is no ordinary godmother, though Cinderella doesn’t suspect this. With help from the Godmother’s “fol-de-rol” and “fiddley dee,” Cinderella is magically transformed for the ball. Her carriage, changed from a pumpkin, drawn by horses that were mice a moment before, whisks her to the palace.

The ball is the ball that everyone remembers from their storybooks, and Cinderella is the most beautiful of Princesses. Does she captivate everyone at the palace? She does! Do she and the Prince fall in love? They do! Must she flee at midnight before her carriage changes back into a pumpkin? She must!

Please note that 3pm is the correct time, View apologizes for any confusion. Tickets are $15/$10 members/$5 children under 12 with a paid adult. Please call the View Box Office 315-369-6411 to purchase tickets with a credit card or visit View at 3273 SR 28, Old Forge, NY to purchase them by cash, check or credit card. View is a multi-arts center located at 3273 State Rt. 28 in Old Forge, NY. To learn more about View programming, including other upcoming performances, visit www.ViewArts.org or call 315-369-6411.

Photo: Colleen Pine as Cinderella and Lucas Greer as Prince Christopher.


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