Historic Saranac Lake’s Saranac Laboratory museum is re-open, operating under limited hours and strict guidelines in order to keep their patrons and their staff healthy. The museum is the first laboratory in the nation that was built for the study of tuberculosis, showcasing Saranac Lakes history as a community that built a bustling economy around the response to an infectious disease.
Museum staff expects that visitors will find Saranac Lakes history relevant once again in response to COVID-19. The museum is currently open on Thursdays through Saturdays from 10am or 5pm, and visitors are encouraged to check out historicsaranaclake.org for updates.
I have such gratitude for the Adirondack woods and waters during this Covid-19 pandemic. Paddling my solo canoe is the best. When I’m with friends, we easily keep our social distance as we float on the open waters and maneuver up a stream bed.
Keeping six-feet away from the crowds at canoe access sites this summer is another matter. Often it’s difficult finding a parking spot with enough room to keep clear of others walking around their cars while lifting canoes and kayaks. My friends and I wear our masks, but not all do. Families are relieved that their kids can run around, which they do in the parking lots and beaches that serve as canoe and kayak put-in and take-outs. I stick with water access points that are maintained for use by cartop water craft, rather than launching sites appropriate for motor boats.
Professor Barry Bloom delivers annual Steinman lecture, connects TB lessons to work today
A leading global health expert said last week that researchers know they can create a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, but it’s still too soon to predict how effective the first vaccines will be.
Dr. Barry Bloom, a renowned immunologist who has spent his career easing the impact of tuberculosis and leprosy on developing nations, was at the Trudeau Institute on July 27 to deliver the annual Ralph M. Steinman Memorial Lecture. Trudeau named Bloom an honorary trustee at the event. A video of Bloom’s presentation can be found here.
A winning sports team, like a beautiful ice palace, grows out of a strong community. It’s no surprise that Saranac Lake has a long tradition of athletic achievements. From team sports like bobsledding, baseball, hockey, football, and curling to individual competitions like speed skating and barrel jumping, Saranac Lake history is full of athletic men and women who left their mark.
Today, Covid-19 is disrupting so many traditions, and sporting events are some of the hardest to give up. The cancellation of competitions is heartbreaking for athletes, and it’s hard for the spectators too. In small towns like Saranac Lake, sport brings generations together to enjoy a brief moment when all that matters is the kids on the field or the ice. No matter how fast or slow, each child shines for a moment. Over time, parents come to know each other’s children, and we cheer for their victories too.
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted just about every aspect of life in recent months, including backpacking.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay home. Ask writer Betsy Kepes. She spent a few days with a small group this spring on a trip on the Cranberry 50, a hiking route in the northwestern Adirondacks.
Kepes found the trip enjoyable, but it wasn’t without challenges. For instance, what do you do about sharing a lean-to or camping site with others during a pandemic? What happens when you make hot water? Should you share it?
Hiking the Cranberry Lake 50 during the Covid-19 pandemic are writer Betsy Kepes (greenish/blue shirt, off-white mask), husband Tom Vandewater (black shirt,off-white mask), and friends Amanda Oldacre (white shirt, black patterned mask) and Jim Burdick (gray/blue shirt black patterned mask). Social distancing and wearing face masks were suggested. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.
Editor’s note: This originally appeared in Mike’s weekly “Backcountry Journal” newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
One of my favorite stories in our local history is about a meteor shower over Mount Baker and a tuberculosis patient named Isabel Smith.
Ms. Smith spent 20 years of her life sick in bed at the Trudeau Sanatorium. She wrote a book about her experience titled Wish I Might. Her book touches upon so many aspects of the cure — the importance of routine, diet, friendships, “cousining,” the natural world, reading, and occupational therapy. So many threads of the story are there.
Most intriguing is Isabel’s description of how she changed as a person during her long illness. She endured disfiguring operations and the removal of ribs to deflate her lung. At times, her case seemed hopeless. As the reality of her sickness settled in, Isabel felt anger, sadness, loneliness, and fear. But one night, on her porch overlooking Mount Baker, she stayed up with her porch mate to watch the Leonid meteor shower. For hours, the young women watched the sky, feeling transported from their sick beds to connect with the vast universe. Suddenly, life was very much worth living.
The Adirondack Land Trust has announced three live, virtual programs to be held in August. The programs will feature land-protection staff, scientists studying the Adirondack Forests, and a conservation intern who will discuss the ups and downs of conservation fieldwork during COVID-19. The events will be free and open to the public. If you wish to register, or view more information you may do so by visiting the Adirondack land Trust Website.
“For-hire” boating businesses: charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing or diving in New York State’s Adirondack region can request a set of free decals to temporarily attach to their boats to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions. There is no cost for the decals to qualified for-hire boating businesses.
The decals adhere to boat surfaces to note “Mask Required,” “Use Sanitizer,” “Wear It” with a life jacket symbol, and ”Keep Personal Belongings Personal”; others have a blank line to write a name with an erasable marker to designate person-specific areas aboard the vessel for each individual’s fishing pole or diving gear.
Starting July 15, the NYS DEC began offering its new online bowhunter education certification course, DEC commissioner Basil Seggos announced. “DEC began offering online hunter education courses this spring, and the response has been fantastic. I encourage all experienced and aspiring bowhunters to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to take the bowhunter education course online.” Seggos went on to say.
If you wish to bow hunt deer or bear in New York State, a bowhunter education course along with a mandatory hunter education course are both required before the purchase of a hunting license. All of the DEC’s in person bowhunter education courses have been cancelled this year as a result of the State’s ongoing COVID-19 response. This new online course allows for new bowhunters to complete their required certifications in time for the fall hunting season. More than 30,000 people have completed the DEC’s new online hunter education course since its April 15 announcement.
Weekly concerts with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta have become a summer tradition in Lake Placid. For years Wednesday evening concerts at the outdoor Paul White Memorial Shell, Sunday evening concerts at the LPCA, and annual concerts in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, North Creek and other Adirondack locations have been part of the experience of summer in the Adirondacks. With the cancellation of the Sinfonietta’s 2020 performance season due to the covid-19 emergency, it feels like a very quiet summer.
In recent months, as the coronavirus jumped from bats to people and spread around the globe, the world suddenly seems much smaller. The situation reminds us of our connectedness to the animal world and to each other. Such an awareness of nature is deeply rooted in the Adirondack traditions of hunting and fishing.
The practice of hunting in the Adirondacks stretches back thousands of years. For countless generations, Native American peoples lived in balance with the natural environment, taking only resources needed for survival, and making use of medicinal plants.
From the mid-1800s, growing numbers of tourists came to the Adirondacks to experience the wilderness. They relied on Adirondack guides’ deep knowledge of the woods and waters to explore the wilderness in comfort and safety.
Hamilton County Public Health and Nursing Services, Blue Mountain Center and the Town of Long Lake collaborated to help create information signage to be distributed throughout Hamilton County.
Hamilton County continues to see the lowest number of Covid-19 cases in New York State and the North Country region. The signage collaboration was created as an educational campaign for residents and visitors. Hamilton County communities are committed to the safety of everyone while strategically re-opening local businesses. The signs encourage guests to practice physical distancing and mask wearing to help businesses stay open.
Tupper Arts opened its doors on Wednesday, July 15, to host its 47th Annual Art Show and Adirondack Woodcrafts Show. The gallery, located at 106 Park St. in Tupper Lake, has been shuttered since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with multiple precautions in place to ensure the safety of visitors, vendors, and volunteers, the gallery is ready to reopen to the public.
The combined shows will feature the work of local artists and artisans for sale, including paintings in various mediums, photography, and a variety of unique woodcrafts. The gift shop will also be open, and visitors will be able to browse the local art and crafts for sale. Face masks are required, and the volunteers on staff at the Arts Center will ensure that the number of visitors inside the gallery is limited at any one time to allow for appropriate social distancing. Hours for the show are Wednesdays through Sundays, 12-4 p.m.
Tupper Arts is also sponsoring “Moose on the Loose,” a community art project. Local artists are invited to paint a plywood cutout of a moose to be auctioned off later this summer. Buyers will be asked to donate the moose to be placed in prominent business areas around Tupper Lake. Interested artists can pick up their moose at 106 Park Street in Tupper Lake any time the Arts Center is open (Wednesday through Sunday, 12-4 p.m.). Proceeds from the sales will go to programs and activities sponsored by Tupper Arts.
Sixty-two percent of New Yorkers think that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come while only 27 percent think that the worst is over according to a new statewide survey of residents released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI).
By 70-22 percent, residents prefer the government’s priority be containing the spread of the coronavirus, even if it hurts the economy, rather than restarting the economy, even if it increases the risk to public health.
On March 16, restaurant managers and owners abruptly got notes that at 8 p.m. that night they would have to lock their doors and lay off their employees. Adirondack restaurants grew empty and dark. As national pandemic wreaked havoc throughout the country, many businesses struggled to stay afloat.
Some restaurants shut down in the wake of a national pandemic ,while others adapted by switching to takeout. Now that indoor and outdoor dining has resumed (starting with 50 percent capacity), how are restaurants faring?