Cat vs. Dog
You know how they say there are dog people and there are cat people?
I am a cat person. Cats are cuddly, cute, and natural heating pads on a cold fall evening. They are smart, sassy, and independent — not unlike my favorite people.
However, I have to admit I am slowly becoming a dog person - by default. You can't really blame me. It's simply a hazard of living the mountain life.
Starting At Sabattis Bog
The road from Tupper Lake to Long Lake, routes 3 and 30, is for the most part nice and wide, smooth and straight. It's a relief to have plenty of room to open up the throttle after tooling through towns a bit. But before long, I get tired of the straight and not-so-narrow, so I usually take one of my favorite bike detours in the world. When you see signs for Sabattis Circle Road and the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area, turn right.
The end of a long winter season is once again upon us, and even though the conditions weren't all that conducive to what might be called an excellent winter season, our gear did get periodic use and should be taken care of while hibernating. It's time to start thinking about how you should store your winter gear to reduce the risk of rust, mildew, mold, varmints, and other unseen casualties.
I'm not old. I'm experienced. Or mature. Or something that sounds dignified while also portrays me as a fun-loving spirit. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
However, as I took an early-morning ride with my coworkers last fall, I can readily admit to feeling my age. As they piled into the car chattering excitedly and ready for the day's adventure, all I could think was, "Damn, I need more coffee. Now." And, "How the heck are they this cheerful, they're more animated than my overly-talkative six-year-old. It's morning. It's early. Stop talking. Where's my coffee?"**
In the Adirondacks, March and October are transitional months, with October representing life falling into a slumber, and March a reawakening. The stillness of winter settles in during January and February. But by March, many changes are underway in the avian world.
2015 TOP 3 BLOGS IN REVIEW
We scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright oddest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them on the first go-round, here are our top 3 Adirondack Experience picks.
A Change in Plans
The three-day annual Adirondack Birding Festival was held for the 11th year in a row with perfect weather! Sixty-seven people traveled to Hamilton County to attend field trips, dine on the W.W. Durant, and attend a keynote presentation held at the Adirondack Museum. So many people return year after year, that one veteran field trip leader said it is akin to seeing old friends every June!
State camping in Hamilton County
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has numerous campgrounds throughout New York, but in the Adirondack Park we have some of the finest. Below you can find the ones within the Hamilton County Region and choose which ones will be best for you.
It's almost that time of year again... Black Fly Challenge time! Maybe you've heard of it? If you haven't, rest assured the Black Fly Challenge is nothing like what you are imagining. Here in the Adirondacks we are tough-blooded, we don't swat at the black flies... we simply out-ride them!
Confessions of a Whitewater Virgin...
Green before "green" was cool!
Long before the first Earth Day was recognized on April 22, 1970, the Adirondack Park was setting a national precedence for being a "green" location. Green may not have been the term of choice in 1885 when the Adirondack Forest Preserve was first created, or even seven years later in 1892 when the New York State Constitution adopted Article VII, Section 7, (later renumbered Article XIV) which established the Adirondack Park - but green it was!
A bit of bushwhacking and a bit of trail hiking in the Inlet Region
In 1922, T.S. Eliot famously began his poem, The Waste Land, by stating, "April is the cruelest month." It may seem that way to some in the Adirondacks since it is also the start of "mud season." The world around us begins to thaw out. Snowmobile and ski season has ended. The ground is covered in wet snow and mud making it difficult to hike or camp. For birders, on the other hand, it is one of the most exciting months of the year!
Since "winter" seems to be continuing right into spring this year, I had another wonderful cross-country ski trip with terrific snow conditions! I skied on Round Pond Road in the Round Lake Wilderness Area. It was an overcast day with continuous light snow.
A Raquette Lake Shoreline Adventure
Bluff Point Hill can be found on the northeast shore of Raquette Lake, right on the edge of the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest. It's one of those named peaks that might get overlooked or maybe even ignored by the passing crowd of paddlers and boaters. For me that makes it all that more desirable a peak to visit, my hiking companions and I would surely have a deserted summit to ourselves.
Hiking in Hamilton County
Estelle Mountain lays a simple 1.1 miles off the main corridor heading to and from Raquette Lake, and with such close proximity I just had to head out into the wilderness to see what was up there. I have a unique fascination with topo maps and wanted to get the most out of my day, so seeing that the hike looked to be pretty short, I wanted to play around a bit – if conditions would allow.
The "Gilded Age" in America was a time of rapid economic growth, and those who achieved such wealth celebrated it like never before. It was during this era that the Adirondack Park became one of the favorite playgrounds for the rich and famous, and the origin of the American Vacation. In the second half of the 19th century, or "Gilded Age," the affluent population of New York City would "vacate" the hot and muggy city for the cooler weather at their luxurious camps in the Adirondacks and thus the "American Vacation" was born.
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains, a destination wedding in the Adirondack Park can bring your upcoming nuptials up to the next level. If you've dreamed of tying the knot in a unique spot, check out these wedding venues in upstate New York. The only challenge - picking just one.
Wakely Mountain sits as a lonesome sentinel brooding above the Moose River Plains, and it is one of the tallest mountains in the park outside of the High Peaks Region. Wren and I set out on the trail over the weekend with plans to reach the 3,744 foot summit which was blocked mostly in clouds from what I could see from the bottom.
New Trail To the Falls
Humans are inextricably drawn to water in all its forms. We are particularly captivated by falling water. The sights and sounds of waterfalls are mesmerizing. One of the highest, and certainly one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Adirondacks, OK Slip Falls, became accessible to the public on a newly opened hiking trail this past summer. It will no doubt become one of the most popular trails in the Central Adirondack Region.
While not all trails in the Indian Lake area are great for trail running, many you will find do fit the bill. Trail conditions and terrain play a huge roll in what's good and not-so-good. Trail running is a sport that is starting to hit the scene in a big way and what better place than here to start out trying something new. Are you a road runner? Maybe consider starting to venture off to the woods and hit the trails in search of a new endurance workout.
Many of the most memorable paddles in the Adirondacks are quiet backwaters which take boaters into a watery wilderness away from the noise of motors and the din of everyday life. The Bog River is one such paddle. Wren and I took advantage of a slice of time we had the other day to explore the Bog River between Low's Lower Dam and Hitchins Pond, and we had a perfect day for it.
Birds on my way to the Bog
The other day, I stopped off at Sabattis Bog along Sabattis Circle Road on my way to Hitchins Bog. Sabbatis sits right along the road and gives easy access to a splendid stretch of boreal habitat. I listened to singing Hermit Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo and Common Yellowthroat. I was running a bit later than I had planned so I continued on to Hitchins rather than linger, listening for birds along the winding Sabbatis Road on the way there.
Great food, good company and even a little history along the Sacandaga River Pathway
This week I had a meeting in the Speculator, New York area of the Adirondacks. When my meeting concluded, I stepped out of the air conditioned building and was greeted by sunshine and a warm, gentle breeze. It was so nice out, that the though of going back indoors to eat lunch didn't appeal to me. Therefore, I decided that I would grab a sandwich and eat outside.
Each year in the Adirondacks, the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) seeks to document the array of species which inhabit a certain patch of the park by inviting volunteer naturalists of all walks and skill levels to survey the landscape in what is popularly called a "bioblitz." This year's event occurred in Newcomb the last weekend in June at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) and the surrounding grounds associated with the Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC).