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Adirondack Explorer

November, 2005

Short Treks in the Adirondacks and Beyond
Author: Dennis Aprill

Review by: Phil Brown

Dennis Aprill has come out with another book for people looking to hike outside the High Peaks. His first guidebook, Paths Less Traveled, focused on smaller mountains (less than 2,800 feet). Short Treks takes the concept a step further, describing 20 easy hikes that require no summit climbing. Silver Lake Bog, the Hudson Gorge, Lampson Falls, Fernow Forest and Pine Orchard are some of the destinations. The book includes maps, photographs and blank journal pages to document your own adventures.


November, 2005

Two in the Wilderness
Author: Sandra Weber

Review by: Phil Brown

In her fifth work about the Adirondacks, author Sandra Weber has written a children’s book about her adventures in the High Peaks with her 11-year-old daughter, Marcy. The two trekked 60 miles over 11 days, climbing Mount Marcy and Mount Marshall, hiking to Indian Pass and Avalanche Pass, and camping at Duck Hole. They were not alone: The ubiquitous Carl Heilman II took color photos every step of the way. This well-designed book also contains old-time illustrations, sidebars on Adirondack history (natural and human), and snippets from Marcy’s journal.


July, 2005

All in a Day’s Work: Scenes and Stories from an Adirondack Medical Practice
Author: Daniel Way, M.D.

Review by: EDWARD KANZE

Every once in a great while a book comes along that gives me so much pleasure that when I reach the end I want to start again at the beginning. Such a book is Daniel Way’s All in a Day’s Work: Scenes and Stories from an Adirondack Medical Practice, published jointly in 2004 by Syracuse University Press and the North Creek Railway Depot Preservation Association. I didn’t expect this book to wow me. It came to me out of the blue, as a gift, and after an initial browse, two things struck me. First, sampling a few pages, I found >>More


March, 2004

And Gladly Guide: Reflections on a Life in the Mountains
Author: James A. Goodwin

Review by: NEAL BURDICK

I became acquainted with Jim Goodwin in 1969, in my first summer as a crew member at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Johns Brook Lodge. Thanks to the generosity of the Goodwin family, we used their “summer place” (the last house before the trailhead, appropriately) as a base of operations, partly because one of Jim and Jane’s boys, Peter,was on the crew with me (their older son, Tony, also had been a “hut boy,” as we were called)— but mainly because that’s the kind of people the Goodwins were. Anyway, I got ready to assemble my load for the hike in >>More


November, 2003

Woodswoman IIII Book Four of the Woodswoman’s Adventures
Author: ByAnne LaBastille

Review by: JOHN DAVIS

Making a living in the Adirondacks has never been easy. Long winters, rough terrain and biting insects keep out or keep poor most who would make the Park their home. Too often, those who stick around do so by taking too much from the land—extracting non-renewable resources or renewable ones at non-renewable rates. My friend and neighbor Anne LaBastille, in contrast, has managed to persevere thanks to her frugality, independence and love of wild nature. These qualities shine through all of her writings, including her 10th and latest book, Woodswoman IIII. Indeed, this woodswoman has accomplished, largely through her writings, >>More


March, 2003

Nehasane Fire Observer
Author: Frances Boone Seaman

Review by: NEAL BURDICK

One day early in the summer of 1942, Bill Touhey, on duty in the Salmon Lake Mountain fire tower in Whitney Park west of Long Lake, took a phone call from the observer on Mount Electra, not far away in Nehasane Park. A stereotype of the gruff old Adirondacker, he was perhaps a bit more gruff than usual in his response. After a startled silence, he growled, “Well, I’ll be!” The voice was that of a young woman’s. “He soon warmed up and it wasn’t long before we were comparing notes about which towers and what bodies of water we >>More


January, 2003

Half the Way Home
Author: Adam Hochschild

Review by: NEAL BURDICK

There is not much humor in Half the Way Home. In its 236 pages, not one anecdote directly involving the author elicits laughter. Whereas Lewis Spence describes a loving if fundamentally Victorian relationship between a boy and his grandfather, Half the Way Home is a search for understanding of a father-son relationship where love was not voiced until the last possible moment, where fear, guilt and impenetrable barriers ruled the years. One cannot imagine a young Adam and his father, Harold, laughing over a game of cribbage, wood bugs or no. Half the Way Home is a tremendously powerful book, >>More


January, 2003

A Mountain View
Author: Lewis Spence

Review by: NEAL BURDICK

Sooner or later, we all come home—if not literally, then spiritually, emotionally or psychologically to a place that had a role in shaping us. One day, without realizing it, we are there. And we confront the forces that made us what we have become. We complete a circle. The Adirondacks are an arc of that circle in two outstanding memoirs, at once a player and a stage for settling up with the ghosts of elders. Lewis Spence’s A Mountain View, published posthumously in 2002, recounts the author’s four summers with his eccentric, bigoted grandfather at the family compound on Upper >>More


July, 2002

The Extraordinary Adirondack Journey of Clarence Petty
Author: Chris Angus

Review by: PHILIP G. TERRIE

How can one man do so much in just 97 years? Clarence Petty is of one of the most interesting and important people ever to carry a canoe, bushwhack through the backcountry, or dedicate his life to protecting the Adirondack wilderness. And he has lived through a period of high drama in Adirondack affairs. As it winds through this crucial era of the region’s history, Christopher Angus’s richly detailed account of Petty’s life and times touches on the critical elements of decades of struggle to shape the Adirondack Park and preserve the qualities that define it. Petty is also a >>More