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Adirondack Explorer

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


November, 2002

Portrait of Healing: Curing in the Woods
Author: Victoria E. Rinehart

Review by: PHIL GALLOS

It was a Saturday in November 1994 that I met Victoria Rinehart to take her and a group of her nursing students on a walking tour of the cure cottages of Saranac Lake. As we tramped the streets, I told her what I could about Saranac Lake’s history as America’s pioneer health resort for the treatment of tuberculosis. Not long afterward she told me of her desire to write a book about the role nurses played in that 75-year story. I wondered silently if she realized what a daunting task this might be. When I embarked on a bookwriting venture >>More


September, 2002

Perspectives on the Adirondacks: A 30 Year Struggle by People Protecting Their Treasure
Author: Barbara McMartin

Review by: FRED LEBRUN

Barbara McMartin is an Ivy League-educated mathematician. I recall her mentioning once that she began hiking the Adirondacks systematically and obsessively as relief from preparing for doctoral orals at Columbia. I raise this not so much to assert how smart she is as to suggest that it is in her nature to seek a closed universe of data that makes sense, where every equation is balanced and every cause has its effect. In writing a contemporary history of the Adirondacks, however, she has chosen a subject best categorized as chaos theory. It’s like studying the Balkans. Figuring out what happened >>More


May, 2002

Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills
Author: John P. Freeman with Wesley H. Hayes

Review by: RICK KARLIN

My first view from an Adirondack summit was at the tower on Goodnow Mountain near Newcomb, and I can still recall the thrill. I was 11 or 12, and some friends and I were staying at a summer camp on Long Lake. The tower, maintained by the state College of Environmental Science and Forestry, offers a spectacular view of the High Peaks from the south. These days, hikers will find pamphlets at the parking lot that can be referred to at numbered stops along the trail to learn about the mountain’s natural history. We happy campers did a lot more >>More


January, 2002

Mount Marcy: The High Peak of New York
Author: Sandra Weber

Review by: TONY GOODWIN

Mount Marcy has been a prime focus for Adirondack climbers ever since that day in 1837 when William Redfield and company first ascended the peak and ascertained that it was indeed the highest mountain in New York. Since then, many pages have been written about Mount Marcy, but until now no one has set out to gather all of the history and lore of this fabled peak into one volume. Sandra Weber has done a prodigious amount of research and succeeded in the even more difficult task of presenting her information in a way that is both carefully documented and >>More