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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2010

Up on a Hill and Thereabouts
Author: Gloria Stubing Rist

Review by: Betsy Kepes

DURING THE DEPRESSION, how did a single mom with two kids support herself in a rural Adirondack community? From the distance of over seventy years, Gloria Stubing Rist recalls her mother as an entrepreneur who built a shack of salvaged lumber and created the Top of the Hill dance hall. “Mim” planned to sell coffee, cigarettes, and home brew to men working on the state road to Schroon Lake from Ticonderoga. But the start of the roadwork was delayed. Mim didn’t say anything to us kids, but young as I was, I realized we were in big trouble. There we >>More


September, 2010

The Nature of New York An Environmental History of the Empire State
Author: David Stradling

Review by: Philip Terrie

TOO OFTEN we think about the history of the Adirondacks without considering its context. We know something about the dramatic events of the 1880s and 1890s—including the establishment of the Forest Preserve and Adirondack Park and the constitutional protection of the Forest Preserve— and we recall the equally important creation of the Adirondack Park Agency and the tortured story of the Private Land Use and Development Plan. But do we grasp the relationship between the Adirondacks and the state’s urban and commercial centers, especially, of course, with the megalopolis at the mouth of the Hudson River? The resources of the >>More


September, 2010

25 Bicycle Tours in the Lake Champlain Region
Author: Charles Hansen

Review by: Ethan Rouen

For me, there are two best bike rides, the one that I do whenever I can and the one that I will do when I finally have enough time. Charles Hansen lays out both of those rides and twenty- three more in 25 Bicycle Tours in the Lake Champlain Region. The ride I do whenever I can is a challenging fifty-mile, two-state, two-ferry trip that crosses Lake Champlain at Essex and Burlington. It is a perfect ride, a mix of rural roads, good restaurants, and beautiful scenery.The ride I dream of doing goes from the Adirondacks to Montreal, a nine-day >>More


July, 2010

Contemporary Landscape Photography
Author: Carl E. Heilman II With Greta Heilman-Cornell

Review by: Kenneth Aaron

CARLHEILMAN II takes the kind of iconic Adirondack photographs that make you want to quit your day job, blow lots of money on lenses, and head into the hills to capture some of those epic vistas yourself. The great thing about landscape photography is that everybody who wishes can shoot the same landscape. So everybody, you’d think, could take the same kind of landscape photographs. And, actually, most people do take the same kind of photos: blown-out highlights, shadows that swallow half the picture, being at the right place at the wrong time— these and other problems crop up in >>More


July, 2010

Climate Change in the Champlain Basin
Author: Curt Stager and Mary Thill

Review by: Philip Terrie

The Nature Conservancy recently published Climate Change in the Champlain Basin,which reviews weather records and other data and looks ahead to what’s in store for this century. Written by scientist Curt Stager and journalist Mary Thill, the study says the basin in recent years has seen higher temperatures, more rainfall, and later and less-frequent freeze-ups of Lake Champlain. It predicts that the annual mean temperature could rise anywhere from one to eleven degrees by the end of this century. You can download the study by going to the Nature Conservancy website (www.nature.org) and navigating to the Vermont or Adirondacks page.


July, 2010

Eaarth Making Life on a Tough New Planet
Author: Bill McKibben

Review by: Philip Terrie

BILL MCKIBBEN has been trying to warn us about the apocalyptic threat of climate change for two decades, ever since The End of Nature in 1990. As a writer, activist, and citizen of our beleaguered planet, he has done the best that one smart and caring man can do to get us to pay attention to the runaway freight train careening toward us. We didn’t listen, and global warming is no longer a threat; it’s a reality. The average planetary temperature is up, as is total rainfall, with more violent thunderstorms. There’s drought in Australia and the American Southwest. Mountain >>More


July, 2010

Climate Change in the Adirondacks The Path to Sustainability
Author: Jerry Jenkins

Review by: Philip Terrie

FOR AT LEAST TWO DECADES, we’ve known that the global climate is warming, that efforts to stop this trend are grossly inadequate, and that the future is uncertain at best, catastrophic at worst. We know that we need to kick the fossil-fuel addiction. We also know that even if we did this today and released not another molecule of CO2 into the atmosphere the temperature will still go up. Usually, we think about this looming disaster—when we think about it at all—in planetary terms: warming global temperatures, shrinking polar ice shelves, a rising and acidifying ocean. With his characteristically uncanny >>More


May, 2010

Adirondack Moments
Author: James Kraus

Review by: Phil Brown

JAMES KRAUS owes a lot to his father. He got interested in the outdoors when his father took him fishing and in photography when he received a box camera. He went on to teach forest recreation at Paul Smith’s College for thirty years and often incorporated photos into his lectures. Now retired, Kraus recently collected many of his photos into a book titled Adirondack Moments. He groups his photos into chapters, such as “Light,” “Mountains,” “Plants and Wildflowers,” and “Water.” He writes in the introduction that whenever he is in the woods or on the water, he remains watchful for >>More


May, 2010

The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing
Author: Kirk Deeter and Charlie Meyers

Review by: Phil Brown

If you’re a golfer, you may have heard of Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book, a popular compilation of golf tips related in an amusing, plainspoken style. Kirk Deeter, an editor-at-large for Field & Stream, is a golfer who benefited from Penick’s advice. So he and Charlie Meyers, the late outdoors editor for the Denver Post, collaborated on a similar book for anglers: The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing. Like Penick, the authors drew on decades of experience. They have distilled their wisdom into 250 tips, usually just a paragraph or two long. They are divided into five chapters: Casting, Presentation, >>More


May, 2010

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail The Official Guidebook
Author: Mountaineers Books

Review by: Phil Brown

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a paradox. It’s been around forever, but it was “completed” just four years ago. Whatever, we’re glad it exists. The NFCT is a 740-mile water trail that follows Native American paddling routes. It starts in Old Forge and ends in northern Maine, after passing through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire. This includes sixty-two carries, totaling fifty-miles. You can paddle it in the other direction, but that will require more portaging. The nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail Inc. has done a great job of promotion. Over the past ten years, the group has put up >>More




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