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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2010

Freshwater Fish of the Northeast
Author: David A. Patterson

Review by: Edward Kanze

WHY DO WE FIND FISH so appealing? After all, humans are hardly the piscivores ospreys and otters are. Yet fish and fishing have preoccupied the minds of men, women, and children as far back as history and archeology can plumb. The literature on fish and fishing grows more vast and diverse by the year. “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm,” says Hamlet. I grew up with a Shakespeare-brand fishing rod in my hands, and while I never thought about it then, today >>More


March, 2010

No Place I’d Rather Be: Wit and Wisdom from Adirondack Lean-to Journals
Author: Stuart F. Mesinger

Review by: Michael Virtanen

PROBABLY THE MOST interesting fact in No Place I’d Rather Be: Wit and Wisdom from Adirondack Lean-to Journals is buried in the back under Forest Preserve camping regulations. First among the state’s five rules for the backcountry log structures is this: “Must be shared by groups up to the capacity (eight persons) of the shelter.” Stuart F. Mesinger writes early in his book, published by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), that this regulation “oddly” isn’t posted on the walls of the 212 or so shelters found in the Adirondack Park. Occasionally, that has led to uncivilized behavior in the Old >>More


March, 2010

Noah John Rondeau’s Adirondack Wilderness Days
Author: William J. O’Hern

Review by: Betsy Kepes

IN 1946, THE ADIRONDACK HERMIT Noah John Rondeau wrote entries in his annual journal in a complicated code. Fifty years later, a recent college graduate, David Greene, deciphered the symbols. Rondeau was fond of nicknames, and some of the journal entries didn’t make any sense until Richard Smith, an old friend of Rondeau’s, helped interpret the cryptic remarks. Next it was William O’Hern’s turn to put the decoded information into a book. The back cover of this latest book about the famous hermit hints that secrets are to be found inside the mysterious journal, but readers who are expecting revelations >>More


March, 2010

Mostly Spruce and Hemlock
Author: Louis J. Simmons

Review by: Philip Terrie

ACADEMIC HISTORIANS (like me) who devote their careers to regional studies would be lost without the work of diligent amateurs. Here in the Adirondacks, for example, nearly all historical work begins with a grateful nod to Alfred Lee Donaldson’s two-volume A History of the Adirondacks, first published in 1921, reprinted in 1977 with an introduction by Saranac Lake Village Historian John Duquette, and still available in a paperback edition issued last year. Sent as a frail, possibly dying young man to the Trudeau tuberculosis sanitorium in 1895, Donaldson found in Saranac Lake improved health, a wife, and a village he >>More


January, 2010

Adirondack Peak Experiences
Author: Carol Stone White

Review by: Michael Virtanen

ADIRONDACK PEAK Experiences: Mountaineering Adventures, Misadventures and the Pursuit of “The 46” contains eighty-six essays and one poem inspired by wilderness outings, mostly in the High Peaks. It also contains brief histories of the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack Forty-Sixers (whose members have climbed all forty-six of the peaks). Carol Stone White, a Forty-Sixer herself, edited the anthology. Most of the accounts are short, written by enthusiasts about their own adventures. Many are illustrated by small black-and-white photographs. As many hikers know, the forty-six High Peaks were first climbed by Bob and George Marshall, along with their guide, Herb >>More


January, 2010

Historic Tales from the Adirondack Almanack
Author: John Warren

Review by: Neal Burdick

NO MATTER HOW MUCH you think you know about the Adirondacks, there’s always more to be learned. The proof of that hypothesis lies in John Warren’s new book Historic Tales from the Adirondack Almanack, an eclectic collection of stories, observations, and odds and ends from his equally eclectic, always informative, and highly entertaining Adirondack Almanack website. In a nutshell, if you like the site you’ll like the book. “These essays were meant to be glimpses of history, short pieces on context, not complete historical narratives,” says Warren in his preface. He admits that his “five-part history of snowmobiling in the >>More


January, 2010

The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
Author: Douglas Brinkley

Review by: By Philip Terrie

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, a history professor at Rice University, is a prodigiously productive author or coauthor of an amazing array of best-selling books on a wide range of topics, from the Cold War, espionage, and hurricane Katrina to lives of Ronald Reagan, Henry Ford, and Rosa Parks, among many others. His latest is a huge (817 pages, not counting notes and index), eminently readable study of the environmental accomplishments and attitudes of Theodore Roosevelt. Perhaps he writes too many books and too fast, however. For this one, at least so far as the Adirondacks is concerned, is replete with annoying errors. >>More


November, 2009

Adirondack Trails with Tales
Author: Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney

Review by: Neal Burdick

There are lots of Adirondack trail guides. And there are lots of Adirondack history books. But there aren’t many books that do both equally well. Licensed guides Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney have successfully achieved this merger with Adirondack Trails with Tales. The subtitle, History Hikes through the Adirondack Park and the Lake George, Lake Champlain and Mohawk Valley Regions (aside from the quibble that two of those three regions are mostly in the Adirondack Park) gives us a good idea of what we’ll find between these covers. And what we find are over two dozen hikes that are redolent >>More


November, 2009

The Great Experiment in Conservation
Author: William F.Porter, Jon D. Erickson & Ross S.Whaley

Review by: Brian Mann

When Ross Whaley started work on a new anthology of writing about the Adirondacks (co-edited with William Porter and Jon Erickson), he was wrapping up a four-year stint as Adirondack Park Agency chairman. That meant wrestling with the meaning and value of the Adirondack experiment while still struggling to shape its future. “When I went into this project, I talked about the Park as a model for sustainable development for rural wildlands here and elsewhere,” Whaley said in an interview with the Explorer. “What I learned … in the process of doing the book is that the package in total >>More


November, 2009

Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks
Author: Annie Stoltie and Elizabeth Ward

Review by: Phil Brown

Let the dogs out You love walking in the woods and you love your dog, so naturally you love walking in the woods with your dog. And your dog loves it, too—as long as you pick the right trail. But with hundreds of trails in the Adirondack Park, where to start? You’ll find some suggestions in Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks: 20 Trails to Enjoy with Your Best Friend, recently released by Shaggy Dog Press. Several Adirondack writers, editors, and photographers contributed to the book without compensation. Proceeds will go to animal shelters and humane societies in the North Country. >>More




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