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Adirondack Explorer

November, 2013

A Visitor’s Guide to Camp Santanoni
Author: Charlotte K. Barrett

Review by: Philip Terrie

Great Guide to a Great Camp. JUST NORTH of Newcomb sits one of the Adirondack Park’s cultural treasures: Camp Santanoni. Designed by architect Robert H. Robertson in 1892 for Albany banker Robert Pruyn, Camp Santanoni manifests all the marvelous eclecticism and attention to detail that make the Adirondack Great Camp one of our region’s chief contributions to American arts and crafts. While the preservation and stabilization of this complex of buildings has been underway for over a decade and while it has been open to anyone willing to walk or ride a bicycle down the five-mile dirt road from Route >>More


November, 2013

The Adirondack Slide Guide
Author: Drew Haas

Review by: Phil Brown

Post-Irene slide guide. Tropical Storm Irene did more than change the face of the High Peaks: it rendered The Adirondack Slide Guide by Drew Haas obsolete. Thankfully, Haas has put out a second edition of the book that includes new slides created by Irene in 2011. The new edition follows the format of the first: it’s a softcover publication with large black-and-white aerial photos of dozens of slides, mostly in the High Peaks. All of the photos were taken in winter, when the slides (covered with snow) stand out most against the forested slopes. Slides are long bedrock paths created >>More


November, 2013

Adirondack Reflections & North Country Reflections
Author: Edited by Neal Burdick & Maurice Kenny

Review by: Kristina Ashby

Essays on how we live. People often visit the Adirondacks because of what it is not. It is not crowded. It is not loud. And it is not full of big-box chain stores. But people choose to make the Adirondacks their home because of what this place is. It is beautiful. It has a deeply connected community. One can find true wilderness if she so seeks. Like many others, I began as a visitor. I found myself returning again and again to visit family and friends. Eventually, at a crossroads in life, I came for what I believed would be >>More


November, 2013

Growing Up in Lake Placid
Author: Barbara Tyrell Kelly

Review by: Neal Burdick

LAKE PLACID isn’t like other towns. What other place has hosted two Winter Olympics, after all? But in other ways, it’s pretty much the same: people are born and die, try to make a living through good times and bad, laugh, and cry. Native daughter Barbara Tyrell Kelly captures this dichotomy—the world-famous resort versus the village where generations of “just plain folks” grew up—in her entertaining collection of short essays Growing Up in Lake Placid. This combination of memoir and local history collects columns that Kelly wrote for the Lake Placid News from 2006 to 2011. She’d previously contributed articles >>More


September, 2013

The Allure of Deep Woods Backpacking the Northville-Placid Trail
Author: Walt McLaughlin

Review by: Betsy Kepes

AMERICANS like a challenge, and that includes our hiking trails. We’ve got the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and the Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast and hikers who walk them end to end. Fortunately there are also shorter through trails to explore, and one of them runs north to south in the Adirondacks. Walt McLaughlin hoped his fifty-year-old body could walk the 122-mile Northville-Lake Placid Trail (NPT) during a two-week stretch in September. “I want to prove to myself that I can still do it. I want to stop the steady erosion of my physical options. I’m >>More


September, 2013

Louis Marshall and the Rise of Jewish Ethnicity in America
Author: M.M. Silver

Review by: Philip Terrie

IF WE WERE to make a list of Adirondack families that have left a truly lasting imprint, both here and in the rest of the country, the Marshalls would surely be near or at the top. Most Adirondack enthusiasts are probably familiar with the impressive credentials of Robert Marshall: one of the original Adirondack Forty-Sixers, indefatigable long-distance hiker, author of widely read books on Alaska and forestry, co-founder of the Wilderness Society, and one of the most important American environmentalists of the first half of the twentieth century. But how many know about the distinguished career of his father, Louis >>More


September, 2013

The Crossley ID Guide & Hawks in Flight
Author: Crossley ID Guide: Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori & Brian Sullivan & Hawks in Flight: Pete Dunne, David Allen Sibley & Clay Sutton

Review by: Edward Kanze

There can be no greater thrill on an Adirondack hike in autumn than to stand on a summit and have hawks and falcons stream over your head. Perhaps there’ll be an eagle or two shooting past for good measure, and an osprey or harrier, too. Fall colors and prime hiking weather coincide with migration season for day-flying raptors. What you see on particular hikes is a matter of hit or miss, but if you hit just right, you may get exciting close looks at birds otherwise difficult to admire close up in the wild. While migrating long distances, hawks, eagles, >>More


July, 2013

An Adirondack Passage
Author: Christine Jerome

Review by: Betsy Kepes

When my sons were ages four and eleven, my family drove to Blue Mountain Lake on a warm October day, filled our kayaks with food and gear, and launched our boats. Like hundreds of boaters before us, we planned to spend several days on the lakes and rivers of the most popular long-distance canoe route in the Adirondacks—Blue Mountain Lake, Raquette Lake, Forked Lake, Long Lake, Tupper Lake, and the winding miles of the Raquette River that connect them. Our journey left me with magnificent memories, but I wish I’d known about Christine Jerome’s book, An Adirondack Passage. It should >>More


July, 2013

Peak Experiences
Author: Carol Stone White

Review by: Tony Goodwin

Peak Experiences: Danger, Death, & Daring in the Mountains of the Northeast is a diverse collection of writings about difficult climbs, near catastrophes, and the occasional death in the mountains from the Catskills to Mount Katahdin. Edited by Carol Stone White (and including four of her own pieces), these are writings by the survivors. Some conclude with lessons learned by the writer, but the editor also periodically includes a “Cliff Note” to emphasize the lessons that readers should take away from an incident. As the author of the “Accident Report” column that appears periodically in Adirondac, I was particularly interested >>More


May, 2013

Women on Water
Author: Ruth Dandrea, Kathy DeLong, Carol Moseman, and Bonnie Sanderson

Review by: Betsy Kepes

Women on Water is a difficult book to categorize. It looks like a guidebook, with a table of contents that lists twenty-five day trips, most of them in the southwestern Adirondacks. Flipping through the book I admired the hand-drawn maps, beautiful pen-and-ink drawings that reminded me of Nancy Bernstein’s work in the Adirondack Explorer. Black-and-white photos show kayakers in scenic locations and close-ups of loons and butterflies. But don’t expect many facts and figures in this book. The trip descriptions rarely include landmarks or mileage, and the maps do not include a scale. I wondered, is the Francis Lake trip >>More