Lisa Ballard wins award for ‘Explorer’ story

Lisa Ballard on Phelps Mountain.

Saranac Lake native Lisa Ballard has won a national award for a story about hiking with her brother that appeared in the Adirondack Explorer.

Her article, titled “On Crane with Wayne,” won second place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America for stories in the Outdoor Fun and Adventure category. The award was announced at the association’s annual conference in June.

Ballard, who now lives in Montana, wrote about climbing Crane Mountain with her brother, Wayne Feinberg, a Saranac Lake real-estate agent. Evidently, Wayne is not a big fan of hiking and had to be coaxed into going.

“He was clad in a striped polo shirt, pleated khaki shorts, and tennis shoes, his version of outdoor wear,” Ballard writes in her article. “He looked like he was going to a putting green rather than up a mountain.”

She pokes gentle fun at her brother throughout the article, but in the end she suspects he really did enjoy himself. He offers to buy her dinner.

“I’m climbing Pitchoff next week. Want to come?” she asks hopefully.

“If I don’t show up at the trailhead, don’t wait for me,” Wayne answers.

Ballard said she was delighted to receive the award. Asked what Wayne thought of the Explorer article, she replied in an email: “My brother says he didn’t like the hike, and he rolls his eyes about the story, but I think he’s secretly excited about it. It’s still on his coffee table. Big conversation thing!”

“On Crane with Wayne” appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of the Explorer. It will be reprinted in next year’s Annual Outings Guide.

Both Ballard and her husband, Jack Ballard, write regularly for the Explorer. They visit the Adirondacks several times a year to spend time at their camp on Lower Chateaugay Lake.

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About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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