September, 2009

McCulley wants Grannis off case

State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis may have ruled in Jim McCulley’s favor in the Old Mountain Road dispute, but McCulley still wants him off the case. McCulley’s lawyer, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid, filed a motion Tuesday asking Grannis to recuse himself for engaging in in “ex-parte” communications about the case with the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Park Agency, both of which are seeking permission to intervene in the legal controversy. They want Grannis to reconsider the decision. This spring, Grannis ruled that the state never legally closed the Old Mountain Road, which runs between Keene and North Elba >>More

August, 2009

Pelican postmortem

The brown pelican that excited Adirondack birders for a few weeks has died of starvation, according to Amy Freiman, a wildlife rehabilitator in Newcomb. The pelican was first spotted on Fourth Lake in the Fulton Chain and later on Lows Lake. Observers said it exhibited strange behavior, approaching people in boats and at campsites, apparently looking for food. The photo above is a case in point. Freiman said the bird, though it may have appeared healthy, probably was famished the whole time. She speculates that it may not have been able to fish in our murky waters. Brown pelicans usually fish >>More

August, 2009

Canoeing the Deer River Flow

I had been wanting to paddle the Deer River Flow for some time, so when my friend, Phil Blanchard, came with his family to the Adirondacks for vacation, I suggested we take a trip there. Unfortunately, Phil got ill on the morning of our scheduled outing, so his son, Ben, and I did the trip alone. Ben, who is twelve, was an enthusiastic companion. As we headed down the flow, we had to fight a moderate wind. I feared this might be difficult for Ben. “Too bad about the wind,” I remarked. “That’s OK. It makes it more fun,” Ben >>More

August, 2009

Brown pelican in Adirondacks

For the past week, Adirondack birders have been marveling about a brown pelican first spotted on Fourth Lake in the Old Forge-Inlet region. Normally, brown pelicans reside along coasts in more southern climes. They breed as far north as Virginia in summer and live year-round along the Gulf Coast. It’s the state bird of Louisiana. John M.C. Peterson, one of the authors of Adirondack Birding, says this is the first brown pelican seen in this neck of the woods. Peterson keeps records of bird sightings in the Adirondack-Champlain region for the New York State Ornithological Association. As defined by the >>More

August, 2009

Canoeing the Lower Bog

Most people who canoe the Bog River start at the Lower Dam and paddle upstream to Hitchins Pond. From there, they can carry around the Upper Dam to enter Lows Lake. But there is another flatwater trip on the Bog that doesn’t see as much traffic. About a half-mile above the falls,we passed under an old bridge. Just around the next bend we passed a solitary boulder in the middle of the river. Bolted to the upstream side of the boulder is an iron ring, evidently an artifact from the logging days. I am wondering if anybody knows the story >>More

August, 2009

Paddling scenic Fall Stream

A few years ago, the Explorer published a story by Mark Bowie about a canoe trip on Fall Stream, a tributary of Piseco Lake. Mark did the trip with some volunteers from the Adirondack Mountain Club who were investigating the possibility of adding Fall Stream to the state’s Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System. Mark concluded that all or most of Fall Stream should be classified as Scenic. After paddling the river to Fall Lake and Vly Lake last weekend, I heartily agree. Most of the river lies within the state Forest Preserve, but the put-in and some of the land >>More

August, 2009

‘Wild Times’ is here

We at the Explorer just received copies of our new book, Wild Times, a full-color anthology of 120 hiking and paddling adventures from the past ten years of our newsmagazine. This is news you can use, whether you’re looking to paddle a quiet river, spend time on an uncrowded summit, visit a fire tower, or jump in a lake. As in the Explorer, most of the stories are personal accounts of trips, accompanied by hand-drawn maps and color photographs. Our writers, photographers, and artists made this publication possible. A lot of credit also goes to Susan Bibeau, our designer, who >>More

August, 2009

A chance encounter on Iroquois

Last weekend I climbed over Algonquin Peak and continued along the ridge to Iroquois Peak a mile away. I’m not saying this is the best hike in the Adirondacks, but it’s way up there. Some of the scenic highlights: the Trap Dike and huge slides on Mount Colden, Marcy rising above Colden, Giant and the Great Range farther in the distance, Lake Colden and the Flowed Lands, the Wallface cliffs in Indian Pass, and all the alpine flora. At 5,114 feet, Algonquin is the Park’s second-highest peak. Since it’s only four miles from Adirondak Loj, it sees a lot of >>More

August, 2009

Climbing the Whiteface slide

Last weekend, I climbed the Lake Placid slide on Whiteface Mountain with Sue Bibeau, who designs the Explorer, and her husband, Jeff Oehler. We paddled across the lake, went up the hiking trail for two miles, and bushwhacked up Whiteface Brook to the slide. The round trip took ten and a half hours, including a stop for refreshments in the summit restaurant. The mountain takes its name from this slide, which exposes the white rock (anorthosite) that constitutes the peak. At least, that’s the explanation I found in Peaks and People of the Adirondacks, by Russell M.L. Carson (1926). Carson >>More

July, 2009

Top trails for your top dog

If you read the Adirondack Explorer, you’re familiar with the work of Susan Bibeau. She designs our publication, and that’s lucky for us. In recent months, Sue has been designing another publication: Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks: 20 Trails to Enjoy with Your Best Friend, a compilation of canine hikes by a variety of regional writers. We just received a copy, and it looks great. The book includes more than twenty black-and-white photos of dogs lolling on mountaintops, splashing in ponds, and doing other doggy things. Most were taken by Nancie Battaglia. One of my favorites is of a dog >>More

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