If nothing else, this year’s pandemic reinforced the importance of getting outside. Recreating was considered one of the safest things to do, and its physical and spiritual benefits were valued more than ever. As a result, people flocked to the Adirondack Park. At the Explorer, we did what we always do: explore new and old places and encourage people to safely enjoy the region’s woods and waters.
Early in the year, we skinned up Whiteface Mountain with the Dawn Patrol, wrote about adventurous wild ice skaters who enjoy getting out on Lake Champlain, and took time to relax and enjoy hot cocoa in style at Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb.
Once spring rolled around and the pandemic hit, we focused on keeping our distance. Betsy Kepes took an experimental backpacking trip on the Cranberry Lake 50 and Tim Rowland wrote a feature on bushwhackers, a group of individuals who naturally like to avoid crowds and people. Meanwhile, Phil Brown started on his series about his trips through the Sable Highlands.
In the summer, we returned to some of our normal activities, including heading to lakes and ponds. I went canoeing and birding in the Central Adirondacks with guide Joan Collins, while Michael Virtanen wrote about a group of adventure swimmers who like to head to higher elevation ponds and lakes. Editor Brandon Loomis found some peace and quiet in an unlikely spot: the High Peaks Wilderness.
In recent weeks, those waters have iced over and winter is finally settling in here, which is good. We’re ready to get back to the mountains so we can enjoy some skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, and some of that good ole Crazy Freedom that comes along with getting out and exploring. — Mike Lynch