By Mike Lynch
There are moments that inspire you.
But what stuck with me from that interview is that the centenarian was wearing worn leather hiking boots. The image of this 104-year-old man in these ready-to-go hiking boots was symbolic of who he was: someone who got his hands and feet dirty to learn more about the lands he cared deeply about.
While we sat together, Petty talked about spending several years doing seminal field surveys that required him to walk thousands of acres of forest preserve and explorer 1,300 miles of rivers and streams. That firsthand knowledge and hard work led to new laws to protect the Adirondack Park.
I can’t compare myself to Petty, but I understand his passion for getting into the backcountry to better understand the environment and our place in it.
That’s why I work at the Adirondack Explorer, where that field work theme is part of our regular routine.
One day my job may take me to the summit of Mount Marcy to photograph and interview a summit steward, while the next day I may be wading through chest deep water with scientists studying spawning salmon. A week later I could be watching a sunrise from Poke-O-Moonshine over the Lake Champlain hills to understand the latest hiking trends.
All along the goal is to learn more about Adirondack Park in order to tell the story of this special place.