Mike Lynch: Inspired by the Adirondacks

Mike Lynch's moments that inspire
Mike Lynch hikes through the Johns Brook Valley on a photo assignment. Photo by Gwen Craig
Multimedia reporter Mike Lynch tells why he's inspired by his job.

By Mike Lynch

There are moments that inspire you.

For me, one of those occurred in 2009, as I interviewed legendary conservationist Clarence Petty, who was then 104 years old. During our talk, Petty’s passion for the Adirondacks was clear.

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.

You can follow Mike’s work through Instagram, his weekly newsletter Backcountry Journal, our website’s photography section and his work archive.

Mike Lynch shares inspiration from his job.
Hikers enjoy a sunrise from Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain in the eastern Adirondacks in late November. Photo by Mike Lynch

About Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Mike’s newsletter

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