Tag Archives: Adirondack

A plow clears my driveway as a winter storm covers the landscape in blowing snow.

Respect, don’t Fear, the Weather

Watching winter storm “Hunter” — thank you Weather Channel, like winter storms needed names — drop a dense snowy blanket outside my dining room window, should I be glad this isn’t a “bombogenesis,” “snowpocalypse” or “snowmageddon?”

We love to be afraid of the weather, maybe in the same way we love horror films. We all like a good scare. But bombarded with media messages of weather fear, that occasional scare has become a constant drone of weather worry. We’re inured to it; our children are basted in it.

What’s the problem? Fear leads to bad decisions. Worry wears us down and inures us to real dangers.

And there are dangers out there to judge, to weigh, to consider.

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Brigid takes a ski break with a furry friend.

Cross-Country Skiing with Kids

Take a quiet ski on your own first, then have some noisy fun with the kids.

Take a quiet ski on your own first, then have some noisy fun with the kids.

Cross-country and kids aren’t a natural match … but that’s usually because we want to turn out kids into little adults, making them ski the way we do.

Cross-country also lacks the “cool” factor of downhill skiing. It’s like trying to get your kids to kayak when there is a jet-ski tied to the dock.

But if we focus on the fun instead of the destination, skiing can be a great family activity, a fit for 5-year-olds, 15-year-olds and 55-year-olds.

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The contents of a geocache with a gps receiver at hand.

Geocaching the between-times

Too early to ski? 

Sure, if you are a eager backcountry type you’ve driven and hiked to find snow.

Me, I’ll wait till the snow finds me, although I am tempted to take a trip to the Whiteface Toll Road for an early season session.

Too late to hike? Sure, many of you hike all winter.

Me, once the temps dip and the trails get icy, I keep my hikes on the flat lands of the Champlain Valley. Thanksgiving is often my cutoff, although a brisk hike up Lyon Mountain can make the turkey taste better.

So what to do in the between-times?

Geocaching is the perfect outdoor fun in the fall/winter, winter/spring transitions.

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Snow Geese and the Transition into Autumn

This time of year is all about transitions.

The leaves fall. The temperatures drop. Family hikers leave the peaks behind for you technical types and instead embrace the lowland trails. The first snow paints the peaks.

And the snow geese appear.

They stop in the protected bays of Lake Champlain, gathering by the thousand. They rest on the sandy beaches and scavenge in nearby fields, cleaning up the chopped corn the mechanical harvest misses.

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Silver Lake Mountain Scenes

Brigid and a friend hiked Silver Lake Mountain with me over the holiday weekend.

This little 1-mile climb with striking views of Silver Lake and Taylor Pond is a perfect hike for a busy weekend when traffic in the High Peaks is so intense that some trailheads were temporarily moved.

More musings on the trail later in the week.

The Great Adirondack Eclipse

A solar eclipse in stages.

A solar eclipse in stages.

Now that the “Great American Eclipse” and all that solar hoopla is over, let’s turn our attention to the April 8, 2024, solar event: The Great Adirondack Eclipse.

On the afternoon of that early spring day, a total solar eclipse will be viewable from almost all of the Adirondacks and northern New York.

Draw a line from Plattsburgh to Watertown and you’ll have the path of totality.

So if you are in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid or hiking in the High Peaks that day, you’ll see it. Of course the path of totality also includes Burlington, Syracuse and a big swath of the central and southern United States as the eclipse track heads through Dallas and into Mexico. But in the interest of marketing, let’s ignore that.

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A foggy late-summer morning on Chateaugay Lake.

Fall Fogs and Memories

September and October are a time of valley fog in the Adirondacks.

The waters are still warm enough and the nights are already cool enough that our mornings are sometimes bathed in white mist.

I’m sure, if you know ocean fogs, those impenetrable white banks that block highways and lead to massive pileups, you will think our fogs are tame. And they are small scale.

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