Okay kids, what do you do when the fire alarm goes off?
At a very young age we [yes, we were kids too] are taught to leave the building, in a calm and orderly manner, when the fire alarm is activated.
This has been standard procedure since at least the 1960’s.
This may not include all of us in the “older” generation, but it certainly includes most of us.
All through school, from kindergarten through high school, there are mandated fire alarm and evacuation drills.
Some were scheduled; others were random; all mandated by the Department of Education.
In general the concept has never changed. The alarm goes off, everybody drops what they are doing then in a calm, orderly manner, leave the building.
Pretty simple concept. Get out and wait for the fire department. Continue reading
The Worst Guides… and The Worst Landowners
Before railroads and automobiles, travelers depended on the quality and skills of North Woods guides to show them the region’s natural beauty, to feed them and provide the best in hunting and fishing.
Often, guides were entrusted with taking ladies in the woods.
The guides, especially those not aligned with large hotels, depended on per diem fees for subsistence and quality reputations for honesty, dependability and woodcraft benefited all guides.
So when two guides brought dishonor to the profession, guides hoped people realized these two were the exception.
In 1901, a group including the largest Adirondack landowners formed the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.
This group’s goals have been to preserve the health of the Park’s forests and inhabitants for present and future generations.
Its initial critics felt it formed to protect its members’ large preserves.
But its immediate opening of the membership to individuals helped bring about a broad base of support and today it is still a force benefiting the Park.
But two preserve owners brought unneeded bad press nationally upon the group.
Charles Parker. Continue reading
Monotony of summer activities inspires creation of adventures
Somewhere near the middle of the summer of 1978 I began to tire of all the things I usually liked to do. I had spent a lot of time hopping the rocks to Fawn Lake, fishing, and taking the canoe out. I caught frogs and hiked and biked every trail.
So what I really needed was a good adventure to mix things up.
My dog Mutt seemed to be in a similar state of mind as we sat in the shade of the maple tree near our house, watching tiny ants make their way among the clumps of grass.
All of a sudden the silence was broken by my friend Eddie who came barreling into the yard on his bike.
He skidded to a stop and dropped the bike in a single motion. He came over and flopped down next to us, asking what we were up to.
“Well, me and Mutt were thinking about an adventure. What do ya think?” I said. Continue reading
This week’s subject is… wait a minute… I forgot
I forgot. Two simple words that have the power to provide forgiveness for virtually anything. Everyone forgets something at some point, whether it’s a simple itty bitty oops (came home without the milk,) or a biggie (thought it was Christmas so I didn’t show up for work.)
Can’t be helped and truly, we should not beat ourselves up when stuff slips our mind.
Like so many other folks I constantly struggle with names. A younger, braver me would’ve taken a chance and called out the first name that came to mind, and I was often correct. Now…not so much.
In fact, it’s practically a guarantee that I will fail miserably, so I find it’s just so much easier to admit defeat. “Um, so sorry, but I just cannot remember what you call yourself—what the heck is your name anyway?” Continue reading
Gary Lee marks 25th anniversary of local outdoors column
This marks my 25th year of writing to you folks about the natural world around us, beginning with the newly-launched Express and now for the Weekly Adirondack. I missed only one column in all those years when I was out in Yellowstone Wildfire Complex that first year in 1988. Snail mail was slow in getting it to Express founder and editor Pat Russell in Old Forge.
Everyone tells me I should write a book featuring highlights of some of my columns, but I tell them I’ve already written a book, and it’s about Adirondack Birding.
To follow is my inaugural column which appeared on July 12, 1988. Don’t take everything as if it was written today as lots have changed in 25 years.
Thank property owner associations for lakes we enjoy today
Not the summer residents and visitors, the Dye Tester!!! Yep, it’s that time of year again. The Town of Webb Dye Tester is out along the shores and may be knocking on your door soon. Both the Chain of Lakes [1st – 4th and Old Forge Pond and channel] and Big Moose Lake have a cooperative arrangement with the Code Office to dye test all waterfront properties.
Between the two areas there are over 1,100 places to test. It is impossible to do them all every year. The goal is to test each one every 3–4 years.
This program was started many years ago, back in the 1960’s.
At that time, property owners worked independently from the town through their respective lake property owners associations. Continue reading
Lt. Gov. Timothy L. Woodruff’s Letter to W.W. Durant
Just when I think I have learned all of the origins and instigators for the building of the Raquette Lake Railroad during 1899, I find a new participant.
I have read of Collis Huntington’s impatience with the inefficiencies of the Fulton Chain steamers and stages from Old Forge’s transportation monopoly’s companies, his sitting on a keg of nails during a long wait.
Then his wife refused to visit him at Pine Knot until a builder of the transcontinental railroad built a railroad to their camp.
Dr. Webb did plan on a road from Clearwater to Raquette Lake; the Raquette Lake Railroad would use the two mile lumber railroad built in 1897–1898 by John Dix to Rondaxe Lake as the beginning of this road’s route. Continue reading