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Old 02-07-2016, 10:20 PM   #41
montcalm
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My only thought is perhaps we can learn something from the way the natives to this area used the Adirondacks.

AFAIK the Iroquois didn't want to live there because they were primarily an agrarian society. It was too harsh to try to grow crops in the thin, sandy and rocky soils. So it became a bit of a park to them.

The Adirondacks actually have little to give, it's an ecosystem that cannot support a lot of large mammals and humans. The forests, once burned or eroded take an immense amount of time to recover. One only needs to look at most of the bare summits and recall how they became bare. Most are not naturally that way.

We've seen how sensitive it is to the effects of acid rain and road salt. The heavy metals that are in some of the lakes from the paper industry will likely never dilute to safe levels.

It also happens to be the source of most of the freshwater rivers and streams in upstate NY and the Hudson valley. So any impact there could affect countless other ecosystems as it passes through watersheds.

To say you've lived there and used it's resources doesn't make you special. It kind of means you have a giant responsibility, not only to that ecosystem, but to the ones it feeds. The history of the 'Adirondackers' that lived and worked in that area has not always been one great deeds done to a fragile land. It's usually those of tragic mistakes that have damaged a once great ecosystem. It may look rugged and wild, but it's so unique to this area that it is extra fragile.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:21 PM   #42
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"M",
I can't criticize the early settlers.
They did what they had to do to scratch out a living, they burned woodlands, (as did the Indians) and pulled the stumps to make tillable land.
Anytime we see an old apple tree in a remote place indicates this.
They did what they had to do to try to make a living.
There are a lot of evidences of this,
Perkins Clearing, Burnt Shanty Clearing, the area around White House on the West Branch, the area near Georgia Brook on the East branch.
Anywhere there was a flat space of land.
It's all hind sight.
We can sit back and pontificate the actions of ones gone past.
They did what they had to do.
jim
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:29 PM   #43
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Sometimes criticizing our past mistakes is the best way to learn.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:53 PM   #44
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Sometimes criticizing our past mistakes is the best way to learn.
Agreed,
But second or third guessing is not productive.
The past is the past, learn from it.
Jim
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:10 PM   #45
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Good point.
You're not a true Adirondacker until you've had fresh Adirondack brook trout for breakfast cooked over an open campfire!
Here's a photo shared by my friend Jim Vroman....
A "True Adirondack" photo for sure, Jim!
Thanks for sharing!

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Old 02-08-2016, 10:05 PM   #46
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I guess true Adirondackers don't practice catch and release.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:15 PM   #47
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I guess true Adirondackers don't practice catch and release.
IMO most decent size brookies die when released. Therefore I see no problem with keeping a few
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:37 PM   #48
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What things can't you skip if you want to fully embrace the Adirondacks?
This is the crux of the matter, and I would sincerely like to echo a couple of things that have only been mentioned here.

While the high peaks, lean-tos, secluded lakes and Yellow Yellow are all symbols of the Adirondacks, they are by no means the whole picture. What makes the Adirondacks unique is the mixture of the forest preserve along with all of the communities, private holdings and other cultural features.

Go to Yosemite or Yellowstone and your membership to the in-club can be paid with backwoods experiences, trail miles and wildlife encounters. The cost to be considered and ADKer is a bit higher.

Just like any region you will find people who say you can't belong if you don't live here. Or you can't belong if you weren't born here. You'll never get agreement across the board. It's all shades of grey and it really doesn't matter.

What will carry a lot of weight is getting to know the big picture. Pay attention to the political, demographic and economic issues facing the communities. Keep up to date on the local events and news. Be aware of businesses that are struggling or new ones that need support.

If you only cross the blue line heading straight for a trailhead and the blast back out at the end of the weekend you are not ever going to be considered a true ADKer. Try to plan a visit for a local event. Try to visit the local museums. Make the choice to skip Disneyland and instead take your kids to the wild center (trust me, it'll be better for everyone). Make a point to go in the offseasons. Eat at local restaurants. Go to the same restaurant over and over and get to know the staff. Seek out the private galleries for local artists. Go to the Six Nations Indian Museum at least once. Go to a play at the Pendragon Theater.

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What things can't you skip if you want to fully embrace the Adirondacks?
You can't skip the communities and local culture for the sake of the forest and claim you fully embrace the Adirondacks. If you want a bucket list, try to go see a movie at every theater inside the blueline (a true ADKer will appreciate the bittersweet nature of this challenge). But more seriously, get a beer (or 9) at each brewery.

For what it's worth I have never lived inside the blueline, but in several places around the perimeter. My family has had a camp inside the blueline since 1952. I probably cross the blueline at least 50 times a year. When I'm talking to my capital region friends I feel like a true ADKer. When I'm inside the Adirondacks and talking to a local I respect the fact that I am not.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:38 PM   #49
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I have a cold handle skillet like that.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:42 PM   #50
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I guess true Adirondackers don't practice catch and release.
I take it that you've never had the pleasure of having brook trout for breakfast...?
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:49 PM   #51
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I don't eat animals, so no.

I will take some nice boiled and sauteed fiddleheads though.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:15 PM   #52
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I don't eat animals, so no.

I will take some nice boiled and sauteed fiddleheads though.
Ok cool.
To each their own, my friend.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:36 AM   #53
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I have to admit to being somewhat indifferent to the notion of becoming a "real ADKer".

My experience is almost entirely a mountain experience and I feel no drive to become an authentic ADKer. My interest begins and ends with the mountains, the forests and streams, the purely geographical features.

My interest in the history and cultural aspects of the region is sated by the reading of a dozen or so books with many more surely to come down the line. As a lover of mountains I have bushwhacked all throughout the High Peaks region criss-crossing various ranges multiple times. What floats my particular boat is ascending more than 130 individual peaks by bushwhack, most of them more than once and by creative (sadistic?) routes. I don't keep track but I've climbed at least 50 different slides, many more than once.

The Foundation I co-founded 8 years ago and which runs this forum has raised funds and dispersed them for multiple projects related to -you guessed it - the mountains, including SAR and public education.

For me it begins and ends with the mountains. If I can drive down from Montreal and spend 12 hours bushwhacking and go back home without entering a town I'm good with that. I bring my food for the drive home with me in a cooler.

If there were bigger and more interesting mountains closer to home I would go there instead but the Adirondacks are the best that I can reach in a day so I go there. It would be tough for me to make a living by my profession in the Adirondacks, I need a good-sized population base to sell my services to.

I think that whatever YOU really love doing in the Adirondacks is what YOU should do, whether it be peakbagging the same 46 peaks over and over again, observing Boreal Chickadees, paddling, sleeping in every lean-to, identifying rare alpine pants or volunteering for a museum.
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Last edited by Neil; 02-09-2016 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:06 AM   #54
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Let's be thankful we're on the right side of the dirt to enjoy each day and just " do it"
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:09 AM   #55
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Let's be thankful we're on the right side of the dirt to enjoy each day and just " do it"
To quote from my favorite movie: "Words of wisdom Lloyd, words of wisdom".
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Last edited by Neil; 02-09-2016 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:49 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Neil View Post
I think that whatever YOU really love doing in the Adirondacks is what YOU should do, whether it be peakbagging the same 46 peaks over and over again, observing Boreal Chickadees, paddling, sleeping in every lean-to, identifying rare alpine pants or volunteering for a museum.
What are these rare alpine pants whereof you speak?
Zach

P.S. I am an artificial ADKer
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:22 AM   #57
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What are these rare alpine pants whereof you speak?
Zach

P.S. I am an artificial ADKer
Boott's Rattlesnake, Three-toothed cinquefoil, Mountain Sandwort, Diapensia, Lapland Rosebay....
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:06 AM   #58
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I have to admit to being somewhat indifferent to the notion of becoming a "real ADKer".

My experience is almost entirely a mountain experience and I feel no drive to become an authentic ADKer. My interest begins and ends with the mountains, the forests and streams, the purely geographical features.


The Foundation I co-founded 8 years ago and which runs this forum has raised funds and dispersed them for multiple projects related to -you guessed it - the mountains, including SAR and public education.
You do great work here on the forums for the mountains Neil. Thank You!
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:34 AM   #59
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Neil, with all due respect considering the contributions you've made, I'm trying hard to give you the benefit of the doubt when reading your post. I'm trying to assume that maybe your message didn't come across the way you meant it to.

However, it sure sounds like a slap in the face to the people who live in the Adirondacks.

Quote:
My interest begins and ends with the mountains...
Quote:
If I can drive down from Montreal and spend 12 hours bushwhacking and go back home without entering a town I'm good with that.
These ideas make me wonder if you appreciate how much of your Adirondack experience you owe to the folks who scratch out a living inside the blueline. These folks build, repair and plow the roads you take to the trailhead. They build the trailhead. They keep the gas stations open for you. They are the SAR teams and the Rangers and the doctors you will need if something goes wrong. They are the people that show up at town meetings in -20F weather to oppose large developments or to support float plane bans.

While I am a pretty strong conservationist, I recognize that every time a timber company turns over land to the state, my gain in recreation is a loss for the locals. In fact all of the industry that gets squeezed out because it's not congruous with the wild aesthetic is our gain at the expense of the locals. These locals rely more and more every year on the tourist dollar to keep their heads above water.

I sincerely respect that my enjoyment of the wild places is due in great part to the locals in the area. I show that respect, in part, by buying gas locally, or getting my car food at a local deli. I can hold off on stopping at EMS for a few weeks if I'm going to be near the Mountaineer.

It would be tough for me to make a living and run my business in the Adirondacks which is why I live down near Albany. It's tough for most people in the Adirondacks to make a living regardless of what they do. But I benefit from their willingness to do so.

I'm really not trying to start a flame war, but I bet there were at least a few people that read your post and winced a bit. I find it impossible to drive to a trailhead without drivng through a town and thinking about, for example, the school district mergers and a parent having to put a kindergartner on a bus for an hour with no bathroom break.

Once again, while I'm sure your intention was not to offend, it's never a bad time to have this conversation about what make the place so great and how to keep it great.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:09 PM   #60
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Your post is very well laid out and the tone is excellent for a venue such as this forum. Without making an attempt to defend my actions I should at least point out that I don't go out of my way to avoid buying gas and post-hike food within the Blue Line. Also, through forum gatherings I have brought hundreds of person-nights to the area. Nevertheless, if I candidly look back over the past decade of hiking then my post sums my actions up pretty much. I drive to the mountains, I hike and then I go home.

I understand that people who are born and raised in the Adirondacks are in a tough spot and those who say, "if they don't like it then all they have to do is move to where there are more jobs" are being callously ignorant of what it means to be "home" where one's roots are and not have the best job opportunities.

That said, my ADK experiences are my personal recreational time away from running my business, my home life and all that goes with that. I can only get away for one day at a time (and have to get out of bed at 5:30 the day after my hikes) but when I will have the opportunity to spend multiple days in the Adirondacks I will be sleeping and eating somewhere way off-trail in the woods. I will continuously focus on what I love doing and doing what I love best.
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