Monday, December 14, 2009

"Miracle on John's Brook Trail"

I remember a day, not too far away, I went on a hike with a friend.
     We parked at The Garden, our feet they went troddin', along the path and bend.
The two of us hiked until out of breath, about where The Brothers trail came to our path.
     Decided to break and handle with care, the Sun was shining, God's breath was the air!
We drank to quench, no more would be wise, a hike still ahead, cause cramps, tear eye!
     Speaking of eye, some movement up trail, black and white through trees, did I see a Vail?
 Awkwardly looking I tapped on my buddy, to confirm to myself that I was not nutty!
     The confirmation was made, what debt did we pay, to witness six nuns hiking our way!
 Seriously a vision was starting to unfold, a beautiful story that won't go untold.
     Those six nuns went by, with God in their eye, each one in a gown, from top to ground,
         smiling and nodding their heads up and down.
 Recalling the day and I were both hot, when remembering no camera to take the shot!
     The feeling subsided, with anger away, don't be so selfish and ruin the day.
 Each looking to the other with wonderment and awe, still disbelief in witnessing this sight we both saw!
     A swig for us both, pack on underway, up John's Brook Trail and we thanked God for this day!
 Along the brook old growth smells great, there was no doubt, no need for debate, home for supper
     no later than eight, a blessed day, from the hike to the nuns, to the food on my plate!
 Laying my head on the pillow to rest, I thank God for my blessings and let him do what's best.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Remembering Aviation Hero Floyd Bennett"

When I was a young boy, I remember my gram telling me about her cousin, famous aviator Floyd Bennett. She told me how he was the first man to fly an airplane to the North Pole!  I recall walking out in back of the Queensbury Little League fields, along an old decrepit paved road. One time, I found an old cannonball off in the woods back there, but that's another story, for another time. I also remember going into McDonald's in the Aviation Mall, and seeing pictures on their walls of an old airport in a somewhat familiar area. That area was the original Floyd Bennett Airfield, and was located where the Queensbury School Campus is today. The only remaining building from those days is the old bus garage, which was originally an airplane hanger. What was once the Warren County Airport, is now named the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport.
Floyd Bennett was born in Warrensburg, New York October 25th 1890. He gave up school at 17 yrs. old and became a mechanic and part owner of a service garage. In 1917, he joined the U.S. Navy taking up aviation training. Although he became an able pilot, his superiors ordered him to stay on as an aviation mechanic. In 1925, he was given orders to join Lieutenant Richard Byrd's naval aviation group, which was teamed up with D.B. MacMillan's expedition to Greenland that year. His ability as a mechanic along with his personality caught the eye of Byrd, and he became two things, Byrd's friend and personal pilot.
After the Greenland expedition, Bennett and Byrd started planning a flight to the North Pole. In May of 1926, with a carefully planned out strategy, and a little luck, the two men carried out there goal, flying a 3-engine Fokker monoplane named the "Josephine Ford". The two men were awarded Medals of Honor, which were very rare awards to receive during peacetime! They were also given promotions! Byrd was made Commander and Bennett (by act of Congress) was made Warrant Mechanic! Bennett was also given a special medal by the National Geographic Society, presented by then President Calvin Coolidge. They then started making plans to cross the Atlantic, in a plane called the "America". Unfortunately, the America crashed in a test flight, almost killing Bennett, and opening the door for Charles Lindberg to make the flight. In Byrd's 1928-30 expedition to the South Pole, Bennett, who had made most of the plans, was made 2nd in command. Before the flight was to take place, Bennett and fellow collegue Bernt Balchen were to make a trip to Labrador. There, off the coast, layed a plane that went down, named the "Bremen", which was the first to cross the Atlantic Westwards. Strangely, on their way to salvage the plane in April of '28, Bennett became very sick and passed away in Quebec, Canada, at the young age of 38! His death was mourned by the nation, and he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Monuments of Light"

 "At the birth of the Sun, and his brother the Moon, their mother died. So they gave to the Earth a body, which was to spring all life. And they drew forth from Earth's breath, the stars. Stars they threw into the night sky, to remind them of her soul!"  - Native American Tale

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Bridging the States"

Unfortunately, most folks knew this day would come. Too little too late. That seems to sum up what has become the sad demise of our beloved Champlain Bridge. Decades of weather and tempurature changes, and a lack of a good preventive maintenance plan, will cost N.Y. and Vt. citizens an estimated 50 million dollars!
    Built in 1929 this 2,184 ft. erector set connected West Addison Vt. with Crown Pt. N.Y., and made travel between the two states much more efficient. Today, nearly 4,000 vehicles per day travel over this narrow section of Lake Champlain. Workers on the bridge have discovered it to be in a greater deteriated state than originally thought. Inspections performed under the water's surface have determined that the concrete foundations are cracking enough to warrant concerns of a possible collapse! Archaeologists are performing digs to determine if any artifacts would be disturbed by construction of a ferry service, to alieviate the frustrations of many commuters now forced to take a 100 mi. detour! Demolition will possibly start by the end of the year (?). Just one more problem to add to an already weakened economy. I have also just heard word of the Edinburg/Northville Bridge, that crosses The Great Sacandaga Resevoir, may suffer the same fate! Infrastructure is always a nice political conversation piece, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Fire Towers of the Adirondacks"

I'm not usually one to support man-made structures on mountain tops, but for me the iconic Adirondack Fire Tower gets a free pass. Once manned by "great observers of the land" to help get a headstart on pesky forest fires below, they are now primarily used for educating hikers about the surrounding land and getting a 360 degree unobstructed view. Of coarse towers come in handy for other simple things in life, such as getting above the treeline for a consistantly strong breeze to escape the bugs and heat below, a lunch break, or even as shade from the sometimes brutal Sun! There are still a few I haven't had the pleasure of climbing yet, but hopefully I will in due time. I remember climbing the tallest in the Adks. on Wakely, which is about 100 Ft.. You could either climb the stairs, or if you're real brave there is a small decrepit metal ladder that goes up the outside of the tower, that is about a foot wide. This is not for the faint of heart and is dangerous due to nuts and bolts missing along the way! The picture I have here is of the old worn out tower on Hurricane Mtn., or "Nodoneyo" which means "Hill of Wind" in Native toungue. It's amazing that some of these towers are still standing after all the weather they've endured through the decades! It's great to see some of them get a makover, but on the other hand it's a shame that they all can't. They are forever imbedded in the history of the park, and should be treated with the respect they deserve!            

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"War Reenactments of the Lake George Region"

The Lake George Region, of Upstate New York, is a region rich in history. The birth of a nation happened here, and several wars were fought along this corridor to obtain it, such as The French and Indian War, The War of 1812, and The Revolutionary War. Each year folks gather to watch men and women alike come together "in peace" and try to re-create how people lived through those times of long ago. Demonstrations on the field of battle, aren't the only displays you'll see or hear either. You'll also learn about the clothing they wore, the jewelry they made, the food that was prepared, the music that was played and sang, the games that were played, and a host of other tid bits that will enlighten and surprise you, I promise! I believe it is healthy for a person to be able to have a glimpse of the past occasionally. We can get so caught up in today's hectic world, full of greed and materialism, that we lose sight of the "simple things in life"! In the end it's all about spending quality time with family and friends. So if you're interested in a hands on history lesson, checkout a reenactment.     

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"The Home I Roam"

I love my home, the home I roam, the Adirondacks I call my own. A stolen land, from a people not known, with trickery and deceit, just to dethrone, but I came long after all of this, and even I am on their blacklist. In this land my roots run deep, their way of life I try to keep! I love my home, the home I roam, the Adirondack-s I call my own. Today the greed runs deep to the bone, and at times I think of leaving my home, but all it takes is a beautiful sight, to make my lips get really tight, to think of me leaving it, I can't condone, unprotected and all alone! So I'll stay and fight the good ol' fight, this I must, fore the greedy ones I just can't trust! I love my home, the home I roam, the Adirondacks I call my own...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"The 2009 Adirondack Balloon Festival, Thurs. Sept. 24th thru the 27th"

The Adirondack Balloon Festival will be celebrating it's 36th year, when they take flight on Thursday September 24th, from Crandall Park in Glens Falls, N.Y. (Rte. 9). Opening ceremonies along with the first launch (which will be limited to only a dozen or so balloons) will start at 5pm. The Stony Creek Band will also be performing in the "Shell", which is a new outdoor stage. Get there early, because the traffic will be thick! On Friday the 25th, the festival moves to the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, where it stays untill it's end on Sunday. Friday's lift off is at 5pm, and will consist of roughly 60 balloons.
If you're looking for "the big show", then the weekend is where it's at! Make sure you get some sleep, and plan on getting up before the Rooster crows, because the morning launches both start Sat. and Sun. at 6:30am, with nearly 100 balloons participating! With high volumes of traffic a definite, the early bird not only gets the worm, but a good parking space! There will also be two afternoon launches Sat. and Sun. at 5pm, for the not so early birds. The Sat. afternoon launch will consist of 90+ balloons, with Sunday only having around 20, but will be offering (for a fee) rides to the public. There will be a "Big Balloon Breakfast" both days in "The Hanger", from 5am-11am, as well as food and drink provided by different civic organizations, Sat. 6am-7pm, and Sun. 6am-5pm. In addition to the balloons, there will be activities to help keep the children occupied, such as kite flying and a rock climbing wall. Kids can also show their creative side by participating in a Balloon Art Show! There will also be a display of different military aircraft to enjoy. On Sat. from 2-5pm there will be a DJ on hand at the Entertainment Tent, and on Sun. from 2-5pm The Jonathan Newell Band will perform. On Sunday (starting at 8am) the Entertainment Tent will also host a Catholic service, followed by a Protestant service at 9am. Entry into the festival is free, so hope for great weather, bring the camera, and enjoy! See ya there! :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

"September 11th, 2001 "Never Forget""

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"From Fair Dayze to School Dayze"

For my family, the last big events of the Summer are the fairs, then it's back to school! There are several fairs in my area that are worth checking out, but the one (that's not too big, and not too small) that I've been going to, just about every year since I was a young boy, is the Vermont State Fair. Located in Rutland,Vt, surrounded by the beautiful Green Mtns., this state fair offers a host of many things to occupy not only the children, but dads and moms alike. They have everything from food, games & rides, to a magic show, pig races, bear show, demolition derby (and other vehicle demos) live music, farm animals, a wildlife and forestry build., and my two personal favorites, a Maple Sugarhouse & Dairy Center, with much much more!

Fairs bring friends and family together! Explore all that it has to offer, and learn a great deal about the history, culture, and people of the area. So put aside your troubles, get off your butt, get your kids away from their video games, and enjoy the simple life of a fair! Looking back years from now, you'll be reminiscing about your favorite times there!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Hurricane Season in the Adirondacks"

This photo was taken of me negotiating one of thousands (if not more) of downfall caused by Hurricane Floyd in the Adirondack High Peaks Region! My brother and I were hiking the Gothics and Armstrong just a couple days after Floyd came through! We met some guys that were insisting that we turn around and go back, due to the constant loss of trail. We decided to carry on with our "adventure", and in doing so, we payed a heavy price for our decision! I remember standing on top of Armstrong, watching the Sun disappearing under the horizon, with a profound sense of uncertainty, knowing we still had hours before we reached the trailhead, "if" we reached the trailhead! Completely exhausted, and running on fumes, we finally reached the vehicle at 2:30am!
These first few weeks of September mark the 10 year anniversary of the development and wrath of Hurricane Floyd, which at it's most intense became a Category 4 storm! Over 4 Billion in damages, and nearly 60 deaths in the U.S.! For the most part, we live in a pretty safe part of the country. We "generally" don't have to deal with massive flooding and mudslides, raging forest fires (threatening 1000's of homes) Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Volcanos, Tsunamis, etc... Yes, we get our occasional blizzard, ice storm, Earth tremor, smaller forest fire, light flooding, and the tail end of a hurricane, but I'll take any of those any day over some of the other natural pains that pose a serious threat to the "Human Condition"!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"How Times Change"

When I was young, my gram told me several stories about how things were back in the "olden days". One time she told me how back in the late 20's/early 30's, she used to cook for the prisoners being held at the jail, which was under the old courthouse in Lake George (Caldwell). She told me how she used to peel and cook up 50lbs. of potatoes for one meal!
When she was still in school, she used to do housework for the Jewish families, that vacationed at Fourth Lake every Summer. The kids there used to call her "Rite", because they had a hard time pronouncing her name, which was Marguerite. She bragged whole heartedly about how she made fourty dollars for the whole Summer, which she used to buy all her school supplies and clothing, and still have enough left over to treat herself to some candy! Boy, how I miss my Gram! She loved us unconditionally, and had a profound influence on who I am as a person today!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Adirondack Native Guest Book"

Hi folks, I've decided to set up this post so you can leave your comments. Just click on the comments icon under this post, and don't forget to let me know your name, and where you're from, just because I like to know who my visitors are! I hope you've enjoyed viewing my site at least 1/2 as much as I did setting it up for you! If you would like, you could add this site to your "favorites" list, so you can come back and visit me anytime at just the click of your mouse, or just Google search I'm just getting started here, with my blogs, so stop back anytime to see my progress! I'm sure you'll always find something interesting to read or view! Thanks for all the kind words of support! -CHE

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Pow Wow Season"

This is a picture of the drum used at the 2009 Annual Native American Pow Wow on Roger's Island in Ft. Edward, NY. The "Pow Wow Season" is in full swing now, with the Saratoga Native American Festival at SPAC starting Oct. 3rd thru 4th. This is definitely a must see, so pack up the family, and enjoy a day of good fun, music, arts, crafts, food and fellowship!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Nature's Food Chain"

This pic of a Cooper's Hawk feasting on a pidgeon is just one of many great shots you can get hanging out around birdfeeders!

Monday, August 24, 2009


This blog site is dedicated to the preservation of the "Adirondack Way"! Thanks for taking time out of your valuable life, and feel free to comment on any of my posts! I'm just getting things started here, so check in from time to time, it will definitely get interesting! Through photography, writing, poetry, etc., we'll explore this beautiful area of the world I call home, or for some folks, your home away from home! Be well, live large, and peace be the journey! :-)