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What's New In the Adirondacks

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firetower.jpgThe peaks of more than 2 dozen Adirondack mountains are currently adorned with historic fire towers, which serve as reminders of the early 20th century. Some of these relics are accessible to the public, but others are on private land or are too dangerous to climb. There were originally 57 towers throughout the Adirondack Park that were manned by individuals charged with using the 360-degree unobstructed view from the top of the tower to spot and report any forest fires that may have broken out. Over time, though, aircraft became the most popular way of locating fires and it grew too costly to man the towers. Many of them fell into disrepair and were torn down as a result.

Two more of those towers may be opened to the public soon, though, as groups are currently working on making upgrades to the St. Regis Mountain and Hurricane Mountain fire towers.
Yes, you read that title correctly. Maple syrup, that sweet, delicious, innocent-seeming substance you pour over your pancakes every morning is actually involved in illicit, underground activities. Trust me when I tell you that some people take their syrup VERY seriously.

Ski bums and snowboarders, rejoice! The ADKs are gaining some big recognition, once again. Business Insider Australia has named Whiteface Mountain as one of the 25 mountains that everyone should ski in their lifetime. That's right - only 25 mountains named, and Whiteface made the cut!

© ORDA-Dave Schmidt
Around here, most people know that the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is an amazing event. Where else can you find so many great activities in one place, not to mention a one-of-a-kind Ice Palace?! It's about time that the Winter Carnival got the widespread recognition that it deserves. In fact, Condé Nast Traveler recently named the Winter Carnival in a feature called "Worldwide Winter Wonderlands: The 10 Most Spectacular Cold-weather Festivals"!

Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV 

Part IV: The New Mantle

The two adults sat quietly looking at the boy, almost speechless.  The story they had heard fascinated them into silence.

At length Carlton O'Leary spoke up.  "These nails which I have carried around with me for decades, as if they had no value, have turned out to be the most important nails of any carpenter in history.  If the world knew their value they would be priceless."

"Indeed they would be, Mr. O'Leary," softly answered Joseph.  "Indeed they would be."

The old collector again gazed at the boy and his father.  "For now, do nothing with the mantle-piece.  I want to think about what I should do with these nails.  Please go into town and get other supplies to fasten it in place."

An hour later the father and son returned with the necessary materials to install the shelf above the fireplace.  O'Leary was sitting quietly in his favorite chair watching as the waves rippled across the lake.  In the distance some clouds shrouded the peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.  All around the lake a dense forest of trees stood guard.

Photo Credit: Marc Rabice
Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV 

Part III: The Birth

"That is quite the dream, young man," commented Carlton.  "I am intrigued, as a collector.  What else did this soldier tell you about these nails at the birth of Christ?"

Thomas took a deep breath and glanced at his dad for reassurance. 

"It is ok, son. Mr. O'Leary and I are quite interested.  Tell us what Marcus told you."

Thomas apologized because he didn't remember the exact words of the guard, but he would tell them about what the man had explained.

Photo Credit: bugie.de via photopin cc

Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV 

Part II: The Dream

"What is on your mind, son" asked the carpenter?  It had only taken a second for him see that something about the old tarnished nails had caused Thomas to reduce almost to tears.

Carlton's voice sounded a little sheepish as he apologized, "Thomas, I meant nothing by my question.  You are welcome to use these old spikes."  Turning to the carpenter he added "I did not intend to offend you or your boy."

He then looked at the boy and offered with some conciliation, "You may keep the nails if they mean something to you, young man.  I am sure they have no real value.  I only accepted them from the merchant as an act of good will.  They are easily replaced."

Photo Credit: fsgm via photopin cc

Trying desperately to bring his son out of the sudden melancholy his father added, "I'm certain there are other nails that will work just perfectly.   I'll go find them.  You can keep these antiques.  After all, there are five nails here and only three were used to hang Jesus on the Cross.  So, like Mr. O'Leary said these are only part of an old story."

"But, dad" interrupted the boy, "when I fell asleep I had a dream about these nails that seemed weird." 

"What do you mean by weird?" O'Leary questioned.

Part I: The Carpenter And His Son

The carpenter had married later in life.
 His bride was young, but well prepared to live the life of a carpenter's wife.  What they found together almost immediately was they would be parents of an adopted son, whom they would name Thomas.

Joseph and Janice lived in a modest home near Saranac Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains.  In the Adirondacks the tree covered mountains were scattered with villages.  Now and then a big job would come along.  Yet, for the most part the work was just refurbishing a house in a village, repairing a rural barn, or remodeling of a cabin on one of the many lake fronts.

Model train lovers, fear not! Railroads on Parade is here to stay... with a little help! The intricate model train display has avoided its anticipated dismantlement and will continue to be a main attraction in northern Warren County - but they need your help to stay afloat!

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When you look at a concrete wall what do you see? A barricade? A forgotten project? A forlorn surface? Do you even actually notice the wall at all? Artist Kate Hartley did, but she didn't see it as a hopeless slab of material bringing a depressing vibe to everything around it - she saw it as the perfect canvas for a very unique, very large-scale art project.