Posts on Feb 2010

My Adirondack Life Trailer


My Adirondack Life will be seen on May 20th in Long Lake. This project is conceived and produced by participating area high school students and the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mt. Lake. Check out this trailer.

Winter Blast Day

Town Office Signboard Welcomes Everyone

Top of Tarbell Hill Road

Town Hall Geocache Headquarters

Poker Run Stop at the Long Lake Diner/Owls Head Pub

Scenic Riding

Poker Run Sleds Gather at Oldest Working Hotel in the Dacks

Some images from Saturday, Feb 27th around Long Lake.

The northeast has been snowed in. Reports around the state speak of record snowfall amounts and a storm system hovering over us, reminding us winter’s wrath has not yet released us from its clutches… but that is okay up in Long Lake. Summer being the new winter and all.. except Snowsuits replace bathing suits and snow shoes and x-c replace water skis and floatie rafts.

Our groomers have been out on our trails and we hear mixed reports of great trails, some hazards and we attempt to put up more sigange. Feedback reports… update trail conditions not on Monday but on Thursday… I have an idea… why don’t we just update them as soon as we have the most updated info and hope the wheels don’t pop off the back of the drag (which just happened to one of our drags this week) Snow is a bear and everyone seeks to make the most out of the recreation. Just be safe, all roads lead somewhere and we apologize for our signage and lack there of. We take notes and are always trying to improve the system, but we hope everyone enjoyed their time.

The geocachers gathered at the Long Lake town hall. They had snowshoes, cross country skis, snowmobiles and good spirits. Goodie bags donated by local businesses had gift cards and toys for kids and donations from other generous geocachers also added to the “cache” of goodies. I had to say that.

Its 3:14pm and another blast of snowy precipitation flies out my window. Olympics are on the TV, bellies are full of grilled cheese, waiting for tomorrow and a skiing blast at Gore Mountain (well after an injection of theatre tonight at the LL Town Hall)

Adirondack Almanack: Adirondack Family Activities: Long Lake GeoCaching

Adirondack Almanack: Adirondack Family Activities: Long Lake GeoCaching.

Snow Plus Snow

Equals snow. We have it. Wet snow, packed snow. It’s winters February whisper, the wish we had been waiting for back in December to cover our stumps and rocks on our snowmobile trails. It is a huff in midst of a season of expectation.

We have our Adult/Kid Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, March 6th. A team can fish water all around Long Lake. More details will be forthcoming. No registration fee, but cash prizes and a family fun event. Think of it as going to the beach. Bring the grill, the lawn chairs, the kids and instead of towels, bring blankets. Instead of floatie devices, carry tip ups, instead of parking in the lot, hop on the snowmobile to find your point of operations and start a snowmobile tail gate party.

March has been known to be the best recreational winter month… hard to believe as Spring time is due… but rumor has it labeled as the best kept secret of the Adirondacks and thought you should know… we will still be grooming trails.

On another note… my friends snowmobile burned up the other day on Long Lake. He thought his hands were getting really warm from his hand warmers and the next thing you know flames are bursting out from the undercarriage of the sled. He was just past round island. The fire dept chief arrived on scene relieved the sled didn’t melt thru the ice as the DEC would have to be notified. After the excitement died down the sled was retrieved… handlebars the only thing that remains. I don’t know what brand it was, but I do know it had just flipped to 600 miles… so it didn’t get as much wear as it deserved. My advice to anyone traveling… never sled alone!

Busy 27th

Steel Magnolias Sat Feb 27th 7pm Town Hall

There Something for everyone in Long Lake on Sat. Feb 27th.

The 4th Geocaching Event is headquartered at the Long Lake Town Hall. Check out for some info. If you don’t know what it is, if you have heard of it, but have never tried it, if you are sitting around the house and watching the tube- force yourself out, call a friend and “go on ovah” to the Town Hall. Upon arrival, check out the displays, then put on your brave adventurous face and call out for Shane Holmes. Shane loves everything outdoors. He snowmobiles, scuba dives, climbs, hikes, hides geocaches, and if there is a fish to be caught, he is there, all year round. He is passionate about outdoor adventure.

Shane Holmes on Long Lake

His infectious enthusiam will not only inspire you to buy a GPS, but he is a great teacher too. He volunteered at the Long Lake Teen Center in the summer of 2009 to teach the kids about geocaching, think fun scavenger hunt (but there is a LOT more to it than that!) Shane has hidden caches for novice participants. Stop into the Town Hall from 9 am to 4pm. Lunch at 12:30 catered by Cybercreek Cafe. $14 adults $10.25 for kids.

Moonlighters Poker Run on Saturday, kicks off from the Newcomb House or the Raquette Lake Tap Room. If you don’t ride a snowmobile, don’t let that stop you. Get the kids, gas up the car and take a scenic drive to each biz and draw a playing card. Don’t know how to play, I didn’t either, but it makes sense once you pick up your $10 entry card (only available at The Raquette Lake Tap Room or the Newcomb House.) Go to each biz listed on your official Moonlighters Poker Run Cardboard card (shout out to Harry Buxton) and draw a playing card. The card is then handwritten on your official Poker Run Tally Card. The more businesses you go to, the better the hand. Once completed you turn it in and the best The best hand wins cash. The Round up at the end of the day is at the Adirondack Hotel featuring live music Eric Peter. The entry fee $10 per card. All ages welcome to play. Call 624-3941 to confirm start time. Some say 10am, posters say noon and so I say… call Jim at the diner and let him tell you (we like to keep people guessing in Long Lake – we refer to that as “whimsy”)

Family Entertainment on Saturday night. Bring the kids to the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts production of Steel Magnolia’s. An emotional journey, laughter, tears and local talent illuminate the Long Lake Town Hall Stage. Join the Arts Center and receive discounted tickets.

Weather report… it is Tuesday morning, the snow is coming tonight and tomorrow (how much… well the weather man is always a mystery) but I was in Glens Falls yesterday and it looks like spring. But in Long Lake, it looks like winter so please let me clarify, we do have snow – not a ton, but enough to ride, snowshoe, x-c ski etc and 3-6 inches are predicted to fall tonight, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. More snowcast updates coming this week.

Hope to see you in Long Lake, Raquette Lake & Newcomb this weekend.

Expect the unexpected!

Artistic Snowballs this March in Long Lake!

Community Spiral - Sample of Fuller/Burnett Collaboration

Artists Matt Burnett and Scott Fuller will be constructing an illuminated snow sculpture in the town of Long Lake in March. The project, loosely titled “E-llumination,” will entail molded sculptural forms in snow with light projected on them. The work will be directed by the artists and will entail cooperation with local town resources.

Burnett, who is a native of Long Lake and known for his paintings and exploration of Adirondack Wilderness, has been working with Fuller on several large scale outdoor installations in recent years. The pair first collaborated in 2006 at Mt. Desert Island with kinetic sculpture for an outdoor invitational (Non-Sentient Free Range Organisms) , and then again in 2008 at Saranac Lake’s winter carnival (Community Spiral) with a large scale illuminated ice structure.

The two artists, who met at Maine College of Art’s MFA program, have both long been interested in working with natural processes and environments. Fuller, who has been involved with a wide range of projects (from wood fired kilns in Hawaii to sculptures cut out of sheet metal from designs created on the computer), has really taken to the snow since moving to the north east (he lives in Poland, Maine). The several “fire and ice” public works that Fuller accomplished in the city of Portland (see photograph) are what lead to their associated with the Palace building crew in Saranac Lake. “We have plenty of winter, plenty of snow and plenty of ice; rather then complaining about it and waiting it out for half the year, I love the idea of celebrating what is unusual and beautiful about winter.” says Burnett. “I have been working with ice for some time, there is so much complexity and power in the way ice and snow form and dominate this time of year.”

Both artists have shown their work regionally and internationally. Fuller was most recently a finalist for a sculpture contest at the Bejing Olympics, where his design for a monumental sculpture toured China. “I really enjoy working with Scott, “ says Burnett, “We always challenge each other to work outside of our comfort zone, he’s really fun and reliable to work with, and our collaboration has resulted in some of the best work we have accomplished.”

Burnett and Fuller will be also exhibiting a new installation this summer at the 7444 Gallery in Saranac Lake (July). To see more of their work, visit their websites:

Adirondack Hotel Wins Top Prize

Little Bus Unloads with Judges Ready to Eat

A buzz was in the air on Thursday, Feburary 18th as the first Long Lake Hors D’Oeuvres Tour got underway. The tour was arranged through the Town of Long Lake Tourism department as one component of Long Lake’s Winter Wacky Week.

The tour was open to anyone and guests of the tour were invited to ride the Long Lake’s community “Little Bus” and visit the local restaurants to vote for their favorite appetizer. Judges hailed from Columbia County, NY, Dobbs Ferry, Clifton Park, Malta, Newcomb, Long Lake and two guests from Sweden. The participating restaurants were The Cellar, The Adirondack Hotel, Long Lake Diner/Owl’s Head Pub and Quackenbush’s Long View Wilderness Lodge.

The Cellar was the first stop offering five different treats including: Herbed Goat Cheese and Wild Mushroom Beggars Purse, Fresh Bruchetta, Crab Ceviche with Mango Salsa, Corn Breaded Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce, and Pork and Goat Cheese Napoleon. Guests were offered a selection of three for $6.00.

Sampler Platter from The Cellar

The Adirondack Hotel offered an open all-you-can-eat buffet for $10.00. The selection included: Lamb and Rice Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper and Dill Cream, Coriander Dusted Scallop in a Pumpkin Reduction Sauce, Carciofi with Lemon Caper Aioli, Curried Chicken Salad Canapé, Crab Cake with Chipotle Aioli. Judges Enjoy Adk Hotel Selections

The Long Lake Diner and Owl’s Head Pub offered an a la carte menu featuring: Beef Wellington, Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce, Spinach Artichoke Quiche with a creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and Jazzy Chicken. They also offered a wine special to accompany their menu.

Owl's Head Pub Scores Big on Presentation

Quackenbush’s Long View Lodge menu was ala carte with Ahi Tuna, Panko Salmon with Chipolte Aioli, Carciofi with Lemon Caper Aioli and Hoisen Wings.

Menu from Quackenbush's

Judges were asked to choose their favorite dish from each restaurant using the criteria of presentation, quality, taste, texture and originality. Twenty four votes were tallied. One guest commented “the variety and menu selection was very impressive and Long Lake should be proud to boast innovative, creative chefs.”

Bob Benson and Mike Small place their votes

The overall winner of the event was The Adirondack Hotel with a total of 126.5 points for presentation, quality, taste, texture and originality. The favorites for the hotel tied between the Carciofi and the Curried Chicken Canapé. The Cellar was second with 115 points.

Winning “Best In Show” for being the most popular dish of the entire evening was The Cellar’s “Herbed Goat Cheese and Wild Mushroom Beggar’s Purse (wrapped in filo dough)” garnering twelve individual favorite votes for the Cellar and five “Best of Show” for the overall competition.

Honorable mentions go to the Long Lake Diner/ Owl’s Head Pub for their presentation and their favorite dish – Beef Wellington and Quackenbush’s Long View Wilderness Lodge’s scored points for presentation and their highest rated dish the Ahi Tuna.

For upcoming events and information check us out on #.

Long Lake men travel to Haiti to help survivors

(originally appeared in Adirondack Daily Enterprise)
By JESSICA COLLIER, Enterprise Staff Writer
February 16, 2010

After a mammoth earthquake laid waste to Haiti last month, many people donated money to the relief efforts to help the people there.

Some, however, were not satisfied to leave it at that.

Long Lakers Caleb Thompson and Andy Pratt were two such do-gooders. After the earthquake, Thompson and Pratt decided to head to Haiti to help.

Just last fall, Thompson had done mission work through in Anse-a-Galet, a town on the island of La Gonave in Haiti’s Gulf of Gonave, about 25 miles northwest of the quake’s epicenter in Port-Au-Prince.

Thompson checked with his contacts in Anse-a-Galet, and while the island largely escaped the destruction the earthquake caused, refugees were streaming there in droves looking for relief from the ruins of the mainland. Caleb’s father, Chris Thompson, said that just after the earthquake, 750 to 1,000 new refugees would appear every day, with the hospital seeing 150 new cases a day, though he said he expects that number may have dropped off slightly since.

In addition to increased demand for resources, supply chains were largely cut off because the earthquake demolished most of Haiti’s deepwater ports and stopped up most air traffic.

So Caleb Thompson and Pratt, his longtime friend, both 29-year-olds who grew up in Long Lake, decided to go to Haiti and bring supplies for the people in La Gonave.

Pratt, a West Point Military Academy graduate who recently completed two tours in Iraq, had served six months as a supply officer but was the only one who had any experience with shipping supplies.

Chris Thompson helped as his son and Pratt coordinated efforts to get two large shipping containers filled with 45,000 pounds of food – rice, beans and oil – and as much medicine, fuel, tents, tarps and other supplies as they could pack in around the sides.

“We’ve done a lot of learning,” Chris Thompson said. “We’ve never shipped a thing by sea before in our lives, so we had to learn this.”

Caleb Thompson and Pratt made arrangements and presented their plans to James, looking for help.

James said he was surprised to hear the plans the men had been concocting. Normally, Wesleyans will help along relief efforts by donating to the national level of the church.

“This would be the first for us to be front and center,” James said. “But this way, we, and especially Caleb and Andy, just felt like we needed to get stuff there ASAP – a lot of the other places were having bottlenecks.”

James had the district front the money to the effort and started a widespread fundraising effort. They set up a blog with a PayPal account, an online payment system that allows people to donate easily to the cause, and James started spreading the word through the church network.

James’s district raised $30,000, while Chris Thompson’s brother, Peter, helped raise another $35,000 through his church in Spokane, Wash., and James’s brother raised $45,000 through his Florida church. Youth With a Mission, a Montana-based religious organization that Caleb Thompson’s sister works with, is also raising funds.

The churches aren’t taking any money for administration fees – every cent is going directly into the effort to get aid to Haiti, James said.

“We’re simply passing it through,” he said.

Thompson and Pratt flew to Florida on Jan. 25.

They spent a week and a half there. At first, they packed the containers and made final arrangements, but then they were stalled waiting for the boat they were using to head out.

According to one update on the blog that several of the people involved are keeping to inform everyone about the mission, “Caleb and Andy hate Palm Beach and Denny’s, can’t wait to get underway and deliver the goods.” Finally, they shipped off from Florida at 3:09 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4.

After several days at sea, the ship arrived at St. Marc port in Haiti at 8 a.m. Feb. 7.

Getting there was just half the battle, though. Once in the port, customs agents wouldn’t let Thompson, Pratt or the supplies off the ship because of problems with paperwork. They were stalled for several days before they were finally released, and they are only this week able to start distributing supplies around the island.

This weekend, Thompson and Pratt traveled to Port-Au-Prince and saw the wreckage for the first time.

“Everybody has seen the news footage but it’s another thing to see the countless broken buildings yourself; to see the people face to face who have lost so much and have so little,” Thompson wrote in an e-mail update.

Pratt, a newlywed who recently moved with his new bride back to Long Lake, will be heading home soon, but Thompson’s father said he expected his son would stay for at least a month to help with other missionaries to distribute the supplies and more that are on the way.

Pratt’s mother, Valerie Galvagni, said she is proud of the two men.

“They’re giving their life; they really are,” Galvagni said. “I think it’s awesome.”

Thompson’s father agreed.

“I’m proud he’s doing his duty,” Chris Thompson said. “That’s really our duty, I think.”

But Caleb Thompson remains humble about the work he and his friend are doing.

“We are not trained missionaries, we are regular people who live a normal life in upstate NY,” Thomspon wrote. “We were when we started and will be when we’re done. God opened some big doors for us and our friends, and the most I can say for us is that we walked through them.”

Winter the New Summer Picnic

Ice Fish Drilling North End of Long Lake

Who wouldn’t want to go on a picnic in the middle of winter in Long Lake. Rare conditions this year make the possibility of a family picnic with bbq grill and hotdogs a real possibility on the flattened white frozen lake tundra. Go ahead get the drill and the tip ups and catch some fresh pike and have a pike patty cook off.

Stewarts Shops Cooking Challenge

Long Lake Stewarts Shops - Where the Competition Kicks Off

Saturday, Feb 6, 2010 five teams gathered to compete in an unusual cooking competition. In the Adirondacks grocery stores are a rare commodity, many folks have to travel a great distance to purchase the freshest of vegetables and a fresh cut of decent meat. Special orders can be arranged, but in today’s fast paced culture (yes even in the Adirondacks) so many rely on the convenience of quick stop shop. Teams from Tupper Lake, Blue Mt. North Creek and Long Lake gathered at their prospective Stewarts to cull the shelves for just the right ingredients to concoct three menu items within a budget of $25.00, cooked only in a microwave, no stove tops. This was not a sport for the easily intimidated. Creativity, planning and the ability to operate machinery (okay a microwave) were imperative to guarantee success.

All three teams from Long Lake hit our local shop around 4:30pm before the kick off time of 6pm.

Donna our Helpful Clerk Checks out Team Von Bearslayer's Ingredients

Team Von Bearslayer (mistakenly called Von BEERslayer…) hit the store picking up Hormel chili, torilla chips, cream cheese, oreos, butter, ice cream, snickers, potatos, kidney beans (no more cans of chili availalble… cleaned out by the other Long Lake team and their name eludes me at this writing)

After packing up three kids and a husband in a salt encrusted minivan we journeyed over to the Arts Center with special notes and directions mapped out to maximize the cooking progress. A box with knives, pyrex, mixing bowls, extra paper towels, and additional utensils (a a couple of beers – ingredients of course) rattled around on the eleven mile journey adding to general excitement of the Von Bearslayers.

Arrival at the center was exciting. The longest table had been set aside. The original rules outlined max four team members, but as we had three kids under 12 participating the judges were willing to look the other way. We paid our $15 entry fee (to benefit the Arts Center to keep those doors open!) and set our ingredients down. The team helped unpack and spread the ingredients around. We checked out other tables, we saw other cans of chili, potatos, and a cake mix box. Really? In a microwave? Wow! Who knew?

At 6pm Laura Marsh commandeered the sound system and set the clock running (well it was a few minutes after six because a contestant had ventured off to the bathroom to wash his hands) The clock ticking we set to work. Five teams, five microwaves. One team took over TWO microwaves adding to the tension of the competition.

Potatos were baking, chocolate was melting, oreos were crushed, olives were chopped. Kids hyper with excitement couldn’t wait to spread the soft Bear Claw Ice Cream over the oreos and the crushed candy bars. We stored the cake outside to freeze it in prep for the food tasting.

Team Work Under the Time Gun

We watched other teams whisk eggs and heat up taquitos for a lovely Huevos Rancheros, another team took the same healthy approach. They had cleaned out the veggie bins of apples to make their beer bottle crushed granola apple crisp and their egg, onion and pepper souffle. The team from North Creek did succeed at baking a cake,

This Team Nuked a Cake and it was Yumm-O

making nachos and something else. Check out the photos.

Huevos Rancheros created by Svoboda and Strader Team

Winning Roasted Potatos and Bacon

Nachos with Pickles - not so sure about that, but it sure is pretty

Von Bearslayers Presents...

The judging was based on a taste test. Those teams with the highest number of paper plates in their garbage bags one.

Laura counts plates as Strader looks on

The first round of judging was a three way tie with 20 plates per team, knocking out my team, the Von Bearslayers, but the kids did a great job collaborating, and cooking. In fact one child ever fearful of trying new foods was so into it he tried sour cream in the Nacho dip…”It’s the first time I tried olives and sour cream and ya know what… they aren’t that bad”
The winning team took home $100 gift card from Stewarts Shops. The event was a great creative time and next year… the Von Bearslayers will try their magic again.

Strader and Svoboda Cook themselves 2nd Place

Long Lake