WANAKENA WEEKLY #11 - 04/16/20 - 04/22/20

Happy Thursday! Happy Earth Day!

In an effort to “FLATTEN THE CURVE” Otto’s Abode will remain temporarily closed until further notice. This is our sixth week of being closed. For the record: Technically, we could have been open this whole time; we could be open right now If we wanted to. We possess a retail food license and therefore are technically essential. It is our choice to temporarily close - to better protect everyone. We made the decision early on that we were uncomfortable staying open. We felt that when Covid-19 first started making headlines, we were interested in whatever we could do to slow the spread. It was a Thursday evening – March 12th. Otto’s Abode was open for business as usual. Some folks were sitting around chitchatting, sipping some coffee. Some neighbors coming home from work popped in after retrieving their mail. A decent number of folks coming in and out, milling about. Later that evening after we had closed, we looked at each other and said: “that was fun, but something aint right here”. That next day we were open for business, and in our heads, we were thinking that we didn’t want people to come in – which is not a good feeling. In that moment we decided that we would remain closed until we felt better about being open. We are lucky that this temporary period of closure coincides with what we'd call the slowest time of the year. Though, as we all know the days are getting longer and nicer. Much like anyone else at this time, we will have to adjust how we operate. As we mentioned last week, we very much miss being open for business. In whatever way, shape, or form we do re-open as, our goal remains the same: we wish to cultivate an environment that showcases positive and enlightening experiences; where the professional and the amateur, the performer and the spectator, can entertain, puzzle and inform, grab a snack, a map, and a bag of ice, and be informed, entertained, and puzzled. Otto's Abode excitingly accepts the challenge of creativity moving forward as an Art-centric experiment through this Covid-centric world. Stay tuned.

Overall a cold and snowy week with smatterings of sunshine here and there. Happy Spring! Last Thursday it snowed enough to  a c c u m u l a t e. Flurries, sun, flurries, sun, flurries, sun – Temperature in the 30s. Friday was the same. Last Saturday was a downright PERFECT day – blue skies, sunshine, temperature mid to high 40 and extra warm in the sunshine. A great day to be out and about. Trout lily sprouting up in the forest, violets on the front lawn. Sunday was windy and overcast, a rainy afternoon turning into snow by midnight. Wanakeners woke up to snow again Monday morning but before long the sun melted it all away! Still cold, In the morning, though becoming sunny and mid 40s by the beautiful afternoon. Hermit thrush and goldfinch at the feeder. Tuesday was high 30s with constant rain/snow flip-flop throughout the day – we’ll call it snrain. Wednesday, Earth Day! More snow! The sound of the Town of Fine snowplow got Wanakeners out of bed. The Oswegatchie is running slow, you can barely hear it in town. Not like early spring when it is a constant static sound whooshing over the valley. Numerous turkey vultures circling low over town throughout the week. The forest trails remain relatively dry. Some snowpack pockets remain. Another beautiful Saturday (and Friday) in the forecast. Maybe rain on Sunday.
This past winter local artist and writer Jackie Woodcock contacted Otto’s Abode with intentions of creating new artworks for a month long exhibition at Otto’s Abode in conjunction with Earth Day 2020. Plans changed when Covid-19 knocked on our doors. There was discussion of displaying the artworks outside of Otto's Abode, but ultimately the decision was made to exhibit the artwork ONLINE via a HOME EXHIBITION! Otto's Abode is pleased to share this new body of work with the public on the 50th anniversary of EARTH DAY:

When Treasures Become Trash - Honoring Earth Day 2020

Home Exhibition by Adirondack Artist and Writer Jackie Woodcock

I have lived most of my life in the foothills of the Adirondacks. I have been guilty of feeling separated from the World, thinking I was missiong out by living in the so-called sticks and being blind to the true treasure it is to live here. These small towns, here in the foothills, are part of the Northwest Gateway to the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. This gateway is not marked with Golden Gates, but with Spruce, Pine, Cedar, Maple, Poplar, Birch, naturally landscaped and open to travelers from around the World.

Each year 4,400 tons of litter is collected from the sides of the road. This litter did not drop from the sky, it dropped from our hands. This exhibition is not to shame or condem anyone but instead to move your heart. We have the power in our hands to make a difference by disposing of our trash in a responsible manner.Together we can make this space a better place!

Jackie has previously exhibited artwork at Otto's Abode via THE BRIDGE SHOW, FACE TIME and SKYLYFEADK.

This past Friday evening, biking down Ranger School Road to Black Waters for some take out. The sun was shining, gentle breeze blowing off the setback. Then, one car after another: *zoooom* *honk honk* *friendly wave* then another *zooooom* *honk honk* *friendly wave* and another *zoooom* *honk honk* *friendly wave* at least six of them all packed to the gills with stuff. Shortly after, describing the scene to Suzie, she said that it was in-fact the last day of Ranger School for the class of 2020 and that they were on their way out of town. Bon Voyage, rangers! Here’s a new story in The Adirondack Enterprise about the 2020 class: https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/uncategorized/2020/04/esf-ranger-school-students-graduate/

In other Ranger School news it is reported that the annual Ranger School Alumni Weekend has been cancelled this year. It is usually held the first weekend in August. Also, The Ranger School Facebook page says they are seeking to hire an Assistant Professor in Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation, Forest Technology, Land Surveying.

The “mechanical woodpecker” reported in last week’s Wanakena Weekly has not been heard. No complaints here! The boulder remains for another day:

Instead, work continues on the temporary south shore peer. Rebar forms are built and filled and packed with gravel. G-g-g-going up!! We’ll be driving across that temporary bridge in no time!

Also, It’s hard to miss the large Covid-19 banner hanging on a dumpster by the construction site. Safety first!

In light of the temporary pause on the Northville-Placid Trail as well as the Adirondack Firetower challenges here is a message (via facebook) from Five Ponds Partners (CL50) chair Jamie Savage:

In the midst of this pandemic health crises, we hope you are well and finding some time to stay connected to the outdoors. Given the situation, The Five Ponds Partners strongly discourages all but locals from hiking the Cranberry Lake 50 until further notice. We arbitrarily define locals as those people living within a 1-hour drive of a CL50 trailhead. The Five Ponds Partners cannot effectively shut-down the CL50 challenge (it's an honor system to begin with) nor tell you what to do, but common sense, compassion, and government recommendations should prevail. Please do not risk spreading the coronovirus and/or increasing the burden on our local first responders and community resources. Thank you for understanding. Hike local, hike happy, stay healthy.

This past Saturday – a strikingly beautiful day – the Wanakena High Falls Loop trailhead parking lot looks like it would on any other beautiful “warm season” day: busy. We'll see what this Saturday brings - forecast calls for another perfect day.
Blackwaters CafĂ© in Wanakena, UB’s Mercantile in Oswegatchie, Adirondack Pharmacy in Star Lake, Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines and Stone Manor Diner in Cranberry Lake remain open for business in one way or another (take out, pick up, drop off, etc…).

The Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake hosts via Facebook Live bedtime stories most nights nights read aloud by Ms. Kate the Librarian! https://www.facebook.com/cliftoncommunitylibrary/

Hillside Diner in Oswegatchie, Todd Hardware, Twin Lakes and Coffee Fever in Star Lake and Otto’s Abode in Wanakena remain temporarily closed.

Kim’s Lost Dog Report: There are currently NO lost dogs in Wanakena. Though, it is very sad to report that Wanakena did lose two resident dogs this past week. We will miss not bumping into Dookie and Tressa around town. Our thoughts go out to their families.

St. Lawrence County spring outdoor burn ban in effect March 16th – May 14th.

Any questions, comments, concerns, trail condition inquiries, legends, jokes, animal sightings, etc… feel free to email otto@ottosabode.org or call 3158483008 or pop-in the shop!

All for now!