In an effort to “FLATTEN THE CURVE” Otto’s Abode will remain closed until further notice. This is our fifth week of being closed. Five weeks is a long time. Also, on the flip side - it's not. Maybe five weeks being a long time is a good thing. Maybe it's bad. And the reverse: Five weeks not being that long has its positives as well as its negatives. But, that's like most things - two faced - like a coin. A light side and a dark side. That's life, right? That being said: we do very much miss being open for business. Hearing footsteps coming up the porch stairs, turning left to get the mail. Coins jingle-jangle in the newspaper machine. Maybe someone has to wrestle with it. Hopefully they win and get their paper. Footsteps might come across the front porch. Maybe duck their head down to see whos in there? Tiny bell attached to front door jingling overhead. Music playing on the stereo. The smell of coffee. The taste of coffee over chitter-chatter with a friend, neighbor or stranger. New art exhibits. The once-new art exhibit getting old. A new one popping up on the white wall overnight. Hopefully it will be back that way someday. We'll be here when it does. Can't wait. Till then.. It's only been five week!!! Woohoo!
Queensbury college student still going to classes on campus in Adirondacks by Will Doolittle
On Friday, April 17, Alex Hohman, 21, of Queensbury, will become one of the very few college students in the country to graduate this spring in an on-campus ceremony. Hohman attends the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Wanakena, on the western edge of the Adirondack Park, about half an hour west of Tupper Lake. Since mid-March, he and his 51 classmates have been restricted to campus, along with the teachers and staff, but have continued classes on an accelerated schedule. Spring break was canceled, Saturday classes were added and graduation was moved up by four weeks. Reached by phone on Friday, Hohman had just emerged from a final exam, which went well, he said, despite the rushed spring schedule and “a lot of cramming.” Almost all other colleges nationwide, including other SUNY schools, sent students home in the face of the pandemic and have not recalled them. Hundreds of thousands of students have been attending classes online. But at least half of Hohman’s coursework entails fieldwork such as “timber cruising” — taking inventory of trees in the forest; trail and road maintenance; and logging. None of that can be done online. Hohman is enrolled in a one-year forest tech program in which students attend classes in the morning and go into the field in the afternoon. He will graduate with an associate in applied science degree and has already taken the state Civil Service exam for the job — forest ranger — he wants to pursue. The college allows students to get their general education credits somewhere else, which Hohman did at SUNY Adirondack, then take the intensive single-year program in Wanakena. The school’s small population of students and staff and its isolation in the Adirondack wilderness have allowed it to self-quarantine successfully from the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping the country. No one has been allowed to leave or visit campus since mid-March, and deliveries of food and other supplies are dropped off outside, then collected by staff. Not leaving campus hasn’t been a great hardship or even much of a change, Hohman said. The campus includes 2,800 acres of woods that borders on the 5 Ponds Wilderness Area, and students can still go exploring and camping. “No one’s sick,” he said.
In other news…
A recent Adirondack Explorer article reads:
“ADK puts Northville-Placid Trail Challenge on hold”. In line with Governor Cuomo’s directive for New York State to PAUSE amidst the COVID19 pandemic and Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Michael Barrett’s urging to”hike locally and individually,” the Northville Placid Trail Challenge is suspended until further notice. This action was taken by the ADK Schenectady Chapter, which manages the challenge. While the trail remains open, any hikes completed after April 12 until further notice will not be recognized as counting towards the completion of the challenge.
According to an announcement from the Rev. Dustin G. Wright, chair of ADK’s Schenectady Chapter, the decision aligns with the recent ADK Glens Falls/ Saratoga Chapter move to suspend its Fire Tower Challenge. Wright cites that chapter’s recent new releases: “Where we decide to go outside matters. The population of New York over 65 years old is 16.4% of the overall population. Note the much higher percentage of the following counties where we enjoy being outdoors: Hamilton:31.3%; Essex: 23.4%; Warren: 22.2%. This matters because COVID-19 is particularly lethal to those 65+ years old. When you consider where to recreate, please stay as local as you can. We must keep northern New York as free of COVID-19 as we can.”
One wonders if the Cranberry Lake 50 Challenge will follow suit. Suppose we’ll wait and see on the Cranberry Lake 50 Facebook Page – which has seemed to become the main source for CL50 information from the Five Ponds Partners on the internet. Back before the internet places like The Wanakena General Store could have been one of the more dependable boots-on-the-ground places to call and found out local trail and weather conditions. Don't forget your local businesses! Give them a call (or email) - they'd probably love to hear from you! Even if they cant help you out as well as a bunch of folks on the internet can.
Blackwaters Café 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…).
Hillside Diner in Oswegatchie, Todd Hardware, Twin Lakes and Coffee Fever in Star Lake and Otto’s Abode in Wanakena remain temporarily closed.
The Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake hosts via Facebook Live bedtime stories Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 7:30pm read aloud by Ms. Kate the Librarian! https://www.facebook.com/cliftoncommunitylibrary/
Everyday since the Covid-19 crisis became a regional reality, North Country Public Radio (WSLU) has been updating their website daily with news, information, etc all pertaining to Covid-19. Everyday the blog post features a headline photograph. The photographs have picked up the habit of featuring signs. For example: a photograph of a handwritten sign taped to a storefront’s door, or a photograph of children's drawings and messages taped to the inside of a home’s front window, or a big message sign outside of a church. This past Monday the blog photo of the day looked pretty familiar:
A State of Emergency has been declared in St. Lawrence County effective Monday, March 16, 2020 through April 14, 2020 in conjunction with Coronavirus/Covid19.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3158483008 or pop-in the shop!
One more thing: