WANAKENA WEEKLY #20 - 06/18/20 - 06/24/20

Happy Thursday! Happy Summer!

This past week’s weather in a nutshell: This time last week we were WAY deep in a long, long hot-heat hot spell. All spring it seemed that when it was getting too hot and too dry, it then got cool and wet – right on time, And visa-versa. But, this past stretch – at least ten days long – of hot and humid lasted just a little too long. Lots of hare spotted hop-hoppin’round town. We were greeted with a beautiful and heavy rain Saturday evening and the weather has been much cooler since. Some thunder and lightning, too. And a rainbow LOVELY! A South Shore Wanakener’s motion detecting security camera caught a black bear roaming through their yard Sunday around 1:30am. Selling lots of mice traps down in the shop. Lots of squirrels seen around town too. Some heavy rain overnight Wednesday. Barred owl up on Ford Hill. Juvenile Bald Eagles still flying around. Maybe these birds of pray can get to work on this abundance of rodents. Local foot trails are reported to be nice, dry - not too busy either. A CL50er commented while taking a break on the porch of the Abode with a coffee that we’ve got some of the most beautifully maintained trails she’s seen anywhere. Blackberry blossoming! Flowers of all colors, everywhere!
Wanakena weather forecast: Overall cooler than recently, some might say perfect. Daytime temperatures should remain in the 70s through the weekend and into next week - 50s at night. Looks like a good chance for some precipitation Saturday. Sounds good to us! This weather forecast is brought to you by Wanakena’s own PATTIJACKNAN weather team – a Wanakena garage pole mounted weather station and crew. THANKS, TEAM! This weather station can be found at: https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ny/wanakena/KNYWANAK8 
Bridgework continues! WOW THOSE ARE BIG HOLES. On either side of the once-was car bridge there now sits two GIANT CRATERS. Small dams of earth remain and hold-back the Oswegatchie as it wooshes by. The north shore crater is beautifully scraped right down to the sloped bedrock, almost as if a glacier wore away the earth over night. A water-pump sits in the hole. At first the water pump sounded like some sort of disco beat, but upon further inspection it turned out to be Bo’s stereo blasting some tunes down river. The crater on the south shore is floored with symbol-spray-painted gravel... this is where the new abutment will be constructed. EXCITING! The two middle-of-the-river piers remain. One theory is that they will be used as temporary worker standing/staging space as the new bridge is built above.
This past Saturday evening, in conjunction with the Summer Solstice, a Social Distance Summer Solstace Soiree was held out in ZPARK. At 5:43pm - when summer officially began - Wanakena was being drowned in RAIN! BEAUTIFUL. At 5:43 the fire was planned to be ceremoniously lit. The rain rained and the fire was lit. ALL WAS GOOD! A PERFECT way to shift seasons. Not long after the fire was lit the rain subsided. A few folks stopped by. Croquet commenced. Masks covering mouth and nose were worn when social distancing was easily accomplished. LOOK! LOOK IN THE SKY! A RAINBOW! And it grew and grew as the cloud pattern shifted. Some more folks showed up lured in by the fire and and the sound of popping beverage cans. Our first attempt at an outdoor social distance gathering was a success. The week before Governor Cuomo announced that a social gathering of twenty-five people was allowed. We fit within that threshold. Beginning Friday the North Country enters phase four of the gradual New York State Covid reopening process. We'll see how it goes!
SUNY ESF just officially announced this week that current professor/doctor Mariann Garrison-Johnston will become the new Ranger School Director. She replaces Mike Bridgen who retired after this past year. Here’s a picture of a sweet-lookin’ cake UB’s Merchentile in Oswegatchie made for the occasion. You can read more about it here (the new director, not the cake): https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/uncategorized/2020/06/esf-ranger-school-names-first-woman-director/
Carol told us that our local Forest Ranger Will Benzil was on news channel 7 a couple nights ago. Below is a link to the video story. Here’s the story in a nutshell: There’s a 6 acre ground fire actively burning in town of Flower (about a half hour north-west) for about a week now. Benzil arrived on the scene Monday. Voluntary fire crews had alread been at it all weekend. Cause of the fire is unknown but ground fires are not uncommon. Probably started from someone’s campfire or brush fire. Without rain fire could take weeks to put out. You know what Smokey says, right? As mentioned earlier, it has been DRY. Be careful with yer flames out there folks. https://www.wwnytv.com/video/2020/06/23/wwny-rangers-battle-large-ground-fire-town-fowler/
Have you been out for a stroll around Wanakena and seen people hiking the Cranberry Lake 50? Did you ever notice that most people passing through Wanakena on The Fifty, or ttarting the Fifty in Wanakena always seem to get lost right here in the village? Well, maybe not always…. But really, no one seems to be able to navigate the three-mile section of the Cranberry Lake 50 that passes through Wanakena. It’s a bit odd, actually. And frustrating! Don’t these people know how to read maps!?!? And to think: they are going out into a massive wilderness area where there aren’t many people to help you figure out how to read maps and trail markers. HELLO?!?! Anyway…. local Wanakener Tom Sauter -who happens to live right at the trailhead to the Cranberry Lake 50 and sees many many many many many hikers unable to find the trail hiding right under their noses - built a sign. An attractive and concise piece of structural information. It’s brand new – we’ll see how it goes!

Still wearing masks and social distancing Down at the Abode! We’ve got DAMN-good maple syrup bottled up by Howard Graham (Ranger School Grad and retired Forest Ranger). Super crunchy Martin’s pretzels and Route 11 Potato Chips. MAPS GALORE! What’s for dinner? We’ve got pasta and sauce. Cans of beans, too! And did we mention? MOUSETRAPS. Sorry little buddies. Get your fix of local and not-local music too. SUPPORT ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS!!!!
The EIGHT MILES TO HAREWOOD exhibition was de-installed over the past couple of days. Postcards/prints are still around and on sale! Out with the old and in with the NEW… On view now through July 19th for your viewing pleasure and for the public to ponder is an exhibition called “TWENTY-FIVE YEARS” which seeks to celebrate and explore the notorious Microburst of 1995. We’ve got maps, photos and will continue building upon our collection. Have heard some great stories already. C’mon down!
Blackwaters Café and Trading Post in Wanakena is open for pick-up/take-out Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat 11 - 6:30 pm. Picnic tables and port-o-john out front! Picnic tables out back by the river, too. Order though their take-out window or better yet do it online at their website www.blackwaterscafe.com

Stone Manor Diner and Motel in Cranberry Lake, Lakeside General Store in Cranberry Lake, UB’s Mercantile & Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie, Coffee Fever, Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy and Circle K in Star Lake, Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines, and Sevey Point remain open for business in one way or another (open, take out, pick up, drop off, etc…). Post Offices are open too (Thanks, Mary!)

Duck Decoy and MORE showroom open for pop-ins. “Showroom FILLED” 481 Tooly Pond Rd, Cranberry Lake – 315-848-4223

Always beautiful photography at the Wanakena Tracks facebook page.

The Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake hosts via Facebook Live bedtime stories most nights read aloud by Ms. Kate the Librarian!

Hillside Diner in Oswegatchie, Twin Lakes in Star Lake remain temporarily closed.

Kim’s Lost Dog Report: There are currently NO lost dogs in Wanakena.

All for now!

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! Wanakena Weekly archive here: http://www.ottosabode.org/p/wanakena-weekly.html
Alas, June! 
Such an inconsistent giver; 
today we swelter, 
tomorrow we shiver.