WANAKENA WEEKLY #21 - 06/25/20 - 07/01/20

Happy Thursday! Happy July!

This past week’s weather in a nutshell: Hot Hot Hot…. We finally got the rain we needed… Saturday evening RAIN! Humidity stuck around, though. Overcast and drizzly sprinkles here and there. Lots of warm and sun, too! SUMMERTIME. A Cranberry Lake 50er said a grouse approached with some hostility. Jeanie said a fawn had been on Nevil Island and proceeded to swim down river – no sign of it since. Carol says bank beaver by Foxes Den. Cedar waxwings, wild columbine and fox glove. Milkweed flowering. Lots of people reporting mice in the camp, still! Marsha brought in a found-on-the-road squirrel tail. Didn’t look like any red or grey squirrel. Perhaps a flying squirrel! Customer reports Deer Fly Tape Head Strips to work very well while playing tennis! Water lilies open by day closed by night.
Looks like a chance of scattered thunderstorms for the next couple of days. As they say: parents quail and children cry, whenever it rains on the Fourth of July. The Fourth Of July looks to be a day of “good” weather! Saturday and Sunday appear to be warm and clear! Temperatures in the 80s by day and right around 60 at night. Humidity will probably stick around. This weather forecast is brought to you by Wanakena’s own PATTIJACKNAN weather team – a Wanakener 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! Any remains of The Old Green Machine have been hauled off site – old bridge no more. This past week seemed quiet compared to every other week previous - where every day something major happens. This week seemed calmer. Perhaps now that the abutment craters have been dug there, curtail on-site planning needed to take place before construction begins. Holes were drilled. Plywood forms constructed. Lots was done. Just, quieter. All day Wednesday cement trucks rolled through town. Cement: poured. The North Shore abutment has got some bones.
Heard word that Bernie and Blanch painted the benches down at the beach. They look great! The two wooden benches. One is inscribed with the name Hobby Olsen and the other with Helen Quin. The benches were previously a peachy-pink color which had been painted at the same time as the the Wanakena Historical Association Walking Tour Kiosks – few years back. One of them had to be rebuilt this past spring. You see what happened was the dock was tucked into the nook behind where it usually is. And the dock was tied to the shore in two places. A tree and a bench. Well, when the ice went out this past January 14th it took the dock with it which in-turn took the bench. It crumpled like an old jenky ladder. The Helen Quinn bench. Back in action and lookin’ better than ever.

There was a rather large tree standing alone on the corner of Second Street and Ranger School road. It’s now a fresh stump. The tree may not have been healthy. Ranger School Property. These Ranger School people know what they are doing. There’s been a report that a monument and/or placard of some sort will be on display here where the marker wrapped in cloth scrap is currently located. We can think of a really handy sign with arrows that could be built there, too.

The most recent issue of Adirondack Explorer is heavy with articles written in conjunction with the Covid 19 experience in the Adirondacks. The cover states: “The Summer of Covid”. Certainly, a subject worth exploring. The centerfold story is about about the Cranberry Lake 50! It has a brief history of the trail tucked within but is mostly about the experience itself. Because the author and her fellow companions hiked the 50 in the height of Covid-19 in NYS (this past spring) the article talks a lot about wearing masks, not sharing maps, and thoughts about distance and isolation in a distanced and isolated area. It might be interesting to read about peoples’ first experiences hiking with masks and social distancing in 50 or 150 years when we dig up a time capsule, but not something we really wanted to read about now. Sort-of old news. Certainly interesting to someone who does not live in the forest now probably, though. The article does a fine job discussing the walk around the lake. It’s too bad though, that the article does not mention the experience of passing through the two villages on the trail (Cranberry Lake and Wanakena). Part of what makes The Fifty (in our opinion) so extra-special is the combination of deep, deep wilderness and small-town entanglement. Granted, the author came to the woods during a global pandemic for an escape to “nature” not to engaging with “community”. This garsh-darn virus is really stealing the spotlight! Bad timing, we suppose. Anyhoo... see ya on the trail.
There’s been talk around town of what’s going on for the Fourth of July? Well, usually the biggest party of the year happens… but as we all know, that wont be happening. Have no fear! The fine folks of Wanakena have spoke-up and decided to pursue a gathering on the water. Not a regatta, not an armada… a FLOATILLA. Yes, that’s right - will be a Flotilla of Friends down the Oswegatchie in the small bay by The Big Pine dock; across from The Ranger School. Some have commented: that’s not a very big bay! Well, the thought is to start small and if more people show up than the bay can handle everyone can put down the flow some more, maybe hang out by the Wanakena Rock or something. Some maps indicate the bay as Livingston Spring Hole. Not sure who Livingston was. Lets call it The Big Pine Dock for now.

Down at the Abode… This past week Bill from Irish Hill hunted down some outstanding strawberries and brought that down for us to sell on the porch. The BEST from Bangor, NY. Stay tuned to more produce in the future courtesy of Biff from Irish Hill. The old Caton Thunderbird by the fire pit has been repainted and a fresh-lookin Croquet Rack has been built and mounted just below. On view in the shop we’re exploring the 1995 Microburst through maps and photographs and discussion in an exhibition called “TWENTY FIVE YEARS”. C’mon down and check it out, maybe you’ll go home with a MICROBURST SURVIVOR T-Shirt. Hot off the presses! Although NYS North Country is in Phase Four we’re still pretty much operating the same way we have been for weeks. Masks, social distancing, no rocking chairs in the shop. A few stools to plop yer butt on, though. Enough room to remove your mask to sip some coffee if you wish.
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

The Cranberry Lake State Campground is OPEN but only for those with previous reservations.

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! Also from the CCL Facebook page: “You may have heard: today starts the community wide scavenger hunt!!! From Windfall to Oswegatchie, from Fine to Cranberry Lake--put your peepers on and prove you have 2020 Vision! As promised, here is a copy of the color photos--black and white photos will be published in this week's Bargain Hunter. I'll be putting paper forms in the CL post office shortly, and then hitting the road to drop off paper copies in Wanakena, Star Lake, Newton Falls, and wherever else we can! I hope you have a great time--first prize is $50 to either Todd's, UB's, or Stone Manor. #2020vision Have a GREAT time and remember that you have to enter via the Google Form listed at the top of this sheet.” https://www.facebook.com/cliftoncommunitylibrary/

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. This past week there were reports that a Wanakener out for a morning walk came across one of the new temporary assistant forest rangers with a large leashed dog. It is reported that the dogs owners were most likely in the woods and the very friendly dog ran out to the car.

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
There is a time to fish and a time to dry nets – Chinese Proverbs