WANAKENA WEEKLY #46 - 12/17/20 - 12/23/20

Happy Thursday! Happy Winter!

This past week in a nutshell… HAPPY WINTER!!!!! Overcast skies for the solstice – unable to see the Christmas Star from Wanakena. SHUCKS! Well, since we’re stuck in quarantine all we can really report on is the weather… not many new photographs, either! TEMPORARY BRIDGE FULLY DISMANTLED. Clifton-Fine Central School CLOSED through the holidays due to COVID! Stone Manor, Blackwaters Cafe and Otto's Abode ALL CLOSED! Quiet on Cranberry Lake.... Last week was COLD COLD COLD. Temperatures right around zero waking up early, early morning. Got some fresh snow, too. Daytime temperatures were in the teens. Bright BLUE cloudless sky. Hiking in the woods this past weekend would have been SPECTACULAR! Frozen ground and water, fresh FRESH snow. The cold remained through this past weekend. Daytime temps in the 30s though the work week with a few more inches of the fresh stuff. Town of Fine Plow out and about! As XMAS approached the temperature rose – ushered in by strong, warm winds Wednesday night. The picture above (not the crow) shows cobwebs that had been blasted with warm, wet air from the dryer vent – INSTANTLY FREEZING during this past week’s COLD SNAP. The photograph below is FROM THE ARCHIVE from Winter Solstice 2018.

Upcoming… Weather forecast says… YUCK rain and warm for XMAS – up into the 50s. BUT… after that the temperature will drop right back down. 20s and some snow day after Christmas. Cold-ish through the week and looking like it could snow for the New Year! Wont be a warm muddy mucky New Year at least. 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 - Also, always beautiful photography at the Wanakena Tracks facebook page.

*****COVID-19 ALERT***** NUMBERS ARE GOING UP UP UP UP UP IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY! WORST IT'S BEEN SO FAR! A message from The St. Lawrence County public health department: Public health director Dana McGuire said residents should assume if they are out in public, "a COVID-19 exposure is likely.” YIKES!!!! https://www.stlawco.org/covid-19-daily-update-center

NEWTON FALLS NEWS – A couple weeks ago News Channel 7 out of Watertown ran a story about Clifton-Fine’s Newton Falls and some plans in the works! Here it is in a nutshell: More than 100 acres of what once was the Newton Falls Paper Mill will become something new. The mill was a major employer for Newton Falls, Star Lake, and other communities before it shut down in 2010. Andy Leroux, who used to work there as a papermaker and later was a vice president with Newton Falls Fine Paper, bought land behind the mill buildings that was used for wastewater treatment. Leroux cleaned up the property with help from a $22,300 grant from National Grid’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program. The cleanup, which cost a total of $89,500, was completed this fall. Leroux plans on building a Christmas tree farm, a maple syrup retail outlet, a fishing and hunting lodge and a campground. “The additional funding allowed me to complete the demolition and remediation in a shorter amount of time and plant my first Christmas tree seedlings for next spring,” said Leroux in a prepared statement. https://www.wwnytv.com/2020/12/10/land-behind-newton-falls-mill-cleaned-up-tree-farm-campground-planned/ 

ADIRONDACK BIKEPACKING – Every summer we get a message from Northville, NY’s Jody Dixon letting us know that the GREAT ADIRONDACK TRAIL RIDE will be heading through town SOON. They bike right up The Moore Trail! Bikers comment that it is the most grueling two-mile stretch of the ride. The trail goes right through town! This past summer was it’s 5th year. This year’s first place finisher (and record breaker) Dan Jorden of VT wrote an article about this past summers’ event on a website called BIKE PACKING. He briefly mentioned WANAKENA a STAND-OUT part of the experience! Here is a link to the story! https://bikepacking.com/news/2020-adirondack-trail-ride-event-recap/We reported on it (with a photo of Mr. Jordan!!) RIGHT HERE on WANAKENA WEEKLY #32: http://www.ottosabode.org/2020/09/wanakena-weekly-32-091020-091620.html

DOWN AT THE ABODE!!!! WE’RE STUCK IN QUARENTINE!!!!! OTTO’S ABODE WILL REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. OUR STAFF HAS BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. WE WILL BE QUARANTINING! When we return… If you ARE around in-person and happen to pop-in to check-out what’s going on… cool! There’s LOTS to look at; art, maps, historical displays, and MORE! Perhaps you’ll go home with something you did not realize you needed. Perhaps you’d find a perfect gift for someone. Perhaps you’ll go home with ingredients for a DELICIOUS dinner – or desert! Or snack! Or coffee! Your purchases down here at Otto’s Abode help keep us open and going all year long. Take some time out of your day, to go out of the way. Support local year-round businesses! Why wouldn’t you want to purchase healthy, organic ingredients for delicious *whatever* and at the same time support a local, year-round business that showcases EVER-ROTATING art/history/interest exhibitions, creations by local artists and musicians , trail goods and local information, books, maps, groceries, DANG FINE COFFEE and LOTS MORE! Come see why we call ourselves an ART-CENTRIC ADIRODNACK TRAVEL AGENCY AND INCONVENICNE STORE! Curbside pickup available. Whatever you want – let’s do it.

ON VIEW AT OTTO’S ABODE: Northern Vermont in Late November, Oil Paintings by Judy James, Keene Valley, NY… Friends and Neighbors, Wanakena was once again adorned by a hiker- and happily, she paused here. In November we were visited by through-hiker Judy James. Who stumbled in here to Otto’s Abode for plenty of snacks, talk about Indians, the Path, and such. Soon she was back, crossing our suspension bridge with some paintings… The focus is scenes of Northern Vermont in late November. Judy feels that Wanakena people appreciate these late November colors: dusky reds; purples; spotted with melting snow over shades of brown leaves; low light on blue hills; plus, late-in-the-year river and lake scenes. Embraced within the dense air, feeling part of the environment- even the air has a texture to it. It is like through-hiking, all-around, being enveloped by nature. You are already in it. Look out from there. The “Hogback Road” painting may seem like a painting of “nothing” -- the barn is pushed over to the side and the viewer simply looks out with some periphery. It is a painting of being in the environment, late November. The outlook is from there. Enjoy this time of year. On view at Otto’s Abode 11/25/20 – 01/31/21 

Bridgework continues… AS OF 11/25/20 THE NEW WANAKENA CAR BRIDGE IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE!!!! AS OF 12/22/20 THE TEMPORARY BRIDGE IS FULLY DISMANTLED!!! And as they’ve been saying around Wanakena: WE’LL BE DRIVING OVER THAT NEW BRIDGE IN NO TIME!!!!! And ALAS! WE DO! Now that the bridge is WIDE OPEN, watch out for speedsters!!!

WANAKENA’S BLACKWATERS CAFÉ AND TRADING POST HAS ANNOUNCED: We’re on December Break until January 1st, 8am breakfast. Have a wonderful holiday and think SNOW!!! 

RANGER SCHOOL!!! As of 10/25 the Ranger School Class of 2021 completed their in-person learning for the fall semester. We’ll wait and see and update about campus reopening to the public while students are gone. STILL NO WORD!!!! Previously: RANGER SCHOOL IS IN SESSION FOR THE 2020/21 SCHOOLYEAR, BUT THE CAMPUS IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!!! Here’s a message from the Ranger School: The Ranger School's James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest will be closed to the public for an indefinite amount of time beginning Saturday, August 15, 2020. The Cranberry Lake 50 trail, which passes in front of the school, will remain open. This action is necessary to protect students and staff as they begin a new academic year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is a critical precaution as we work to ensure the health and success of the Class of 2021. Thank you for your cooperation. Here’s a story about it all: https://www.nny360.com/news/stlawrencecounty/property-sales/article_eeec3094-901a-531a-8a18-ab1b991b3a79.html 

WANAKENA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION is hard at work actualizing the WANAKENA HISTORY CENTER. Here is a message from their website: Five equal partners (made up of groups of families and friends) are forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) each pledging $25,000 for a total of $125,000 to own, renovate and restore one of the original Rich Lumber Company houses at 21 Second Street to its original facade. Their dream and intent are to provide a location for a Wanakena History Center where the WHA can continue its mission to encourage greater knowledge of the history and to display and make available for study: artifacts, relics, books, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other records and materials relating to the history of the State of New York and particularly of Wanakena and the surrounding area. 

WANAKENA CHURCH CLOSED FOR WINTER! WESTERN ADIRONDACK PRESBATYRIAN CHUCH zoom-zooms every Sunday at 10:45 using meeting #6663654813 and every morning at 9am for a Morning Prayer. WANAKENA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION announced that Cremation Remains burial has gone up from $150 to $250. Also, there is no longer a backhoe charge for cremation burial because they don’t use a backhoe for cremation burials any longer.

DOCK AND PUBLIC RESTROOM CLOSED FOR THE SEASON MID NOVEMBER… REASON: FREEZIN’!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, that’s right folks you heard it here! The dock at Wanakena’s public beach has been unhooked from is summer resting place. Where many a family and friend basked in the sun, picnicked and swam. This summer was particularly interesting considering the fact that the local Wanakena population was downright floored at the sheer number of out-of-towners day-tripping at the Wanakena Beach. The public restroom saw RECORD NUMBER OF DEPOSITS this summer as well. Folks were out and about during the pandemic and Bo’s State Park was packed to the gills all the season though! Many a joyous experience this past warm-weather season via the Wanakena Public Dock and Wanakena Public Restroom. Cheers to many more years!!!!

From the other end of CRANBERRY LAKE: Stone Manor Diner and Motel is CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS until JANUARY 6th! The Clifton Community Library will return to curbside service on WEDNESDAYS ONLY. Tooley Pond Duck Decoy Showroom in Cranberry Lake is OPEN!!!!!!! Check out the Cranberry Lake Boat Club and The North Shore Hub on Facebook. LAKESIDE GENERAL STORE IN CRANBERRY LAKE IS CLOSED FOR THE LONG WINTER SEASON.

OUT WEST: Coffee Fever, Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy and Circle K in Star Lake are open! Community Bank in Star Lake re-covid-closed-up the lobby for in-person banking; ATM or night depots ONLY! Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines is open FOR PORCH SERVICE ONLY. Hillside Diner, UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie are open! Both Twin Lakes and SOS in Star Lake got a fresh paint job but remain temporarily closed since March 2020. Word on the street is Twin Lakes is re-opening SOON! The following is copy-pasted from the Fine Town Board Meeting hours from Wednesday 11/11/2020: Jeremy wanted the board to be aware that the Dollar General is looking into putting a store at the former Great American site. This would not be required to go to site plan review since it is not a change of use. 

Kim’s Lost Dog Report: As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena.


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 Also, we probably wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to publish your submission!

"There is a time to fish and a time to dry nets"
- Chinese Proverb

ONLY **6*** WANAKENA WEEKLYS LEFT UNTIL WW #52 (that would be a whole year’s worth of WANAKENA WEEKLY).