WANAKENA WEEKLY #48 - 12/31/20 - 01/06/20

Happy Thursday! Happy New Year!

This past week in a nutshell… Winter is back! Yes! It’s been COLD and SNOWY! Snowmobilers OUT AND ABOUT though Wanakena, up at Cranberry Village, through the narrows and beyond; report DECENT trail conditions. Hiking trails heading out in the Five Ponds Wilderness are good for XCSKIING. ICE FISHING seen out on Cranberry Lake. The CRANBERRY LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT has announced the FIRST STRIKE FISHING DERBY has been cancelled this upcoming winter due to COVID. They also announced via their Facebook page that they will NOT be checking and reporting ice conditions on Cranberry Lake! They warn: “FISH AT YOUR OWN RISK”. Reports of ice thickness a couple weeks ago were that Cranberry Lake had about 5 inches of ice. By now it is most likely more, and reports of Ice thickness of 8 inches on the Oswegatchie near the Ranger School. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! All-in-all it’s a WINTER WONDERLAND! Murmurings of NO WhiteOut Weekend 2021. Lots of deer around the village by night. Chickadeedeedeedee. Seed catalogs being to arrive in the mail! 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!!!!

Upcoming… Weather forecast says… COLD AND SUNNY WEEKEND! Daytime temps in the twenties. Teens or lower by night! Looks to be staying COLD right though next week. Perhaps some snow by next weekend. 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. 

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!!!

MARTINS PRETZEL FACTORY FIRE?!?! Yes, it’s true. The other day we drove up to Moira to pick-up some cases of OUTSTANDING Martin’s Pretzels to sell here at Otto's. To our surprise the pretzel factory was not there! Turns out on December 12 there was a devastating fire. Luckily no one was injured. There is a gofundme page set-up the help rebuild. Here’s a link to the story: https://www.indiantime.net/story/2020/12/17/news/fire-destroys-martins-store-and-adjacent-pretzel-factory-in-moira/35872.html

MICHAEL MANDOLFO! Yes, that’s right! Buffalo, NY artist and friend of Wanakena, artist Michael Mandolfo presents “The Flow Through Wanakena” a photography exhibition at the Carnegie Art Center. There will be no opening reception but you are invited to visit the show during the Center’s open hours: Wed & Thurs. 6-8PM and Fri & Sat 12-4PM. You are also invited to a special meet the artist event on Saturday, January 16, 1-3PM. Michael invites the community to reflect on how the water flow affects our lives, both spiritually and physically; the connections that we share with water and with nature in general; what it says to us, where it takes our thoughts; the silence or sounds that come to mind, memories that it evokes. After reflection, the viewers will be encouraged to write notes about water, nature, conservation, etc. These notes will be displayed in The Flow Through Wanakena exhibits. Michael Mandolfo first exhibited THE FLOW THOUGH WANAKENA here at Otto's Abode in Wanakena a couple years ago. here: http://www.ottosabode.org/2018/10/exhibition-opening_3.html

UP THE RAPIDS! As of this week there is quite a bit of ice forming along the rapids up above the carbridge. This Fall we’ve had some decent rain, and a few brief snow events – this makes for lots of water rushing down the Oswegatchie. Past few weeks have been pretty cold and therefore the RUSHING WATER is FREEZING! It is BEAUTIFUL... Currently the ICE JAM DANGER remains LOW.

DOWN AT THE ABODE!!!! WELL, WE’RE BACK…. We’ve been closed for the past few weeks. WE ALL GOT COVID. That’s right… we were sick and mandated by the government not to leave out house until they said so. We’re all better and happy to be back open. CHECK OUT OUR NEW WINTER HOURS!!!!! Pretty much the same, although we’re now closed on Wednesdays and also close up at 6 on the weekends instead of 8pm. Stuck at home? Bored? Looking for something to do? If you have not done so, you should poke around our website. We've got all our previous art shows/music events archived. You can experience ART that has already happened! A great way to see what The Abode strives to provide! 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

WANAKENA’S BLACKWATERS CAFÉ AND TRADING POST IS OPEN AND HAS ANNOUNCED: Due to C19 and warm winter trends, we will have 2 separate schedules. #1 IF THE SNOWMOBILE TRAILS ARE DECENTLY RIDABLE: we will be open regular days and hours (T, W, Th 8am-3pm. Fri & Sat 8am-7pm. Closed Sunday & Monday). #2 IF THE TRAILS ARE NOT DECENTLY RIDABLE, we will only be open Th 8am-3pm. Fri & Sat 8am-7pm. ***Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we encourage take-out - and WILL NOT let in more than we are allowed. If the door is locked, we are at capacity. But if you’d still like a meal to go, order online and it will be prepared in the order received - or - think ahead and schedule a pickup time. Come in smaller groups.

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 back open after a holiday break! The Clifton Community Library will return to curbside service on WEDNESDAY'S ONLY. Tooley Pond Duck Decoy Showroom in Cranberry Lake is OPEN (call first)!!!!!!! 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 IS CLOSED and announced: Covid numbers are up, and because of that, the numbers at the Coffee shop are down. It is so sad for me to say, but it makes the most sense for us to close down for a while. We will shut our doors on Friday, Dec 18, at the end of our day, 3:00pm. But this is not forever. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you again soon. Stay safe out there., 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 IS CLOSED FOR WINTER – back in the spring. 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. 

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/ 

Kim’s Lost Dog Report: As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena. We dusted off the ol’ trail cam and captured images of Wanakena’s BEAUTIFUL BLACKIE the other night. Blackie is Wanakena’s resident WILDCAT! Blackie footprints are seen in the morning after the COLDEST of nights. Blackie has been seen running with WILD coyotes through the Village. STAY STRONG AND STAY BEAUTIFUL, BLACKIE!

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!

The Blackfoot Indians called January the “Moon of Cracking Trees.”
Berkshire Travelers Press 

ONLY **4*** WANAKENA WEEKLYS LEFT UNTIL WW #52 (that would be a whole year’s worth of WANAKENA WEEKLY)