WANAKENA WEEKLY #51 - 01/21/21 - 01/27/21

Happy Thursday! Happy Full Moon! 

This past week in a nutshell
… SNOW SNOW SNOW!!! After all was said and done, Wanakena received about two feet of snow. And it was COLD, too! A propane delivery truck got stuck! Some local effort and woodscraps got him out of there. He said: “WANAKENA HAS THE NICEST PEOPLE!!!!”. Bright blue sky and crispy cool air though the weekend – below zero at night for sure! Snowmobile trails are reported to be in TIP TOP SHAPE! Folks heading across Cranberry lake, too. Cross country ski trails heading out into the Five Ponds Wilderness would have been lovely (once trail was broken) and snowshoeing: divine! Considering the weather we’ve had, this upcoming weekend should be splendid for skiing as well – reports of trail broken to at least Sand Hill Junction and High Rock. Holly and Neil are the ADKlub volunteer trail stewards for the High Falls Loop and they say “oh yea its good!”. Snow Croquet Court is BEEFY!!! Snow puffs remain affixed to tree boughs. Rusty-colored beach tree leaves rattle in the breeze. Woodpeckers tap-tapping. Crows catch-eye against snow-white backdrop. Chickadees, too.

BEAUTIFUL – Streams and creeks slice and weave their way atop the frozen and flowing river below. Snow drifted sculptures accumulate atop the ice. There is quite a bit of ice formed and forming along the rapids! There is more ice and less running water closer to town – up on your way to Little Falls on the Oswegatchie, one will note MORE running water – still, no shortage of ice, though. The river still trickles though. RUSHES though in some spots (like Little Falls)! This past Fall we had some decent rain, and a few brief snow events which melted – this made for lots of water rushing down the Oswegatchie and it’s been pretty cold and therefore the RUSHING WATER is FREEZING! The flow has slowed since then… but the frozen-ness remains! Currently the ICE JAM DANGER remains LOW.

Upcoming… Weather forecast says
… Going to be another COLD weekend! Single digits by day and below zero by night! Some clouds here and there. Temperatures will head back up into the twenties Sunday and into next week. No major snow events in the forecast at this time. 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 

– This past Saturday’s Watertown daily times featured a photograph of the Wanakena Footbridge. It looks like this (image below). They came out last winter, too. Took a nice picture after a thaw – that was featured online but not in-print… THIS ONE MADE THE PAPER, BABY! Here's the online version, though. We've got the newspaper clipping here in the shop!

– St. Lawrence County’s tourism department JUST published a NEW “GUEST BLOGGER’S” post about the delights of visiting the Wanakena Footbridge. It says: “TOURISTS FLOCK IN THE SUMMER BUT IT’S NICE ALL YEAR”. That same St. Lawrence County Tourism Website features a section on Clifton Fine. The photo they chose to use is from Corn Potato playing at the Wanakena Gazebo a couple of Autumns ago. Anyone remember that? It got cold that night!!! The musicians were holding thermos between songs. Short set, too. Bonfire in the evening! CORN POTATO STRING BAND!! Man, they were good! Corn Potato String Band at the Wanakena Gazebo under Autumn skies: POSTER CHILD FOR CLIFTON FINE TOURISM. They said it, not us! Here's the link ----> https://www.visitstlc.com/2021/01/23/day-trip-wanakena/

– You may recall – a few weeks back we mentioned MICHAEL MANDOLFO of Wanakena Foam Photography notoriety has had his THE FLOW THROUGH WANAKENA Photography exhibition up at Tonawanda Art Gallery! He had a gallery talk and everything! LOOKS GOOD MICHAEL! “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. http://carnegieartcenter.org/events/ 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 

THE COURT IS STACKED WITH LOOSE DRY SNOW. The base rolls well. Here's a shot of Dave hauling out some excess snow. The rest of the course is shovel-sculpted to give it it's ideal condition... BUT SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA COME IN WITH THE SNOW HOGS! More snow on the way means more snow croquet to play. ALSO A GREAT WAY TO SOCIAL DISTANCE WHILE HAVING A GOOD TIME.

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. !!!! Stuck at home? Bored? Looking for something to do? If you have not done so, you should poke around our website. www.ottosabode.org We've got all our previous art shows/music events from the past FIVE YEARS archived. You can experience ART that has already happened!!!! A great way to see what The Abode strives to provide! 

: 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 EXTENDED: 02/07/21 

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, so AS ALWAYS watch out for speedsters!!! 

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. CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM-----> https://www.gotsnowcams.com/gotsnowcams.htm 

!!! 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!!! That means no hunting. 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 CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM-----> https://www.esf.edu/rangerschool/webcam.htm 

WANAKENA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION – The Wanakena Walking Tour is “closed” for the winter… but deep in the bowels somewhere, some folks are 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!!!! See you in the Spring. 

OPEN: Stone Manor Diner is OPEN! 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)!!!!!!! John Dragun NEON ARTWORK and MORE down in Windfall! The CRANBERRY LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT has announced the FIRST STRIKE FISHING DERBY has been cancelled this upcoming winter due to COVID. The Cranberry Lake Fishing Derby is cancelled and the CLFD will NOT be checking and facebook-reporting the ice thickness as in years prior: FISH AT YOUR OWN RISK! Check out the Cranberry Lake Boat Club and The North Shore Hub on Facebook. Also, always beautiful photography at the Wanakena Tracks facebook page. LAKESIDE GENERAL STORE AND NYS DEC STATE CAMPGROUND IN CRANBERRY LAKE IS CLOSED FOR THE LONG WINTER SEASON. 

OUT WEST: New York state’s SMALLEST HOSPITAL is in the newspaper again! Yeah!!! Star Lake Hospital, baby!!!!! Adirondack Daily Enterprise reporting!!! And people say that that newspaper doesn’t report on our area! Better than Watertown Daily Times who can’t even provide out tiny hamlet with a WORKING newspaper vending machine. BOOOOO!!!!! Here’s a link to the ADK Enterprise article: https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2021/01/star-lake-hospital-sets-example-for-remote-inoculations OPEN: Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy and Circle K in Star Lake are open! Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines is open FOR PORCH SERVICE ONLY. UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie are open! Bargain Hunter says The Town of Fine Offices are CLOSED to the public ‘cause of COVID-19. 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.,  Community Bank in Star Lake re-covid-closed-up the lobby for in-person banking; ATM or night depots ONLY!  Hillside Diner IS CLOSED FOR WINTER – back in the spring. 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.


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! 

“Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.”
– Jean Jacques Rousseau (1762) 

THERE ARE ONLY **ZERO*** WANAKENA WEEKLYS LEFT UNTIL WW #52 (that will be a whole year’s worth of WANAKENA WEEKLY). ONE MORE LEFT!!!!!