WANAKENA WEEKLY #53 - 02/04/21 - 02/10/21

Happy Thursday!

: COLD AND SNOWY!!! The Town of Fine was rockin’ and rollin’ scoopin’ and haulin’ early in the week. They show up with the BIG SCOOP and relocate large snow piles. The big one downtown by the Historical Association Kiosk gets moved up the river by the bamboo patch! This relocated pile will last us well into spring! XC skiing out into Five Ponds vis Janacks/Truck Trail supurb. Snowshoeng up the Moore Trail stupendous. The Ranger School Students are BACK AT IT…. Hopefully you got you Dubar Forest fix over the last couple months because (presubably) the forest is CLOSED “again”…. unless you snowmobile or are doing the CL50. Speaking of snowmobiling… reports indicate that Cranberry Lake still slushy beneath all the snow! Must be all the fresh stuff insulated the warmth underneath from early on. Oh look there’s a deer… oh look, a coyote! Did anybody else hear that thunder last Friday afternoon? Here’s a link to the most recent town board meeting minutes: HERE 

- Subterranean gurgle. You can barely hear the river from the car bridge. 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! The river still trickles through. RUSHES though in some spots (like Little Falls)! It’s been pretty cold and VERY snowy and therefore the RUSHING WATER is FREEZING and getting BURRIED! Currently the ICE JAM DANGER remains LOW.

– This weekend’s weather is looking COLD! Teens by day and down below zero by night!!!! Should be a GREAT winter weekend! Perhaps a couple inches of snow here and there. Heading into next week temperatures go up a tad bit; twenties by day, teens or single digits by night. Long term forecast says decent snow event Tuesday (4-6 inches) and some more before the weekend (another 4-6 inches). Happy New Moon! Happy Presidents Day Weekend! Happy Valentines Day! Happy Fat Tuesday! Happy Birthday Otto’s Abode! HAPPY WINTER!!! 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. 

: Scoring “big time” in Wanakena was mentioned in a recent Adirondack Explorer article about where to find the best fresh pow-pow. It reads: The snow has fallen (with many parts of our region receiving well over a foot) and the roads are now cleared. So, what are you waiting for?!?! Let’s get out and play in that fresh powder. I’ve put together a few ideas for a variety of ski outings, using our archive of 20+ years of outdoor recreation stories. Five Ponds Wilderness: While you might not have to travel in search of powder right now, Phil Brown was on a quest back in 2017 to find some pristine snow and scored big time in the Five Ponds Wilderness. He started out in Wanakena on a trail to Glasby Pond, about five miles away. https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/outtakes/glasby-1 Here's a link to the whole article: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/five-ways-to-take-advantage-of-that-fresh-snow 

Hi my name is Bill (RS class of 96’) and I just saw your newsletter on North Country Now. One of my classmates (Joel) and a graduate of the class of 97 (Shawn) first climbed the Big Pine in 2001. This year will be our 20th annual fall trip and we always change dates. We have been in early August to mid October and keep our trip quiet. Although that can be a challenge since about 15 that usually go. It’s hard not to notice 15 of us especially when we eat dinner at the Pine Cone. Two years ago a resident took notice and spoke with us. He said he had heard rumors of us but nobody seemed to know if it was true or not. Here are a few pictures from our 19th climb last fall. Just so you know we are ISA certified arborists and we only climb on ropes and leave no trace that we were there. Just wanted to share a view that few get to see - Bill

– Claude and Ola have a new recording!!!!!!! Here’s a description from the bandcamp page: Claude & Ola are experimental musicians residing in northern New York State, in the US. Having previously focused their work almost entirely upon live performances, “vol” is the duo’s first foray into proper multitrack studio recording together. Rather than succumb to the modern tendency to fastidiously micro-edit and finesse recordings, the pieces that comprise the album were crafted to reflect the varied tastes and intuition that define Claude and Ola’s live practice. Most every sound is a first take with very minimal post-processing. “vol” opens with spectral processed field recordings and winds its way through a variety of textures making use of piano, voice, modular synthesizer, bowed banjo, Garden Weasel, and other live electronics. https://tqn-aut.bandcamp.com/album/vol In addition to their sound practice, Claude and Ola publish Deft Esoterica, a zine dedicated to experimental music and sound art. deftesoterica.bandcamp.com 

– !!!!!!!!!!!THIS WEEKEND IS OUR FIFTH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! You should pay us a visit! That is all…. If you are around in-person and happen to pop-in to check-out what’s going on! 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 our local year-round business! Why wouldn’t you want to purchase healthy, organic ingredients for delicious eats 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 ADIRONDACK TRAVEL AGENCY AND INCONVENIENCE 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! 

– The course plays very well! In fact, this past Friday in between snow events, there was a nice little thaw – temps briefly got up into the 30s. This allowed for some much-needed bank-work. The wet, packable snow lent itself to some great banked-curve sculpting. They are still a little soft (I wouldn’t stand on them)… but the balls will tell you: roll with it, baby! Carve those turns! More snow on the way means more snow croquet to play. C’mon down and give it a WHACK!

– In last week’s Bargain Hunter there was a FULL PAGE AD describing details of this years’ White Out Weekend Festivities… in short: THERE ARE NONE! That being said, the WhiteOut Weekend Committee has put together a “checklist” of sorts. Participants are put into a raffle and will receive a gift certificate from a local business! You can also find it online here: https://sites.google.com/view/adkwow and most likely on Facebook. Our annual winter festival, traditionally held on President's Day Weekend, in the Western Adirondack community of Clifton-Fine IS HIBERNATING FOR 2021. JOIN OUR MONTH-LONG WINTER CHALLENGE & ENTER TO WIN LOCAL GIFT CARDS! We will return to in-person events in 2022 with free, fun for the whole family! Including outdoor recreation, music & arts, food, crafts, interactive presentations, kids activities, snowmobile-accessible events and so much more! We boast a true wilderness area with a friendly, small-town feel. Come out & have a snow day (or two) with us! This event is put on by 100% volunteer efforts and the generosity of sponsors, donations & fundraising proceeds. Whiteout Weekend is a subcommittee of the Clifton Fine Economic Development Corporation. 

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 

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.

RANGER SCHOOL - RANGER SCHOOL IS IN SESSION FOR THE 2020/21 SCHOOL YEAR, 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 CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM: https://www.esf.edu/rangerschool/webcam.htm 

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. 

NEW CAR BRIDGE - 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!!!

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!!!! 

HAREWOOD: Stone Manor Diner and Motel 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… OPEN! Check out the Cranberry Lake Boat Club and The North Shore Hub on Facebook. 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! LAKESIDE GENERAL STORE IN CRANBERRY LAKE IS CLOSED FOR THE LONG WINTER SEASON.

OUT WEST: American Legion is OPEN! Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy and Circle K in Star Lake are OPEN! Though we heard Circle K no longer sells beer! YIKES! UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie 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. There will be NO ICE SKATING AT THE AREANA this winter – cause, ya know: covid. 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., 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 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 AND THOMS LOST DOG REPORT: As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena.


Any questions, comments, concerns, trail condition inquiries, legends, jokes, animal sightings, cartoons, 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!

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."
- John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)