Enact Federal Gun Control- Now

I am numb, and tired of writing this, yet again.

My son is a police officer.  My daughter is a social worker, working with the mentally ill.  My wife is a school administrator.  I routinely hunt, shoot trap, and sporting clays.

I support any form of national gun control that will make my family  safer in their jobs.

In New York, we are fortunate enough to have the SAFE Act.  Let it be a model to guide enactment of a federal counterpart.

I take this position as an outdoor sportsman.  The SAFE Act has not interfered with my ability to hunt, shoot trap or sporting clays.  The only difference for me—I no longer mail order ammunition;  I buy it in person.  If this requirement saves one life—then it is worth it.  Absolutely no complaints from me.

I am a gun owner, who yearns for stricter national gun control.  We must take action; now.  Our elected representatives must be held  accountable to us; not the NRA.


The Return of Winter

This week we experienced a thaw, here at Loon Lake.  The snow banks have receded a bit, and we have had some rain.  Our road and the area around the camp where I had cleared the snow is very icy– we need stabilicers just to walk to the garage.  Yesterday morning, the temperature was in the 30’s and we had a light drizzle.

Then Winter came back.  The wind out of the West picked up, and the temperature dropped into the teens.  It started to snow.  Hard.  Horizontally. Intensely. It was a short burst, but dropped about two inches of new snow, which provides some traction on what is now a solid sheet of glare ice.

It cleared, and the night sky was spectacular last night.

This morning, it is 3 degrees and will warm up to the twenties in the sun today.  Should be a good day to be outside.

Porter and I went out for grouse in the Sable Highlands. As we walked through the woods, following an old logging trace, I really did not know where I was, exactly.  I was not concerned, as I knew I would eventually hit either a road, old railroad ROW or powerline.  And I had the option of just turning around and following my snowshoe tracks back out.  After about an hour, I saw a clearing and what looked like snow on the roof of a building.  I thought maybe I was approaching a hunting camp.  I was surprised when I came out on the backside of a campsite I maintain for NYSDEC– the snow was on the roof of the privy.  I had never approached the site from this angle.  It was then just a quick walk down the snowmobile trail to the truck.

Looking forward to a great day today.


Making Pastrami

I bought a large brisket from our local butcher a few weeks ago.  I soaked it in a brine for about a week– in essence, turning it into a corned beef.  I then applied a rub of pepper, paprika, coriander, garlic  and brown sugar.  I am now smoking it for around 6 hours.  The end product will be– pastrami.  I have not done this before.

As long as the smoker is going, and I have room, I threw in some hot Italian sausage Paula and I made in January.

So far, I like the smoker.  I have never done anything like this before.  Looking forward to smoking some freshly caught fish.  I may end up bringing the smoker to Nantucket next Fall– for Bluefish.

The downside– I smell like smoke.  Wearing old clothes.   Paula is out tonight, so I may end up having a cigar, while watching the smoker.  Why not? I smell like smoke anyway….


Paula and I went out today, in the woods along the undeveloped shore of the Southernmost part of Loon Lake. We parked at the end of the plowed portion of Blue Spruce Drive. We call this “the bunny trail” because of all the bunny tracks.

I broke trail for forty minutes and then Paula did also for 10 minutes. The snow was three to four feet deep, and we sunk down about 15 inches with each step. Beautiful, but exhausting.

Excellent Winter Conditions

There is between three and four feet of snow in the woods, with more on the way today– we have a winter storm warning through Sunday.

Snowmobiling conditions are good–  nice base on the railroad ROW/powerline, although the trail has not been groomed since we received the last dump of snow.

The skiing on Whiteface has got to be spectacular– and they opened up the new trail over Lookout Mountain.

Not a lot of activity around the lake.  We only have around 25 year-round residents in the Loon Lake/Inman area.  Yesterday  the only vehicles  I saw were a garbage truck, school bus and propane truck.  I did hear one group of sleds on the trails, and saw some ice fishermen on Bass Lake.

Porter and I went grouse hunting yesterday.  He had to follow behind me, as I broke trail on my snowshoes.  We explored a new area (for me), and were rewarded with a flushing grouse blasting out from under the snow cover.

Paula and I are heading out on snowshoes this morning, and later we will make pizza.  We are expecting a young friend  to drop by after the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival parade.  We aren’t going in– I would rather spend some time deep in the woods.

The Hotel Saranac – Go!!

Wow!  We used to stop at the Hotel Saranac for dinner on Fridays, back when it was affiliated with Paul Smith’s College.  Paula and I went in to the Hotel yesterday, to check it out and have lunch.  The refurbishment of the newly-opened hotel is spectacular.

The bar on the second floor has a large common area and is flanked by a ballroom and a veranda.  It reminded me of the bar in the hotel in The Shining….

The restaurant and bar on the main level is also very nice.  Comfortable.  Patrons were wearing ties, flannel, jeans, ski pants, heels, boots…..quite a mix.

The food, service and drinks were all very good.  They had a  porter from Cooperstown on tap.  Try the fried brussels sprouts (my family loves brussels sprouts– but then I cook them with a pound of diced bacon…).

The hotel is affiliated with Hilton.

All in all, I would say it was worth the wait; here is to their success.



A great weekend coming up

Finally!! The frigid cold is gone (it is about 15 degrees out– which feels downright warm).  We are not expecting winds, precipitation, or wind chill through the weekend.  There is a foot of new snow on the ground.  This is it– get outside.

I will probably fire up the snowmobiles.  I know I am grouse hunting– warm enough to bring the dog.  Paula will want to go either snow shoeing, or skiing.  Definitely will slide down the sledding hill.

We are sure to see many sleds on the snowmobile trail on the other side of the lake, as well as ice fishermen, going for yellow perch and northern pike.

At some point, we may head into town–  the Hotel Saranac reopened yesterday, and we want to check it out.

Get outside, and enjoy!