Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dug Up The Dalias

  I took this photo days before I dug up my Dalias and stored them in the warm dry basement for the winter. Chris Thompson, my friend who's been farming in cooler climates his entire life and more than half a century, gave me these North Creek Raft-red Dalias several years ago. In his experience, this is the variety of Dalias that do best in the Adirondacks. They've done well here at my sandy farm. The foliage is a deep, lush, healthy green and the stem a thick deep maroon from the time they peek through the ground in the spring until the first hard frost in the fall. Wistfully, as soon as they are really starting to bloom, it's time to dig them up due to cooler temperatures.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Long Lake Harvest Pretty Corny

Long Lake students take a field trip to visit local farmer Chris Thompson's crops. Note the student in the center holds a pinkish-red corn cob.
Students harvest carrots to compete in the Fourth Annual Carrot Tasting Contest at LLCS next week.
Chris suggested we hose down the carrots before bringing them back to school.

We also pulled corn off stalks and husked it. When one student found a red colored cob, Chris told the class about a myth surrounding red corn cobs. Apparently this is a rare find. We did find a couple more red cobs out of the dozens and dozens of corn cobs we husked. Chris grinds the corn into cornmeal. In the past, we have been the recipients of some his fresh, local cornmeal. We've used it to make cornbread for our annual school-wide Fall Feast.
Chris let students take home whatever corn they could carry and one student exclaimed, "I didn't know I was so corny."

Back at school we said goodbye to the sunflowers who will surely wither in the hard frost this weekend. The tomatoes are covered with row cover but probably won't survive the weekend either.
Thankfully, the cabbage and Brussel sprouts (below) are hardy, will survive the weekend and be harvested in the upcoming weeks.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fourth Annual Carrot Tasting Contest and Around the Corner Garden

Crunch em'. Munch em'. Eat em' in a bunch em'. Carrots pulled up from the ground will make you healthy all around. Vitamin A will feed your skin. Sharper eyes are another win. Carrots, delicious raw or cooked. Carrots, an idea as bright as they look. Carrot posters created by Noah Howard.
We used pelleted carrot seeds with amazing results this year .... Check out the size of the carrots we harvested for Long Lake School's 4th Annual Carrot Tasting Contest!
Altogether we harvested 25 pounds of carrots from our Corner Garden.
Digging for potatoes

Hope the warmth continues so our Brussel sprouts have time to mature.
Students carefully pick cherry tomatoes and retrieve the ones that fall to the ground in the process. The branches are fully loaded.
Cutting a Delicata squash from the vine is a collaborative effort.
Garden-inspired artwork - Note the squash, top row in the center, is the one harvested by students in the picture above it.
Milkweed (as drawn above) lives in the garden too. This fall students learned how important milkweed is for Monarch butterflies. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The leaves are rapidly changing the walls of the Gorge and the heavy rain this week brought the river up a couple feet. Nate took this photo on an overnight raft trip last weekend from a camp named Carter's Landing in Mile Long Rapid. The Hudson was at a very low level and looks this "bony" after the "bubble" of water from the dam release flows downstream. The rafters camped on river right on Carter's flat bivouac. The location is one of several former log driving camps along the river, according to Jeff Dickinson's book , "So There We Were: River Running in the Hudson Gorge". The loggers were some of the first to brave the rapids through the Gorge in the mid 1800s. Get a copy of Jeff's new book at: 
This is another great photo Nate took this season. It's a Great Blue Heron most likely watching for it's next meal. In "Medicine Cards" by Jamie Sam and David Carson, "Heron is the power of self-reflection, of knowing the self by discovering its gifts and facing its challenges. It's the ability to accept all feelings and opinions without denying any emotion or thought." This season I discovered gifts such as learning to speak Chinese to converse with rafters from China, mentoring a young girl studying computer science who also hopes to become a guide some day and reconnecting with a childhood friend who owns a tiny 10-ft NOT-self-bailing raft and tagged along with a raft trip.  I also weathered the "storm" of two negative online reviews. In a sea of excellent reviews, two went rogue. We are passionate business owners who've put everything into North Creek Rafting so the reviews felt like a slap in the face. However, we've learned to see the feedback as a gift, for all of us to be better at what we do every day, and for all of us to be better at serving our rafters. And after all of this, North Creek Rafting had a highly fulfilling season. Raft with us year ten, 2016!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

White Lake State Park - Tamworth, NH

by Becky (written in the mid 1980s while in elementary school) 

My special place is White Lake. White Lake is a place where we go camping every summer. These are some of the reasons why this is my special place.

My favorite spot at White Lake is the beach. At the beach I can see Mount Chocorua's peak in the background and at night I can see the sun set behind the mountain in the west. Also the water is very clear and it has a shallow, white, sandy bottom. 

While we're at the beach, we go to the snack bar and buy fried dough. The fried dough is greasy, sweet, fattening and delicious. The smell of the snack bar makes me want to spend my money.

On the way back from the beach, we take a trail called the "Indian Trail". On the Indian Trail we hear the bull frogs croaking loudly and sometimes we even catch tadpoles the size of golf balls. We can hear the ghost-like shriek of the loons that live on the lake.

These are just a few of the reasons why I look forward to my summer vacation at White Lake. 
Flash forward to September 2015 and my first time on a stand-up paddle board. White Lake is still my special place.The snack bar now rents stand-up paddle boards.
I follow my family who are paddling kayaks around the lake. 
While standing and strengthening my whitewater canoe stroke, I catch up with my brother and sister-in-law, Allegra, who took these photos.
 Cormorants hang by the shore as loons appear and disappear in the center of the lake.
The best part about the stand-up board is being able to sit, stretch and dive in all directions. I feel like a child again!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sashi Lambert, August 1, 2001 - August 13, 2015

Sashi, Ellie's twin sister,  tries her ‘paws’ at Agility & Lure Chasing with Doggie Fun Zone at Woof Stock June 2015 in Chestertown, New York. Sashi is where all our pets meet up and play while they wait for us.

Friday, August 21, 2015

At the Helm in an Adirondack Chair

At the helm of North Creek Rafting Company in an Adirondack chair created by Windy Baker
Nate and friends headed to Watkins Glen for Phish's 10th festival called Magnaball.

Check details of Magnaball at:

The fearless five (photo below), minus Nate, are here for the big weekend. Frank S, Eric K, Mark E, Mark L, Jay C. and a special guest are also happily present and part of the dream team. With water as warm as a bath and skies toasty, August is the most popular month to raft the Hudson River Gorge. Saturdays in August are by far the most occupied days of the season. We floated our 10,000th rafter through the Hudson River Gorge this month! That's 10,000 rafters in our nine years as North Creek Rafting Company.
 Thanks to rafters near and far who float commercial raft trips!
"The Fearless Five" includes Nate, Jason, Joe, Jason and Nick. Photo taken on a guide trip to the Kennebec and Dead Rivers in Maine Oct 2014