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Bushwhack Jack’s Tracts, by Jack Drury

Wet behind the ears — and everywhere else

I first visited Lower Saranac Lake in August 1956 at the tender age of 7. Given the circumstances, it’s a miracle I ever wanted to come back. It started with our watercraft, my Great Aunt Marnie’s guideboat. It was built in the late 1800s by renowned guideboat builder Theodore Hanmer. ...

Getaway car

I just got off the phone with my good buddy Jeff Olson, former executive director of Camp Confidence in Minnesota, a year-round outdoor education center for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. He called to let me know that he recently retired and he was going through his ...

A knife-changing experience

Do you remember your first jackknife? I do mine — it was a souvenir beauty from Niagara Falls. It had a scene of the falls with a rainbow arching gracefully over the Maid of the Mist. My mother was brave enough to buy it for me on a trip to Canada when I was 9 years old and on my way to ...

Leeches in my breeches

I suppose there are things to be afraid of in the Adirondack wilderness. Once a generation there’s a murderer on the loose. I hear people tell of their fear of hearing coyotes howl, but when was the last time you heard of a coyote attacking a human? The only victim of an Adirondack ...

Revisiting loss

I remember the Metz family for a number of reasons. First, Stan Metz and his sons Andrew and Matt joined me in the early 1970s on a couple of one-week canoe trips and a one-week backpacking trip sponsored by the Malone Campus of North Country Community College. Second, they were a great ...

A man of the mountains and a mountain of a man

I made a pilgrimage of sorts a couple of weeks ago. As we passed through Lander, Wyoming on our way to Grand Teton National Park, I stopped at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) headquarters and got my photo taken with the statue of Paul Petzoldt. Paul was a world-renowned ...