Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Cabin

     The wind thundered and the snow smashed against the red shuttered window of the little cabin.
     Sam reached down and touched Jake, his black lab. "Well, old boy, I guess we're in for a quite a storm. I better let you out before it gets too bad." Sam Turner had moved to this  cabin three years ago. He loved looking out over the craggy Adirondack mountains. Sam released the wood latched door and Jake went flying out landing in a powder puff of light snow. Sam laughed, closed the door and put another piece of wood in the pot belly stove. He reached up and took the cast iron frying pan off the wall and began to prepare his breakfast. Soon, he heard Jake barking. Jake must have found a rabbit thought Sam as he placed the bacon strategically into the black pan. He looked out the window and saw Jake digging into the snow trying to find his rabbit. However, as Sam turned back to his cooking, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something red. He jerked back around and looked again. Was Jake cut?
     Grabbing his jacket off the hook, Sam ran out the door. "Hey, Jake, come; come!" he shouted. Jake whined looked at him and looked back at the snow. Now Sam could see that the red was a piece of something blowing in the wind. Fighting the wind, he made his way over to Jake where he immediately saw that it was a red scarf. He began pawing at the snow and soon discovered that the red scarf belonged to a woman.
     She groaned, "Uhh."  My God, she is still alive! Sam lifted her up and slogged through the  snow to the cabin. He placed her on the couch, began warming her hands with his, and ran to get a blanket. What  was this girl doing out here? There were no roads close by. How did she even get here? No matter, she was half dead and he needed to get her warm. He began unbuttoning her black wool coat.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

An Adirondack Mystery

Painting by David Bradshaw
         Red Snow on Cold River

     Wind whips across the frozen waters wailing like a wounded woman. Snow tears past me crashing into the great Seward Mountains rolling like a tidal wave back upon itself. I clutch my coat tighter around my trembling body.
     I see a light. I think, it is a campfire realizing in the next instant that it cannot be real. No one would build a campfire in a blizzard.
     I move onward. Behind the white curtain of snow, yellow flames flicker and  like a moth to flame, I pull one foot at a time out of the sucking thigh-deep snow inching my way toward the image. Now,  I can see that the light is coming through a window. My cold heart begins to thump. I try to hurry, but my lungs burn as I try to breathe. How long have I been walking? How did I get here?
      Suddenly, I see it! It is a cabin set high on a knoll nestled among the cedars taunt with strain from the horrific winds that beat against my head tearing at my thin red scarf. "You will not kill me!" I shriek like a madwoman to the wind. I clutch my scarf to me. The wind lost this time.
      I am still alive, but as I continue my slow trek up the knoll, I wonder why I keep falling. It is not such a big hill, yet my boots slide and now I am a reptile crawling on all fours. I see the door. I see the wooden handle made from the tree branch. I fall on my face. Icy needles poke into my skin. I move my head and stare at the light. I am so tired. I try to yell but there is no sound. I cannot move. I am so close. Please somebody. Snow races in like a thousand white vultures covering me. I am now one with the silent  snow-covered landscape of the little cabin on the river (to be continued)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Peaceful Moon

Harvest Moon
Thank you Hilary LeBlanc for this eerie, creepy magnificent picture of the October moon.
 I love this time of year, and Halloween is my second favorite holiday. I love coming home to my little house on the dirt road and passing by the pumpkin place(so named by me for my grandchildren). Every fall for the last eleven years my grandson and I have wandered onto this wonderful place where spiders roam and pumpkins stare at you straight on or cock-eyed lobed over on one side, some as big as beach balls and others pitiful small, the right size for my second grandson when he was ready to come along. Walk through the door and you are greeted by a lady with a knife in her hand. "Sample a Ida," she says. Chomping on the slice of Ida Red apple, next, comes the sweet alluring aroma of hot cider and apple pie.
And then the train; oh, the train. They tear from one end to the other. Out of there and into the tire sand box and up the hill to the tractor and then through the maze they've known by heart for years, yet, I still get lost and they gleefully guide me out.
On the way out, we have to run behind the wood fence and stick our faces through the holes. I cannot count how many pictures I have taken of them looking at me with a pig and sunflower face?
Ahh, what memories I have all sparked from this picture of the harvest moon. There is such beauty in the mysterious, such wonder and intrigue. I can imagine this moon lulling over a brown cornstalk garden with a scarecrow tilted to the right hanging in the prewinter wind.
I look out my door into the darkness. This amazing glowing globe has passed again this year and I am blessed to have seen it again. I will be standing on my porch next October saying with excitement, "
Daniel, look it's the harvest moon!" He will come running out and we will "Wow" it together. He will say, "Look, grandma, and there is; the big dipper, always straight in front of your house!"
"Yes, Daniel, there they are--this moon and this big dipper, stable and  unchanging in a volatile world of change." Peaceful Moon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Scotland Herald Final Edition

Scotland Trip overview
Here is a collage of our wonderful trip to Scotland. This will be the last post on the Scotland topic. We arrived home Thursday night exhausted because there is a five hour time difference so we had been up since 3:00 AM the previous morning. It was a wonderful experience and we met some neat people. Scotland has awesome rounded mountains with heather instead of trees. Everything is made of stone and many houses are hundreds of years old because the stone is so durable.
In the middle of this picture is Huntly Castle. Our ancestors were always in battle it seems. Quite the warriors. At the highland games, the man that led all the bands, and it was a spectacular sight, was from Huntly.In the picture on the left hand corner is the queen of England and Frederick, her husband. I also snapped a picture of Prince Charles.
The pictures with the birds were taken about three miles outside of Huntly at a falconry(we walked there and back). We handled falcons and an owl.
There are pictures of one of the cottages we stayed in and a picture of the castle hotel in Huntlly where the duke and duchess resided until a few years ago when they turned it into a hotel. We ate lunch there one day.
The picture of the mountain at the top is  Mt Marrone, the one we climbed. Below the mountain is my sister resting(and trying to stay warm in the Heather). It was very windy that day and it tended to blow us around.
The picture of the city on the bottom is Inverness. Wow! What a beautiful city! We stayed there for two days and the picture of the water and the black thing is Loch Ness. We hiked into the shore and I took this picture and sent it to the grandkids telling them it was the Lock Ness Monster!
We each got to have our picture taken with the bagpipers. They were so friendly and fun.
The photo in the upper right is an example of the houses in Huntly. Most of them have hundreds of beautiful flowers in their yards. They have a contest and prizes are given in August to the winner.
This was a trip of a lifetime--spending a month with my sister in a beautiful country. However, I have never seen anything as beautiful as the Adirondacks, especially now with the brilliant colors all around. I loved Scotland but God Bless America, land that I love!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Scotland Huntley Herald

Greetings from Braemar, Scotland,
And to the left here is me wee beautiful sister just a standin in the Heather.

A little Scottish talk for you. The mountains and hills here are covered with purple. They said it came out early this year so we missed much of it but as you can see, we can still enjoy the tail end of it. We walked what they call The Queen's trail yesterday and today we are going to the queen's castle where she actually lives sometimes. In fact, she stayed there during the games last weekend so she may be there.

I had to take this picture below because these are the trees Harry Potter stories are made of. I love them! They are really eerie! They are all crooked and twisted and so beautiful in there own crooked way(like many people I know including me). They would be perfect for Halloween and are just what fairy tales are made of. We met a group of people who hike every Monday. They call it the Health Walk. It was so cool meeting them. The leader brought coffee and tea in two containers and cups(real) and we sat down at one point and drank them and ate biscuits(cookies). What a great idea! Aw, heck, I just have to add their picture so here they are. Just scroll on down and you will see us. We know how to tell locals now. Locals all have walking sticks. People walk a lot here and most of them have dogs. They are nice sticks they buy in the store because unlike the Adirondacks where you can just pick out a good stick off the ground, they have very few trees that would yield the kind of wood needed to function as a walking stick.
     Headed to Huntly tomorrow. Fun, fun, fun, I get to drive again, this time to the airport in Aberdeen to return the car. We don't need it in Huntly so will return it. We actually only needed it to get from Fort William to Braemar because there was no transportation from the west to here. A little like the towns up in the Adirondacks. Well, must sign off for now. Do not know where I will find internet access in Huntly so it might be a long sign off. Cheerio.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Scotland Herald

Bed & Breakfast in Drumnadrochit
 Here is a place we stayed. The view was so gorgeous from our window. This is the place I tried Haggis and I won't tell you what it is made of but being the Scot that I am now, I had to try it. I have had Scotch steak pie everyday because I love it. Venita and I are walking everywhere. Who wants to be inside when there are hills of heather, blue/black waters of the Ness and wild wood paths to walk through. We rented a car with me the designated driver. Oh Lord, oh Lordy indeed! What a trip(no pun intended) from Inverness to Fort William, as I was getting used to sitting in the passenger's seat, driving on the opposite side of the
                                                                                                           road, and trying to get off circles called roundabouts. Wow, street lights are safer, but, oh those Scots, they just like being brave and plunging right in, no stopping, no red light, no car on the right has the right away. It's a free for all in the roundabouts, and so far I haven't caused too much commotion. Pray for us though, just in case.  Tomorrow we head for Braemar for the highland games. Can't wait! See you all at the next Wi-Fi place!                                                                                                      

Loch Ness

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Gail and a hot cup of coffee kind of morning: Tour to Oakney in Scotland

Gail and a hot cup of coffee kind of morning: Tour to Oakney in Scotland:  Hello from Scotland! This is the Ring of Brodgar in north Orkney. We took a bus and then a ferry across the ocean to this place. Stones a...

Tour to Oakney in Scotland

 Hello from Scotland! This is the Ring of Brodgar in north Orkney. We took a bus and then a ferry across the ocean to this place. Stones are in a perfect circle, and like Stonehenge in England, no one knows for sure why this was done.

The picture below is at Skara Brae, also in Orkney. This village was discovered when a giant storm uncovered the ancient stone houses. They are not sure why it was abandoned or where the people went. They did not even know it was there until around the 1980s. We saw how they lived surrounded by stone. Everything is stone here in Scotland, even today, and everywhere you look is ancient history.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's Up these days


This picture is tagged as street and land view, Long Lake, 1917. I love doing research. Spent the day Monday at the Adirondack museum library. Jerry was very accommodating, and I got to stay there for hours! I was thrilled! I have several interviews coming up before my departure to Scotland for a month. I am looking forward to them.

I appreciate everyone taking their time to tell me what Long Lake was like when their parents were here, and when they were growing up in this little town. Book 2 on the history will be a wonderful documentation of the lives of Long Lake residents in the 20's, 30's, 40's and beyond. I am learning so much from the old timers and could sit and listen to them for hours!

For those of you who do not know, Book 1, Conquering the Wild, is available in several places in town and around the Adirondacks. Or, you can order it directly from me by emailing me with your address. It is also available at www.gailhuntley.com and in ebooks at www.amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. It is a keepsake or a wonderful gift for family members to pass down to their children.

I am getting packed for Scotland. Venita and I are leaving next Wednesday, Aug 28. We will be arriving in Aberdeen, Scotland the next morning. Sometimes I just can't believe this life I have. It is such a blessing that life isn't fair because if it was, I would not be having these wonderful experiences. I get to spend a month with my awesome sister living in stone cottages in Huntly, and Braemar, Scotland. We will be within a five minute walk of Huntly and will stay there almost two weeks.

Of course, I am bringing my computer so when we are in internet territory, I will be emailing pictures, etc. I can't envision looking at those hills of heather and not going home and writing about them.

If you haven't, please join my blog and feel free to leave comments. I enjoy reading what you have to say. Take care and remember, this is the first day of the rest of your life!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Cast of Mystery of the Buttercup

Well, here we are, the cast of The Mystery of the Buttercup. Friday night we presented
 the play to a packed house. What a wonderful turn out from the locals and the visitors!
What an awesome group of people to work with on the play. It made my job so
much easier because they were all so helpful and kind.
This weekend has been filled with wonderful historic happenings. On Saturday, five
people shared with us their experiences while working at the Sagamore Hotel in
the 1930s and 1940s. They did an excellent job. At the end of their talks, there
were numerous questions. We all laughed at some of their exploits
while learning much about those years..
Last night, Hallie Bond gave a delightful talk on the history of guide boats in
Long Lake and today we are looking forward to two guide boat builders sharing
their knowledge and expertise with us.
I am so grateful that I was raised in this little town with all its wonderful history. As
a teenager, I remember saying, "I am so bored. I can't wait to leave," yet there was
always another part of me that loved Long Lake, and I cried at graduation knowing
I would be leaving my friends and this town. Today, I am no longer saying that I
am bored. I am saying that I am so grateful to live here again. I have come back
here several times with my sons who also attended Long Lake Central. Now, I have
the opportunity to once again gaze out at the tendrils of mist floating off Mt
Sabattis in the wee morning hours. It doesn't get much better than this.!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good Morning Adirondackers and Shenandoah Valleyers and all the other ers popping into my blog,

So nice of you to visit. I had a wonderful day yesterday with my lifelong friend, Bobbie. It is amazing how friendships just stay no matter how long it has been or what age.

My new book is flying off the shelves, and I am flying around restocking the shelves  with this historical account of the men, women, and children who settled up here in a little town named Long Lake. The book begins with a struggling family housed in a rugged log cabin and ends with the grandeur of a five story hotel erected on the shores of Long Lake.

You can purchase the book on Thursday mornings at the farm market from me; in Long Lake. The following stores are carrying the book: Incapaco Artisans, Hoss's Country Corner, or the Adirondack Trading Post. In Blue Mountain at the Adirondack Museum; Inlet at the Adirondack Reader; Warrensburg at the Willows, and Tupper Lake at Sun Creations. You might also visit my website www.gailhuntley.com or go to www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com. If the ebook is not out yet, it will be shortly. Or, come to authors night at Hoss's Country Corner on August 13th.

My other book, Blunt Force Winds, is also available at these places.

Again, thank you for visiting my blog. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, contact info or even recipes :)(I like to cook).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In the Present is a present

 Keeping very busy this summer. Climbed a mountain, took pictures and they did not come out. Lots of dental work so travelling to Glens Falls quite often. My writing class started and I am enjoying that time with other writers. Play practice for Mystery of the Buttercup is challenging, fun, and coming together. Wonderful cast. Bright, helpful, and caring.

What an exciting group has come together for the Sagamore Hotel reminiscence. They all remember the hotel and they all have different experiences. I so enjoy talking with them and so admire them.

Been to Lake Eaton with my friend and going again tomorrow. Walking with Kato and taking him for his "Morning swimming." He loves it!

Setting up interviews for book II. Book I Conquering the Wild, is still "Coming Soon." Now, it is scheduled to come out around the 25th. I am now just taking it one day at a time. Acceptance is the key--the book will be out when it is out. I will be selling it at the farmers Market in Long Lake and it will be in the local stores and on my website, www.gailhuntley.com and on eBooks. I have several book signings and talks coming up, so the books can be purchased at all of these events. Life is good and just keeps getting better! Wow, what a deal I have been blessed with--just try to be kind, caring, and passionate, and great events will come to pass!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happenings today, tomorrow, and Scotland

I am still waiting for the books. Publishing is a wonderful way to practice patience. Twenty five of them are supposed to be here any day. As I wait, I enjoy the time spent with my family. Ricky and my two grandsons are up here in Long Lake with me. Last night, there were several kids and adults at a family bar b que my sister put on. The kids swam, fished, built giant holes in the beach, and ran around the woods playing all kinds of games. Awesome; no electronic games, just plain old outside kid fun! The adults kayaked, cooked, and sat around enjoying finding out what everybody did over the winter. What a great time.

We had our first play practice for my play entitled Mystery of the Buttercup, which is a historical event that took place in Long Lake in 1885. It went well. We will have dress rehearsal on August 7, and the play will be August 9 at 7:30 at the Long Lake Town Hall where the mystery will be revealed. I have contacted the Adirondack Creative Arts Center in Blue Mountain Lake, and they kindly offered costumes, and props I may be able to use.

On August 10 at 1:30 PM during the Historical Weekend Exhibit, we are planning to have a panel of old timers who worked at the once magnificent Sagamore Hotel. They will relate a story or two about what it was like to work there, what they did, and how the hotel looked. One panel member told me that it was a spectacular sight at night with all the lights on. She said it looked like a castle!

My creative writing class starts July 10th, and I am so looking forward to seeing some of my old friends who have come almost every year. I am also looking forward to meeting new people. The sessions go from 11:30-1:00PM, and you can come to one session or all five, and the best part is that they are FREE. We actually write most of the time we are there. One participant has written three songs. We have fun and it doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a published author, and if you write fiction, nonfiction, poetry or music. You will fit in.

Busy summer planned including going to Scotland with my sister on August 28th for a month. What a life! What a gift I have been given!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Long Lake, long fingers.

Benjamin Emerson
One would think that nothing could touch this remote community and the young lovers hidden away in the crags and crevices of these domed mountains, but war has long fingers. This war was a travesty that brought brother against brother; this was the Civil War, which threatened to divide the nation. One fine fall day as Benjamin and Lavonia were finishing their harvest, they spoke of the unspoken. Lavonia had heard about the war. She knew several men who had been called to serve. “Oh, Benjamin, I hope you don’t have to go.”
“Now, Lavonia, I don’t want to go, but I will serve my country if called. In 1862, he was called, and with tears and fears, Lavonia kissed the man she loved good-bye knowing that she may never see him again. Many nights, she sat alone in their cabin on the dark backfield writing to her Benjamin. Working hard helped relieve some of her fears. One gray morning the following spring, she was digging through the dirt preparing a garden. Lavonia was struggling with the rocks, thick tough tree roots, and near impenetrable hardpan soil. She did not hear the man slowly approaching her.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Beginning of the Hotel Adirondack


In 1878, Cyrus approached Henry Austin with a proposal. “I’ll tell you what, Henry; I know you have wanted to buy my hotel (Long Lake Hotel) for some time. I would like to sell it to you now.”

“Uh huh, and what are you asking for it?” Henry knew the Kelloggs, and he knew they did not miss a turn to earn a dollar, so he expected a high price.

“Well that depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether you have the money to buy it, and whether you would be willing to help me build a new place.”
“A new place; where?”
“Down the road on the lake next to the pond.”
“You’re joshing me.”
“Nope, I’m serious.”
“Why would you want to build there? That ain’t no pond. It’s a swamp.”
“I got my reasons…”

Monday, April 29, 2013

Long Span Bridge on Long Lake


       In order to accommodate the steamboats and the increasing population, the people had to look at the old structures put in place many years before. One structure, the float bridge, was rotting and hazardous, but the town refused to appropriate money to build a new one. After several accidents on the bridge, and Isaac Robinson suing the town because his horse fell through it and drowned, they shut the structure down, and Frank Burch ran a ferry across the lake.

Long span bridge with scow under it

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mail to Long Lake in the mid 1800s

Down Maple Ave before 1890
Later, Lucius Henderson carried the mail from Long Lake to Newcomb, Aiden Lair, Minerva, and Olmstedville by horse. Eunice Helms walked three miles to the village post office during those early days. One day she received a letter informing her that her brother, Ransom Palmer had lost an arm in the Battle of the Wilderness. She went into the small store that was in part of the hotel and remarked to Cyrus Kellogg, “I declare, Cyrus, you would think in this age, one could hear about a loved one sooner than a month after the injury.” She was in tears.
“Really, Mrs. Helms, is it Ransom?”
“Yes, yes it is. He has been shot and has lost his arm.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Young Man in Early Times

I love this picture of one of the relatives of  the early pioneers of Long Lake, NY.  If anyone knows who he is, send me a comment.

Finally, I have sent my second manuscript, Conquering the Wild, into the publisher. I spent an enormous amount of time doing research, then came the writing, and the dreaded edit and wait process.

This book is set in the Adirondack Mountains. The story describes the struggles these pioneers had with the weather and navigation extremes. It is a historical novel with several pictures and maps.

I have tried to tell the story of the men, women, and children who lived during the 1800s. I hope everyone enjoys it and finds something they can relate to within the pages.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Grove

Grove Guide House and Barn

Henry Austin continued to operate the Long Lake Hotel for quite a few years. One day his son, David, approached him with an idea. He wanted to open his own tourist house. 
Henry thought for a moment and then replied, “You know, you would be in direct competition to me, don’t you?”
“Yes, dad, but in a smaller way. Besides, there are so many people coming here now, that you turn people away every night.”
“Where will you build it?”
“Down in the grove. That way I’ll catch people coming in from the south.
“Sounds like a good plan, son.” David went on to build and open the boarding house, which 

was filled up every night. He called it The Grove. He catered to sportsmen and worked with 

guides such as John and Jerry Plumley, Amos Hough, Henry Stanton, the Robinson men, 
Sabattis men, Reuben Cary, and Alonzo Wood.

Friday, March 1, 2013

All is not as it seems for Betsey Sargent

          The following week, James began cutting down trees making way for a garden in order to get the crops in before summer. It would be tricky just like in Vermont. Planting too early could mean a late May frost, but setting seeds too late may not allow for a long enough growing season. That afternoon, Betsey prepared venison stew for dinner. The luscious smell of venison permeated the little cabin and Betsey hummed as she set the table. She was an adapter. Betsey had the mind to adjust to whatever came her way, and as she gazed out the window at the afternoon sun sprinkling diamonds on the blue lake waters, she thought, I am going to like this place, and she did until 5:30 PM, when James was still not home.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Robert Sargent visits the Kellers and Plumleys

As he stepped into his boat, Mrs. Keller invited him to return for supper one night and meet David. He vowed to do so, thanked her, and pushed off down the lake to visit the other neighbor, Joel Plumley. Robert steered the large pine bark canoe to within ten feet of their shore and hollered, “Hello, hello there, I’m Robert Sargent!” All was silent on this homestead. Hmm, he thought, must have gone down the lake. As he pulled back on the paddle maneuvering left, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a face peering out of a window; however, just as quickly, it disappeared. Hum, must have been the sun casting a shadow, he thought as he dug in his paddle and proceeded on down the lake.

Monday, January 14, 2013

An episode in the life of Zenas Parker and Barton Burlingame

Zenas came back from the field, noticed that Barton had not returned, and began to prepared supper. He figured that Barton must have had a great time fishing with Sarah Keller, and Christine invited him to stay for dinner.

 Later on that evening, Zenas went down to the lake to catch some bullhead. Perched precariously in the brush was Barton's canoe. He pulled the boat in wondering why Barton would have left it there. So he had come back, but where was he? Zen went back into the cabin and then to the shed. Inside the shed to the right of the door, was Barton’s gun. Strange, thought Zenas. Then, he notice that the whiskey barrel cover was ajar. He looked at the gun, puzzled because he knew Barton would never go anywhere without his gun. His eyes fell back on the whiskey barrel. He shuttered with dread as an image began to form in his mind.