A new book encouraging people to visit every town and village in the Adirondacks, including St. Lawrence County destinations, has been published.
Martin Podskoch’s latest book, “The Adirondack 102 Club: Your Passport and Guide to the North Country,” follows his well received books on Adirondack and Catskill fire towers.
The idea for the 102 Club began after Podskoch read about Dr. Arthur Peach in a 2005 issue of American Profile Magazine. Peach, in a story in Vermont Life magazine, suggested the idea of an informal group, the 251 Club, to veer off the beaten path “to discover the secret and lovely places that main roads do not reveal.” He felt that every part of Vermont had its beauty, history, attractions, traditions, and interesting people.
Podskoch said in the book’s introduction, “Since 2001, I traveled to all of the 102 towns and villages in the Adirondacks gathering stories for my five books on the Adirondack fire towers, the Civilian Conservation Corps camps, and Adirondack lore. In my travels people have taken me in for the night and shared their home, food, and stories. I have met so many wonderful people and seen so many interesting places that I want to share my experience.
“Most people who visit the Adirondacks visit one particular area. For eight years I wondered if I might be able to duplicate for the Adirondacks what Dr. Peach did for Vermont.
Last December, Podskoch spoke at a meeting of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages and proposed the idea of starting the 102 Club for the Adirondacks. The AATV liked the idea and encouraged him to contact the supervisors and mayors for their help.
“I asked each town and village for someone to write a short description highlighting the town or village’s location, history and interesting places to visit. By June 2014, 108 representatives including, historians, supervisors, assessors, chambers of commerce, and residents replied with descriptions.”
The result is this comprehensive guide to travelers in a quest to visit all 102 towns and villages. Club members also learn about the history and fascinating places in the Adirondacks. By getting their book signed or stamped by a resident or business, they also get to know the friendly locals and be able to ask about good places to eat or about interesting local attractions.
There are no rules or requirements to be a member. One may keep a journal in addition to this book on the quest. There is no membership fee, just a desire to experience the whole Adirondack region. Adults and children of all ages can be members. Most members will travel by car while others might use a bike, motorcycle, walk, or maybe a canoe.
Someone who has reached the goal of visiting all 102 towns and villages becomes a “Vagabond” member.
New York State Sen. Betty Little wrote the preface for the book and said, “The ‘Adirondack 102 Club’ is inspired in part by the early 20th Century Adirondack travels of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs – innovators whose shared pursuit of lifelong learning brought them together to the Adirondacks.
"I hope you, too, are inspired to explore the Adirondacks and to learn something new and unexpected about our history, our traditions, our way of life and our future.
"It is one thing to say: 'I visited the Adirondacks,' quite another to say 'I experienced the Adirondacks.' I promise an enriching journey and encourage you to do so with friends and loved ones with this unique passport in hand. A great adventure awaits!”
Marty Podskoch has authored six other books: Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore, two volumes of the Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts and the Northern Districts, and also Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches and Adirondack Stories II: 101 More Historical Sketches.
He was awarded the Arthur E. Newkirk ADK Mountain Club Education Award in 2013 for achievement in chronicling the social history and lore of the Catskills and Adirondack fire towers and of the Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps camps.
The new 216-page, large-format hardcover book is available in local stores for $20. It can also be purchased by contacting the author at [email protected] or (860-267-2442) or at 43 O’Neill Lane, East Hampton, CT 06424