Wednesday, August 29, 2007

1000 Island Bridge photo

Ann Hunter of Alexandria Bay took the time to come down and snap this photo of the Common Man tour as it passed under the 1000 Islands bridge as few days ago. Thanks, Ann.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Shoreline briefing

Although wind and waves thwarted a dramatic waterborne entrance, that didn't stop the Common Man from holding a shoreline briefing for about 20 citizens at the Wellesley Island State Park Nature Center on Friday. Tales of life in the 1000 Islands area during the French and Indian war were told as the waves of Eel Bay lapped behind us.
Tomorrow (Saturday the 25th), it's on to a booksigning at the Cornwall Brothers Store in downtown Alexandria Bay to benefit the Historical Society. Join us there from 1-4 pm.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alex Bay Historical Society

Sarah More from Waddington, NY dressed in 1750's attire to provide moral support to the Common Man at the Alexandria Bay presentation on Thursday evening the 23rd of August. Sarah actually had a relative who fought in the French and Indian War as a militiaman.
The presentation on the French and Indian War - The Basics was very well received by about 40 people from the Alexandria Bay area.
Thanks for the moral support Sarah!
(Photo by Ann West)

Boat traffic

This photo taken by Ann West from the front of the Common Man canoe shows just how big some of the ships are on the St. Lawrence. The canoeists of the 1750's didn't see this kind of boat traffic on the St. Lawrence, nor anywhere else.

The Kayak Trip

The Common Man Tour stopped near Alexandria Bay, NY on August 21st to lead a flotilla of about 18 kayaks up Crooked Creek. The event was sponsored by the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT). A good time was had by all as we spotted wildlife and enjoyed a nice paddle on a beautiful evening.

Another Fan!

In the Clayton area this critter came out to see the Common Man tour pass by his home. Apparently our fame has spread to the Mink community as well.

On the St. Lawrence!

This photo is of my trusted Indian guide, Raised By Wolves (Patsy Sweet), in the front of the Common Man Tour canoe on the St. Lawrence River. It was taken somewhere between Clayton, NY and Goose Bay, NY on August 20th, but we just got somewhere with Internet access.
More to follow on our trip down the St. Lawrence River......

Thursday, August 16, 2007

St. Lawrence River, here we come!

It's a BIG river steeped in history. It was the primary French trade route for a couple hundred years. The fur trade flourished on it. 36 ft. long canoes braved its rapids to take tradegoods upriver to the Great Lakes, and bring furs downriver destined for the markets in Europe.
Today, oceangoing freighters and tankers ply its waters on their way to the heartland of America. Iron ore, coal and other commodities come back down it, headed for worldwide destinations.
We'll "arrive" in Cape Vincent at 2 pm on the 18th. That's where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.
Catch our "French and Indian War in the 1000 Islands" presentation at 7 pm on Thursday the 23rd at the Cornwall Brothers Store in Alex Bay. Or, catch us for another "arrival" presentation at Wellesley Island State Park's Nature Center at 3 pm on the 24th.
And pick up some of our Thousand Island area books and trail guides at our booksigning from 1-4 pm on Saturday the 25th.
Between gigs, catch us sailing, rowing, paddling or motoring down the St. Lawrence River from Cape Vincent to Morristown during our stay.
And please, wish us good weather and fair westerly winds.
Thanks for tuning in,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

300 Miles of History - Current updates

Weather, winds and waves have hampered our exploration of Lake George by water for several days. So we've taken to the land to explore our 1750's era history.

1. The hazy picture above is a view from Pilot Knob Ridge. It overlooks the South Basin of Lake George. In the 1750's French scouts would have been able to monitor British activity from this vantage point. So we climbed up it about a mile, and 600 feet of elevation, to see what the French might have seen. It overlooks Assembly Point where the British would organize men, boats and cannons to travel north to attack French positions. From this vantage point it would have been easy to determine if there were 500 men, 5000, or the 15,000 that eventually headed up the Lake to attack Fort Ticonderoga. It was hot, hazy and raining, but we still got a great sense of history from this vantage point.

2. With the help of Eileen Hannay from the Rogers Island Visitors Center, we're on the track of the whaleboats that mysteriously appeared on Lake Champlain and took 8 French prisoners. That was a Roger's Rangers expedition. The boats came up from Albany, were transported to Lake George and were rowed or sailed up Lake George to Hulett's Landing. Then they were carried 6 miles over the mountain and put into Lake Champlain for the raids on French positions. (If any of you are interested in helping me carry my 125 pound Gheenoe over the same 6 mile trek over the mountain to simulate what they did with 5 whaleboats, call me. I will immediately transfer your call to the nearest insane asylum where you can admit yourself.) LOL

3. And lastly, i told you Raised by Wolves (Patsy Sweet) was tough and adventurous enough to travel a few miles on this trip. Well she is back in the mountains now, but we just got a note from her. It reads as follows: "Last couple of days have been interesting. It concerns a large blackberry bush and a 450 lb bear. The trick is to get to the blackberry bush in the early evening, before the bear gets there in order to get the berries that have ripened that day. So far he has torn apart a large portion of the bush and torn limbs off of an apple tree nearby. The owner of the blackberry bush won't go near it."
But, of course, RBW is eating blackberries every night! And you thought YOUR trip to the grocery store was interesting.

That's my update on our trip. Tell all your friends and have them buy lots of our hiking and biking and canoeing/kayaking books through

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Booksigning - Aug 1

In this photo Bob Beyerbach, the publisher of the Common Man Book Series, poses with his children, and with co-authors Mike Carpenter and Roger Fulton (AKA The Common Man) at Glens Falls Printing's annual customer appreciation day. We signed a few books, ate some dogs and burgers and enjoyed the afternoon.
Back on tour on Friday up on Lake George! Wish us luck.