Shaun Kittle

Recent Blog Posts

We all look at life through the window of our own experiences, and that's what John Brown Day is all about. I remember growing up in Vestal, New York, and thinking my childhood was the standard for childhoods everywhere. My mother and father were together, we had food, and we lived in a small house. It was sometime in elementary school when I realized some of my classmates' families had a lot more — and some had a lot less — than my own family. Around the same time, my mother started teaching me about the experience of Native Americans — the real experience, not the... continue reading
It was a warmer-than-normal winter, so I wasn't surprised to find myself on a hydrocycle last week. I've tried a lot of mountain sports like snowboarding, butt sliding, and rock and ice climbing. I've marched for miles through the woods with 30 pounds on my back, I've done 18-mile day hikes, and I've paddled numerous waterways. But I'd never pedaled across a lake before. I headed to Mirror Lake Boat Rentals which is easily found at 2403 Main Street and the corner of Mirror Lake Drive Street - look for a dock filled with a colorful variety of watersport equipment. A... continue reading
I'm usually covered in mud when I visit the ADK Cafe, but the mountains on the restaurant's walls assure me that's OK. I remember when I discovered the cozy Keene cafe almost four years ago. It was August, Anna and I were newly married, and we had just finished a grueling hike up Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge. When good days turn bad We had followed the steep and exposed ridge trail up the 4,627-foot Giant under blue skies, then taken the right turn that's one-tenth of a mile from the summit to head toward Rocky. The trail descends the side... continue reading
The deafening crack happened as soon as I turned my back on Rainbow Falls. It was sharp, like a rifle blast, and followed by a slushy sliding sound that could only mean one thing. Something big was falling. Without hesitation I scurried down the trail and ducked behind a pair of boulders, where I felt safe from whatever was headed my way. As I peeked out from my impromptu stronghold, I was surprised that I couldn't find any evidence of ice dislodging from the mostly frozen waterfall. Everything looked intact and the gorge was quiet again, save for the interminable sound of flowing... continue reading
The snow blew past us in horizontal streaks as the yawning mouth of Indian Pass faded in and out of sight like a 1,000-foot-tall ghost. The nearby mountains — giants Marcy and Algonquin, among others — also did a disappearing act as the cloud cover that carried the snow churned against their steep slopes. I explained to my hiking partner, Anna, what the view from Mount Jo looks like on a clear day. "There's Colden and Cascade and Iroquois," I said, pointing into the gray.  Even with the on-again, off-again view, Anna's smile never waned. She had been living in... continue reading
I spend a lot of time hiking in the Adirondacks, but I'd never seen the backcountry at 40 miles per hour until last week. My first time riding a snowmobile was more than 20 years ago, and I think I've only been on one once since then. The sleds of the 1990s were loud, bulky, terrifying machines that seemed as apt to overturn and crush their riders as to providing high-speed fun. I remember clinging to the person who was driving the cumbersome beast as she maneuvered the thing down narrow forest corridors, over dips and around sharp bends. My sense of adventure loved it; my sense of... continue reading
Peter Fish doesn't know how to stop being Peter Fish. Between jokes that would keep any well-intentioned interviewer on his toes — "What brought you to the Adirondacks?" (Answer: "A car") — he spoke of his affinity for the Adirondacks. Something here grabbed a hold of him more than 50 years ago and never let go. He likes open summits, the islands of rock in the High Peaks that, as he put it, "make you feel like you're on a mountain." But there's more to it than that. Peter isn't a peak-bagging junky, hitting the trail just to tally big miles and big elevation gains. During his time... continue reading


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