This rainy weather hasn't done anyone any favors, including me. While I didn't face the tragic problems that some of the residents in the Fort Plain area did, I still found it necessary to cancel an early July vacation trip to Calgary, Alberta, Canada because, as bad as our rain has been hereabouts, the weather in Alberta was 10 times as bad and the flooding caused by the overflowing Bow River was tremendous.
According to one local resident, it was the worst he has seen in over 30 years. Even parts of the Trans-Canada Highway were closed because in areas it suffered washouts and was essentially impassable because of all the rain and damage. Local roads in that area also suffered, and it was well nigh impossible to get from Calgary to Banff, where my wife and I were to stay and which would have served as a "base of operations" during our trip.
When the road between the two communities was partially repaired and opened late last week, the drive became a seven-and-a-half hour one rather than the normal 90 minutes. I only saw the devastation on TV but it was considerable in Calgary and Banff and many surrounding communities, with lives lost and cars and homes washed away.
I even canceled a scheduled fishing trip for lakers and Rocky Mountain whitefish in Lake Minnewanka near Banff. To make a long story short, we held off canceling the trip to Alberta until the last possible moment, but when it was reported that a railroad trestle had partially collapsed near Calgary June 27 - with a train on it - we decided it was time. The parallels between their flood and ours here in the Mohawk Valley are almost surreal.
That trestle collapse was the clincher. We decided discretion was the better part of valor, so we canceled everything that day -- airlines, hotels, auto rentals and side trips. In addition, we might have experienced problems with leaving the area a week later because our air carrier ceased operations at the Calgary airport and there were no guarantees when it might be restored.
That's my "tale of woe" for today, though my personal role in it pales in comparison to what our Fort Plain citizens experienced. My experience with flooding was merely an inconvenience while theirs was tragic and heart-wrenching. There's little comparison between the two, but it does effectively illustrate the power of Mother Nature, in two places a continent apart.
Here's a reminder that the First Annual Adirondack Challenge will be July 21 in Indian Lake. Festivities include a 15-mile Flatwater Challenge Canoe Race, featuring over 100 competitors from across the United States and Canada; the Governor's Invitational Whitewater Race featuring state and local elected officials and other invited guests; and the Adirondack Challenge Festival, an all-day celebration in Indian Lake's Byron Park.
The festival will include live bands, a food area with NYS-made food and beverages, displays, kids' activities, crafts, a race awards ceremony, a wildlife demonstration and much more. What a great way to celebrate the Adirondacks in general and Hamilton County in particular.
There are plenty of other events going on this summer throughout the Adirondack Region. You can pick up a booklet describing many of them at any Adirondack region tourism center.
A few months back I told you about Horton Crossbows closing its doors rather suddenly. Now it's official: Ten Point Crossbow Technologies now owns Horton. More to follow when additional information becomes available.
AN INCREASING PROBLEM
For the past decade or so tick populations have increased substantially across the nation, including here in New York state. As a result, experts say we can expect to see more ticks in more places this year. So far, there have been some 98,500 confirmed cases of Lyme disease here in NYS since it became reportable in 1986.
The wet, rainy, warm weather we've been experiencing of late is ideal for deer ticks, as well as other ticks, so if you spend much time out of doors safeguard yourself and your pets against these disease-carrying critters. Follow the suggestions I've offered in this column recently. If you do contract Lyme disease, early treatment with antibiotics can bring about rapid and complete recovery. If left untreated however, the disease can result in severe health problems.