PLATTSBURGH — Traveling the route of the Adirondack Canoe Classic, Gary Peacock uncovered stories of the Adirondacks’ past and present.
That trip inspired the presentation “Paddling an Adirondack Super Highway: From Old Forge to Saranac Lake,” which Peacock will deliver at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, to the Adirondack Mountain Club Algonquin Chapter.
Open to all, it will be held before the club’s regular meeting in the upstairs conference room at the Old Clinton County Court House in Plattsburgh.
SURVEY OF VISITORS
Also known as the 90-miler, the Adirondack Canoe Classic is a three-day canoe race held every summer from Old Forge to Saranac Lake.
Although he didn’t compete in the race itself, Peacock followed the route for six days as research for an essay he was writing for a SUNY Plattsburgh class.
He developed a survey to give to any travelers he encountered during the trip. After getting some general information, Peacock asked each person to share a specific Adirondack memory.
Of the roughly 50 memories that Peacock collected, the one that stood out the most was from a 21-year-old woman from New Jersey.
Her parents had owned a cottage at the Ausable Club in Keene Valley. A family gathering was held there with aunts, uncles and cousins when the girl was 8 or 9 years old.
Early one morning, while she was still sleeping, her uncle started chanting and waking the family up.
“Give me a ‘G’. Give me an ‘I’. Give me an ‘A’,” Peacock said, imitating the uncle’s shouting.
The chant, which spelled out the word “giant,” was motivation for the family to start an early morning trek up nearby Giant Mountain. The climb was challenging and left most of the family exhausted.
Yet, to mark their triumph over the mountain, a photo was taken of the family using their bodies to spell out the same letters the uncle had shouted that morning.