Years ago, while camped along the shore of Grass Pond, which is located a full day’s paddle into the Lows Lake/Bog River Flow, there was a perceptible and regular rumbling that could be heard in the late afternoon stillness.
Natural sounds such as thunder are not considered noise pollution, even if accompanied by winds and rain that can ruin the day. At first I wrote the low rumbles off as thunderstorms in the far distance, despite the lack of any apparent flashes of lightning.
My guest claimed the “silence is deafing,” despite the intrusion of the distant rumbling.
Years later, I determined the rumbling was actually a result of artillery practice at Fort Drum, over 40 miles removed from Lows Lake.
At a recent scientific meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, researchers reported that transportation noise is now audible in many wilderness areas during 30 percent or more of daylight hours. Current research indicates that road noise from vehicles and other human sources regularly penetrates even the wildest places in North America to a staggering degree.
Although the Adirondack region encompasses some of the most remote wilderness tracts in the eastern U.S., a major portion of the Park’s lands are located less than eight miles from the nearest paved road. Eight miles is considered the benchmark distance that road noise sound can carry, depending on such factors as wind, weather and barometric conditions.
Unfortunately, it is all but impossible to completely escape the moans and groans of the modern world.
Regardless of the distance removed from civilization, there is no escaping the sight or sounds of a passing jet plane. However, such minor disturbances should be of little concern to those travelers who pass through the wilderness for purposes other than solitude and relaxation among the quiet places.
Increasingly, the adventure of outdoor sporting competition is gaining in popularity and participation among runners, paddlers, bikers and even anglers.
Here’s a synopsis of some of the upcoming adventure competitions for the 2010 season:
15th annual Black Fly Challenge Bike Race
The annual Black Fly Challenge Mountain Bike Race will take place June 12. The popular race follows a 40-mile course through the Moose River Plains Recreational Area from Inlet to the finish in Indian Lake.
The classic Adirondack mountain bike race changes direction every year with the start and finish alternating between Indian Lake and Inlet. Over half the 40-mile course traverses the rugged Moose River Plains Recreation Area on mountain roads composed of dirt, gravel, sand and exposed boulders with several steep elevation changes. Top racers finish the race in about two hours while the rest of the field may take four or more hours.
It’s called a mountain bike race but there’s a strong cyclocross contingent and that category appears to be growing, especially among the top finishers.
The entry fee is $30 if postmarked by May 21, $35 after that date. Last year’s event set a record with 300 entries, so register early if you want to participate.
For more information, including registration forms, visit the race’s website: www.blackflychallenge.com. For additional information, call Pedals & Petals Bike Shop at 315-357-3281.
The Rogers Rangers Triathlon Challenge
Its original co-founder, Dr. Dave Bannon and Rogers Island Visitors Center, has resurrected the Rogers Rangers Challenge.
The original Challenge, which began in 1991 and ended in 2001, included run, paddle and bike events. This race is dedicated to the memory of Major Robert Rogers and his Independent Company of Rangers who lived on Rogers Island at Fort Edward during the French and Indian War.
The revived triathlon will begin at the Hogtown trailhead on Buck Mountain in the Town of Fort Ann at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 13. Registration for the Challenge is due by May 23.
The race consists of a 7-mile run over Buck Mountain to the Fort Ann Beach on Lake George, a 3-mile canoe/kayak trip from the beach to Dome Island on the lake and back to the beach where the bike portion takes competitors through beautiful Washington County backroads to the finish at Rogers Island Visitors Center on Rogers Island in Fort Edward.
The event is open to teams or individuals. It will feature French and Indian War and Native American reenactors along the route.
Registration forms can be found at www.rogersisland.org. For more information, call Rogers Island Visitors Center at 518-747-3693. Proceeds for this event benefit Rogers Island Visitors Center
Sixth annual Great Adirondack Trail Run
The Mountaineer will host the sixth annual Great Adirondack Trail Run on Saturday, June 19.
Featuring an 11.5-mile mountain run with 2,900 feet of vertical gain and 3,100 feet of loss, this is a wilderness trail run. There will be no support. Participants are on their own from start to finish and will need their own water, food and all other supplies.
The event will also feature a 3.5-mile fun run. All proceeds from the events benefit the Ausable and Boquet River Associations. Festivities will include a return of Barton Merle-Smith and his band “Dirt Road” with great tunes as well as good food and fun activities for youngsters.
The trail run has already been filled for this year, however the 3.5-mile fun run is still open. It will begin at 10 a.m. from the Baxter Mountain Tavern on Route 9N between Keene and Elizabethtown. Contact The Mountaineer at 576-2281 for further information.
The Wakley X
The Wakely X celebrates the 10th anniversary of the granddaddy of all trail runs in the Adirondack Park on July 24. The event is a wilderness run that travels along and through a remote and uninterrupted section of the Northville-Placid Trial between Piseco Lake and Wakely Dam.
The Damn Wakely Dam Ultra features no cross roads or aid stations. Runners must be prepared to complete the entire 32.6 miles of the rugged technical trail unassisted. It’s just you, the trail and the company of like-minded runners.
Registration for this year’s event has already been completed.
11th Annual Ausable River Two Fly
On Saturday, May 22, flyfishers will meet at the Wilmington Regional Visitors Bureau at 6:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts to check in for the 11th annual Ausable River Two Fly event.
The event will pair anglers who will choose two barbless flies to fish with for the entire day. Lose a fly to a tree and another to a fish, and you’re out of the competition.
Fishing is permitted only in public access waters on the Ausable River. Scholarships are available for children under 16 through the Wilmington Youth Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Ausable River Association. For information and registration, call 518-946-2255 or e-mail: info@Ausableflyfishing.com.
Hendrickson Hatch Fly Fishing Tournament
The annual Hendrickson hatch flyfishing tournament will take place June 5 and 6 on the Salmon River, between the Chasm Falls dam and state Route 37 in Westville. Registration will take place at North Country Community College between 8:00 and 9:45 a.m. on June 5. Registration fee is $30, $15 for kids 12-and-under.
Registration fee includes miscellaneous gifts at registration, an invitation to Saturday evening’s reception at Gallagher’s restaurant, and a ribs and chicken BBQ on Sunday afternoon. Family members are invited to the BBQ for $10. Kids eat free.
All tournament proceeds go to the Malone Revitalization Foundation for continued enhancement of the Salmon River. Contact 483-6333 or visit hendricksonhatch.org.