Books for sale at ADK’s online auction

Paddle Cover finalIf you want to buy someone a holiday gift and help a worthwhile nonprofit at the same time, check out the books for sale on the Adirondack Mountain Club’s online auction. Among the items for sale are Michael Virtanen’s two novels, The River’s Tale and Within a Forest Dark, and Phil Brown’s guidebook Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures. You also can bid on subscriptions to the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, which is edited by Brown.

The bidding ends on November 30.



Reviewer calls Virtanen novel ‘absorbing’

River Tales front cover finalElizabeth Floyd Mair calls Michael Virtanen’s novel The River’s Tale “absorbing” in the Sunday edition of the Albany Times Union.

“This absorbing crime novel focuses on Alison Reade, who flees an obsessive ex-boyfriend by abandoning a teaching assistantship at a college in New York City and heading for a remote cabin in the Adirondacks to live with a beloved aunt. Soon, however, she finds that even the deep wilderness isn’t as safe as she had hoped,” Mair writes.

Mair gave top billing to The River’s Tale in a round-up of recently published regional books. Click here to read the full article.



OR’s Sensor Dry Pocket protects gadgets in the wild

When I was researching my guidebook Adirondack PaddlingI delighted in being unplugged from civilization. Getting away from it all has always been part of the allure of the wilderness.

OR's Sensor Dry Pocket for the iPad.

OR’s Sensor Dry Pocket for the iPad and other tablets.

As a guidebook author, though, I was not going into the wild just for pleasure. I was working, and on a few occasions I brought my iPad along  so I could use Audubon apps to assist me in identifying birds and flowers.

I wouldn’t have risked bringing such a valued electronic gadget on a canoe trip if I didn’t have Outdoor Research’s Sensor Dry Pocket designed for tablets.

Although I didn’t dare test the claim with my iPad inside, OR says the Dry Pocket is submersible. It was enough for me that the storage bag protected the device from the inevitable splashes of water that enter your canoe when you’re paddling any distance.

The bag is made of stiff waterproof nylon, with a clear (and touch-sensitive) window for operating the iPad. There also is a headphone jack if you want to listen to, say, the bird sounds on your Audubon app. Once you insert the tablet in the bag, you roll the top closed as with traditional dry bags and seal it with a zip-lock seam.

To be honest, I rarely brought my iPad on canoe trips, but many people bring their cell phones on outdoor excursions. Lucky for them, OR makes the Sensor Dry Pocket in three sizes, including one for the iPhone and other smart phones.

I can say with confidence that, after an arduous day in the wild, the iPad Dry Pocket works great when you’re soaking in a bathtub doing crosswords or reading the news.

The Sensor Dry Pockets start at $25. You can find more information on OR’s website.