Last weekend, I traveled to Schroon Lake for the Adirondack Sportsmans Dinner. The annual event, which is organized by over a dozen local ministries, draws an enthusiastic crowd of sportsmen and women from across the entire region. Best of all, there is no admission fee! It's no wonder that the tickets are scooped up within a day of release, but you can try to find tickets online a www.adirondacksportsmansdimmer.com.
The food is rivaled only by the friendships, although this year's selection of home made desserts was a huge hit. It is interesting to witness neighbors from Chazy meet up with neighbors from Thurman as folks from Thendara mix easily with others from Dresden. While they may not be actual neighbors in a physical sense, at this gathering, they share common ground through their obvious passion for the outdoor life.
By the time I arrived, all of the available parking lots were packed and overflow lined the shoulder of the road. Vehicles ranged from a fancy, new Hummer to a collection of the oldest, most rusted pickups I had witnessed at one time. There was actually a pickup with a side door sealed with duct tape and the windshield, nearly obscured behind a pile of discarded chew tins.
In all my years of traveling to sporting events, I've never seen so many kids and toddlers dressed in camo. I often joke that the event represents the largest redneck reunion in the state, but there were simply too many full sets of teeth to verify such a claim.
As always, the event offered a number of guest speakers and sporting seminars covering topics ranging from hunting to angling to wilderness survival and more. Old friends like Gary Hodgson, a retired Forest Ranger from Lake Placid, presented a workshop on building a birch bark canoe, while former DEC Wildlife Biologist, Mark Brown from Warrensburg gave a talk on ice fishing and Moriah's famous Salerno boys dazzled the crowd with an impressive display of big racked, Adirondack whitetails.