‘On the road again’

“On the road again Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again And I can’t wait to get on the road again.” — Willie Nelson
As I sit down to pen my column this month, Jessica Pollett and I have just returned from our planning trip for the 2013 conference that will be held Sept. 14-16 in Lake Placid, N.Y. By the time you read this, we will have also scoped out possible locations for 2015: Casper, Wyo., McAllen, Texas, and Reno, Nev. Add this to the nearly three weeks that OWAA staff and members were on the road to and from Alaska, and that adds up to a heck of a lot of air miles this past fall.
OWAA’s conferences are special events. They’re the Sunday dinners that keep our members at the table and part of the family. It’s been a couple years since Jessica and I explored Lake Placid for the first time, and going back to the Adirondacks during the height of their fall color let us know that we made the right decision when choosing this destination for 2013. Working with a committee of local chair Lisa Densmore, program chair Mark Freeman, the New York State Outdoor Writers Association and the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors’ Bureau guarantees the experiences attendees will have in Lake Placid will easily rival those they just had in Alaska. We’ve turned a corner in conference locations the past few years. We are genuinely blessed to have some of the most scenic destinations on tap for those who make the journey, from past locations like Salt Lake City and Alaska, to Lake Placid and beyond in coming years.
Some of the highlights to look forward to next September include a very friendly, walkable downtown right outside the hotels and conference center, with endless opportunities for dinner, drinks, music, walking and shopping, all set against the backdrop of Mirror Lake. Lake Placid’s new conference center, proposed to attain Gold LEED certification for their construction methods and materials, is the perfect size to host our sessions without folks feeling lost in a cavernous facility.
Lake Placid is a vibrant community steeped in the history and traditions of the outdoors. Conference events will get you out of meeting rooms and into the outdoors, including Demo Day at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Heart Lake Loj (yes, that’s how you spell it!), Shooting Day at Heaven Hill, and an evening of exploration at the Wild Center in Serenac Lake.
And let’s not forget pre- and post-conference trips that will take you beyond the immediate community and into a unique park that is made up of both public and private land, all melded together to create more than six million acres of wilderness boasting 14 high peaks, endless opportunities for wildlife and bird watching, fishing, hiking, photography, canoeing and hanging out at the water’s edge in a quintessential Adirondack chair.
More coverage of the conference planning can be found on page 14. We hope you’ll read with baited breath and plan to make your arrangements to join us next year for yet another exhilarating experience in the outdoors.
From OWAA staff to you, I want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season. No matter what you celebrate, make sure to celebrate with friends and family, and take the time to cherish the relationships – both personal and professional — that feed your creative soul throughout the year. See you in 2013! ◊
— OWAA Executive Director Robin Giner, rginer@owaa.org

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