Grace Peak Celebration Highlights

The Grace Peak Celebration cosponsored by the 46ers and the Town of North Hudson on June 20th, was an unqualified success. It was a wonderful memorial to 46er matriarch Grace Hudowalski, #9, and a festive tribute to the club’s successful effort to officially name a High Peak in her honor.

The parking lots at the North Hudson Town Park were overflowing as 46ers and town residents –those who knew Grace personally, and those who knew her by reputation only – all gathered to join in celebrating the official renaming of East Dix to “Grace Peak.”

The initial forecast of rain gave way to a picture perfect day of sun, cloudless skies, moderate temperatures, and enough of a breeze to fend off any black flies and mosquitoes. Attendees enjoyed a day of good music provided by local Adirondack musical groups Jamcrackers, and the Boathouse Gang; great food, including Bison burgers from the Adirondack Buffalo Company; delicious homemade baked beans and coleslaw compliments of Elk Lake Lodge; strawberry shortcake served by the Schroon Lake/North Hudson Historical Society; and a special summer ale, called “Witch Water,” brewed especially for the occasion by the Paradox Brewing Company. The name of the ale paid tribute to an old 46er legend. The early 46ers called rain water that pooled in rock depressions on the mountain summits “Witch Water.” The legend says that whoever drinks it is forever bound to the mountains.

Throughout the day members of the 46er trail crew and Lean2 Rescue volunteers demonstrated techniques used in lean-to building and rehabilitation, and trail maintenance.

The formal part of the celebration included comments by North Country Assemblyman Dan Stec, a 46er himself, Ronald Moore, the Town of North Hudson Supervisor, Robert Stegemann, DEC Region 5 Regional Director, who read a congratulatory letter from Governor Andrew Cuomo, and 46er President Brian Hoody.

The June 20th event was more than just a celebration of Grace Hudowalski and the naming of a peak in her honor. It was a celebration of 46er determination and dedication, and a salute to the club’s indefatigable spirit – from the 12-year effort it took to succeed in officially naming Grace Peak, to the individual accomplishment of each 46er in climbing the 46 High Peaks, to the volunteer service projects that the club and its members support on behalf of the Adirondack region. It was also a day to celebrate community, as hikers, many of whom are visitors to the Adirondacks, joined with local residents to work together in support of a common cause. The day exemplified the attitude expressed in one of Grace’s favorite sayings, “‘Can’t’ never did anything.”

To all who contributed their time and talents to help organize the Grace Peak Celebration and make it a successful, memorable occasion, THANK YOU! We could not have done it without each and every one of you. And to all who attended the festivities, thank you for your support. We hope you enjoyed the day.

Click here for a photo gallery of the Grace Peak Celebration, June 20, 2015.

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