Friday, August 30, 2013

ADK here we come!

We headed back to Gus' for an early breakfast - out the door at 7:15 AM because we want to get an early ferry- we have lots of ground to cover today (LOL) - although Chazy NY - our first destination is 12 miles from Plattsburgh - we take the scenic route because the museum we are headed to has only 10 and 1 guided tours (no self guided).

We take the ferry across to North Hero, VT on Grand Isle Lake Champlain- a lovely drive with water on one side or the other the whole trip- the ferry ride was short and utilitarian and the morning was overcast and gray- but the sun tried peeking through the clouds on Grand Isle...

we take the one at the top of this little map-

we head back into NY right at the Canadian border- and go south along the lake front toward Chazy which I learned from Wikipedia is 8.2 miles from Canada..

seen along the way:

we arrive in Chazy and stop at our first Stewart's - a local landmark these are dairy  stores that frequently have gas stations (and restrooms) and have lots of ice cream choices which ended up being quite good.  Stewart's has always been a business of the Dake family, which traces the chain's origins to Dake's Delicious Ice Cream beginning in 1921 at the family farm in Greenfield, New York. Fourteen years later, the brothers started Saratoga Dairy in an old barn in Saratoga Springs. In 1948 the company introduced the folding paper ice cream carton so customers could bring home fresh ice cream more cheaply. The more notable innovation of the year, however, came from the younger Charles Dake's wife Phyllis, who suggested allowing people to make their own sundaes from a choice of toppings, a practice which continues today and has been widely imitated. The company's Philly Vanilla ice cream was named in her honor.

We made more than one ice cream stop at Stewart's along the way but not this morning as we have trouble finding the museum (not well marked) and it is time for the 10 AM tour!

the AAA guide calls this museum a "Gem" - which means they think it worth a detour (in Michelin parlance) not sure I would go that far but it was a nice "change" from Revolutionary War battles to Revolutionary War era artifacts- LOL

so we head south and go into the ADK Park proper and our destination is Wilmington to the Veteran's Memorial Highway up to Whiteface Mountain. We stopped at A&W for lunch because there were no other open lunch places in Wilmington - and A&W was packed as a result of that fact.  However, to give them their due they did turn out a decent burger for a fast food chain...

we stop to buy tickets and find the info for the summit- good temperature but limited visibility (as you will see)

you can hike or take a 27 story elevator- we each picked our own way - won't be difficult to guess... shown below the tunnel into the center of the mountain for the elevator route-

on top - a weather station- and info about the summit-

the actual summit

view of Lake Placid below- the haze mostly obscures it, but there is a good guide nearby-

and where we are in the scheme of east coast "mountains" LOL (second from the bottom on the list)

We come down from the mountain and find -

this was one of the original era ADK tourist attractions - from their website:

"Unlike other regional parks, our attractions are geared to please children 48 inches and SMALLER!" Santa's Workshop began construction in 1947

I know it will surprise you - but we did not stop... being substantially in excess of 48" tall - discretion the better part of valor here.... and so - on to Lake Placid where we drive through town horrified the place is over run (Lacrosse players in town for a tournament) and we make short work of the town- had we known we would have booked elsewhere but after the difficulty in Plattsburgh securing hotel rooms we had already committed to our two facilities... good news my hotel (the Courtyard Inn) is locate quite a bit out of town and is quiet... TB's hotel which I think is The Pines seems to be an old state mental hospital or something - LOL and I was secretly pleased not to have to stay there despite the "bargain" price...LOL- I did not go in - so I can't really speak to the rooms but from the street it was about as appealing as the entrance to the Super 8 the night before- LOL

We made plans to meet for dinner TB will pick me up as the place we chose was out of town but on the road where my hotel was located - about twenty minutes drive more- sadly we find out we could have stayed here- in a cute little mom and pop style hotel - but at least we got to dine at a "locals know it tourists don't" place.

We enjoyed the meal and planned out quick exit from town in the morning- right after we take the first train (post breakfast) to Saranac Lake.  See you then!

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