My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Northeast Travel Week 2

8/8/09 Saturday – Day 9
We left Gorham this morning and found a cute café for breakfast. Then we headed south to Conway and stopped at Pinkham Notch Visitor center. The hike to the top of Mt. Washington along Tuckerman’s Ravine was about 12 miles round trip so we decided not to do it. We haven’t done much hiking lately and didn’t feel we were in good enough shape. This mountain was the highest in NH. This morning it was 30 degrees at the summit with 30 mph winds causing the wind chill temperature to be about 18. After leaving there we hiked to Glen Ellis Falls which was pretty. Then in Conway we got on the Kancamagus Highway across to Lincoln. We saw three different covered bridges as well as some waterfalls. It took us all day to do the whole highway. When we reached Lincoln, all of the hotels we tried were full so we drove on to Franconia. We found one in my coupon book called Hillwinds Lodge. When I called the man said he only had 2 rooms left. When we got there, the outside looked a little rugged, not bad, just isolated but we decided to check it out. I’m so glad we did. The man who owned it was so nice and pleasant to talk to and his wife really put in a lot of work planting beautiful flower gardens around. There was a clean big pool in the middle and one of the buildings overlooks the river. We chose the room with the king bed overlooking the pool for only $79. When we filled our ice bucket, we were able to visit with the owner and had a nice time talking to him. This motel even lets you fill your ice chest with ice from their machine which is very unusual.

8/9/09 Sunday – Day 10
We left the hotel at 5:30am but we never did see a moose. Then we went back to Lincoln, NH for breakfast. After that we hiked in Franconia Notch State Park. We went to the Basin, Kinsman Falls, and Rocky Glen Falls. Then we hiked on the Appalachian Trail for a little while. We saw where the Man in the Mountain used to be (the state symbol of NH) and read about its story. After that we stopped at the Tramway to look around. We stopped in Littleton, NH for lunch and then headed to Vermont. The skies were beautiful all morning and when we headed out, the skies got overcast. Most of the places we wanted to stop were not open on Sunday so we ended up at a Hampton Inn in Burlington, VT. Downtown was an artsy hippie kind of place.
8/10/09 Monday – Day 11
We took a 90 minute narrated cruise on Lake Champlain on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III ($18pp). It was really nice and the weather was perfect. It was overcast so it didn’t get too hot and luckily it wasn’t raining even though the weather forecast said it would rain. After that we headed to Lake Placid, NY. We arrived around 4:30pm and got a room at the North Woods Inn (with coupon only $79) which was right downtown. Then we walked around downtown before heading to the Olympic Center. We saw the three different ice skating rinks and watched some people practice their figure skating in the 1932 rink. We also saw the 1980 rink where the US Olympic hockey team won the gold medal. Then we ate at a Chinese restaurant for dinner before getting ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s. It was a really nice day.

8/11/09 Tuesday – Day 12
We left Lake Placid and drove to Saranac Lake. Then we came back to Lake Placid to see the Olympic Training Center and the Ski Jump area. Finally we decided to go to Fort Ticonderoga. When we found out that it was not part of the national park service and was privately owned, we decided not to pay to go into the fort. After that, we drove around the north side of Lake George and went back to Vermont to the Maple Syrup Museum. While we were there, it began to pour down rain but later it stopped. After the museum, we drove down around the bottom of Lake George around Rutland, VT and stopped in Whitehall, NY. We saw the remaining hull of the USS Ticonderoga from 1812. We arrived in Lake George around 5pm and found a motel off the main highway. I called Diane Cordell and arranged to meet her and her husband Tim after dinner. It was so wonderful that the four of us got along so well. We sat and talked until almost 10pm. I felt like we had known them forever.

8/12/09 Wednesday – Day 13
We ate breakfast and then got on the Mohican for a boat ride on Lake George. It left at 10:30am and returned around 1:30. Then we left and headed to Utica. It was a very pleasant drive. We stopped at Union Station to ask about the train ride tomorrow and the lady was extremely friendly. We got a reasonable price for a room at the Red Roof Inn (King bed for 59.99). I am looking forward to the day trip tomorrow on the train. We will be taking the Adirondack Scenic Railroad which leaves at 9:15am and returns at 6:30pm.

8/13/09 Thursday – Day 14
We had a glorious day on a train ride from Utica to Old Forge on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. We left around 9:15am and arrived in Old Forge around noon. We left at 4:30pm and returned to Utica at 7pm. It cost us $36 each and we had a four hour layover in Old Forge. We ate lunch in Old Forge after the school bus shuttle dropped us off. Then we did a little shopping around the town before finding a place to get ice cream. We decided to walk the mile back to the train station rather than wait for two hours for the bus to come back. We enjoyed hanging around the train station talking to the volunteers on the train.

8/14/09 Friday – Day 15
We left Utica and headed towards Hyde Park. As I looked in the AAA tour guide, I saw that the Remington Company gave free tours. So, Don pulled on the side of the road and I put the town of Ilion in the GPs and found out that it was on our way to Hyde Park. We took the free 2 hour tour and it was so interesting. They make about 1000 shotguns and 1000 rifles each day and about half a million each year are sold. After we left there we ended up in an antique store in Richfield Springs. I met a man who was shopping from Lake Lure, NC who was there for a big show in Bouckville, NY. When we arrived in Hyde Park it was too late to do anything but tomorrow we will go to the FDR Presidential Library.

8/15/09 Saturday – Day 16
We went to the FDR historic site today to find out it was a free weekend in the National Parks so we only had to pay $7 each for the presidential library and everything else was free. We started out with a tour of FDR’s home at 9:30. This is where he was born, lived as a child, and also during his presidency. After that, at 11:30, a bus took us to Top Cottage which was FDR’s getaway. By this time, it was lunch so we ran up to McDonalds and then came back to do the Presidential Library. At 3pm, we drove to the Vanderbilt Mansion only to be told the tours were “sold out”. Meanwhile there were three national park rangers just hanging out doing nothing. They called over to Val-Kill and was told that it was open house so we drove over there only to be told that it was all “sold out.” This was really frustrating! I feel like since it was a national park and we were told it us open until 4:30, they should keep doing tours until then, not stop at 3pm. We wandered around the grounds at Val-Kill and then went back to the Vanderbilt Mansion to see the gardens there. This was nothing like the Biltmore House in Asheville. We will try to tour the Vanderbilt Mansion and Val-Kill tomorrow.

If you would like to see more pictures of week 2, click on this link: Northeast Adventure Week 2


Tammy said...

OH my goodness Pat. What a wonderful trip you had. The site of those ski jumps though. WOW!!

Tink said...

Great trip and great pictures. Just found out that the kids are just a couple of hours away from Asheville. And did you see any gators at Lake Placid? Or is that the wrong one, LOL?

loonyhiker said...

@Tink I'm glad I didn't see any gators there! :) I've never been to the Lake Placid in FL but I can't imagine this ski jump doing well in FL either. LOL