Sunday Drive – The Adirondack High Peaks
Last weekend I drove to the family camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state. I had missed our regular time there in August and really needed the break. Over the years, Sally and I have figured out a scenic route that takes us thru Vermont via a few rural back roads, ultimately picking up Route 125 in Hancock. This takes us up and over the last ridge of the Green Mountains, where you drop down into the Champlain valley via East Middlebury and Middlebury, Vermont. East Middlebury’s claim to fame is the Waybury Inn, on which Bob Newhart’s comedy show “Newhart” was based.
As I pass thru Middlebury and Middlebury College I can look across the Champlain Valley and see the Adirondack High Peaks. At that moment, I always feel like I’m coming home – to my spirit place.
Camp is less than two hours away. It is nothing special architecturally. Just a small cabin in the woods. Our family has been coming here since the mid 1960’s.
As Obe Wan Kenobi would say, “The Force is strong here.” I can feel the presence of four generations of Kelsey’s and I drink deeply at the well.
This weekend’s treasure was finding a newly abandoned bird’s nest. It’s job done, a silent testimony to the engineering and design capability of a small bird.
Forgive me for wandering a little here.
To get to camp via Lake Placid, I drive thru Elizabethtown, NY. This year I noted an old summer camp for sale. Known as Cobble Moiuntain Lodge, it was designed in 1920 by renowned architect Thomas Lamb as his summer residence. Looking at the listing, it describes the property as being 30 acres with outbuildings. It needs a TON of work. I found myself wondering if it could be converted into an inn. Or is it just a little too far from Lake Placid, about 30 minutes away?
As you approach Lake Placid, Mt. Marcy can be seen on the left. This day it was partially shrouded in clouds as showers moved in and out.
For those of you with a sense of adventure, the Olympic Sports Center at Mt. Van Hoevenberg offers bob sled rides in the summer.
The Olympic ski jumps dramatically announce their presence as you approach Lake Placid. The West Branch of the Ausable River, a fabled trout stream, can be seen below.
Less well known, Lake Placid plays host to several major horse shows in the US.
It is between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake that you find the kitsch – ranging from roadside Adirondack crafts…
… to restaurants loudly presenting themselves to the street. You have to eat at Tail ‘o the Pup at least once!
I guess they want you to know they have lobster…
But as I said earlier in the post, what keeps me coming back is something deeper. Something about the land, the weather and family roots. It’s a complex and flavorful cocktail I enjoy drinking from every year.
Have a great week.
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