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to Adirondak State Park, NY and Stowe, VT
Thursday Aug 23, 2001
Left at 3pm even though it was a 6 hour drive to Tupper Lake. Decided
to get a few groceries in Belleville and got caught in a huge thunderstorm
while in the store. Soaked to the skin while getting the truck and loading
the food - rained so heavy the parking lot was flooded ankle-deep in minutes.
Stopped for gas at the new Flying J truck stop in Napanee around 7 pm and
decided to stay the night there. Checked out the buffet dinner but
$10.99 seemed too much so ate in the trailer. Had to take sleeping
pills - noisiest truck stop I've ever stayed at.
Up at 6 am to sunshine and clear blue skies. Crossed the US border at Ivy
Lea Bridge ($2 car and $2 trailer toll) and the smiling US Customs officer
said we had been selected for a random vehicle search and immigration check!
Mam & Dad had to pay $6 each because of the UK passports. Uneventful
ride to Tupper Lake - the NW is the flat part of the Adirondaks.
Picked the State Parks 12 miles NE of town as our first campsite and got
lucky with a really nice, by Canadian standards, waterfront site just steps
away from a small sandy beach. We faced west so had the chance for a sunset
view from our picnic table. Set up camp then sat out at the beach.
I decided to take a quick spin on the bike and found the gas cap was missing.
Not sure when this disappeared so was concerned it got water in during
the thunderstorm on Thursday. Stripped the seat and tank and drained
the most of the gas and dumped the last bit to get rid of any water.
Covered the opening with a rag and went down to town to find a new one
- got lucky and the local snowmobile store was able to order an exact replacement
for delivery on Tuesday. Corned beef hash for supper then had an
early night. It was so dark it was impossible to tell the difference
between having your eyes open or closed! Temperature dropped a lot
over night and it was too cold for just sheets.
Sunset at Rollins Pond,
near Saranac Lake
BBQ by the lake
Another beautiful sunny day. Took an early bike ride to Saranac lake
and Lake Placid. Lots of lakes and mountains but the tree lined roads
prevented seeing most of it. The roads were really good for bikes
so I enjoyed the ride. After lunch we took a trip to Tupper Lake
for a walk around and to get more groceries - didn't get enough in Belleville.
The local fair was on in the waterfront park and we chatted to the NYSP
helicopter pilot. The fire brigade entertained the kids with the pumper
truck lubricating a big sheet water slide. After a walk along the
waterfront, had a sundae at McDonalds, picked up a few groceries (but at
US$75 this was about 3 weeks worth of food for Mam & Dad!) and then
headed back to the trailer. Had a BBQ but forget to get any toppings/sauces
- blah! Nice sunset - not many clouds or dramatic reds but the photos
turned out good.
Went for an early ride to check out the scenery for an afternoon drive,
but it was hazy and obscured the nice mountain views on the way to Indian
Lake. This is a very nice ride from Tupper Lake, through the hamlets of
Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake and then on to Indian Lake. Stopped
for coffee at the tavern in Indian Lake and decided it was too hazy for
a drive so decided to extend the bike trip. The road to North Creek follows
the Hudson River and there are numerous white water rafting outfits along
the way - this part of the river is quite tame but there are places where
it is raging. North Creek has a restored railway station/museum and
offers 2 1/2 hr scenic trips down the Hudson. Leaving the main road
and heading north took me along the Roosevelt Memorial Road. Apparently
it was here that he learned he became President when the current president
died after an assassination attempt. This road runs along the south
side of the High Peaks district (most mountains are over 4000' and Mt Marcy
is the highest in the state at 5136') and is a great bike road. Many
of the views are again obscured by trees close to the roadsides so it diminishes
it as a scenic drive. Had a scary moment when I ran out of gas on reserve
about a 100 Km early - guess the missing gas cap affects consumption!
Had to drain gas from the right to left sides and run on that. The
next town (i.e. dot on the map) was about 20 miles away and couldn't believe
when I found there was no gas station there. It was about another 20 to
the next place, Long Lake, and I doubted if I would make it there. Fortunately,
I did but the tank looked dry when I went to fuel it.
Got back at the trailer around 3pm (was scheduled for noon!) and phoned
Sandy - she said there was a thunderstorm underway there and on our way.
Took the trailer to the dump and lost an argument with a tree! The Ranger
said there was room to make a U-turn from the dump but I doubted there
was - he assured me that "everyone did it" but I should have been more
careful. The rear end swung wide, bashed a tree and did damage to
the rear end lights and panelling. To add insult to injury the Ranger
said I had to post and "incident report".
Had time for a BBQ (with sauces this time!) and got the fire going
just before the storm struck at 8pm. Managed to sit by the fire under
an umbrella for an hour before it started leaking and I gave up!
The rain lasted most of the night and everything was waterlogged outside
but didn't see any leaks in the trailer.
Cloudy all morning and didn't look like it would be much of a day.
Decided to take a look at Blue Jay Campground just south of Tupper Lake
as our site was up on Tuesday and the park was fully booked for Labour
Day weekend. Blue Jay was a bit scrappy, although it had a nice beach
and grassy hillside at the lakefront. Decided we'd only go there
if really desperate so continued south to Long Lake. Had lunch at a little
pizza place (subs and chicken tenders for us) overlooking the lake. Got
really lucky when the cook told us about a small RV park in "town".
We were able to reserve the prime waterfront site until Friday, with a
move to another (not so nice) site for the weekend. Really glad we
didn't commit to Blue Jay! Skipped dinner as the lunch was so big
and had another "sunset watch" on the beach by our site. Phoned Sandy to
suggest she come down for the weekend and join us in Long Lake as she should
really enjoy our waterfront site and the area in general. Another roaring
fire rounded off our stop at Rollins Pond State Park.
Buttermilk Falls, Long Lake
Decided to squeeze in one last bike ride to the NE part of the Adirondaks
before heading down the Long Lake. Nearly didn't make it back for the 11
am checkout when the bike started spluttering and would run at speed.
Seemed to be suffering fuel starvation so put a hole in the plastic wrap
that I added after yesterdays episode. That didn't help so I drained
the crab in case ts water in the gas. Again that didn't help and I could
only get it up to 40 mph if I was on full choke. Decided to turn back as
time here wawas getting tight and just made it for checkout.
On the way to Long Lake dropped by the bike store but UPS hadn't delivered
their shipment yet. In town, I saw the UPS truck and asked the driver
when he was delivering to the bike shop. When I told him what was
going on he said he'd change his route and go straight there, so luckily
I got my new cap before leaving town.
The second stroke of luck happened when we checked in - the weekend
booking for our prime site had just been cancelled so we had it for the
After setting up camp we drove down to Blue Mountain Lake and stopped
off at Buttermilk Falls - quite pretty. The hamlet of Blue Mountain
is very small but the Adirondak Museum is there and it looks very interesting
- will visit there on a later date.
Another violent thunderstorm passed through at supper time just as
I got my fire going - torrential rain and lots of lightening right overhead.
Looked like a nice day so decided to explore the High Peaks region on the
bike. The road through Newcomb to North Hudson was just great for riding
- lots of elevation changes, twists and turns, and nice views. Stopped
off in Keene and Jay before heading to Wilmington for the ride up Whiteface
Mountain on Veterans Memorial Highway - which passes through North Pole,
NY. The local attraction there is Santa's Workshop but Santa had
been laid off and his Workshop was closed down! The toll road ($5
for motorcycle and driver) offered nice views and a couple of hairpin bends
on the way to the 4500' parking lot. The last few hundred feet are
either climbed up a steep rocky path or you take the elevator! There
is an amazing 276' elevator shaft which was blasted directly under the
top of the mountain and linked to the parking lot by a 400' tunnel - and
this was built back in the '30s. From the peak you get 360 deg views
of the entire Adirondaks and on a clear day there is over 100 miles of
visibility - really nice view of Lake Placid. Stopped for lunch at
McD and tried their Steak & Cheese on a bun - pretty good for $3.99
(but US$). Headed for Keene to rejoin the outward route as it's a great
road for bikes, rather than head back on the circular route through Saranac
Lake and Tupper Lake. Another campfire, watching the sunset over
Bike ride around the High
Peaks district of the Adirondaks
Newcombe, High Peaks
Boreas Rd, N. Hudson
Jay River, Jay
||North Pole, NY
Hoss's Campground, Long Lake
Long Lake Diner
Weather looked great today so headed back for Whiteface Mountain with Mam
& Dad. Repeated yesterday, except stopped at North Country Taxidermy
in Keene and did the circular route. There is the most amazing collection
of stuffed animals I've ever seen in that store - racoons go for about
$500 and a full grown moose is $6500!
Taxidermists in Keene, NY
A lot of bull here!
page last updated on Jan 1, 2002