Visiting My Beautiful Adirondack Lake with the Lake George Steamboat Company

Fall:  A Stunning Time to Take a Boat Ride on Lake George, New York

Fall: A Stunning Time to Take a Boat Ride on Lake George, New York

Golden Vistas

Golden Vistas

I’m back in Colorado after my three-week trip to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. It’s gorgeous here in the Rockies and  it looks like the fall foliage will peak this weekend in most areas. All next week should be spectacular as well, especially since it snowed last night and with the sun shining again the vistas resemble sugarcoated autumnal Candy Lands resplendent with red, orange, yellow, green and blue (the sky, of course).

Part of my heart, however, remains at Lake George, dubbed “The Queen of American Lakes” by Thomas Jefferson. I spent my time in the Adirondacks with my parents where they’ve had a second home on Lake George for over forty years. While I was there, I was busy doing my writer thing and helping them out, however, I seized every opportunity to embrace the beauty, wonder and comforting spirit of the lake, a crystalline body of water whose heavenly scent and silky feel I can still conjure in my senses. After having spent a dozen fat summers there while growing up and having returned for both brief and extended visits ever since, to me, Lake George feels like an old friend, a dear companion that always welcomes me home with heaps of love and reassurance. Even after eleven years in Paris and almost twelve in Colorado, I never tire of this lake and its shores; its beauty, grace, resilience and sometimes turbulent force continue to amaze me.

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Adirondack Day Trip

On the Road to Paradise

On the Road to Paradise

It’s actually pretty hard to do a day trip to the Adirondack Park, the largest protected area in America as big as the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined. It’s also the largest National Historic Landmark in the country, yet much of the land within the Adirondack Park is privately owned including small towns, hamlets and islands.  This impressive land mass—totally void of a real city—is in the middle of nowhere.  But it is within driving distance of some 80 million people, so don’t expect to be completely alone in the woods.  Although that can easily happen, too.

Lake Placid, the town (and, of course, lake) that to me represents the heart of the Adirondacks, is a two-hour drive from Albany and Montreal and a five-hour drive from New York City and Boston.  (Although it’s only thirty minutes from I-87, also known as The Northway, if you forego the most scenic route.) The Park contains the Adirondack mountain range, some of the oldest mountains in America, verdant and thickly forested and best typified by a blue-green body of crystal clear water at their base.  The High Peaks, the most formidable mountains of the Adirondacks, are located near Lake Placid which is largely why this resort town became such a hub for athleticism and outdoor activities.  I find the history, culture and arts and crafts of the region to be immensely rich here as well, so that’s usually where I focus most of my attention whenever I venture into this part of the Adirondack Park.

I was stationed for a while at my parents’ summer home on Lake George, a thirty-two mile-long slice of spring-fed, glacier melt that borders the Adirondack Park to the southeast.  And even from there, a day trip into the heart of the Adirondacks represented some doing.  But my mom was always up for an adventure, a more than willing driver that loves to see new sites and revisit old ones.  So I only had to don my tour director’s cap and off we went.  It was a momentous occasion of sorts since my dad was joining us and as we commented halfway through the day, it was indeed the first time the three of us embarked upon a road trip together.  (In fact my love for places of tradition and charm grew out of jaunts to Vermont country stores and such with my mother when I was a young girl.  Dad was usually off working then and unavailable to join in our fun.)We drove the Northway a couple of exits up from Lake George and got off the highway to pick up Route 28 at Warrensburg, a sleepy little town peppered with antique stores.  I remembered when I bought a whole set of wicker porch furniture from one of the dealers for a song.

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