Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gouvenour and Lake Placid, NY

I am about 3 weeks late in my blogging. Been having too much fun. So I will try to catch everyone up on where I've been and what I have been doing. When leaving Watertown, I headed to Gouvenour. We had a few days before our reservations started in Lake Placid and we were invited to a chicken BBQ going on at the Elks in Gouvenour.

They cooked over 600 chickens. They didn't quite sell all of them, so several of our group bought up some for the freezer.

Although Edward John Nobel did not invite lifesavers, he bought the rights to the peppermint candy in 1913 for $2900 from Clarence Crain. Edward Nobel was from Gouvenour and this statue was created in memory of the man who was also known for his philanthropy. He was also the founder of the American Broadcasting Corporation in 1943. At one time he was also the owner of Boldt Castle, the same one we visited while in Watertown.

Adirondack Park covers over 6 million acres and is the largest park east of the Mississippi, larger even than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier or Great Smokey Mountain National Parks. As it became a haven for NYC businessmen and their families in the late 1800s, these businessmen were concerned about the commercialization, industrialization and logging going on in this area. It is said that such people as the Rockefellers were instrumental in getting this area set aside as public protected lands.

Lake Placid is a town, but also has a lake by the same name. The shoreline is mostly private with only limited public access. We kayaked around the smaller bay near town. From the water you can see the homes and boathouses along the shores. I liked this mailbox on the dock.

This was one of the larger homes along the shore. I think it is now a lodge of some sort, but it could still be a private residence only.

This is the boat house for the home above.

Real snow in August? That's what the sign says. We found out it is dumped there from the Zamboni machine.

Some future Olympic hopefuls out practicing with their coaches.

Lake Placid was home not only to the 1932 Winter Olympics, but also the 1980 Winter Olympics.

John Brown's grave and homestead. A revolutionary abolitionist, he led a raid on a Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, VA, in 1859. He was wounded, captured, tried and convicted of treason. He was hung in December of 1859. His homestead and grave are on the outskirts of Lake Placid. His home was an important stop in the underground railroad for escaping slaves on their way to Canada.

During the summer young atheletes practice their ski jumping flips and maneuvers by jumping into large tanks of water.

The 90 and 120 meter ski jumps. On the left, the 120 meter ski jump has had a special plastic added for summer training. It is sprayed down with water and is suppose to be like going down a snow-packed ski jump. They practice only on certain days and give shows once a week. Of course we were there on the wrong days for both. But we did go to the top of the ski jump and look down. It was more thrilling than any roller coaster ride I've been on, just being at the top of the 120 meter (over 360 feet) jump and envisioning going down on a pair of skiis.

From our campground we could catch the trail for Scarface Mtn. Only 3.5 miles up to the top, we thought it might be a nice afternoon hike. (It was only rated as a moderate hike) Rising only 1500 feet in the 3.5 miles we didn't think it would be too bad. Well, the hike went for about 2 miles flat, a very easy hike, but then the climb started. By the time we got close to the top I was using both hands to climb the rocks. I guess because the last part was difficult and the first was easy, they decided overall they would call it moderate.

We thought the summit would be a wonderful view all around, but it was surrounded by trees and you couldn't see a thing. If not for this little sign, we never would have known we made it to the summit.

My compadres on the hike. What we thought would be a 3 to 3 1/2 hour hike turned out to take over 5 hours. But I'd do it all again if I had the chance.

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