The Adirondacks are “closed”


This is our 6th Easter in Canada; yet we still have not grasped that here, unlike the UK,  NOTHING opens at Easter however late it may come. However with an abundance of time as our currency over the long weekend, we were determined to eke it out by spending the whole 4 days in Upper New York State enjoying two uniquely N American experiences: Two Frank Lloyd Wright properties in the Buffalo area (that’s another blog) and the Adirondacks region.
After our upside down back-to-front (in terms of travelling logistics) of the Arts and Crafts houses, we spent almost 7 hours travelling over to Lake Saranac in Adirondack State Park.
As always the journey took a lot longer than anticipated which resulted in us hacking along highway 3 at dusk and into nightfall for at least 2 hours. That is 2 hours of dodging all manner of wildlife which from my observation that evening seemed to be using the highway as their evening playground. Ordinarily this type of driving would not pose much of a challenge to my husband, however having had a deer strike in Wyoming last summer which totalled the front passenger side of the car in an isolated national park in the middle of a massive lightning storm, he was more than a tadge wary – nay freaked out –  by the road. We togged along with our noses literally pressed up against the windscreen scanning; amazingly managing to see through oncoming headlights and wisps of mist (due to the altitude).  No mishap this time except for my husband stating that we needed to re-think our swift and non-leisurely trek across Canada on the Trans – Canada highway as he wasn’t prepared to face the same sort of challenges should we end up racing to the next stop. NOT gonna happen – it’s been planned with military precision – not a lot of room for manoeuvre  re timing…sigh
Anyway back to the original point of this blog, it is Easter and even in the year-round season that the Adirondacks enjoy, they have a “mud” season as businesses transition from the winter/ski season to the spring/summer season.
With Lake Placid – notable for having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980 –  all but closed; the Lakes topped with giant ice wafers;  the uppermost Peaks packed with 5 to 6 foot of snow (many over 4500 –  the highest being Mount Marcy at 5600ft); the ground sodden and boggy underfoot  from the spring melt and many waterfront businesses literally “in the water”; we decided to spend our time touring the area by car,  exploring possibilities and ideas for a future “in-season” trip.
The following is a list of stuff we would have done had the Adirondacks been open during this time:-
  1. stayed at the Loj and hiked many of the high peaks that frame both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Instead we stayed at a delightful and humungous property in Lake Saranac called the Porcupine – famous for the patronage of Mark Twain a regular guest of the original owners
  2. Hiked  a few of the 46 High Peaks such as: Marcy 5344; Algonquin (5114); Haystack (4960); Skylight (4926) and Whiteface (4867)  – probably the most widely known to the world at large because of its association with the Olympic games of 1932 and 1980.
  3. Explored the Olympic Park at Lake Placid.
  4. Taken the meandering hgh altitude ridge road on the lea of Whiteface virtually to the top for the “incredible” views of the High Peaks area – opens 21 May 2011
  5. Explored the Arts and Craft designed property on Mirror Lake  – Lake Placid Lodge – closed until May 5 2011
  6. AuSable chasm –– to the far east of the Adirondack Provincial park and almost on top of lake Champlain which divides New York State from Vermont to the east
That being said we still spent a pleasant sunny couple of days encircling and looping through the Upper Peaks region of Lake Placid/Saranac. We also visited about the only “attraction” open over Easter – High Gorge just off Whiteface. I poo-poohed it initially but what a delightful ramble this turned out to be as the series of wood slatted paths and bridges border the very narrow falls and river gorge for about half a mile – looked like some river rafting possibilities here….
We also visited the “closed” Loj lodge owned by the Mountain Club – it was very tiny, cute and geared to walkers – all plaid, bunks (in some of the rooms)antlers and gabled roof spaces.
AND we found a couple of very pleasant “open” Lakeside dining experiences
The unpretentious “Cottage café”  at Mirror Lake (Part of the giant Mirror Lake Resort and Spa)
Mackenzies (Great Room) at the Crown Plaza on Lake Placid . The Boathouse restaurant will be open mid May…………….
Forget about “Generations” café along the main street and also overlooking the lake over a moss planted roof – unless indeed there are several generations in your party – totally bland and family friendly – all gloss pine and disinfectant (ironically the washroom’s floor to ceiling in the most glorious local slate – what a waste)
On first pass, this area seemed full of summer and winter possibilities especially as probably the closest “High Peak” area to us in Toronto and of course for the population of New York state and Canadians in Quebec it is a popular ski resort as only a stone’s throw away across the border from Canada.
Over & Out

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