I just arrived from my weekend trip to the Andirondacks. Let me tell you, this is a paradise for every outdoor fan, in winter as well as in summer. A mountaineous area with hundreds of lakes and streams. In summer you can go mountain biking, canoeing and hiking, in winter it's mainly a snowmobile and skiers paradise, from cross country to downhill. And the villages are pretty nice, too. I found a nice shop in Old Forge, the most general store. What a name. I wonder what they sell. Unluckily I was too early to check that out.
The most general store ;)
I started early on Saturday (3 am) and arrived and was lucky to see the sun coming up already in the park. Overall it was a 6 hour drive to Lake Placid, mostly on snow covered roads, as it was snowing wildly. I have never seen so many snowplows in one place like there, alone in a small village like Old Forge have been as much like a fifty, and that on 5 am on a Saturday morning. Mostly it have been private pickups with a snowplow attached to the front that tried to keep the snow from their private roads and parking lots, but the battle was lost from the beginning as long as the snowing didn't stop.
One of the typical snowplows here
I went straight to Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Wintergames.
The old ice hockey rink from the 32 Olympic Games in Lake Placid
I went to Whiteface ski resort near Lake Placid. They had great slopes and pretty nice powder snow, but some of the lifts had been closed because of strong wind. It was damned cold, about -19°C plus the added cold from the wind, so I didn't ski until the very end. Even with face mask and several layers of cloths I was freezing like hell!!! It wasn't even possible to take the gloves off for some seconds to make a photo, I had to manage doing it with them, so here's the only picture from up there:
Freezing at Whiteface ski resort
So around 3 pm I quit skiing and went back to Lake Placid to check out on snowmobile tours. I found an operator which offered guided tours, but I was the only customer, so they didn't want to take me out first. But the guide, a young guy called Austin insisted on going, so they finally agreed to let me go with him. We went to a private farm at Saranac Lake, where we started the tour into the sunset through forests and on highspeed snowmobile roads. What a fun!
Jolle on the snowmobile after the tour
After the tour I drove to Tupper Lake and checked into a real American motel, not before getting some real takeaway food for the All-American night in the motel (fast food, lager, NHL match in TV).
My dinner at the motel ;)
On Sunday I drove some minor roads and just enjoyed the nice winter scenery. I did some short hikes, for example the one to the Buttermilk Falls. I guess you can do some nice cayaking in summer here.
Buttermilk Falls near Deerland
Buttermilk Falls near Deerland
Winter wonderland at the Buttermilk Falls
Later I did a longer hike on top of Blue Mountain to have a full panorama of the Adirondacks. The weather was good, perfect blue sky, so I had a very nice view. And the trail up the hill was a lot of fun due to the nice winter scenery, even it was very icy (the trail sometimes went over frozen streams) and I had problems not to get too fast down to the mountain. ;)
On the way up on Blue Mtn.
View of the mountain range around Lake Placid
View to the west side of the park. In front Blue mountain lake.
Overall I drove more than 600 miles on the weekend, and many of them on snow covered roads, a lot of fun. The Ford Focus made no problems, and I could practice a lot of sliding technics during the weekend. :)
The red devil!
Tomorrow I'll fly to Chicago to visit Ling! I haven't seen her since my trip to Cambodia in 2001, more than five years. Wow, time is running.