Friday, September 6, 2013

Upstate New York and a Change in Plans

We headed to upstate New York to a town called Westport on Lake Champlain.  We were also close to Lake Placid and visited that area, too.  Then we had a change in plans.  My older brother became ill and since we are his power of attorney we decided it would be best to come back home to South Carolina.  It was a smart move since he has had several other issues since we returned home but we wanted to share this last stop with you.  

On our way to Westport we drove through Syracuse, New York.  This old factory looked like it had been cut in half because both sides of it were right next to he main road. 

We drove through many small towns with lakes.

The town of Hague is very quaint and picturesque but the road was difficult with a rig.  We found ourselves going up and down in the mountains on roads that were narrow and had steep grades.

Downtown Hague had a big statue and lots of old stone homes but we didn't get a chance to stop and really check it out. 

We finally made it to Westport after a hair-raising drive.  It is another quaint old town. This one-room school house is the oldest in Essex County built in 1816 of native limestone.  The school was used for one hundred years!

Part of downtown Westport and the local store called Everyones Market.  It didn't have a lot to offer.

This bridge is in a small park alongside Lake Champlain. 

And then there is beautiful Lake Champlain.

The lake is enormous and is nestled in between New York and Vermont.  This area is a major tourist attraction with summer and winter sports.  There are miles of trails and dozens of parks to enjoy. 

Walking around town we happened to be at the marina when a semi came in with a boat to be docked on the lake.  The space for the semi and boat was very narrow and short so it was interesting watching how they accomplished their work. 

The semi backed up as far as it could and then a portable boat boom was wheeled around the boat.

The man on the boat boom did the driving and slowly maneuvered the boom around the boat. 

Once they were around the boat they attached straps underneath it and started to hoist it up off the bed of the truck.

Then they slowly drove it over to the water.

Here they are lining the boat up above the water before they lower it in.

Dropping it into Lake Champlain.  It took quite a while and because we were taking pictures some people at the marina thought it was our boat!   
The library in Westport.  It used to be one of the finer homes in the town and when the owner passed away she donated it to the town with the stipulation that nothing could ever be built on the long beautiful lawn in front which overlooks Lake Champlain.

One of the historic churches in Westport.

Right outside of town we saw this large home sitting majestically on a hill.  It looks Victorian, not sure how old it is, but I've never seen so many windows. 

A local fruit market had an active beehive inside the store.  We learned the drones are male bees and they do no work at all.  They mate with the queen bee during the warm days and stay home and feed on the honey. The worker bees are female and gather the nectar to make the honey.  They also collect pollen and mix it with honey to make beebread to feed the young. They make the wax and mold it into cells, clean the hive, use their wings to keep the hive either warm or cold and wait on the queen.  When the nectar gathering days are over, the worker bees push the drones out of the hive and they soon die.  Sounds fitting to me!  It takes  over 80, 000 trips or more than 55,000 miles of flying to produce one pound of honey.
We took a hike near Lake Champlain to this jutout called Barn Rock. 
The Captain slid on a rock ledge and messed up his leg.
We also took a hike up Cheney Mountain to get a better view of the lake.

The bridge in the distance takes you from New York into Vermont.

Of course, while hiking Lucy decided to get into some mucky areas.

Another view from Cheney Mountain.

We noticed a lot of boats in the lake but other than the geese we didn't see anyone swimming in the water.  I imagine it can be quite cold.

We decided to check out Middlebury College in Vermont.  Our daughter Lynn spent one summer there taking an extended language class.

The college started in 1800 and has many beautiful old buildings.

Middlebury College sits up in the mountains with farmland all around.  The views are spectacular.

They erected the buildings to survive the winter months.

The campus is beautiful.  I would love to see it in the fall when the leaves are changing.  

The college is in the town of Middlebury and as we drove there we had to go across this old covered bridge.

Since it was lunchtime we decided to stop at a local brewery.

The menu and beer selection is written on the wall.

We decided to try the sampler since they had twelve varieties of beer.  This way we could try all of them!!!  We also had a very good meal.

Downtown Middlebury is old and quaint and within walking distance of the college.

It was still summer but we saw many students there.

Lots of neat homes in and around the town.

While we were in the area we took a drive up to Lake Placid.

It's a neat town but very much a tourist destination.

One of many Olympic buildings in the town.

Outside one of the buildings they had a pile of snow that attracted all the kids.  It was a little cool that day but not that cold!

Downtown Lake Placid consists of stores and restaurants and hotels.

This is Mirror Lake right in the town.  The actual Lake Placid is 10 miles further north.

The Olympic ski jumps.

The Olympic Sports Complex is huge and has attractions for the visitors.

One attraction is the bobsled run. 

For $50 per person you can take  a ride on the bobsled.  The ride lasts 45 seconds but we know some people who went on it and they said it was amazing.  Maybe next time......

And finally, on our way back home to South Carolina we stopped at an RV park in Virginia for the night.  The place had many tame rabbits hopping all over the place.  They were very cute.  Needless to say, we did not take the pups off leash while we stayed here. 

Well folks, that's all for this trip.  We are safely home and will be here for the remainder of the year.  Our plans are to head back to Florida in January and enjoy the warm weather for a few months.  Until then we hope you all have a wonderful fall and we'll check in again in a few months.  Peace!

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