Our Labor Day getaway to central Virginia and the Shenandoah mountains started with a few days of tedium in Reston, dealing with my rental property. We decided to ship the last vestiges of furniture back to Denver (save two couches, a dresser and side table) and once and for all remove my personal property from the premises. We got in from Denver on a non-stop United flight mid-day on Friday, rented a Nissan Rogue SUV from National, and started clearing out the owner’s closet in the Reston rental starting at 4PM. Our renter, Kristan, graciously allowed us a few days to take care of our business. We finished up around 7PM and headed to the Dulles Hilton for a quick shower, and then to Vienna to meet Brandon for dinner. We had a lovely night catching up with an old friend and started the Reston property sorting anew Saturday morning around 830AM. By 1030AM our movers (hired through Suburban Movers) arrives and packed up everything we had planned for them to take (with a few less boxes than anticipated by 1PM). We also felt like we got the better end of the deal when the guys also spotted a few….
We left Lake George and Fort William Henry for our final day before we took our 6PM flight out of the Albany International Airport. But first, our final breakfast at the Snow Goose B&B. Amy and Wayne served us a miniature pecan French toast with fresh syrup – we absolutely need to get the recipe for this one! After breakfast we said goodbye and were on our way around 11AM. We had a couple of choices for today – a bobsled experience at the Olympic Training Center on the way to Lake Placid; or Lake George. The bobsled was pretty expensive, and we literally had come all this way to see Lake George (that was our initial plan for the region) and Fort William Henry, so we opted for the latter. It was about an hour drive to Lake George itself, so we reached by noon. Our initial impression driving through the town was that it was a tourist trap, a little Atlantic City. Ignoring that for now, our first stop was to check out Fort William Henry, from “Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper. This is where the massacre of 200 surrendered British took place in 1757….
Our long awaited day spending July 4th and fireworks on Lake Placid was finally upon us, and we certainly made the most of it. We started again at 930AM with a hearty breakfast – an oatmeal berry bake that was piping hot and delicious. Our chat with Amy yielded even more gems of wisdom – a pro parking tip for where to park for free at Lake Placid – and advice around going to Whiteface Mountain first. She alleviated our concerns around not being able to find parking at Lake Placid if we didn’t arrive in the morning, reminding us that it was a small town after all, and most locals didn’t arrive until 5PM or even later. Here was our route for the day: We set out for Whiteface Mountain around 1030AM on Veteran’s Memorial Highway. Normally it would take around 30 minutes, but we made a wrong turn that set us back by around 15 minutes – the signage pointing us to the “castle” portion of Whiteface and not the ski area was not good. The castle at the top of Whiteface consisted of a pedestrian only hike up to the top, as well as a cafe, museum,….
On Tuesday, our second full day in upstate New York, and only a day before July 4th, we decided to do something completely different – rail biking the Adirondacks. But first, we started the day (at 930AM this time) with another hearty breakfast at the Snow Goose B&B. Amy made us an egg scramble, accompanied with yogurts, fruit, and toast again. Just the protein we needed to “kind of” exercise while rail biking the Adirondacks. We then set out for the North Creek rail station nearby Lake George, where the company Revolution Rail operated out of. We had set up a 1230PM appointment a few months in advance since rail biking the Adirondacks looked like an incredibly unique thing to do. THe company was organized and prompt, greeting us and checking us in immediately at noon (they asked us to arrive 30 minutes in advance or our appointment). As we were waiting around the trail depot, we learned that this was train station Teddy Roosevelt was at when he found out when McKinley was shot (which would make him President). Revolution Rail gathered us and about 30 other people onto a bus at 1230PM and moved us 5 miles or….
For our first full day in the Adirondacks, we decided to make it to Fort Ticonderoga to take in some colonial era history and see the Lake Champlain region. The other choices were Lake George, Lake Placid, and the Olympic Village and Ski area from the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. We decided on Fort Ticonderoga because we were more curious about the Lake Champlain region and Vermont, Fort Ticonderoga was rated higher that Fort William Henry in Lake George, and we wanted to spend July 4th on Lake Placid. We were not disappointed. Even though it was a hot, humid, generally miserable day weather wise (at least it didn’t rain!), we became enthralled with the Lake Champlain Colonial history from 1750-1785 and ended up spending the entire day soaking it in. We started out knowing vaguely about Fort William Henry and the French and Indian War from “The Last of the Mohicans”, but we knew very little about the larger and more strategic Fort Ticonderoga just 20 miles to the North. Let me back up a bit though, because I don’t want to skip over the delicious breakfast at the Snow Goose B&B. First of all, the previous night when….