Less Than Perfect Neighbors

Here’s to the yahoos whose occasional presence makes their absence all the more endearing. Although not in the same league as the gun toting fool in Yellowstone (whose loud proclamations of keeping his family safe from grizzlies led me to tiptoe on my midnight bathroom run), two nights ago a family done near drove me insane at beautiful Lake Durant State Park which is in the northeast corner of the Adirondacks near Blue Mountain Lake. Their bantering and laughing went on all the way to 2 AM. Supposedly the ranger woke them up the next morning to read them the riot act. And so now we appreciate the quiet more than we ever could have.

Sunset and Blue Mountain

Sunset and Blue Mountain

I have been on the road for less than a week now but am already beginning to shed my sedentary self. After the mild disappointment of Geneva-On-The-Lake I am happy to report that the Blue Mountain Lake area (and this campground) exceeds expectations. We had plans to explore more of this area but found ourselves taking the same hike (a moderate trek to the fire tower on Blue Mountain) and swimming in the same lake. From what I can gather, this is a common way to vacation here with people coming to the same place and having the same adventures year after year. Here the pull of the familiar exceeds the lure of the novel.

Peace Out

Before taking our own early respite from the road, we spent a morning in Seneca Falls which definitely inspired the Women’s Rights Movement and, maybe, the film It’s A Wonderful Life. The town gives both their rightful due and make for a good day of walking around. The early Women’s Rights Movement, by the way, concerned itself not only with securing basic property rights (women into the early 20th century were not always allowed to own businesses and home) and the vote, it also sought to end slavery (yeah!) and the sale of alcohol (boo!).
From here we continue our northeast tour of America which will culminate in an Independence Day celebration at Acadia National Park. Happy travels all. Noel

Maybe the bridge that inspired the film

Maybe the bridge that inspired the film

Seneca Falls

Blue Mountain Lake, Adirondacks

On one of the shortest day of the year it seems fitting that I reminisce about the long days.  Summer to us means adventure; road travels and other.  I especially love finding a place beautiful enough to be popular to the masses, but, for whatever reason, remains a more local treat.  The Blue Mountain Lake region of the Adirondacks is such a place.

The Adirondacks is an interesting world.  It is sometimes a wilderness, sometimes a crowded resort town, and sometimes a quaint getaway.  The road from Utica (28) samples all of that on its slow ascent to the 28/30 intersection.  By the time you have reached the intersection of 28/30 you have shaken off many of the day trippers and resort goers.  The Blue Mountain Lake area to us feels like a small state park tucked into the mountains.  Eating options are decidedly fewer and if you have no groceries you might find yourself, as we did, dining on gas station pizza and potato chips.

Our lodging choice is Lake Durant, a stone throw from Blue Mountain Lake.  Lake Durant has one of the best swimming beaches we know.  Canoes are also available (a canoe truck drives through the camping loop each morning) and fishing is good.  Lake Durant has one camping area with sites on both sides of a gravel road.  Sites are either on the lake or are separated from the lake by the road.  Not surprisingly the lake side sites fill up first.  Several campers indicated that the campground only fills up completely a few summer weekends.  Nearby Blue Mountain Lake is larger and colder (the beach is bigger too but the colder water makes for worse swimming) and also offers canoe rentals.   Many years ago Corey and I took our first canoe trip on this lake.  We also fell into a lake for the first time ever  which led to our first canoe related lesson (how to successfully put a canoe into a lake).   

Blue Mountain is there for the climbing.  Corey and I have climbed it twice, Henna once.  The first time Corey and I were in our late 20s and I remember it being a pretty easy hike with a great view on top.  There are even better views from on top of the fire tower.  The second time up we were in our late 30s (Henna was not quite 7).  Henna did fine but was sort of pushed up the last half mile or so.  Corey and I worked harder to get up that mountain that I would care to admit.  The last chunk of the hike is straight up (no switch backs here) and I cursed gravity most of the way up.  We ended in a collapsed heap at the base of the fire tower.  There we met a mountain hermit or, actually, a young college student living at a cabin just behind the fire tower for the summer.  He was eager for conversation and told how a black bear walked just past his cabin a few nights past.  We stayed awhile on top of the mountain.  Henna and Corey refused to climb up the fire tower but I did and got some nice pictures for my effort.