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Eastern Travel, August 14-15: Long Lake, NY

From Burlington, we headed straight for Adirondack State Park in New York. We drove through Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, both of which were annoyingly worked up tourist destinations. We continued onto Long Lake, where I had stayed about 5 years ago, and got ourselves a reasonably-priced room at the Adirondack Hotel.

Long Lake is both a town and lake (so named because it’s 14 miles long and 1 mile wide). Though catering to out-of-town visitors, it’s not overly developed the way the other Adirondack towns appeared.

The big event for our stay in Long Lake was climbing the summit of Blue Mountain, a peak about 10 miles south of the city. There’s a trail for getting up there, a hike which is 2 miles long. It’s also remarkably steep towards the end, and requires climbing angled rock faces. A fire lookout post offers amazing views to those who complete the ascent.

The View from the Top
The tallest peak for miles.

Stacy at the Summit
Proof that we were actually there.

Walking down the lookout
Walking down the fire lookout stairs.

We dined that night in the hotel’s well-appointed dining room. It was while we were waiting for our table, and getting a drink at the bar, we learned that much of the northeast was blacked out, particularly in the state of New York. Which surprised us, as there was plenty of electricity in Long Lake. We were lucky, it turned out — other Adirondack towns were without power.

Dinner was good, and I had to admire eating at a restaurant where, when you order an entree, it comes with salad and sides. We chatted with our remarkably fit waittress, Jessie, whom, it turns out, is the seventh generation of a family that helped found Long Lake long ago. I reeled at the thought of a family staying in one place for that many generations in North America — it’s probably more common back east; I don’t think it’s plausible for we westerners.

For dessert, we walked to Long Lake’s main intersection, which has not one, not two, but three places you can get ice cream — Stewart’s, Hoss’s Coner (get it?), and Custard’s Last Stand (get it?). We ended up at Custard’s, from which I got an unmemorable cone, and Stacy got a glacier — soft serve poured into a Slush Puppie. Stacy made sure the thank the gods for this creation.

(I may not have mentioned it earlier… Stacy is a slavish consumer of slush drinks — Slurpees, slush puppies, granitas, etc. It seems to be a Canadian thing — I’ve since learned that Winnipeg is the Slurpee Drinking Capital of the World. Slurpee-drinking is like Oreos- or Reeses-eating. There are proper ways to do it, methods for ensuring maximal enjoyment. To whit–as you get about half way through your Slurpee (which you’re drinking while you’re driving), tap it on your knee to help it settle before imbibing further. One of Stacy’s favorite drinks on this trip was an Apple Cider slurpee we got after we toured Ben and Jerry’s — she raved about it for miles.)

The following morning we headed out of Long Lake. We stopped to get some coffee at Hoss’, where we saw them putting out the bear.

Rolling out the Bear

We then visited “Buttermilk Falls,” seemingly a must-view for any visitors to the area.

Stacy at Buttermilk FallsLess “falls”, more “slopes.”

As you can see from the picture, they’re less “falls” than rapids. I don’t understand the deal that is made about them.

Having fulfilled our visitors’ obligation, we continued on our journey. . .