Monday, July 16, 2012

ADK and Beyond

"ADK" is what the locals here in New York call the Adirondack State Park and associated mountains.

We left the little town of Oswego this morning and made our way through upstate New York and up into the Adirondack, or Green, Mountains. We programmed Dad's GPS unit to take the shortest route (not the fastest), which quite often leads you on merry adventures through back roads you'd never normally see, and that's what happened today.

We followed winding, twisting, snaking little roads that in some places could hardly be said to have two lanes, and sometimes went through trees so thick the sun seldom hit the forest floor. It's the kind of road that when you see a sign like this:

You think to yourself, "Oh good, I can speed up."

There is one little town - the picture at the top of the post is from just outside of it - called Newton Falls, and it struck me as the town that time (and most of civilization) has forgotten.

There is a decrepit, blighted traffic roundabout, of all things, just before you get to the main street in Newton Falls and we didn't exit it correctly and immediately the GPS piped up in careful cautionary tones, "Warning! No GPS data for this location. Proceed cautiously!"

So if not even Google knows where you're at, you are darn close to being lost. But we backtraced our steps, made the proper turn, and continued on our way.

Our next stop was Lake Placid, New York. The village here hosted both the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics. I got the strong sense the place has been mostly resting on its laurels since then. The one bookstore in town was closed up and out of business, which I always find a sad sight and poor omen for a place and its people.

The highlight of our stop was lunch at a Howard Johnson's *restaurant.* A large sign out front said there are only two left in existence. The one here and one in Bangor, Maine. Perhaps we'll get to stop at that one, too. The chowder was delicious!

From there we drove down through the mountains, with Dad snapping photos right and left, and let Ms. GPS - whom I shall never doubt again - guide us straight onto the ferry at Essex, New York. It transported both us and our trusty vehicle across Lake Champlain with swift efficiency, and by midafternoon we found ourselves in Vermont.

As always, I have posted a few extra photos on my Facebook fan page. Click  here, and then click the "Photos" link. While you're there, be sure to click that "Like" button, too. Thanks!

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