State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.

lake george

by Natalia

Lake George was empty. Not desolate, devoid of skiers, empty at the end of the winter as we are used to, but burgeoning with hope and fresh paint at the beginning of the season. Empty is not bad. Sure, most hotels are still in hibernation and restaurants are closed except for an Indian place. But you have all that emptiness to yourself: no person in sight on top of the Prospect Mountain, which in-season must be crowded to the hilt, at least judging by the size of a parking lot and a picnic area. Yes, you read right: there is a road to the top. I hate to hike all the way to the summit only to find lazy tourists prancing around not breaking any sweat,but not this time - the road doesn't open until Memorial Day so no pesky people to contend with.

And the road isn't the first attempt to ferry effortlessly multitude of people to the summit. The foot trail follows the path of nineteen century funicular with remnants of supporting walls scattered around the forest and huge iron wheel on display on the top. Nice to think that faster, nastier and crowdier is not all that modern invention.

Hiking instead of driving has its benefits (other then actually getting you to the top when the road is inaccessible). Finding a salamander (at least we think it was a salamander, we counted its fingers) is one of them.

So who, other than misguided engineers on sabbatical, goes to LakeGeorge before crowds descend on it? Police force - that's who. By patrol car, by truck and by boat. We never found out why close to a hundred of them stayed at our hotel but we slept sound trusting no harm would come to us. Surrounded by sheriffs (gdy dokoła są sami szeryfi… - lost in translation, sorry).

Lake George is quite endowed with history, at least on American scale. Not only has it ruins of a fort, but also a reconstruction of the same. Ruins make you wonder: why come all the way from Europe and fight for a small (relatively speaking) sliver of land when there is entire continent unclaimed and barely explored. Then again this is a modern perspective. From a seat of a car, driving on a highway everything is close and anything is possible. Maybe we should try a wagon?

The reconstruction of the Fort William Henry is, thankfully, not at the original location and, thankfully again, was closed due to the early season so we didn't subject ourselves to a battle reenactment including firing a musket by a guide in a period garb.

lake hill falls rinse repeat

Hike to the top of the mountain to gaze at the calm water below, stop by the roaring falls cascading down the gorge, stroll by the quiet lake if you feel it's too cold for kayaking: Adirondack State Park is great for outdoor activities. Including bizarre ones like catch-and-release fishing (hurting and stressing fish for dubious satisfaction of the angler), gem panning (rinsing a purchased bag of pebbles in a futile hope the seller forgot to remove valuable stones) or making campfire in the woods (too much worrying it may spread).

cap

We were just getting used to how our truck makes us feel: all manly and rugged, passing for real Vermonters lacking nothing but a dog (and a cow, and a farm, and a cute name for our own brand of goat cheese). However, the thought of carrying anything of value on the truck bed was more than we could bear. The vision of flying suitcases, of our bikes magically unchaining and suicidally throwing themselves into the following traffic, made us act. We decided to cap our irrational fears once and for all.