My wife and I recently did an impromptu whirlwind trip to locations in Vermont, and to the Adirondacks in New York.
The main goal of the VT portion of our adventure was to further explore the awesome Island Line bike trail in the Burlington area. If you're a regular reader of my Blog, then you might recall that I posted a report in May 2012 about exploring the northern end of this bike trail. (Click HERE to read that report.)
On this most recent trip, we explored the bike trail from Airport Park to North Beach (click HERE for a trail map). What a marvelous bike trail! There are many places where you can park your bike and then scamper to Lake Champlain's shoreline. The wide sandy beaches that are shown in the next series of photos makes it difficult to believe that you're in northern VT, and are only about 40 miles from Canada. You'd almost think you'd been magically transported several hundred miles away to some location in the southern U.S.!
Lake Champlain: looking southward
Lake Champlain: looking northward
However, one of the things that lets you know that you've not been transported to the far southern part of the U.S. is the presence of northern hardwoods which are adjacent to the sandy beaches.
Manicured hardwood forest adjacent to sandy shores of Lake Champlain
According to one of the informational placards posted at one of the shoreline locations, Lake Champlain did have a saltwater connection several thousand years ago!
Informational placard along the bike trail
Hmmm! I wonder if this ancient saltwater connection has anything to do with the "Lake Champlain Monster" that I spotted along the way (see photo below).
Lake Champlain monster?
And who (you might ask) are the people shown in the next photo? These are our "guardian angels"! While biking along the Island Line Trail, I experienced a flat tire! These kind folks just happened to come along at my "hour of need". The guy had an entire bike repair kit with him and happened to be a very accomplished bicycle repairman. Just like a pit crew at the Indy 500, this guy had me back on the trail in very short order!
"Bicycle Repairman" and his wife
After a day of biking in VT, my wife and I headed westward across Lake Champlain for Saranac Lake. This is a lovely village in the heart of the Adirondack high-peak area. Shortly after crossing over into New York State on the Crown Point Bridge, we stopped to take a photo looking eastward across Lake Champlain. At this particular point, there was a yellowish algae near the shoreline. It made for an interesting scene. Shown below is the yellow algae, along with a sailboat on the lake, and the very distinctive profile of Camel's Hump Mountain on the horizon (directly behind the sailboat).
Yellow algae, plus sailboat, plus Camel's Hump
When we arrived at Saranac Lake, the weather was deteriorating rapidly. It was decided to jump right into a short hike (1.8 miles round-trip) to a little nearby peak named Baker Mountain (2,452 elevation). The next photo shows Baker Mountain as viewed across a pond in the village of Saranac Lake.
Baker Mountain as viewed from pond in Village of Saranac Lake
From Baker Mountain, there was a nice view overlooking McKenzie Pond with a view (on the distant horizon) of the western rock face of the Gothics (I think!).
McKenzie Pond with rock face of the Gothics on distant horizon
The next photo is a zoomed image of what I'm presuming to be the western rock face of the Gothics.
Zoomed image of western rock face of the Gothics
From Baker Mountain, there is also a nice view of areas within the village of Saranac Lake, as well as the many lakes that surround it.
Village of Saranac Lake and surrounding lakes as viewed from Baker Mountain
When we awakened on the day following our arrival in Saranac Lake, it was overcast and drizzling. We decided to head for home via a circuitous route which would take us by the village of Long Lake, NY. Many times (and many years ago), we camped along the shore of this lake. It was fun to re-visit this location after many long years.
In between the rain showers, we did a 2.2 mile round-trip hike on the Northville-Placid Trail along the eastern shore of Long Lake. We found a campsite that looked very reminiscent of a place where we had once camped. We could not be certain that it was the same site. However, it was fun to fantasize that is was indeed THE spot!
Possible site where we camped many times, many years ago