Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Visiting Meg and Steve

The drive from Fredericksburg to Lexington was short and easy. We hadn't stayed with Meg and Steve at their place in a long time because they had geritatric dogs and we had . . . Stela-the-pup! Now that Lenny, Guiness, and Bushmills are all fond memories, we skipped our Lazy Acres cabin and stayed in town with them. Nice!

We had a whole afternoon and evening to talk and laugh, remember their pups and compare their adventures to Stela's. Steve made a marvelous dinner of black bean cakes and grilled shrimp with a sauce from Susan Spicer's Bayonna recipe.

Labor Day was lazy and relaxing. We walked in the Lexington park, shopped at Cheese to You, and just enjoyed being together. Steve made another great dinner for us. We hated to leave.

The drive home was as good as it could be, but still took from 6:30 am to 6:15 pm. The end, until next time :)
Steve's black-bean cake and grilled shrimp dinner
Walking in the Lexington park 1
Walking in the Lexington park 2
In the kitchen with Steve
Meg harvesting basil for the pasta sauce
Selecting the best pasta
Stela watching the road

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Visiting Pam and James

Stela remembered us. She was even glad to see us. The Smiths were so good to her. She didn't gain weight. She is calmer over all. She seems so happy. Harris may be a dog whisperer. We think she still misses him.

After picking her up, we stopped for lunch at Linda and Lenny's. It was good to have a couple of hours with them before heading out of star Lake for another year. With luck, the four of us (maybe Stela too) will get together in Florida when winter sets in in Star Lake and they head south.

It was only a few hours drive to Altmar, our destination for the night. Russ' paternal grandmother is buried in Altmar and we wanted to visit the cemetery. Finding it was not too difficult and now we know that we need to find someone to clean her gravestone and those of other family members before the lichens make them unreadable. It was good to be there.

We stayed at the Tailwater Inn, which was surprisingly upscale for such a small, rural town. Our impression is that the fishing in the Salmon River drives the economy of the region and creates more prosperity than we saw in most other areas. Salmon come upstream from Lake Ontario to spawn and there are also steelhead trout.

Friday we drove to Pam and James' in Fredericksburg, VA. We dreaded the drive, on the first day of Labor Day Weekend, but the traffic was no worse than usual and we arrived before 4:00.Saturday, we walked to the Farmers Market downtown and partied with their kids and grandkids in the afternoon. It was a nice wrap up to the first week of vacation when they were all in Star Lake with us.

After a lovely evening of sitting on the porch together and a wonderful brunch Sunday morning, we headed off to visit Meg and Steve in Lexington.
Walking in the Altmar cemetery
The church from which Russ' grandmother was buried
At the cemetery
Grandmother Frances Hall's gravestone needs some attention
At the Farmers Market
Pam and Tanya
Mackenzie and Anna enjoying the ice cream birthday cake for JJ's 30th!
The brunch James made on Sunday, complete with leftover pupusas
Hailey, Emily, and Stela
Russ and Stela watching the pupusa-making
Mackenzie's pupusa dough stuck to her fingers
Peg and Anna putting finishing touches on a pupusa
James and Ryan, who thought the blue-masa pupusa balls looked like rocks, are being supervised by Hailey and Emily
JJ, Emily, Tanya, Hailey, Peg, Pam, Amanda, and Caroline
Emily, Anna, Erik, Mackenzie, and James
Emily and Caroline looking over the tomatoes they just harvested
James, Tanya, Erik, Pam

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York

The Senator Inn and Spa knows how to serve a complimentary breakfast. We were offered a vat of real oatmeal, not an envelope of instant, fresh fruit salad, cereals, bagels and a rotating toaster, raisin bread (yum), whole milk yogurt (yeah), hot scrambled eggs, hot sausage, and coffee served at the table, with real coffee cream. Ahhhhh, delightful. We left as happy customers.

The drive across the state on blue highways was beautiful. There was traffic, but it was not unpleasant. Bidding Maine farewell, we crossed New Hampshire, mostly on Route 2 with Mt Washington in view much of the time.

We stayed with Route 2 through much of  Vermont, crossing green mountains thinking of all the great cheeses made in this lovely state. The valley of Lake Champlain was as welcome a sight as the mountains had been.

We took the ferry from Charlotte to Essex NY. Tempted by the lakeside restaurant, we decided to head farther into the Adirondacks. On the way over, we had allowed Google maps to direct us around some of the little towns, but today we wanted to see them.

We stopped for lunch in Elizabethtown. Luck was with us. We randomly chose the Deer's Head Inn. Our choices included a board of local cheeses. Of course we chose it and were treated to two cheeses from Nettle Meadows(Kunik and Early Snow) and a tomme from Ausable. Also local honey and delightful crusty breads.

Despite a brief strong downpour, we arrived in Saranac Lake in good spirits from our cheese finds. We stayed at the newly re-opened Hotel Saranac. It has been restored well. Our room is small, but then they surely did not blast out all the concrete block walls in the restoration, and normal rooms were small back in the day. The appointments are thoughtful and comfortable.

The bar is grand, and has an outdoor patio with fire pits in the tables. Too bad about that downpour! We did not feel disappointed to have to stay indoors.

Today we are off to get Stela!
Back on the blue highways

Going through all the small towns today

Crossing Lake Champlain on the ferry

Lunch at the Deer's Head Inn


A stop in Lake Placid to stretch our legs

Outdoor bar area at the Hotel Saranac

Fire pits in the tables

Indoor bar area

Cocktail time


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Another New Place to Stay; More Trails to Walk; More Lobster Dinners

The third Alma hotel was not a posh as the first two, just more the size of a European hotel room than an American one. Stela would not have fit with her crate, but she is off at doggy camp having a grand romp so it worked fine for us.

We started the day at our most posh place, Alma hotel #2. Russ slept in a bit, while I made coffee and read my novel in the living room, with the electric fireplace on for ambiance :) Ah, what a vacation!

When we got our act together, we dug out our hiking boots and off we went to see more trails. We figured that climbing up into the car-top carrier to find our walking sticks would be over-the-top old-person cautious, so we didn't. We opted for the seaside trails. The first, Shiphaven -called Harbour in French-, took us along cliffs above the Bay of Fundy. Mist and fog rolled over us. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees. The sea breeze made us wish for wind breakers while we walked down the hills on the boardwalks and glad for the relief from the exercise on the way back up. Gorgeous views!

The second one we had chosen went to a copper mine. It was closed for repair. Darn.

Third on our list went along the cliffs, but the folks who were coming back from it warned that you really needed walking sticks because it was narrow, steep, and full of roots. Uh Oh. 

On to number four on our list. Like a goldilocks trail -- just right. We walked down a Devil's Millhopper long stairway to the low tide "beach." We walked on the bottom of the Bay, where the water would return in 4 or 5 hours. Very cool place.

Our fifth trail was Dickson Falls.  The Falls were lovely, but the gorge was spectacular.

For the final few hours of looking around, we found a pond formed by a glacier, like Star Lake. It was equally deep, but much smaller. The shared geological history made it special for us.

We returned to town for another round of tuna tacos and fish chowder. Steve taught me years ago in Prague that I should not resist repeated a meal I loved, so I followed his advice.

We went to the oldest restaurant in town when it got to be dinner time  and settled for lobster rolls instead of whole lobsters this time. We could still be exploring that Park. Maybe we need a return trip.

Forgot to mention that the water in all of the Fundy National Park and Town of Alma is not potable!  They are under a boil order and are so nonchalant about it that I suspect they have been and maybe will be forever. Perhaps 550 campsites, plus all the hotels, makes for more people using whatever sewer system they have than it can deal with. Brushing your teeth with bottled water gets to seem normal.

Today, Tuesday, we set out on for Maine. We arrived in Hallowell near Augusta about 1:30. For an hour, we had been discussing where among the 15 or so restaurants in Hallowell we would have lunch. We we got to town, all the roads were being dug up . . . all of them. Perhaps they are putting in storm sewers? It was a traffic mess.

However, it eased our restaurant choice because we zipped into the first open parking lot, resulting in a spectacular lunch of lobster fried rice and crispy noodle pad thai. Thank you fate!  I had read about a River-Rail-Trail in town. We sought it out and walked about 3 miles, but it had no shade and was less than advertised for ambiance. Oh well, it helped exercise off some of our lunch.

We are settled for the night in the Senator Inn in Augusta. Our room is huge and we are more than comfortable. Ahhhh! Smile.
Setting out on the Shiphaven Trail

Red spruce at the first part of the trail

Bay of Fundy from the cliffs above

Foggy and breezy, almost always

The rail keeps you from falling :)

Lots of steps

From the bottom of the steps it is just a beautiful

Quite a gorge

Down to the road. time to start back up

Looks different from this perspective

I am captivated by their interpretive markers
This is at the "beach" at the end of another trail we walked

This is how you get to the beach

And how you get back from the beach

There were steps at the Dickson Falls too

The stream that creates the falls

Pretty nice Falls

My tuna tacos!

Guiness with dinner

Hallowell's River, Rail, Trail walk

Hot, and not too appealing after all the tress at Fundy :)

The river was there

And pretty chairs by the parking lot