Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Adirondacks

I love seeing Adirondack chairs. This is my favorite picture of them, taken in Nova Scotia as we drove the Cabot trail.

We spent five nights in Adirondack Park at Lake George and these were the only Adirondack chairs I saw. They're OK, but not really picturesque.

The Adirondack Park is a publicly-protected area located in northeast New York. It is the largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark. The park covers some 6.1 million acres (9,400 mi²/24,700 km²), a land area about the size of Vermont, or of the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined.

We have seen a lot of Civil War sites in the past month. When we moved to northern (do they call it Upstate?) New York, we entered the world of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.

One day we drove north along Lake George, which links Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River to the Hudson River, towardFort Ticonderoga. Along the way we saw these neat sailboats.

Fort Ticonderoga was called Fort Carillion by the French when they built in 1755. Here in 1758 a small French force under Marquis de Montcalm repelled a British attack led by Lord Jeffery Amherst. That battle devastated the 42nd Highland ("Black Watch") regiment. After the French won the battle, they withdrew and Amherst rebuilt the fort, renaming it "Ticonderoga."

We visited Ticonderoga because of a Celtic Festival being held there. The gathering honors the Highland regiment badly beaten that day. First we came on this tower, honoring that regiment and showing memorial wreaths laid to commemorate those who died here.

At the fort there were booths selling various Scottish wares.

Including one erected by the St. Andrew's society. We couldn't overlook that one.

We saw pipe and drum bands.

And Celtic bands.

Some people were dressed in their clan costumes, but others were not.

The weekend we spent in the Adirondacks coincided with the Upper Hudson River Valley Volunteer Fireman's convention. Two fire companies were in our campground. This group parked their fire engine in one of the campsites.

The week before had seen the community host Americade, a week-long motorcycle gathering. A few of the bikes were still in the village of Lake George when we visited there.

The Monday we were there we also saw a funeral procession come to town with the body of a local man killed in Afghanistan. He had volunteered to be the gunner on a sortie and was killed. Many people from the town lined the street as the funeral procession made its way to the church. A reminder that we are at war today, as we were in the 1700s.

As we walked around the town we found that three different boats offered tours of the Lake. This is the one with the most memorable name.

At one time there was a "Millionaire's Row" of houses along the lake. This was a traditional summer destination. Don't you remember reading about families with lake cottages where the wife and children spent the summer at the cottage and the father came up on weekends? Lake George is certainly close enough to New York City and Albany to be one of those places.


  1. Cool festival! I went to Americade once years ago on the back of a Honda Gold Wing. Gorgeous area.

  2. The Adirondacks are lovely. I must revisit someday.

    The Celtic tradition is strong in Eastern Canada. I was not aware that it was very strong in the US.