Monday, November 1, 2010

Lake George in the Fall

Fall is a wonderful time of year. Crisp air, leaves changing colors, clear skies are predominant. Karen and I had the opportunity to get away for a long weekend at a quaint Bed & Breakfast in the town of Warrensburg, NY, just a few minutes north of Lake George. The place we ended up at was the Cornerstone Victorian, run by Louise and Doug. A wonderful couple barely begins to describe our hosts. We were greeted by Doug, and immediately it felt like we had just arrived at a close relatives home. Doug covered the basics of the house, a charming Queen Anne Home built in 1904, and then asked us what we had planned for the afternoon, making several suggestions for a rainy day. The house had a beautiful parlor and sitting area, adorned with many period antiques. We were shown to the Masters Chambers, complete with a King bed, fireplace, private bath and private porch. It was also furnished with a pair of recliners, and one modern feature-Satellite TV. Now the fireplace was only semi-functional, using a fireplace candelabra, which still added a nice romantic touch to the room.
After unpacking, since it was raining intermittently, we decided to take a ride around the lake and see what was open. After choosing a direction, we ended up in Bolton Landing, and in the area of The Sagamore. Since it was drizzly, we only snapped a few pictures, one of which was the fall display on the front lawn of the Sagamore. After a quick stop, we went back into Bolton Landing and found a cute shop with a little something for everyone. Furniture, tapestry, flowers, plants and so much more. We loved the table, but it had a huge gouge right in the middle of it, so that was kind of a turn off. I also loved the gas pump-but was a little out of my price range at $1600 Next we travel south into the village of Lake George, stopping to find the ferry boat we would ride on Saturday. The ticket office was closed, so we could not pick up early seats. Across the street was For William Henry, which is located at the southern end of Lake George on a hill overlooking the lake. It was built in the 1750's during the French and Indian war, and was the site of notorious atrocities committed by the Indians against the British and provincial troops. This event was the focus of James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohican's.

The fort was burned to the ground in 1757 by the French, and though several forts were built nearby, Fort William Henry lay abandoned until the 1950's when interest in the history of the site was renewed, and a replica was built and turned into a museum. For dinner, we opted to go to Aimee's in Glens Falls, which was a dinner and a movie place. Very small , but the food was decent and the movie was OK as well. Something a little different to try. We had thought about going to another theater a bit further north, but someone at the B&B said they saw a sign saying see you for Halloween. After dinner we headed back for the evening.

The next morning we woke up and got dressed for breakfast. One of the highlights of the B&B was it's 5 course breakfast! That was hard to pass up, and it turns out it also covers you for lunch as well. We walked downstairs, and the table was set, and the first course was already laid out. Fresh fruit was first on both mornings, and the first day was kiwi and melon.

Others started to come down as well, and we met our temporary "neighbors" A couple from Long Island, a couple from Ottawa, Canada, and a lady from the Lake George region via Idaho joined us in sampling the various courses, as well as conversation, much like a breakfast table at home. We were earliest down, so everyone got to see the courses as a preview. On day one we had the following after fruit: coffee cake with caramel and hot fudge inside served warm, a potato latke with blue cheese, a granola parfait with the homemade granola, and the main course was choice 1 of this, one of that or a sampler of both. So I had the sampler and Karen had 1. Karen opted for a peanut butter waffle with a blueberry jam spread, and bacon. I had a smaller size waffle and the Spanish omelet wrap.Delicious! The next days breakfast consisted of fruit, hot fresh apple crisp, mushroom-cheddar bruschetta, granola parfait and eggs over asparagus and/or pumpkin pancakes. Based on this caloric intake, a little manual movement was in order. We mapped out the day to include a boat trip on Lake George and a little sight seeing on foot. The weather cleared up quite a bit from the day before, so first we stopped in town, and looked at a local shop with lots of furniture, nick knacks and an awesome new friend for me.Across the road was the Warrensburg Museum, with an extremely colorful mural on its wall. They hadn't opened yet, so we snapped a quick picture, and headed onward.We headed back down to Lake George, picked up our tickets, and headed around the lake to a side trip up to the "Top of the World", a golf course up on the side of the mountain with the most stunning views of the lake. It almost looked like you could drive the ball right off the tee into the lake.

Driving back down the hill, we happened upon an interesting house owned by an Italian family who was a major producer of oil in Italy. Apparently they had a getaway in the Adirondacks as well, complete with a moose and a guardian gangster on the porch. We ventured back down to the lake, to get ready for the scenic boat ride. Originally we were going to take the Lac du Saint Sacrement- The Lake of the Blessed Sacrement, which coincidentally was the original name of Lake George. It was originally named by French Jesuit missionary Issac Jogues. It was renamed Lake George in 1755 for King George II. We ended up going on the Mohican instead based on a recommendation from our hosts, as this boat was smaller, and was able to navigate into the smaller bays.Cruising up the western shore, the narrator started listing off various dignitaries and others who summered on the lake. Thomas Jefferson, Roosevelt's, Vanderbilt's, Rockefeller's and more. Heads of large companies like Union Carbide, the owner of the Red Sox (how ironic he would own in NY). The houses were beautiful, of course, and the foliage was beautiful, the colors were vibrant.

As we ventured further north on the lake the colors were a stark contrast to the ominous looking sky, and the blue/black water. The sun would peek out between the dark brooding clouds illuminating the hillside.

As we maneuvered between the smaller islands, we were passed by a few jet-skis. Definitely a little too cold for me. These guys were prepared with wet suits, trying to extend their season as long as possible. I can relate to that as a snowmobiler, because our window is even smaller. As we reached the northern most point of the lake we motored past the Sagamore Resort, and what a beautiful place. Originally built in the1880's as an exclusive resort community, it was twice damaged by fire, rebuilt in the 1930's, and then fell into disrepair, eventually closing in 1981. In 1983, an investor purchased the hotel and restored it to its former grandeur.Turning around we headed back toward the port. Based on the direction, and the suns path, we had excellent views of the eastern coast, but the eastern side of the lake was less developed. During the narration they mentioned that the state had purchased all the undeveloped land around the lake so no future building would take place. This way the lake will maintain its pristine look. The sun shone on the water, inviting this picture.We arrived back at our point of departure, disembarked, and picked up our souvenir picture. After a light dinner and a little shopping we settled in for the evening. Our final morning we were treated to yet another wonderful breakfast. Again on advice from the owners of the B&B, we took a ride up the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. This 5 1/2 mile road had several scenic pull offs as well as a summit which would have possibly allowed 100 mile views on a clear day. Sadly the views were considerably less that day, but we captured a few great pictures.

A wonderful trip, a great time to be sure. I highly recommend a trip here, and hope to get back again soon I also highly recommend the B&B.

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