Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Mountaintop, Lake, and Earache - Oh My!

Last Friday morning the girls and I patted Tesla on the head with directions to behave himself when Andrew came by to feed and water him, threw our stuff, in the car, and pointed ourselves to the west. Amanda was going to spend the weekend with her friend Darci in Bennington who is attending college there while Jamie and I continued on to the Lake George area of New York.

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Our journey to Bennington took us through the Berkshires of Massachusetts and as it was a picture-perfect September day we decided to take a slight detour and head to the summit of Mount Greylock, Massachusetts' highest peak at an elevation of 3,491 feet. Amanda and I been there once before early last September but it wasn't the best of days and what we saw on the summit was this:

Amanda had said that it seemed like something out of the movie "Silent Hill" and I've got to admit, it was downright impossible to get a good look at the war memorial that stands at the summit. This time, though, was a completely different story! And not just because Amanda's hair is now red instead of black!

As you can tell, the girls are thrilled to be back together now that Jamie has returned from Canada! Sigh ... Anyway, one of the other things that was different this time other than the fact that we could actually see the monument, was that it was open so we could climb the spiral staircase to the top if we wanted.

Amanda took about six steps up, decided that it was just too windy and steep for her (she apparently inherited my former fear of heights) so instead opted to safely wait for Jamie and I on a bench. There is a time when I would have been sitting right there with her but now I've simply got to do things I wouldn't have before as otherwise I might miss out on a good photo op!

Jamie and I successfully negotiated the increasingly narrower and narrower-as-it-got closer-to-the-top staircase until we finally arrived at the small room at the top of the tower with its windows looking out in all directions. Some of them were still pretty covered with condensation as it was still fairly early in the day but I was able to get a few decent photos taken before we started our way back down.

Amanda was right where we left here when we made our way up and once we got our feet firmly back on the ground we resumed our journey to Bennington which is not far from Mount Greylock at all. I'll be writing more about Mount Greylock over on The Distracted Wanderer once I get my proverbial act together and find some extra time too!

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After getting Amanda settled at Bennington College with Darci, Jamie and I drove through some very pretty New York farmland for about an hour and a half before arriving in Lake George around 4:30 in the afternoon with plenty of time to check into our budget motel (more about that on my other blog at some point) and buy a couple of tickets for the upcoming fireworks cruise on the lake before killing some time walking around and taking photos of the area.

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As the Adirondack Balloon Festival was taking place just down the road in Glens Falls (something that I decided to completely avoid after witnessing the line of cars trying to get into it off of the interstate)  a couple of balloons came up to do what they call a "moonglow" in Battlefield Park next to the lake before the fireworks went off.  I managed to get a quick picture from across the street before we boarded the Mohican, a moving National Historic Landmark that has been plying the waters of Lake George since December of 1907.

Not only did we get to see some beautiful fireworks over the lake from a terrific vantage point but just before the fireworks started, Jamie and I saw a meteor streak through the sky - though we didn't know it was a meteor at the time and only found out later when I was watching the 11:00 news back at our hotel. According to the newscaster, it's one of those "you're lucky if you see one once in your lifetime" kind of things so I guess we were quite lucky indeed!

Jamie wasn't quite so lucky the next morning when she awoke early with an earache. Thinking that maybe it was sinus-related, I made a trip to the closest Rite-Aid and bought Advil and Sudafed and a few other over-the-counter things and then as I drove up to Fort Ticonderoga, about 40 miles north of where we were staying, Jamie laid down in the back seat and napped until we got to our destination. I took Route 9N along the lake rather than heading up the interstate like my TomTom initially wanted me to as I thought it would be nice to see some scenery along the way even though it was an overcast day.

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Jamie snoozed peacefully right up until I pulled into the parking area at the fort and then she was a good trooper as we had lunch and then walked around the grounds learning the history of the fort and the troops that defended it. As you can see by the flag and my hair in the photos below, it was a bit windy there on Lake Champlain but even though there were plenty of dark clouds, the rain held off until just as we climbed into the car to make the drive back to Lake George.  I was most thankful as I had been wanting to go to the fort for years and rain would have been most annoying!

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Jamie climbed into the backseat and resumed her previous position for the drive up to the fort and slept the whole way back to the motel. She said she was feeling a bit better before going to sleep but the next morning she said that her ear was really bothering her again so I sent Amanda a text and told her that I'd be picking her up earlier than planned as I wanted to get Jamie home at that point. On the way back to Bennington I simply had to stop briefly to take the photo below:

Makes me wish that I lived up in that area simply as that would be one very cool triple-feature to see, especially at a drive-in movie theater! Unfortunately it's a bit far to go even if one of the movies does star John Cusack and it would be kinda interesting to see Abe Lincoln slaying vampires!

After picking Amanda up at Bennington College and saying good-bye to Darci, we continued on home though this time our route of travel took us down some back Vermont highways where the foliage was looking pretty good in some places. If I hadn't had a sick kid in the backseat, I probably would have been stopping way too often to take photos but instead I merely pulled over for the two below.  It looks we are most definitely having an early foliage season this year but that doesn't surprise me as everything seems to have been about a month early this year. It's been weird to say the least!

The rest of Sunday passed peacefully enough but when Jamie's ear seemed to be even worse on Monday, I took her to see a doctor who diagnosed her with both an inner and outer ear infection. Having been on an antibiotic plus ear drops along with a pretty powerful pain reliever since then, Jamie is finally starting to feel a bit better and hopefully the worse is now behind her.  Even though the timing could have been better as far as not having happened while we were out of town, I'm just glad that she didn't get the ear infection while she was still up in Canada as I'm not sure how she would have gotten it treated. Thank the good Lord for granted favors!


  1. Oh the lake is lovely and then some. I would love to visit there. And the turning leaves are awesome. Don't really get much of that here, but you already know that.

    I hope Jamie is feeling better soon. Poor thing.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  2. Well, except for poor Jaime's earache, an absolutely lovely weekend! And I rather like the foggy monument photo!

    I'll take a pass on the horror triple feature though. Yikes. No, thanks.

    You're such a great Mom! srsly.

  3. Gorgeous photos, as always. I love following along with your travels. I bet the colors are just phenomenal up there right now. I was there quite awhile ago, thanks for the trip down memory lane this morning.

  4. I hope Jamie is feeling better by now. The balloons lit up at night are spectacular! What a beautiful sight! I love drive-in theatres. There's something wonderfully nostalgic about them.

  5. Anonymous4:51 PM EDT

    One thing about NY...if you can take back roads...Do. You'll almost always be rewarded by beautiful sights.

  6. What a view from the monument! I kind of like the first, mysterious pic, of it :)
    I'm glad Jamie is all better. Ear infections are no fun. I remember having quite a few myself as a child. Never had a strep throat though...
    Hugs from Ohio,

  7. What? You didn't zip line at the Mount Greylock summit? I'm sooo disappointed.

  8. That great view makes the climb worth it. I like the difference between the fog and clear day shots.

  9. Some great autumn shots you got on your trip. I must admit I do like the spooky feel of the first foggy one at the memorial.


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