Tuesday, 24th May, 2016
After five hours of train travel past vast stretches of water and tiny villages we arrived at Westport and clamboured down the steep steps to the ground. There we were met by Nancy and Bob who showed us around the historic railway station ( now also a theatre) before driving us through pretty Spring countryside to their home. It is on the site of a grand country hotel (now demolished) and was one of the cottages build for vacationers. They have since enlarged it and added an upstairs. As well they have built a granny flat which is our residence for the next six days.
We had an hour to unpack, shower and rest before meeting Bob and Nancy on the deck. In one day we had come from a room with a view of a brick wall in New York to views over birches and pines to distant rugged mountains in the Adirondacks. With a glass of Shaw and Smith and some local cheese, reclining in an Adirondack chair, life was pretty good.
John and Bob barbecued the meat, we had a convivial meal ending with delicious rhubarb pie and then collapsed into a warm and comfortable bed.
Wednesday, 25th May, 2016
There are only two minor problems with our current accommodation. There is no TV reception.. There is also no internet reception until we drive to the town of Lake Placid where my AT&T suddenly wakes up. Again not really an issue because our hosts have left inviting books about the local area, birds, trees and many more topics. But it does make it hard to post this blog.
There are videos, CDs, radio plus games and of course the stunning view. By one window is a bird feeder filled with sugared water where we can watch the humming birds hovering as they dip their beaks into the liquid. The houses are set on six acres. On our walk this morning we found patches of blueberries in flower visited by huge fat bumble bees. The flowers are white like strawberry flowers but are just growing out in the middle of a field.
Before setting off this morning we packed a picnic and then drove to John Brown’s Farm. We all know the song “John Brown’s body lies a mouldering in the grave”. Inside a wrought iron fence and beside a huge boulder is the place where he was buried after being convicted of treason and hanged in 1859. His sons who died fighting the same cause lie there also. He is best described as a militant abolitionist and his life was complex to say the least but nevertheless he is revered for his contribution to the freedom of slaves in the United States. His first wife died after giving birth to five children. The second wife lived in the house we visited and gave birth to thirteen children, six of whom survived to adulthood.
Beyond the house we could see the giant ski jumps built for the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. They poked into the sky like huge cranes. Later, in Lake Placid we saw the ice hockey rink in the Olympic Stadium, the speed skating track in front of the high school and the bob sled track on the hill.
We had eaten a picnic by the Cascade Lakes but by late afternoon planned to have an early dinner at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. John and I shared a half plate of ribs but couldn’t eat it all. They were quite tasty, served with fries and broccoli slaw. This was washed down with beer.
Bob and Nancy worked in their vegetable garden in the early evening while John and I caught up on some sleep.