Beautiful Lake George, NY

Early fall in the Adirondacks is always lovely. Nights are cool and crisp but days are comfortable and often breezy. As fall progresses you get treated to magnificent colors from the yellows and brown of the birches to the deep reds of the sugar maples. Fall in the mountains is a feast for the eyes.

It was still a little early for the bright colors but here and there a touch of color spoke of the promise of things to come.

I started the morning sitting on my sister’s porch watching the yellow finches and little brown sparrows fight for the seed in the feeders. Sandy was doing her morning walk. I was hoping to get a glimpse of her cardinal but he was nowhere to be found this morning.

When Sandy returned I suggested a drive up to Prospect Mountain and then a quick run over to find the Battlefield Park in Lake George where the “Moon glow” exhibition was scheduled for 8 pm. WE’d have to hustle to make it  after the 5 pm launch at the Warren County Airport. I wasn’t expecting to be chauffeured around. I’m used to being on my own but Sandy offered and I was glad for the company and a treat not to be doing the driving.

It doesn’t take that long to reach Prospect Mountain. There is a fee to go up the mountain but it includes parking at the top and the shuttle to the summit.

There are 3 Lookouts or scenic views. We stopped at all of them.

At the top we parked and took the shuttle the rest of the way.

At one time there was  a cable car that brought visitors to the summit where a hotel offering great  views, dining and dancing was the draw. The Prospect Mountain House eventually burned down but parts of the foundation can still be seen.

The views of Lake George are fantastic and on a clear day you can see for 100 miles to the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We had a bit of haze but it was still breathtaking.

A little after noon we headed back down the mountain to find Battlefield Park. There was a lot of roadwork going on with lanes blocked and heavy equipment scattered all over.  Even with that distraction we located the park but it was clear that  parking would be at a premium especially with all the torn up shoulders and boulders from the work in the way.

That out of the way we headed back toward the airport to see the vendors and find a place to watch the balloons launch at 5pm. A brief stop at Friendly’s for lunch and we were on our way.

My Mom had been sending me clippings about the Balloon Festival and in one of them I’d seen a mention of a parking pass for $15.00 for the weekend. Sandy had gone on a quest for information and in the process  bought one for us. What a difference that made! We had separate access to the parking areas so there were no lines, no waiting. It was definitely worth the investment. As we wandered through the vendor tents we could see the traffic from the non parking pass folks just crawling its way toward the airport.

It was really windy at the airport. We saw  quite a few “Chase groups” huddled around. It was questionable if they would be able to launch in the wind.  The day was warm and sunny, the only draw back was the wind and it was gusty.

We explored the tents and booths of the vendors and then headed to the field where we made ourselves at home on the ground..note for next time: bring folding lawn chairs!

As 5pm came and went we watched the balloons rolled out and propane set up but no effort was made to actually fill any balloons.

Little test balloons were sent up periodically and they took off like a rocket. Kites were flying and everyone seemed to be having a good time except the balloonists. Finally around 6pm we headed back to the car. Time to head back to Lake George for the “Moonglow”.

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Maybe we’ll have better luck there because those balloons are tethered.

On the Road to New York

It was time to hit the road to upstate New York. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a year, ever since my niece-in-law posted a picture on Facebook. This event is the 40th Anniversary Adirondack Balloon Festival. 40 years tells me it will be a BIG DEAl.

I’ve never been to a hot air balloon festival. I’ve seen hot air balloons, even rode in a tethered one in Atlanta, Ga. and I saw hot air balloons on one of my trips to Sedona, AZ. as they drifted over the high desert.

Drfting over the high desert. AZ 2008

Now I was heading to my old stomping grounds in Upstate New York for the biggest Hot Air Balloon Festival on the East Coast. To give you a timeline it’s Thursday, September 20 and the opening ceremonies are tonight at 5pm at Crandall Park in Glens Falls, NY.

I got a late start. It seemed like every time I turned around I spotted something that needed doing before I could leave so instead of a 10 am start I didn’t get on the road until almost 12:00.

I was making pretty good time until I got to the halfway point, Springfield Ma. The Big E is in town. The Big E stands for Eastern States Exposition and is the biggest fair in Massachusetts. To add to the traffic going to the Big E there was road work. Only one lane of traffic was moving. It was close to 45 minutes just getting through that section. ETA for Albany was now 4:30…rush hour. Making the opening ceremony was not looking good.

I put the time issue on the back burner and just settled in for the drive. It was pretty uneventful. Even the traffic in Albany was light for a rush hour. I did miss the opening ceremony at Crandall Park. I arrived at my sister’s house in Gansevoort, NY at about 5:30. Once the car was unloaded we dealt with the question of dinner.

The Peppermill Restaurant in South Glens Falls was the winner and we headed over there for open-faced Roast Turkey sandwiches…yummm .

Open Faced Turkey and Gravy Sandwich

Back at the house we reviewed the Balloon festival schedule. Usually there are early morning launches and then again in the afternoon. To our surprise there was no morning launch on Friday. That means we don’t have to get up early and will have the morning and afternoon to do whatever we come up with! Nice.

“I’ve Fallen and I can’t Get up.”

I’m sure everyone remembers a few years ago ( I think it was around 2007), there was a “Lifeline” commercial that turned into a media event. The victim had Fallen and the tag line was  “Help I’ve Fallen and can’t get up”. Soon enough there were T-Shirts and jokes galore all based on the phrase “I’ve Fallen and I can’t get up.”

I was as bad as the next person. I thought it was pretty funny too.

 Well what is it they say about “pay back?” I am discovering that as I “mature” (my sister takes issue when I say “old”) the  “klutz factor” has grown.

I was mopping the kitchen floor last week and everyone knows that floors are

but as I turned to leave the kitchen  …”bam!” (not the Emeril kind). I was on my butt before I could even think about what was happening. Rocky came scampering over to see what “mom” was doing on the floor but all he managed to do was get in my way as I tried to get back up, first the hands slipping then the feet. Finally I hitched myself to the edge of the kitchen so I could get a grip on the carpet and not slide.



I must have looked pretty silly but thankfully there wasn’t anyone to watch me except the cats.  Anyway, back on my feet my right hip hurt and my right knee started to swell almost immediately. By this time I’m feeling more stupid than injured. I continued on about my business figuring I was a little bruised but that I’d be fine the next day.

Well I’m here to tell you that even a bruise doesn’t heal like it used to before I became “mature”. As a matter of fact it’s been 4 days and I’m still limping. Sitting too long locks up the joints and I’ve noticed that trying to sit so my hip doesn’t hurt makes my back ache! I do not like these aches and pains, no I do not like them at all!

But I have been soldiering on and will soon be sharing more exploits in spite of walking with a “Shuffle” and enviously eyeing the  “Hoverounds”.