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