Burlington’s location by Lake Champlain is ideal for a side trip to New York. And, upon the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Rebecca!) we decided to take the ferry over to the Adirondack Mountains.
There are several ferries crossing the Lake to New York, but we chose the longest route, which was also the closest to Burlington. This ferry is considered the most scenic. But because of the cloudy, rainy weather, we waited it out for a few days, and wound up taking the ferry on the final day of its season (the other two ferries continue year-round).
We’d learned recently that there is a “sea monster” that is said by some to inhabit Lake Champlain, who’s been nicknamed Champ. There have been hundreds of reported sightings.
The first reported sighting was in 1883 by Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney, described as a gigantic water serpent about 50 yards away. The first sighting of the Loch Ness monster occurred 50 years later.
One theory is that Champ may be a plesiosaur (same theory as the Loch Ness monster), because both lakes have a lot of similarities; over 400 feet deep, and both formed from retreating glaciers.
Others believe that people are mistaking common species or other objects for a “monster”, or that it’s all a hoax. But the marketing department in Burlington has taken full advantage there are a number of cute sculptures of Champ around.
Once across we travelled some pretty country roads headed to Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. It was a beautiful drive with the colors not quite at peak but still lovely.
There is a road to drive up to the top of Whiteface Mountain and there is also a gondola that takes you to the top. We had Angel with us, so we couldn’t do the gondola and there was a huge traffic jam at the entrance to the road to the top so we bailed.
We continued to Lake Placid, Hector and I were eager to see the town where the 1932 and 1980 Olympics were held. Lake Placid is a very cute town. The lake setting is quite striking and there are gorgeous homes surrounding it. But it was pretty congested and crowded.
So we continued our dirve to check out some of the Olympic sites. Our first stop was at the ski jump ramps, which are free standing and built on top of the mountain. The previous ski jump we saw is in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and is built into the mountainside. The ones here were even more impressive.
As he was transported to the top, I was feeling a bit nervous about having the responsibility of capturing a photo of the bobsled as it made it to the finish line. I knew I’d only have a couple of seconds to take the photos. Happily, I got a couple of good shots! That’s Hector in the middle between the driver and the brakeman.
It was time to drive back and we made it just in the nick of time for the ferry ride back.
And Hector got to ride the bobsled, something he’s always wanted to do. Not bad for a quick day trip.