Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saranac Lake & Lake Placid

Breakfast at the Village Diner - $15 including tip - where all the locals are curious about the smart car.
Drove to Saranac Lake where I bought a fleece hoody as the weather was a chilly 9 C. We checked out the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, which unfortunately only runs on weekends at this time of year. Quick tour of Lake Placid, which seems to have been invaded by aging bikers, and stop for a lunch of homemade soup and sandwiches at Saranac Sourdough.
To Karen & Pete's house, just outside of Lake Placid village and a delicious salmon supper. Slept in a comfy cabin with a wood fire in the stove and an incinerator toilet.
Next morning we take a tour of John Brown's farm and grave in North Elba where our guide was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about her subject. Antislavery activist, and some would say martyr, John Brown was born at Torrington, Conn., on May 4, 1800. " He said later that he had realized the sin of slavery, "the sum of all villainies," at 12, and that seeing an African American boy mistreated had "led him to declare, or swear: eternal war with slavery." He also developed a great interest in military history, especially in the guerrilla warfare of the Napoleonic Wars and in the Haitian slave rebellion. According to family testimony, he finally concluded that slavery could be destroyed only by atonement in blood, deciding in 1839 that the South, "Africa itself," should be invaded and the slaves freed at gunpoint. If he actually made such a plan, he kept it to himself for another decade, meanwhile trying and failing at a number of business ventures, always in debt. He moved his family 10 times until in 1849 he settled on a farm at North Elba, N.Y., that was part of a project financed by philanthropist Gerrit Smith for the training of free African Americans."
In the evening we drive to Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake for a concert by banjo veteran Danny Barnes and singer/songwriter Kris Delmhorst. The gig is a sell out - they turn about a dozen people away. The packed house is a very appreciative audience.
We stay overnight in a spacious townhouse at Lake Placid Club Lodges.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Potsdam, New York

Left home 8 o'clock this morning and stopped at Joyceville, ON for some 83.9 cent a litre diesel. Pouring rain for much of the journey. No problem at Ogdensburg border crossing but the town was not what you'd call "inviting" so we pressed on to Potsdam.
'Ogdensburg, city (1990 pop. 13,521), St. Lawrence co., N N.Y., on the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Oswegatchie, in a resort area, opposite Prescott, Ont. (with which it is connected by an international bridge); settled by French missionaries and trappers 1749, inc. as a city 1868. A variety of light industrial products are made there; two state prisons are important to the local economy. In the city is a museum with works of Frederic Remington, who lived in Ogdensburg."
We check into the Clarkson Inn and have a siesta before heading out for dinner at Sergi's Italian Restaurant on Market Street where the service is sketchy. We order an ensalata caprese but the waitress says, "The owner is out and we can't find the cheese."