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Archive for June 29, 2010

Day 30: New places in NY

June 29, 2010 6 comments

Location: near Montezuma, NY

Miles Driven: 318

Total Miles: 5,631

Woke up early to a rainy day in Burlington, and it was a little bit of a bummer since the plan was to take the hour-long ferry ride from Burlington, VT to Fort Kent, NY across the enormous Lake Champlain, and I was hopeful for some clear skies during the ride.

Made my way to the port and paid the $17 fee to get my car across.  I was early, so after lining up my car I took a nap, and sure enough I awoke to my car being the only one remaining in the original queue.  I gave the clerk my ticket and was the last one onboard.

the mazda onboard the ferry

The ship departed promptly at 8:50AM and we got moving on some calm waters.  I didn’t think we were going very fast, but once I went downstairs to the galley area and looked out a porthole, I realized how fast we were actually moving.

The ride was really pleasant.  I think I’ve only taken one ferry before, and that was just me on and my feet (no car) going from Cape May, NJ to Rehoboth Beach, DE, and I had little memory of that outside of falling asleep on a bench.  I liked how passengers are free to walk around the ship and enjoy the sights.  There were no sightings of Champ, but it was still memorable.

Shores of NY in the distance

Skies clearing up on the NY side

Closer now, and more clear

Looking back towards Vermont (left, in distance). NY on right

Standing with my home state behind me

All I had in store for NY was to drive through the Adirondacks and see how far I could make it while heading west.  I wasn’t sure of any attractions along the way, so I consulted my “Off the Beaten Path” book that highlights some of the lesser-known things found in each state.  One attraction just a few miles away from port was a place called Ausable Chasm, the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Ausable Chasm

I wouldn’t exactly describe it as Grand Canyon-esque, but it was still an interesting gorge to walk through.  I had no idea about this place, and I grew up in NY.  It was around $16 to get admission to do a self-guided hike, and I was initially reluctant, but after the hike I was happy I decided to go for it.  Cool place.

It was probably about an hour and half I spent walking amongst the different sections of the chasm.  When done, and sweaty as hell, I grabbed a quick bite and got back in the car to continue west.

The drive through the Adirondack mountains was quite scenic.

The drive took me through Lake Placid – home of the 1980 Winter Olympics and the “Miracle on Ice.”  Very nice-looking town.

Olympic Center

I continued on and eventually found my way to the northern stretch of I-81, near Watertown.  Worked my way south to the Syracuse area, then linked up with I-90W towards Rochester.  Turned out to be great timing, as the sun was coming down just as I was getting onto I-90.

Drove on some local roads for a little bit, and got to check out some farm country in the Finger Lakes region.

To take this photo, I rested the camera on the top of my car, and it ended up creating a cool reflection of the scene, like water

Tomorrow will be another big day of driving, as I plan to get to Ohio at some point in the afternoon.  Depending on the weather, I may be able to check out some outdoor attractions down that way.  NY is a huge state to drive through, but it’s hard to beat the views.

joe