Thursday, August 17, 2006

Adirondack Weekend


A few weekends ago we went up to the Adirondacks. Tom was playing for the ninth consecutive year at Loon Lake Live!, a very small four-week music festival in the quietest place I've ever been. Here's a link that tells much more about the festival: http://www.loonlakelive.org/
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There is a different group of musicians for each of the four weeks and the emphasis is on strings. The founders of the festival, Sarah and Catherine, were Tom's best friends when they all lived in Manhattan. I always said that Catherine was the big sister Tom always needed. Sarah and Catherine have two little ones, Ari and Zoe who are 5 and 3, I believe.
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Loon Lake is about a half-hour north of Saranac Lake, 45 minutes from Lake Placid, out a long and lonely road. There is no town there, really, just the lake. Years ago there were large hotels with small cottages that were right on the edge of the lake. Over time, the hotels -- being made of wood -- burned down, leaving just the cottages which were purchased by individual families and apparently passed down through generations. There is one bed and breakfast and absolutely nothing else in Loon Lake. It is very pretty: http://www.loonlake.org/theinn.html In previous years, when we've gone up there, we've stayed at the B&B, but they couldn't accommodate us this year. Good for them, I suppose, but bad for us!
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This year, since there was no room at the Inn, we drove up on Saturday and stayed that night at the Keene Valley Lodge. We'd always passed through Keene and Keene Valley on our way to Loon Lake and wanted to spend more time there someday. Sight unseen we'd booked a room at the Lodge. It was very comfortable, very hospitable, and not at all elegant. I'd stay there again in a minute. The room we had was a regular sized bedroom with a queen bed and we had our own private little sitting room. The common living room had a great big fireplace; one could imagine how cozy it would be in winter. Breakfast was ample and yummy. We had a good time on Sunday exploring the few shops in the Valley and doing some Christmas shopping.
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The Inn had an expansive front porch with, of course, Adirondack chairs. We made ourselves comfortable there for a while. What was interesting about the Inn was that it was so quiet. The guests, by some unspoken agreement, spoke in soft voices and didn't clomp around making noise with their shoes. After the warm weather we'd been having at home, it felt so good to sleep with our windows open and pull up a blanket during the night. There were soft sounds of cricket conversations, and that was all.
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Many of the people in Keene Valley were backpackers, climbers, general outdoorsy types. The shops were full of things that would appeal to them, including complicated containers to keep food safe from bears! I couldn't identify a single quilter/cook/reader among them. But one never knows.
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The Inn also boasted some exceedingly tall flowers!
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Sunday afternoon we headed over to Lake Placid where we had reserved a room at a hotel overlooking the lake. It was awfully nice, too, with a marvelous view off of our patio. We explored all the shops on the strip and had a nice dinner with Tom.
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The concert on Sunday night was one of the best we've attended. They are held in the Jewish Community Center, a rustic, old, small building, with benches/pews that don't all match and kind of spotty lighting and a miniscule bathroom. Not to worry. The acoustics are fine and one has the experience of being "up close and personal" with the musicians.
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After the concert we hung out with the musicians back at Sarah and Catherine's place, forgetting that we had a 45-minute drive to our bed. They entertained us with homemade chocolate chip cookies and stories of riding the New York subways, and all to soon we looked and the clock and realized we had to go!
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Monday we came home, stopping at a nice place Joe knew of for dinner. The only disappointment of the whole trip was that the fabric shop in Saranac Lake had closed.

3 comments:

Karrin Hurd said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, and looks like a beautiful place Nancy.

Susan said...

What beautiful pictures. Your stop at Keene sounds like a good choice. Sometimes we are forced to try something new, with wonderful results!

Ms. Jan said...

Great weekend Nancy and great report.