Rather than abandon that leg of the trip, I made some more calls farther north until I located Ausable River Campsites, a Passport America park in Keeseville, very close to Ausable Chasm, Lake Champlain, and Lake Placid. Woohoo! Solid gold strike! While they do have wifi throughout the park, after half an hour on it it turns to crap every time. I swear the 3rd party providers of it are throttling it to discourage any long use. Happily, my Sprint aircard worked there so I was in business. The park has a wonderful heated pool and lots of planned activities. I managed to get on the hayride and grab some ice cream at the social.
I hit Ausable Chasm first thing. It is a beautiful stretch of the Ausable River with fascinating rock wall formations and waterfalls. You can go on a raft trip or go tubing all day in it. They have a long path all along the top and down into it if you are up for it. A trolley ferries tubers and rafters back.
On my day off later in the week, I drove through the mountains to Lake Placid where Olympians have trained for years and two winter olympics have been held. High Falls Gorge seems to be very popular with hikers and families. The road to the top of Whiteface Mountain is a very popular drive too. They charge you to drive on it. There is a gondola ride up Little Whiteface mountain for viewing and skiing.
In Lake Placid, part of the olympic complex still exists and the day I was there I got to watch future olympic skaters practice. Parents drive their kids from far away to train there with the best trainers. There is a museum there in the complex and the tour was great. I got to see the rink where the Miracle Team beat the Russians in hockey at a time when the country desperately needed a morale boost. If you want to bobsled and feel what it is like on the ski jump, get in the virtual reality simulator there. Outside is the speed skating rink where one American won 5 gold medals, the first time it had ever been done. You can see the ski jumps over a mile away from the complex.
The lake there can also be fun with sailboat and kayak rentals nearby. I had a very nice steak smothered in mushrooms and onions on the lakeside patio of the Sports Bar restaurant there.
I purposely left some time in the evening to sneak over to another GTG (Get ToGether) of my RVing Singles group that was going on nearby. Because they were boondocking in someone’s yard, I couldn’t stay with them but I got to spend the evening conversing, eating fresh baked blueberries, and 4x4ing around the huge property. Wow! They have their own pond and summer cottages besides their lovely house there. The view is fantastic!
The next day I took my first car ferry ride across Lake Champlain to Burlington, Vermont. It takes an hour and was soooooo cool! It is great having your comfortable car there to sit in but also be able to roam around the deck. This time I got smart and finally moved my binoculars into my car so I would have them when I wanted them such as on the ferry. There is a snack bar, restrooms, and a gift shop on that particular ship too.
When we landed in Vermont, I took off for Waterbury, the home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. You can tour their factory there and hear their story. Yep, there is plenty of ice cream to eat there too and that seemed to be the most popular activity there. I was surprised that the factory is not all that big for a company that sells all over the world now. Ice cream does not seem to take that much space. You probably won’t see Ben or Jerry there as they are retired from the company. You will see the graveyard of the discontinued flavors though. 😉 Oh and tie dye. They seem to really be into tie dye in that area. You can dye a shirt right there at the factory.
Heading back, I needed to go to the Super Walmart in Plattsburgh so I took the shorter ferry ride over from Grand Isle which also gave me more time to see the lovely Vermont countryside. I definitely LOVE ferries!
I didn’t have time to get to the Adirondacks Museum but it does sound pretty interesting so keep that in mind if you ever get to the area.
For more pics, click here.