From New York State

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City of Waterfalls

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The main reason I wanted to come to America was to walk (hike) in the National Parks. We have been to a few parks now on both the west and east and they are all spectacular and challenging. We are both constantly surprised how beautiful everywhere is! In the whole New England region there are numerous lakes and rivers and forests and falls. In Ithaca where we have been for 3 nights there is a river right behind the house we are staying in and 5 falls all spectacular very close to us. We went to Cornell university which is set on 4,300 acres with numerous gardens and has an area called the Arboretum or Plantations! There is a nut plantation for example that was planted by the class of 1901, and cottage garden area, specimen plants from all over the world. Its sort of ” Central Park of Ithaca” but much larger. We spent 3-4 hours walking around Cornell and we re not sure what fraction of it we saw! Yesterday we went to Toughannock falls. It rained while we were there but we wanted to go to the lower falls after seeing it from the upper rim. It is higher than Niagara but not as wide. In winter it can form into icicles!
We are staying in a 2 bedroom apartment with a young guy named John { journalism student at Cornell} who has been coming and going to feed his dog who lives in the flat. She is an old sausage dog which he walks several times a day to take her out to toilet! He is very caring towards the dog and us! The apartment has a front balcony and so we have seen many fireflies at night! All the people we have stayed with have been quite nice but John is the only one that has left us a care package in the form of a basket with chocolates, coffee teas, pretzels, fruit etc!
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Lake Placid to Ithaca

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After an early run round the Lake we drove into the town Lily walked round the Lake while I went for a swim , for about 3/4 of its length and back. Mirror Lake is the site of the Lake Placid Ironman , and with the very small width of the start area don’t how know they fit in 2500 athletes. After breakfast and a final chat with our hosts we set out for the long drive to Ithaca in the Finger lakes district. After departing the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake area the drive became flatter but was still mainly through heavily wooded areas interspersed with towns on large lakes. We stopped for lunch at Blue Mountain Lake and later stopped at the larger town of Old Forge for coffee. The route took us through the towns of Rome (couldn’t  see the seven hills ) and Verona !! Following a wrong turn near the large town of Syracuse we then had to drive through the town .We were headed via the town and Lake of Skaneatles which our host Lesley had said was very pretty .Following this our course towards Ithaca was firstly along Lake Skaneatles and the trees were replaced by farmland , with fields of various crops , corn , wheat , canola etc, and battery like dairy farms.
We arrived at Ithaca and met John who is hosting us . We are upstairs in 2 bedroom apartment which is compact but has everything. just as we got our bags up the stairs  there was a heavy downpour so rather then go down the street we  ate what we hand in our bag which was eggs on toast for dinner, and a few snacks John had left for us!
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Lake Placid , Cascade Mountain

From Burlington we drove up the West Side of Lake Champlain and onto Grand Isle , a large island in the middle of the lake. From here it was a short ride on a car ferry of about 15 minutes into New York State and the City of Plattsburgh. From there we took route 3 , thinking it to be a scenic route , which it was , but just miles and miles of heavily treed areas interspersed with a few very small towns , and despite heading through the Adirondack Park , no trail heads anywhere . We finally stopped in a park near the small town of Franklin for our packed picnic  lunch . From there it was a relatively short drive to Lake Placid where we went and checked in with our hosts , Charles and Lesley  {who are 65 plus  and have the airbnb as a “retirement job”}for the next 2 nights. In the afternoon we walked  the 5km around “Mirror Lake” which is where the actual town is situated . For dinner we went to an “Italian” restaurant but clearly it was run by a Serb as were all then wait staff. The girl serving us was named Ljiljana! We took in a movie  called “Tammy” before heading back to our accommodation in the evening .
The next day it looked like there would be a turn in the warm clear weather we had been having . We started out early and went on a hike up Cascade Mountain . The Adirondacks are home to 46 peaks ranging from just under 4000ft to Mt Marcy which is a bit under 6000 ft , all varying in their difficulty . Apparently Cascade Mt was a bit “easier” with a grade of 4 out of 7 but still with a 2000ft change in elevation . The Summit was bare rock and the weather was indeed changing , and once out of the shelter of the trees there was a howling gale . We arrived at the same time as a younger couple we had been following , so we snapped photos for each other before clambering down to a more sheltered area .
Driving back to Lake Placid the rain was coming down heavily . After eating our salad lunch  in the car we went to the Olympic Museum ( which was really pretty ordinary) .With it still raining we went to the movies again – this time Jersey Boys – which was good but not as good as the live musical . We walked round the Lake before dinner just as a local triathlon  was starting on a Monday evening.