Today we left Dave and Kara Miller’s house in Sudbury MA with hugs and kisses from their boys, Sam and Josh. (As promised, here are a couple of photos of the room featured in the “Indian Ridge Road” episode of Trading Spaces… doesn’t look the way Frank envisioned!) Since I despise the Mass Pike and didn’t feel the need to drive it one last time, we took Route 2 out of Massachusetts. It was more scenic but slower, especially since it rained all morning.
By lunchtime, we were in the northwestern corner of Mass, in North Adams. We just wanted something quick and cheap to eat, but North Adams is not much of a fast food town. We didn’t really want to eat at McDonald’s, but since it was really our only option, we ate there quickly and then headed out of Massachusetts.
We stayed on Route 2 through New York until we got to Albany, when we got on I-87. The weather got a bit dryer. An hour later we got to Lake George, which is a lake resort town not unlike Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. You can’t turn around without seeing a mini-golf course. Our destination in Lake George was a mini-golf course featured on the Travel Channel as one of the best miniature golf courses in the country. This place had two courses: Golf Around the US and Golf Around the World. Dave was very excited to golf around the United States, to give us a preview of things to come.
Then we kept heading north and came to the Lake Placid exit just as our gas light came on. By the time we reached a gas station, over 20 miles off the interstate, the tank had 365 miles on it! I love the great gas mileage my Focus gets… but this must have been a record.
After we got gas we felt a lot more comfortable. We were only one town outside of our destination, Lake Placid. We drove past the ski jumps and then it was just a bit further into the heart of town. It is a really cute town, with the main street right against the lake, and of course the Olympic Center in the middle of everything. We drove to the end of town and back, then found ourselves a motel to stay in. We had listened to the radio a bit earlier to find out the local weather forecast, and it called for “intermittent showers and thunderstorms” through the night. Not camping weather. Instead we’re staying in a motel called Schulte’s, which Dave’s family used to stay in when they visited Lake Placid back in the ’80s – very nostalgic for Dave. He says doesn’t think it’s changed much.
Once we got settled into our room and changed into long pants (cold and rainy weather in mid-August!) we headed out for dinner. We had dinner at a place called Lake Placid Brewery & Pub. The hamburgers were good. Dave decided that their pale ale was too hoppy for his taste, but their signature beer, called “Ubu”, was good.
After dinner we headed over to Olympic Center. They have a public skating session every night from 8 pm to 9:30 pm. It was fun! It wasn’t too crowded and there were skaters at all levels. Of course the crazy teenage boys were annoying because they skate too fast and too close, but it was fun watching the tiny little kids who had parents holding their hands to teach them how to skate.
Once we were done skating, we wandered around the complex just a bit to see if we could take a look at the different rinks. The ice we skated on was called the Lussi Rink. Just across the hall from us was the ice used in the 1932 Olympics. It took us a while to realize it wasn’t the 1980 ice, and that instead the 1980 ice was down the hall. So we strolled down the hall to see if we could take a look.
We found it and were standing outside the doors of the ice rink where the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” took place (for those of you who don’t know, go out and rent the movie “Miracle” that came out last winter), when a custodian type guy came up and said, “You folks can go in there if you want. There’s also some other ice on the other side where they’re doing some figure skating.” So we just walked right in! It was pretty much vacant except for the zamboni driver. We walked around to the other rink just to see what it looked like, and some girls were just finishing up their practice. Then we walked down and sat on the visitor’s bench and watched the zamboni driver finish the ice. It looked like glass, it was so beautiful. I wanted to go talk to the zamboni driver, and Dave wanted to go to the other side and sit on the US bench, but instead we decided to head out, because we didn’t want to risk getting locked in to the arena. (This has happened to Dave before. He can tell you about it some time.) So we headed back to our room, talking about how cool it was that we could just wander around an Olympic arena and get that close to the ice.