09 August 2011

Adirondack Museum Excursion

Last weekend, the Sailor and I packed a picnic and took a drive to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Visiting the museum is something the Sailor has wanted to do for a long time, but it never seemed worth it to "waste" a beautiful summer day cooped up in a museum. That was far from the reality though! 

The museum has nearly twenty buildings on a 32 acre property with gorgeous views of Blue Mountain Lake. 

And there were plenty of outdoor activities... When we fed the trout in the pond, I felt like I was at SeaWorld-- they jumped right out of the water to get food! Too quick to get any photos though.

I tried my skill at tying sailing knots. I was taught by one of the best!

We climbed the fire tower that originally stood on Whiteface, New York's fifth tallest mountain and the only tower on a mountain over 4,000 feet. The fire tower stood on Whiteface from 1919 until 1972. Most fire towers in the Adirondacks have been replaced with air surveillance today.

Here's the Kitchen Garden, a feature of many Adirondack homes...Looks a lot healthier than our garden, for sure! Maybe we just need a scarecrow to do the trick. Corn, zucchini, lettuce, strawberries and sage were growing in the museum's garden this year.  

Notice the purple box hanging from the tree in the photo -- It's designed to trap the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle killing the ash trees, which make up about 7% of the trees in New York State. The Department of Environmental Conservation put up over 6,000 boxes across the state to stop the destructive insects.  

One of my favorite buildings featured Adirondack guide boats and power boats. If your timing is right, you might catch the master boat builder in residence working at his craft.

Here's the El Lagarto ("The Leaping Lizard of Lake George") a three-time winner of the APBA Gold Cup. Lake George resident, George Reis, drove the El Lagarto at speeds over 70 miles per hour. Fast and loud!

Among the many buildings at the museum, we saw authentic summer homes, an artist's cottage, a one-room school house, and a hunting camp that had all been moved to the museum property.

The exhibits covered logging, a main industry in the Adirondacks; road and rail transportation; mountaineering; wildlife; and recreation, including fishing, camping and kayaking. There was even a whole building dedicated to hands-on activities for children, including a rock climbing wall, 1980 Olympics sled and ice-fishing shack for exploring. 

Above: An early snow "plow" designed to pack down the abundance of white stuff we get here in Upstate New York.

Below: Lavishly decorated private passenger rail car to carry the wealthy to their Great Camps during the Gilded Age.

Thanks to the Sailor for being such a great date and taking all of these photos!  

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