Lake Placid, NY

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Cascade Acres
Whispering Pines Campground

Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23rd

When we got off the ferry we made our way to Lake Placid. It took just about an hour to get there so it wasn't a bad drive. We stopped at the information center on our way in and then drove down Main Street to check out the town. After checking out the town we headed to the campground to set up the RV for the night. 

After getting the RV set up we relaxed a little bit and then got ready to head in to town for the evening.  We caught the free trolley in to Lake Placid and headed over to the Lake Placid Brew Pub for some dinner and to try some beers.  They had a 45 minute wait so we sat down at the bar and each had a sampler to try their 6 beers.  Jared really liked the 46'er and Moosale, and I liked the Backfence IPA and Bruce's Brown Bag Ale.  We met a nice couple at the bar while we were hanging out and chatting with them for a while.  Before we knew it we were being called upstairs because our table was ready.  We headed up and had some dinner.  We both enjoyed our dinners and then we headed out to walk around Main Street.  It started to rain so after a while we caught the trolley back to the campground.

Saturday, September 24th

Today we slept in and took our time heading out from the campground.  We drove the RV to the park & ride lot at the scenic train station.  We bought our tickets for the scenic train ride/wine & cheese event.  After buying our tickets we walked up to the Olympic Center. 

When we got to the Olympic Center we purchased our tickets and then wandered around a little bit on our own before our tour started.  We found out that the 1980 rink was being set up for a wedding that was taking place later at 3pm.  It was a pretty neat idea and cool to see.

The arena is a sight in itself, and local guides give hour long tours in which the American "Miracle on Ice" hockey victory over the Soviet Union in 1980 figures prominently.  Our guide, Howard Riley, brought the magic of that day alive through his memories of watching it from the eighth row.  He is a very cool guy that worked to get Lake Placid ready for the Olympics in 1980.  Howard was the mayor of Saranac, and he is now currently a judge.   He was a reporter that traveled to Switzerland in 1973 to cover the bid process for 1976 Olympics.  Then he was put in charge of reporting status updates of Lake Placid to the IOC.  During the Olympics he acted as the troubleshooter for everything that went wrong.  He said he was running around constantly and didn’t really get to see any events, except one.  The ONE, aka the USA vs USSR game.  "Everyone was going crazy," he said.  “And then we couldn’t get out, because there were 50,000 people outside the arena celebrating.”

The tour includes a view of that game’s last two minutes on a television in the stands.  Seeing it in the very space where the action unfolded was cool, especially as the announcer, Al Michaels, yelled, “Do you believe in miracles?”

While we were in the upper level of the arena, we were overlooking the USA rink, where some figure skaters were practicing.   We were treated with a view of figure skaters Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov, gold medalists in the 1964 Innsbruck and 1968 Grenoble Olympics.  They were practicing a routine in Lake Placid's Olympic Center at the age of 79 and 81.  They still looked quite graceful, it was pretty amazing. 

Then we walked with Howard down to the 1932 rink and ended the tour at the Hall of Fame, where Howard told us some more stories of the people in the HOF.  That concluded our tour.  We both really enjoyed the tour, especially since Howard made it much more than just a tour of the facility with his stories of actually living the events/history that he talked about.

We left the Olympic center and walked around Lake Placid’s Main street and visited the shops again since now today they are open.  We bought our magnet and called it a day shopping.  We walked over to the Great Adirondack Brewery, per a suggestion from Jenny (Jared’s sister).  We relaxed and had some beers and appetizers to settle our rumbling stomachs.  We only had their pumpkin ale (seasonal) and the Abbey Ale.  Both were tasty.  We also got to keep our glasses (which had quotes about beer and Olympic symbols).

By the time, we walked back to the scenic train station it was time to board.  We boarded and got seats, and enjoyed the train ride and wine.  We tasted wines from Goose Watch Winery and Swedish Hill Winery.  The train took us to Saranac Station and then back to Lake Placid.  It was a nice way to see some of the fall foliage in the area.  The leaf colors are currently changing everywhere around us.  We hopped back in the RV and drove south to whispering pines, which was closer to the Olympic sports complex.

Sunday, September 25th

Today we got up early and drove to the Olympic Sports complex, which houses the bobsled/luge runs biathalon course.  We signed up for a tour, and then checked out a bunch of bobsleds that were outside for you to play with.  Then we hoped in the van and began our tour.  First, there was the 1980 bobsled run, which isn’t iced anymore and is only used to do half runs in the summer on sleds with wheels for tourists.  The other run is the combined track, which was built in like 2003 and is used for bobsled, luge, and skeleton.  We took a tour up to the top of hill, which was a great view out over the valley.  Our guide said Lake Placid is one of the few Olympic cities you can see all of the event sites from one spot (check out the pictures).  We headed back down the hill and then headed up the road to see the Ski Jumps. 

Since you have to pay to get a close up view of the jumps we decided to pass and got some good shots of the jumps from other places.  From here we drove over to the torch, which is now a large horse show grounds and ball fields, but was the site of the opening ceremony for the 1980 games. 

Then we continued through lake placid for the last time, as we headed to the Thousand Islands. 

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