By August 5, 2009

Lake Placid trip summary: day two

I like to be cool. I keep my house at about 68 – 70 degrees all year round. My mom’s place was in the low 80s, and as such I didn’t sleep very well. Capping off a twelve hour car trip with a poor rest motivated me to leave for Lake Placid, NY early. I was on the road by 9AM.

The drive to Lake Placid was beautiful, but I was about to find out the hard way that narrow, two lane mountain roads could jam up in a hurry during tourist season. At least the weather was cooperating.

My MazdaSpeed3 is a turbo station wagon (er, sorry Mazda, a five door). Even though it has a long body and you can put groceries in the back, it can still haul ass. I was looking forward to zipping around the back roads on my way to Bond’s wedding. I zipped east on Highway 90 and then broke northeast on Highway 28. The trip up via 81 was very easy going. Sky was blue, sun was shining, traffic was moving. However, things started to slow once I hit the single lane roads of Highway 28. I came to a dead stop several times on this road. The longest delay was in Old Forge, NY — about 45 minutes — but I got to stop at a great coffee shop called Ozzie’s Coffee Bar. They make a fine Americano and the chicken panini was very good. You’re going to have to slow down in Old Forge anyway, so you might as well pay them a visit.

After five hours in the car I made it to Lake Placid. The town was a lot smaller than I expected, and a little bit run down and touristy. I anticipated more, with Lake Placid being the site of two Olympic games and home of the winter sports training center. There was a sharp contrast between the older hotels (like the one I stayed in, the Northwoods Inn) and the modern ones, such as the Crown Plaza. I chose the Northwoods because it was downtown, was less expensive than the other places, and had rooms available. I stayed on the third floor, which gave me a pretty decent view of the town:

Lake Placid at ground level from the Northwoods Inn:

There was a large lake on the other side of my hotel. I learned this was not Lake Placid, but Mirror Lake. I bought a cup of coffee at Starbucks (no local coffee shops to be found!) and did some people watching. This was one of the best parts of my trip.

There was a large number of motorcyclists in town. I was embarrassed at their driving skills and their mish-mash of protective gear. Most of them were cruiser riders, and as to be expected they generally wore the smallest helmets allowed by law, t-shirts, leather vests, and jeans. I only saw four people in full gear. Two were a couple on a Honda ST1300 sport tourer, the other two were BMW riders. Most sport bike riders had jackets and gloves, everyone else had less.

I watched one squid attempt to park his bike parallel to a very steep asphalt slope. He put his kickstand down and dismounted. I watched the bike tip over on its left side and slide down on its fairings. I am sure that was an extremely expensive mistake, both in plastic body parts and in pride. His other two friends had parked like regular humans and just watched as the bike slid down slope.

I spent the rest of the day walking around Lake Placid, which takes about ten minutes each direction. This church was really pretty:

and I got to see some neat people, like this lady and her best friend:

I also spoke with a really nice couple from Canada who had ridden down on their Hayabusa super sport bike. They were kind enough to answer my questions about ride comfort and any modifications made to the bike (none).

Despite two long days of driving, I was pleased with my stay in Lake Placid so far. It was nice to just sit and watch the folks go by, and in retrospect I should have come up straight from Virginia on Friday to spend an extra day of doing nothing.

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3 Comments on "Lake Placid trip summary: day two"

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  1. Ed says:

    Doing nothing is one of the great pleasures in life

  2. fishsprout says:

    And to think… you just missed IM Lake Placid a couple weeks ago… 🙂 It looks beautiful! Are you having pie during your trip? 😉

  3. drfaulken says:

    I did, in fact, eat some coconut cream pie on my trip back 🙂