We just got back from a very very wonderful honeymoon in upstate New York and Vermont. Here are a few highlights:
We flew into Hartford (or technically Windsor Locks, CT) because that was the best combination of airfare and rental car taxes. We drove up the interstate for awhile then cut into the backcountry of Massachusettes crossing the Berkshire Mountains into New York. We stopped at the Revolutionary War battlefield of Bennington where farmers, militia, and a handful of Continentals soundly defeated nearly a thousand Germans.
We spent our nights at three different bed and breakfasts the first of which was located in Warrensburg, NY on the southern edge of Adirondack Park, the largest park in the country covering most of northern NY and encompassing 6.1 million acres.
Monday we explored the Revolutionary War battlefield of Saratoga, the turning point of that war. We hiked a 4 mile trail through woods behind British lines and also took an auto tour of the battlefield which is quite large. Benedict Arnold was really the hero of the day as he led American forces in overrunning a doubt on the British right, leading to their demise. The American victory at Saratoga was enough to convince the French to enter the war on our side.
Tuesday we visited Fort Ticonderoga. The fort served for only a short time, only about 30 years. The French built it and held it during the French and Indian war but then they evacuated it when a second and larger British force advanced. Americans Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, and his Green Mountain Boys surprised the British in 1775 to seize its cannons for General Washington. The British then recaptured the fort prior to their advance to Saratoga in 1777.
Tuesday night we moved to our new lodging in Wilmington, NY just outside the Olympic city of Lake Placid. Wednesday we hiked Algonquin Peak, New York's second highest point at 5114 feet above sea level. It was an 8 mile round trip, and quite rugged, and God provided great weather for us to get to the top and allowing the clouds the roll away so we could admire the view from the summit.
Thursday we spent as good tourists admiring the Olympic sites around Lake Placid, which hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. We toured Herb Brooks Arena where the Miracle on Ice took place in 1980, walked on the Oval where Eric Heiden won five golds in speedskating in the same games. Then up to Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the refrigerated bobsled track. We walked to the top where the USA Luge team was practicing. After all this excitement, we took a ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont and the lodge where we would stay the next three nights in Stowe, VT.
Friday was rainy so we toured the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory just down the road from our lodge. We also saw more of the village, which apparently is the ski capital of the East (when it's winter) and took a nap.
Saturday we took a gondola to near the top of Mount Mansfield (elevation 4393 feet above sea level). From there it was "only" 0.7 miles to the summit. The first part was just like rock climbing then we broke out of the trees into the alpine zone, unprotected from the wind. The temp was about 40 degrees so wind chill had to be close to 20 and it had frosted. It was a very cold half-mile to the summit where we stayed only long enough to get a picture. But it was a very good experience. The afternoon was spent at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington (Vermont's largest city at 38,000).
After breakfast the next morning we headed back south toward Hartford. We stopped for about a half hour to hike briefly and find letterboxes on the infamous Appalachian Trial. By the way, we found other letterboxes throughout the trip including one on top of Algonquin.
So there are the highlights from our trip. Perhaps another time I will bore you with dispostion of people and traffic problems of New England.