First, our destination today is Wilmington, New York. This past weekend was the Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, one of the triathlons to qualify for the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. The race was on Sunday. Many people stayed until yesterday to leave the area. We arrived today to a lot fewer crowds.
We had a couple of different routes we could take to Wilmington. One way was to take State Route 3 from Watertown through the Adirondack Mountains. The other way was along the St. Lawrence Seaway. We chose the latter in hopes of seeing a ship go through the locks at Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock. Bob had checked the shipping schedule, but he thought ships were about three hours away. We went anyway.
We left Clayton, New York at about 8:30 a.m. to drive along the St. Lawrence Seaway in New York. The highway had very little traffic, was mostly level, and had nice shoulders. But the best part of this drive is the scenery! Driving along the St. Lawrence Seaway is beautiful. We saw one big tanker heading upriver. There were bays and ponds and rivers all along the way.
People we had talked to told us we needed to go under the lock in a tunnel to get to the north viewing area. So, when we drove up from the highway, we passed by the entrance to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Visitor Center and went through the tunnel.
|The entrance we missed. We didn't expect it|
so quickly after we got on this road.
|Through the 13' 6" tunnel (no problemo).|
We quickly took the 5th wheel back under the tunnel and made our way to the Eisenhower Visitor Center. As you can see in the photo below, the parking lot is almost completely empty. There were maybe five other vehicles there.
|Rigamarole and Beauty in the Visitor Center lot.|
The guard was so concerned about our parking job, he didn't remember to check my bag. Crazy.
Anyway, Bob and I had a big laugh about the lot filling up. There were more birds in the lot than cars.
We made it to the viewing platform in time to see the ship pull into the lock. The ship would rise up 40 feet. It took about 30 minutes from the time the ship pulled in until it was raised up and left the lock heading upriver.
|The ship nestled 40' down in the lock.|
|And here she is up at river level.|
|A close up showing how big this thing is.|
|The ship is underway now.|
|The valves that let water into the lock.|
|A map of the seaway system from the Great Lakes|
to the Atlantic Ocean.
|The shipping channel buoys and my boy.|
Thunderstorms were brewing just west of us and it was time to skedaddle to Wilmington, New York. The roads through the mountains were fine; no steep grades or sharp curves. From Massena, New York, we took Hwy 37, to Hwy 30, to Hwy 86 through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. We did get a really heavy downpour along our way. It didn't last too long.
It was pretty hairy hauling the 5th wheel through Lake Placid which was chock full of pedestrians, a long, narrow main street, semi delivery trucks blocking lanes, and people who didn't know how to parallel park their trucks and were sticking out into the street. But Bob navigated the truck-infested streets with aplomb. We made it safely through the maze.
The Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA is huge! We have a pull-through site in a grove of trees. There is no grass around, just lots of forest floor dirt/sand. At least it's dry and level.
Over the next three days, we plan to go to Ausable Chasm (waterfalls), High Falls Gorge, Roaring Brook Falls, Beaver Meadow Falls, Rainbow Falls, Stag Brook Falls, drive Veterans Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain, and do a 10k Volksmarch in Lake Placid.
Life is good.