Monday, June 06, 2005

Into the Empire State

BURLINGTON--Today's trip took a different turn (literally) as we went up to the town of Grand Isle and eventually took a ferry across Lake Champlain over to Plattsburgh in upstate New York. [The car rally that I mentioned yesterday proved a bit too pricey for us to visit, but we did make a morning stop at a nearby place called Dakin Farm and pick up a whole bunch of good eats, many of which were made with maple syrup. I got some syrup (duhh), some honey (in a little plastic bear, of course), a pack of maple candy, a block of a local smoked cheese, and this amazing maple spread (it's all vacuum-sealed, so it'll keep until I get home). I don't normally invite my friends over to eat crackers, but you really oughta try this stuff.]

There was a lot of cool scenery throughout the trip, especially at this place we visited called Ausable Chasm. It features a breathtaking view down into this little canyon filled with swirling water. (I'll post some pictures eventually. I've realized that, of all the "toys" I'm thinking of getting in the next year or so--a bigger TV, a new computer, and so on--a digital camera is high on the list. I've been using disposable cameras since my 35mm went out a few Christmases ago, but it would be great to have some photos to post on this site during trips like this. As it is, I'll wait until we get back and people email them to me, which will still take less time than developing and scanning my own.)

We stopped at the chasm right before taking an even longer ferry back to downtown Burlington, then we chilled at the hotel until it was time to see the Randy Brecker concert, about which I'll either post separately or tack onto here later.

But otherwise, it was another long and fun day, and some of the random interesting stuff we saw appears below.

Rules of the road: When the ferry reached the New York side of the lake, our attention was immediately drawn to some of the "state rules," one of which was that it's illegal for a driver to use a cell phone. It's a good thing the two SUV's kept up with each other, because that had been our primary means of communication. We also noticed that the top legal speed limit in the state is 55 miles per hour.

It's a sign: There were a lot of funny signs along the trip. Here are a few:

"SAAB STORIES REPAIRED"--at an auto shop on the way to Grand Isle.

"DEN OF ANTIQUITY"--at an antique store near Grand Isle.

"STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS. Have another scoop."--a sign touting the ice cream at Sun Burgers, the charming little roadside stand where we stopped for lunch. I had a buffalo burger--yes, made from farm-raised bison. Good stuff! (When looking up the link, I also got a kick out of the fact that the owners of Sun Burgers are named Sundberg.)

We saw one of those Adopt-a-Highway signs on the New York side where the highway in question had been adopted by the "Star Trek club." Really; we have pictures.

We also got a picture of a historical marker next to this place called the "Sax House" with me in front of it, and eventually with all the sax players on the trip included. The ironic thing is that this house was built in 1820, which is 20 years before Adolphe Sax invented the instrument which bears his name.


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