August 10, 2011

Due North, Day 5: Back in the NY Groove

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: As I was leaving Montreal and heading back to the United States border, I took notice of a slight change within myself; a subtle difference that I probably would have overlooked if I had not been spending the drive reflecting on all of my recent activities--gazing through the windshield, I noted that the French street signs no longer appeared foreign to me. I no longer felt like the stranger in a strange land. My Canadian surroundings were familiar and comfortable. I knew right away that I was experiencing personal growth. My perceptions had expanded just a little bit and I was better for it. My horizons were now a touch broader. Aglow with the light of new experiences, I set my sights on a natural attraction that sits about halfway between Montreal and Lake George called Ausable Chasm.

Formed some 500 million years ago when the raging waters of the Ausable River began to wear away the sandstone strata, Ausable Chasm is 2 miles of gorgeous, natural eye candy. The tour begins with a rim hike that passes cascading waterfalls and unusual stone formations such as Elephant's Head and Jacob's Well before descending into the fissure on a series of stairs, walkways, and bridges. About 1 mile in, the tour switches to a raft ride that floats through narrow crevasses, over a whirlpool basin, and even shoots the rapids a few times. It is a trip that is exciting and enchanting, as well as informative.

After another hour back on the road, I came to my second stop, Fort Ticonderoga, though, much to my dismay, the skies had turned overcast and drizzly. Ready to brave whatever the elements would bring, I left the dryness of my car and entered the star-shaped compound. Built by the French in 1755, Fort Ticonderoga served as a pivotal stronghold in both the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. Originally named Fort Carillon, the fort underwent a name change when it was captured by Sir Jeffrey Amherst on July 27, 1759. It is also the scene of America's first decisive victory in the quest for independence. I got a great glimpse into history as I strolled the various barracks and fortified walls that overlook Lake Champlain. I particularly enjoyed the military music performance by the Fife and Drum Corp.

Just as I had finished up my visit to Fort Ticonderoga and was walking to my car, the clouds opened up and I was caught in a heavy downpour. I sprinted to the vehicle with the hope that it was only a passing shower, but that was not the case. The skies would threaten for the rest of the evening. By the time I finally reached the resort at Lake George, the rain was steady. After checking in and unpacking, the conditions were still very wet so I decided to drive around the village to look for a place to eat. I spotted a quaint restaurant called the Lobster Pot. I found their nautical decor charming and the seafood bisque quite delicious.

After dinner, the weather gave me a very small window of opportunity to end my long day of driving with a little bit of putting at Goony Golf. As I stroked my way through 18 cleverly-themed holes, I wished in my mind for sunny weather for the two days that would follow. It was a wish that would come true...

"He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love."

~1 John 4:8