Our 2020 Adirondack Trip
July 19 to July 24, 2020
During the Covid-19
Pandemic
(pictures by Kelli and Michael Bochnik)

This was a replacement trip when our long term and constantly changing plan to visit Walt Disney World fell through due to the pandemic. We went through initial closer of Walt Disney World in April- June, flight changes, dining reservations and Fastpass cancellations and finally having to secure day reservations for each park. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened July 11 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios the day before we arrived. Everything was set but the covidiots in Florida made sure that the virus spread after they reopened. Cases and deaths were on the rise, we were still going down, but then New York State imposed a two week quarantine after we returned. Too many of us would miss too much work. We all decided to cancel two weeks out and I made arrangements to head to Lake Placid. It was a good choice since NY numbers continued to decline based on a slow opening and general lack of idiots. 

Sunday

We left home at 8 AM in the morning and took I-87 up. The week will be very hot and humid at home and we looked forward to cooler temperatures up north. We stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Half Moon/Clifton Park. For the first time in months, we ate inside.


Eating inside for the first time Cracker Barrel in Half Moon.

We stopped briefly at the two Visitor Centers along the Northway. One was near Lake George and the other near the exit for Lake Placid. The Lake George center had a nice display on the history of the Adirondacks. Due to Covid, they had self-dispensing machines for the I love NY products. They also had free bottles of hand  sanitizers

  

     We stopped at the Birch store in the little town of Keene, then at the Owls Head Rustics outside of Lake Placid. We arrived in Lake Placid just after 3 PM. It was a hot 90 degrees.

We checked into the Placid Bay Inn. Our room #11 had a view of the lake and Whiteface Mountain.

Dinner was at the Hungry Trout in Wilmington. This wonderful dinner started with a Smoked Trout appetizer. Entrées were roasted trout with lemon-caper butter, Adirondack Guide Platter with Campfire trout, grilled venison chop and roast duck. We finished with a chocolate fudge cake and strawberry rhubarb pie. We then relaxed at their new patio along the Ausable River.

Monday, July 20, 2020

We were up at 4:20 AM to head down to Ferd's Bog. It took about 2 hours and we saw some Common Ravens and female Wild Turkeys with young chicks, poults, along the way. We heard a number of warblers in the woods on the trail down including Parula, Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue Warblers. Near where the bog opens up I heard a call of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher but never saw him. We were briefly visited by a young Canada Jay (formerly called Gray Gay). The bog still looks the same after all these years. I proposed to Kelli here in July 2006.

  

The bog had two singing Olive-sided Flycatchers, Belted Kingfishers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Song, Swamp, Lincoln's and White-throated Sparrow. Hermit Thrushes were singing in the surrounding woods. On the way out we met Andy Guthrie, he had been birding the Blue Mountain Lake area and was heading home.

 

  

 
White-throated Sparrow      and       Palm Warbler

 

Breakfast was at our favorite place in Inlet - Tamarack Cafe. We had a huge Greek omelet and a Tamarack Bowl, highly recommended. It was sausage, hash browns, eggs, cheese and country gravy. We shopped the stores in the town and hit the bakery for coffee and donuts for the ride back.

We hung out at Placid Bay Inn for the afternoon. We had another great dinner in Lake Placid. This time at a new place called Lisa G’s. We had maple bourbon wings, salt and vinegar wing’s, roasted pork & bacon sandwich, and a Moroccan burrito.

 

That evening we looked for comet Neowise in the northeast skies in back of the resort.

      

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The day started with a spectacular sunrise over Lake Placid.

We had a quick breakfast in the room and headed to Bloomingdale Bog. We encountered two groups of Canada Jays, 9 in all. We gladly fed them raisins out of our hands. 

 
Canada Jay

 

 

Other birds included Great Blue Heron, Alder Flycatchers, Winter Wren, Nashville Warblers, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided and Palm Warblers.

 
Chestnut-sided Warbler        Red-breasted Nuthatch


Red Squirrel

We had breakfast in town at the Breakfast Club. It was a 30 minute wait but worth it. Good coffee! We had an omelet with goat cheese and a crab cake benedict. Everything was great and we will be back here. We shopped in town and rested at the room in the afternoon. Lunch was ice-cream sundaes at nearby Mountain Mist Ice-cream.. 

Dinner was simply Subway takeout. 

Wednesday, July 22,2020

We slept in but heard a Common Loon out back. We saw him in the fog from the window of our room. We got up and went down to the shore for a better look

 

A Mallard with her chick waddled out of the water. The chicks were oblivious to both of us.  Mama mallard kept a close eye on them.

Breakfast at Sourdough, raisin bread French toast and corned beef hash.

We birded Connery Pond in the late morning. We had great looks at an Alder Flycatcher. 

 
Alder Flycatcher

We then headed over to the Chubb River trail and saw and heard a few Hermit Thrushes, Black-throated Blue and Blackburnian Warblers and got a good look at them. A few butterflies were also about. For lunch, we returned to Sourdough for sandwiches and ate in our room. We hung out at the pool in the afternoon.

 
Hermit Thrush        Tiger Swallowtail

 We went to Saranac Lake for dinner at the Left Bank, a French Bistro.  Since we are missing the France Pavilion in EPCOT - I had a Kronenburg 1664 beer and some snails in pernod cream as an appetizer. Kelli had baked camembeet with figs and walnuts and an interesting Curiosity soda. Entrees were salmon with zucchini, polenta and herb sauce and pasta with lemon, cream, spinach, artichokes and walnuts. We had a crème brulee.

   

   

Thursday, July 23,2020

We heard the loon at sunrise and found two in the lake.

We birded the Paul Smith's College--Visitor Interpretive Center, but just around the building. A Northern Parula posed in a tree in the parking lot. A Purple Finch was found at the feeder.

 
Northern Parula

 
Northern Parula

We headed over to Oregon Plains Rd. and Bigelow Road. We stopped when we heard a Magnolia Warbler and we had good looks at it. Along the road we spotted a male Ruffed Grouse. He saw us and made some display movements then disappeared into the woods.  We went through a huge puddle after first making sure it wasn't too deep. The next one was even bigger so turned around. So did the car that was behind us. They were looking for a fishing spot.

   
Magnolia Warbler        Ruffed Grouse

 

We did brunch back at Sourdough followed shopping in town, Then headed to Wilmington for the Adirondack Chocolate Shop. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool.

 

Comment: Everything is basically open, but with social distancing and mask requirements in place. Oddly we feel safer here than home. Everyone wore masks in the street and in the stores. No yahoos or covidiots not wearing masks when near you. There are less people than normal but still  we need reservations for dinner since only half the tables are available and some restaurants remain closed. Even mini golf is open.

Dinner was at the Great Adirondack Brewing co in Lake Placid. It was a disappointment. We ate early with an empty inside but they gave us the only drafty table in the place. Their mashed potatoes were not ready for Kelli’s sirloin. They did not have the ribs I ordered. Then the bill came to $78.31 but when it came back with my credit card it was $81.30. This used to be a favorite place. Not any more. We also had a lackluster dinner last year. On the bright side dessert was good, Torched S’mores Semifreddo bar.

 

Friday

We woke up to a thick fog and we are heading home today. We took a drive towards Saranac Lake to find and take pictures of particular abandoned house.

We had breakfast at the Breakfast Club. 

We spent some time on the lake shore in back of the inn before checking out of our room and heading to High Falls Gorge.

 

 

 

We headed home. Lunch was hotdogs at the truck just before getting on the Northway. The ride home was uneventful. At the Rockland rest stop we felt the heat and humidity that we missed by vacationing upstate.

We hope you enjoyed our trip report and pictures.

To read more of Kelli and Mike’s Trip reports visit: http://www.bochnik.com

Comments: E-mail Michael at bochnikm@cs.com