North Country SketchbookMonday, January 03, 2011
For a long time, I had wanted to experience a ski lodge in the mountains somewhere. Now I didn't really care so much about the skiing part; I was more interested in the "lodginess" of the place -- you know, big (preferably stone) fireplace, high ceilings with log beams, typical ski-country decor. Well, my wish came true this past weekend, as we spent New Year's in the Adirondacks.
Local resident and author Russell Banks (Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplitter) recently told Amtrak's Arrive magazine that you won't see wilderness like this again till you get to the Rockies. I can believe it. ADK is a woodsy, wintry vastness, and I can't wait to go back and see it in other seasons.
We snowshoed, rode in a horse-drawn open sleigh, skated on the Olympic Oval, and watched the dogsleds go by on frozen Mirror Lake. We stayed in Saranac Lake, at the lovely Porcupine Inn, and had "Eve of New Year's Eve" dinner in the spectacular setting of Kanu at Whiteface Lodge. New Year's Eve dinner was at the newly restored pub at Interlaken Inn, and we enjoyed drinks, live music and pool at Maggie's Pub at Lake Placid Lodge. Cozy, warm, lodgy lodginess -- basically, what you'd get if you turned a big mug of mulled cider into a vacation spot.
Drew this next one with a pencil as we bumped along in the sleigh -- not an easy task (watercolor added later). I always thought sleigh rides were fast, swooshy and smooth -- you know, "dashing through the snow," and all that. Not so.