Day 80 – 27th September (Lake Placid)

Similar breakfast to the Hampton Inn approach – paper cups and plates, plastic cutlery and buffet food. Much of what was available was pre-packed. Edible, but not at all classy. Again. Very quiet also.

In addition, Jean had not slept well, finding the bed rather uncomfortable. It certainly creaked a lot.

The weather was very overcast, temperatures in the low teens. Rain was always a possibility.

The gent in the visitor bureau across the street was very helpful, indicating that the Winter Olympic Museum was far less comprehensive these days, as they were building a whole new complex to bring home the significance of the games held here in 1932 and 1980. Indeed there was a huge amount of construction going on – incredibly noisy and busy, with diversions everywhere.

We decided to walk around the lake. The hotel is on the edge of Mirror Lake, not the actual Lake Placid itself, which is a little further north. Mirror Lake is very small, and the walk around it is less than 3 miles, but it was a pleasant stroll, with some nice tree coloration.

Some very nice real estate hereabouts
Pumpkin season in spades
Slates noting mountains in the area with heights in feet
Better if it wasn’t so cloudy

As we came back into the village, Jean acquired some new shoes, as a pair that she’d bought with her were rubbing painfully, and got a new battery inserted into her watch. Results.

The circuit led us back naturally to the Olympic Museum, so we had a look. Indeed, there was little left to peruse, but there was some genuinely interesting stuff.


However, the piéce de resistance (apart from the above, of course 🤣) was the 1932 ice rink. This is the exact site on which it was situated, but it has been extensively refurbished as it is in use today for various events. We were lucky to see some guy practising his ice dance moves to the tune of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s mid-1970s hit “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

I used to be a huge fan of “Ski Sunday” on the BBC in the 80s and 90s, so some of the names of the athletes were well-known to me. Ingemar Stenmark, Phil Mahre, Hanni Wenzel, Eric Heiden. Blasts from the past.

The gent in the visitor bureau had mentioned that the ski-jump slopes, about 2 miles away, had been turned into a tourist attraction. This I simply had to see, as ski-jumping is one of those bonkers things to do that has always fascinated me.

This turned out to be an absolute revelation. A gondola went up one level, from which there were great views, not only of the countryside and colours, but of the jumping slopes and landing areas. One of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Bottom of the 60 metre and 90 metre slopes. These are all-weather now
On the way up
All weather plastic surface
There is an elevator in this tower taking you up even further

As part of the ticket, we ascended the above elevator to put the icing on the cake.

Unreal. The picture doesn’t really convey how steep this is

There was also a very interesting video about the history of winter sports in Lake Placid, how it got the bids for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and how such a small town managed to produce two of the greatest Winter Olympic events in history. In their opinion, of course, but it was worth the viewing despite the hoopla.

Final shot before descending, after an entertaining chat with the attendant about how the USA lost the chance to become a monarchy!
On the way down

What an experience.

At this stage, we hadn’t seen the actual real Lake Placid yet – it’s a lot bigger than the Mirror Lake – but it is remarkably invisible. This is the best we could manage:

Consultation with the guy on the hotel reception later gave us another idea to follow up to see more of this lake, which we’re planning to do tomorrow before we get to the next destination.

Next – dinner. We went to a barbecue steak house called Smoke Signals, a 10-minute walk from the hotel, which came highly recommended.

An excellent meal ensued, but neither of us could finish it. We managed to finish the wine, though…..

Back to the room to prepare for our departure tomorrow to an overnight stop on the way to Boston. The big city awaits once again.

Check in tomorrow for updates, won’t you? Please….

6 responses to “Day 80 – 27th September (Lake Placid)”

  1. Excellent to have the ski jumps as a tourist attraction!

    1. Honestly, it was brilliant. A real treat.

  2. I must have blinked Chris as I missed you and Jean coming down the ski jump on your skis. I did see Jean’s celebratory wave on the podium!
    Quite remarkable place and photos.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. Just looking down the slope gave me the shivers! Way beyond anything I can comprehend.

  3. Jean i like the picture of you on the stand with your medal
    are they your new shoes? have you got a picture of your shoes?
    Chris i bet it was a bit scary right up the top of the ski jump
    the tree look lovely

    1. More than a bit scary, Adele. And no, those aren’t Jean’s brand-new shoes. Jean will send you a pic at some stage…..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: