The Iron Horse is taming the Adirondack wilderness once again!

Adventurers and train buffs alike can climb aboard the Saratoga & North Creek Railway train in Saratoga Springs, New York for the two and a half hour train ride to North Creek, just as the wealthy did in a previous Century.

The Saratoga Train Depot
The Saratoga Train Depot

Back in the day, the sportsmen, the wealthy and their families, and others with medical problems sought relief from the sweltering city Summers and found comfort, sport, “The Cure”, and good times in the camps, lodges, and resorts in the Adirondack Mountains.

Friends - Dick, Sue, Ken, Niki, and Gary are ready for a train trip
Dick, Sue, Ken, Niki, and Gary are ready for a train trip

On this day trip adventure we were happy to have Brother Ken, and our good friends, Dick, Sue, and Gary along to join us and share the fun.

Lady Myah - Queen of the Saratoga Depot Cafe & Gift Shoppe
Lady Myah – Queen of the Saratoga Depot Cafe & Gift Shoppe

It should be mentioned that any trip will get off to a grand start, as ours did, by entering the Saratoga Depot and striking up a conversation with the bright, bubbly, and friendly soul that presides over the Cafe and Gift Shoppe! Lady Myah is a force that you cannot help but enjoy meeting and being around even briefly. Former First Lady in the Dominican Republic, before the unfortunate demise of her husband the Prime Minister, she is smart, witty, well traveled, and involved in many good causes, especially for less fortunate kids. We may be seeing her again in relation to some plans she has for some of the inner city youth of New York City.

ALL ABOARD! The Saratoga & North Creek Railway
ALL ABOARD!- The Saratoga & North Creek Railway

Our bewhiskered conductor gives the call and 140 of his newest passengers have their tickets punched and board the train. Some have seating in the domed dining car while our group and many others are traveling in the refurbished coaches.

Domed dining car on he Saratoga & North Creek Railway
Domed dining car on he Saratoga & North Creek Railway
The beautiful Adirondack Mountains by train
The beautiful Adirondack Mountains by train

Our train reaches speeds of 30MPH and passes through small hamlets and past former depots of an earlier time. We cross over the 90′ high trestle bridge over the Sacandaga River, and through dense forest land, and along many miles of Hudson River shoreline. So much different than the same river that reaches New York City and the Atlantic Ocean many miles to the South.

North Creek Depot of the Saratoga & North Creek Rail System
North Creek Depot of the Saratoga & North Creek Rail System

We reach our Northernmost destination of North Creek, NY. A sleepy hamlet that comes to life more in the Winter months as it is a short distance from Gore Mountain Ski Area.

The North Creek Railway Depot & Museum
The North Creek Railway Depot & Museum

The original North Creek Depot is now a very fine museum of local history. Admission is $2 and docents are on hand to explain any and all exhibits. The highlight for me was the beautifully constructed diorama of the area in earlier times, complete with model train and the 4 Seasons.

Teddy Roosevelt and his ties to North Creek
Teddy Roosevelt and his ties to North Creek

A good portion also concerns Teddy Roosevelt as the station is also where he learned that he was President of the United States following the assassination of President McKinley.

Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again in North Creek
Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again in North Creek

There is a weekend celebration each September when “Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again!” We are told a superb actor from Tennessee comes to town and “is” Teddy for the weekend. They also crank up the old Leviathan #63 Steam Train for the festivities.

This way to Main Street in North Creek
This way to Main Street in North Creek

Main Street, North Creek is only 100 yards from the Depot with shops and restaurants to explore during the 3 hour layover before the return trip to Saratoga.

Izzy's Market & Deli in North Creek, NY
Izzy’s Market & Deli in North Creek, NY

We chose to have lunch at Izzy’s Market and Deli after reading some good reviews on the Internet. It is a small place and we were happy to see that not all 140 of our fellow passengers had chosen to lunch here. They do have some interesting sandwich and soup combinations to choose from. On this particular day every sandwich our group chose was prepared with very hard, almost “unchewable”, rolls or baguettes. That said, we all agreed that the ingredients and fixin’s inside the sandwiches were excellent and the manager did apologize and make it right for us.

After some exploring and window shopping we all reboarded the train at 3:30 for the 2 1/2 hour trip back to Saratoga.

We all agreed that we had great weather for good friends to share a grand time on a day together and a trip on a train along the rails of history.

A ride on The Saratoga & North Creek Railroad
We rode the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad!
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Bookin’ it through Vermont

Three of our passions are seeing new places, enjoying good books, and finding great local places to have lunch (or dinner)!

One of our hobbies that allows us to do all three is finding a new “Friends of the Library” book sale to visit, and what better place than a small town in Vermont.

Big Book Sale Today!
Big Book Sale Today!

There are so many small communities in Vermont that bring to mind what life must be like behind a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post magazine cover. Maybe it’s the friendly people, or maybe it’s the Town Squares surrounded by beautiful old homes, a meeting hall, and well attended Church or two. That’s exactly what we found on our recent trip to the book sale in Middletown Springs, Vermont.
Town Square in Middletown Springs, Vermont
Town Square in Middletown Springs, Vermont

Middletown Springs Library is housed in what was once an early Episcopal Church building that was donated to the Town. The building is small by big city library standards but loved and well used by the local population of book lovers.

Middletown Springs Public Library in the former Episcopal Church
Middletown Springs Public Library in the former Episcopal Church

As with most small libraries’ not having the space for tables inside, they hope for nice weather on the advertised day(s) of the sale so the tables and treasures can be set-up and displayed on the lawn outside.

Book Sale on the lawn at the Middletown Springs Public Library
Book Sale on the lawn at the Middletown Springs Public Library

We never know what we will find when we visit a sale. Sometimes there are baked goods or plants for sale as well as books. Usually there are movies and CD’s in addition to a good selection of age-appropriate books for the children to pick through.

Mom and the Kids at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale
A Mom and the Kids enjoying the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale

Niki and I both usually find books we haven’t read from our favorite authors. A lot of times the books will be titles once on the library shelves but have been moved out to make space for new titles that the proceeds from each book sale will help them buy. Often upwards of 90% of the books for sale are donated by local people. That’s where “you never know what you’ll find” comes in.

Something for everyone at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale
Something for everyone at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale

When checking out and paying for our books we ask if there might be a local mom-and-pop restaurant they would recommend to have some lunch. Sure enough we were pointed “Just up the hill there is Sissy’s. You can almost see it from here, but watch closely because their sign is kind of small!”

This is the place! Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
This way to Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs, Vermont

Good food at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Good food at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

Once again we found ourselves in for a real treat! Sissy’s encompasses everything you look for in a great lunch spot. Everything homemade with local ingredients. Fresh soups and sandwich specials everyday.

What will you have at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
What will you have at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs? Vermont

Niki chose the mushroom and fiddlehead quiche and I had the Vermont ham and egg salad sandwich. We both tried the homemade potato salad and I also tried the beef and pork chili. In addition we both had locally made root beer and ginger ale, then topped it all off with individual strawberry-rhubarb pies for dessert.

Good food at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Good food at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

Sissy’s is not licensed as a sit-in restaurant so we enjoyed our food and the warm June day sitting on the front porch watching the World go by.

The front porch of Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Niki on the front porch of Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

All in all a very good day trip. We visited a new part of Vermont, bought some new-to-us reading material, and found a new, favorite place to have lunch whenever we come through this area again. Want to bet we won’t find a reason to pass by this way again real soon?

On the Road with snowbirdrvtrails.com,

Jack and Niki

The Sound of Thunder

AMERICADE 2014 Lake George, New York
AMERICADE 2014
Lake George, New York

The sound of thunder rolled across the Adirondack Mountains this week as thousands of bikers gathered in Lake George, New York for 2014 AMERICADE June 2nd thru 7th. There are Trikes, bikes, and Spyders of all types with riders ranging from their teens to well into their “golden years”.

The 5 days were filled with benefit rides, tours and scavenger hunts, as well as great musical entertainment, comedy, stunt shows and more.

Cruisin' Main Street Americade 2014
Cruisin’ Main Street Lake George, NY – Americade 2014

All of the big name vendors were on hand showing the latest and greatest, must-haves, riding gear, gadgets and the newest machines.
Visiting the Vendors Americade 2014
Visiting the Vendors – Americade 2014

Lake George is a sleepy little town during the long Winter months but comes quickly to life with each new gathering during this first week of June each year.
Relaxing at Americade 2014
Relaxing at Americade 2014

This is a major Summer vacation and tourist destination but the many motels were filled to capacity and nearly all had their “No Vacancy” signs up for this week.
Good times & great memories at Americade 2014
Good times & great memories at Americade 2014

The weather has cooperated and has been nearly perfect in the 70’s and 80’s all week. The bikes cruised the main drag morning, noon, and night to the delight of the many visitors walking along the sidewalks and visiting the Village shops.
Bikes Lining Main St at Americade 2014
Line up on Main St at Americade 2014

The greatest sight for Niki and me are the hundreds of bikes parked side-by-side the entire length of main street in the late afternoons and evenings. It is really something to see.
The "Wall of Death" -  Americade 2014
The “Wall of Death” – Americade 2014

Everyone comes to enjoy the fun, the bikes, and the camaraderie. There is seldom any of the trouble that is sometimes found at other meets around the Country.

We hope everyone had a great time ’cause we sure enjoyed having you!