By Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

First Day, July 27

Philip and John Duckett arrived around 8:30 a.m.  From my house it only took us about 4 hours and 15 minutes of driving to reach Lake George. 

We ate lunch at the House of Scotts. It was pretty hectic in there because of all the customers, driven there perhaps because of the constant rain of the day. I had a hamburger, which was good, and Phil enjoyed a turkey wrap sandwich, while John got the blackened salmon salad.

After lunch we went to the Tree Book Store: Adirondack Gifts and Books. Then we went to the Indian Tepee Gift Shop. I bought my wife and son a few nick-knacks and a souvenir glass announcing "Lake George."

Stayed at Circle Court Motel, 440 Montcalm Ticonderoga .We ate at the Wagon Wheel on Route 9N. 


Second Day, July 28

We went back to the Wagon Wheel for breakfast. Philís and my breakfasts were good, but Johnís pancakes were not cooked in the center giving that raw batter taste to the eater.

The clouds on the mountains usually burn off after the sun comes out. Phil tells me the clouds rising from the mountains like the rising smoke so many small forest fires is is a typical Lake George Look.

We drove over to Snug Harbor South in Silver Bay and got into the rental boat and took off.

I noticed that there were a lot of homes on the lake and mountains were found on all sides. The bald area we see on the west coast is Tongue Mountain and Deer Leap.

The first island we visited was Narrow Island, the one with the flag pole. Phil had to register the campsite he had reserved on Burgess Island in case we were caught in a rain storm. I botanized while he filled out the forms and talked to the staff person.

The second island we visited was Burgess Island.  I made a quick plant list. 

Vicarís Island was to be the next stop, but proved to be too busy with campers.  So we continued boated south, this time passing Harbor Island, owned by a religious group. They have a cute, small chapel on the island.  We then passed by Horicon Island followed by Floating Battery Island.  

We docked at the beautiful picnic area at the base of Black Mountain.  We ate our turkey sandwiches.  After lunch we walked up a short ways into the hemlock forest of Black Mountain to get a short plant list.  At 2646 feet, Black Mountain is the tallest of the mountains around Lake George

The next stop was Mother Bunch Island and I made another plant list.

Next we passed by Hazel Island and Sarah Island and then went into Paradise Bay. Phil mentioned that the steamboats Ticonderoga and Mohican sail up to see Paradise Bay.  Then we boated over to Red Rock Bay.

Passing the very small Gourd Island, Phil noted that the island is where he and Lila stayed before they had children.

We then passed by Dome Island which is owned by The Nature Conservancy.  It is the tallest island in Lake George.  No one is allowed on the island.

Next and last stop was Huckleberry Island. While on the island, Phil noticed that the weather was turning rougher again with some white-caps being whipped up on the lake. He had wanted to show me Shelving Rock Bay.  More specifically, he wanted to show me how to tie a boat
up to a tree on land and then hike up an unmarked trail to what Phil calls the largest and most beautiful waterfall in Lake George, Shelving Rock Falls. But the weather was threatening and so he decided to turn back for Silver Bay. 

We took a look at the place on the east side of the lake where the Ducketts would get their drinking water from a spring. Later the rangers said that it was not healthy to drink this water and they took down the landing dock at the spring.

A little farther north of  Cooper Island, Phil pointed out a diving rock from which young people would dive or jump into waters of the lake.

We next passed by Hulettís Landing. The family would often stop there for supplies.

Back in Silver Bay, we turned the boat in.

We went back to the motel and Phil and John napped while I showered, got dressed and studied some plants. I went over a little early, a few minutes before 6 p.m. Then we walked around the corner to go to a different eatery, the Hot Biscuit Diner. The food was good, but not great, along the lines of a good diner in Westchester County where I live.


Third Day.

We decided to eat breakfast around the corner again. Everything was satisfactory.

Then we drove south to  Tongue Mountain to get in a short hike before we left for home. At the parking lot we talked briefly to a young fellow who we thought was going kayaking. (But I did wonder where the water was.)  But he passed us quickly along the blue trail as we were slowly botanizing.  As at Black Mountain, the water dominated the path and we had to walk along side the trail.

Up at the intersection of the blue with the yellow trail, Nate Peters, our parking lot buddy, was sitting on a rock. I said "We meet again." He said that he was doing a survey on the publicís use of the parks. He asked if we had registered at the kiosk.  Fortunately, John had singed us in. He also asked how many times we came up. And what reasons brought us to this place. He asked a few other questions, gave us some information about the trails in the area and then let us go about on our way.  

After the hike we drove into Boltonís Landing and ate again at the House of Scotts. We got the same waitress that we had started with, so we started and ended with her. She was our alpha and omega.

We all had wraps, one turkey and two cordon bleus. The place was not busy, especially compared to the madhouse on our first day in town, the rainy day.  I purchased another book at the local book store and then we started for home. 

A Few of the Islands and Mountain Trails of Lake George

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