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Stuffed bear sprawled over bed in Keene's Furniture Store

Adirondacks – “The Great National Playground”

New York State welcomed me with colorful fruit stands and pristine glacial lakes, The Keene furniture stores featured a rich and authentic mountain culture, clearly not for vegetarians, though. Far from the lights of the Big Apple, my new campsite at Drape’s Acres was a picth dark, desolate post-season affair.

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Finish line of old luge/bobsled track, Lake Placid Olympic Complex

Glory Bygone – Olympic Lake Placid

Sweet and sour. An out-of-season Olympic village that knew better days. As natural vegetation growth outpaces athletic speeds, new generations keep practicing on the ice arenas. Nice historical museums, great Asian buffet. Also, a nice walk in Henry Woods private nature preserve. Thank goodness for landowners like that.

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Ghost in window at Clayton's house, Upper NYS

One Island Out of Thousand – Gate to the St. Lawrence

Leaving the Adirondacks, I took a farewell, breath-taking plunge into the astounding Cascade Lake, then relocated to the Thousand Islands Campground, where Johnny Depp welcomed me in the bathroom and a seamstress prayer. A beautiful sunset hung over one of the 1000 islands in the nearby state park. .

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View over river from Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center

Wellesley Island Nature Preserve

Beauty and more beauty. Wellesley Island Nature Center / State Park is full of water, life and geology. Paths are easy to walk / rewarding to the nature lover. The Eel Trail leads along the coast to the awesome Narrows. Pond loop peaceful, biologically rich. Encounter with a jolly Canadian girl adds a social dimension.

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Kimberly Hawkey performing over the river in Clayton Jazz Festival, NYS

Trumpets and High Heels – Jazz Over the St. Lawrence

Clayton Jazz Festival: Kimberly Hawkey, the 10th Mountain Division Jazz band and Studio G from Nashville, all sounded their music over the St Lawrence, as barges were going downstream, then played and sang at night in Clayton’s hangouts. Also brief visit to Lake Onatario and an October Fest in Cape Vincent.

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One island out of a 1000, Upper NYS

The Other 999 – Uncle Sam Boat Tours

Uncle Sam Boat Tours, 1000 Islands. Playing the tourist, I oohd and aahd about the cuteness of the islands and the general magnificence of the area, shot pictures obsessively, visited the must-see Boldt’s love castle, but also a memorial for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and learned about bootlegging.

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