Farmgirl Roadtrip: Head to the Adirondacks and Loon Lake

The carefree summer’s gone. School’s back in session. Now the bus arrives so early, we’re up before the chickens! What a fun-filled season it was… hitting the beach, gardening, county fairs; it’s a great summer when you’re sad to see it end. A memorable adventure was a road trip with friends to Loon Lake in the Adirondacks. Come along… see nature’s beauty at its best, cook by campfire, and even go treasure hunting!

IMG_8945 I’m blessed that I’ve visited some beautiful places, worldwide. My favorite destinations possess that perfect mix of friendly folks, picturesque surroundings, and a dash of history. The community and surrounding area of Loon Lake in Chestertown, New York has it all, in abundance!

IMG_9028We drove four hours from New England to my friend Andrea’s lake house. Upon arrival, the air smelled fresh with a clean, heavenly scent. Tall, evergreen pines blanket the area. After unpacking, the first thing we did was swim in the crisp, clear lake. There’s a sandy “beach”, with a dock to sit upon and take in scenery so beautiful, it takes your breath away.

IMG_8944The first night, we drove into town for dinner at the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor (http://mainstreeticecreamparlor.com/), in a schoolhouse built in 1913.

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I was in heaven seeing the 1940’s Americana-themed decor, classic soda fountain, old tin signs, and Coca-Cola memorabilia. My scrumptious half-pound burger came on a fluffy, homemade bun, with mouth-watering potato salad. Of course, we had to have ice cream for dessert! Upstairs, in the gift shop, antique chalk boards still grace the walls…if only those walls could talk!

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Love the tin ceiling!

Love the tin ceiling!

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The restaurant serves the produce fresh from their garden in the back.

The restaurant serves produce from their garden.

It was treasure hunting the next day! Andrea took us to North River, to mine for the state gemstone, red garnet, at the historic Barton Mines, established in 1878 (http://garnetminetours.com/). Near the tour starting point, the road sparkled like Dorothy’s ruby slippers!

The red you see is garnet in the road.

The red in the road is garnet.

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An official greeter met us at the door...

An official greeter met us at the door…

The fun started at the Gore Mountain Mineral Shop. There, we used an antique sluice to pan for gemstones from around the world, finding a beautiful amethyst!

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Andrea, Audrey, and Gregory pan for gems.

Andrea, Audrey, and Gregory pan for gems.

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A guide took us to the mine, where we were provided a bucket for water and bags for our ‘treasure”, to be weighed at a $1.00 a pound. If you’ve got sandpaper, it’s a strong bet the garnet used to make it came from the Barton mine!

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Time flew! The panoramic scenery, the glistening ground and rocks, and peaceful sounds of nature is something to behold. It was unforgettable!

Our next stop was Nettle Meadow Farm in Thurman, for cheese everyone raves so highly about!

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With several hundred goats, all ages, Nettle Meadow Farm’s not only a stunning country farm producing amazing artisan goat cheese, but also an animal sanctuary; home to many rescued and retired animals of all sorts.

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It was just lovely…and the cheese! Oh-my-goodness, the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth cheese! I purchased several, including “Honey Lavender Fromage Blanc”, “Port Cherry Chevre”, and their famous “Kunik”, made from goat milk and jersey cow cream, which I serve topped with homemade jam. Next, I’ll savor “Pumpkin Spice Chevre”. Check their website at http://nettlemeadow.com/; you might be able to find their cheese near you!

Back at the house, time was spent relaxing, swimming, canoeing, and visiting with neighbors. I felt like a kid having a blast at camp, and no camp’s complete without a cookout! One night, for dinner we had “Campfire Pies”, using all sorts of sandwich fixins’, tailgate-style, cooked in antique “Toas-Tite” sandwich grills from the 1940’s, over hot coals in the fire pit.

Andrea's sandwich irons are '40's original, but you can find reproductions at http://toastite.biz/

Andrea’s sandwich irons are ’40’s original, but you can find reproductions at http://toastite.biz/

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Each year, where Andrea’s house is located, the neighborhood hosts an annual summer beach party. This year’s theme was “Fiesta”. Each family brought a potluck dish to the cookout, with crafts and activities for the kids. It was neat to see everyone from babies to grandparents enjoying the party.

Andrea and Peter get ready for the festivities to begin.

Andrea and Peter get ready for the festivities to begin.

 

"Mr. Bones"

“Mr. Bones”

Andrea was in charge of decorations, and she and friend Kristen crafted homemade pinatas using balloons. Both said it was a time-consuming labor of love. It was a little painful to watch them get destroyed, but what joy for the kids!

Andrea's prize-winning piggie.

Andrea’s prize-winning piggy

Kristin's fish

Kristen’s colorful fish

Andrea’s house is in a private area of Loon Lake, but there’s inns nearby and an RV park-  perfect for Glamping!

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This fiberglass rooster, in front of the Silver Star restaurant in Chestertown, (another great for a bite)  is one of several around the U.S. Originals date back to the 60's.

This rooster is in front of the Silver Star restaurant in Chestertown, (another great eatery). There’s similar ones across the U.S., with originals dating back to the 60’s.

Everyone was so friendly! Our visit was a summer highlight. It’s the simplest things in life that’s best – “unplugged”, quality time with family and friends makes life wonderful!

**Hope your summer was fantastic! Let me know you dropped by in comments.**

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 10 Comments

  1. Mary Rauch says:

    How wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Kristen says:

    So glad you enjoyed your visit to the North Country! It’s always nice to see things around here from someone else’s point of view – it all seems so normal and routine until someone points out how good the things around us really are. It was great seeing you both here and I really hope you can make the trip again sometime! (so does Sam!!)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kristen! You are all so blessed to live surrounded by such beauty. Wasn’t it great fun that week? Say “Hi” to Sam for us…Audrey misses her! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, what fun you and Audrey had! I love all the pictures, your beautiful friend, Andrea, the Ice Cream Parlor and the huge rooster. I have never seen pinatas like these. Very interesting and I learned things I never knew about red garnet mining, goat cheeses, and Lake Loon. Love you,
    Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thanks, Mom. It was a really fun trip! I loved seeing a part of the US that I hadn’t seen before. Love you, Nicole

  4. Joan says:

    What a fun time for y’all and now for us. Thanks for sharing great pic’s and writings. So glad you got to do this. God bless.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan! Thanks, I am so glad you enjoyed our visit. Maybe other farmgirls will want to head that way and visit. DH and I want to have a “Glamper” someday, and that area will be a destination! And isn’t it fun to spend time like that with girlfriends? It was just so much fun. Thanks for commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Denise Ross says:

    What a wonderful vacation :-). Loved sharing in yours. Thanks so much for sharing.

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