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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Travel Diary: The sublime, the silly and the sweet

I can't believe it's been a week since we spent that afternoon out in the chilly north wind on Lake George, my mom bundled up in everything she could find, Benjy in his tricorne with his musket, and me in a very soggy pair of jeans and tennis shoes. I guess that means it's been a week since I saw Ben.

But we came back with so many photos, only a portion of which are on my blog.

So now for some that I want to share either because they're very beautiful or poignant or they're silly or they involve Ben, whom I find to be utterly captivating and charming. Hey, it's my blog.

And, by the way, you can click on any of these photos to enlarge them. Feel free to download them if you want. Right click or, if you've got a Mac, just drag the image to your desktop. That's true of all photos on this blog. But maybe you already knew that.

First, the sublime...



Here we are at the site of what is known as "The Bloody Morning Scout." British forces under William Johnson, with Mohawk allies, were ambushed by the French with their Mohawk allies. Reports say the Mohawk called to each other, telling each other to get the heck out of the fight, but neither side listened, apparently. Though the British claimed victory, Ephraim Williams was killed in the fray. This obelisk stands in memory of the battle and of Williams. It's in such a beautiful location. It's hard to believe that any bloody battle occurred here. But bloody it was. William Johnson was shot in the arse, no doubt a displeasing experience.




I could have wandered here forever... If Mike hadn't been there, I might have, and not in a good way. ;-)



My mother took this photo while we were hiking in the 18th Century. The forest was so beautiful.



The waters of Lake George are so clean they are rated as being potable. You can see to the bottom of the lake to a depth of somewhere around seven feet or so. This water was about two feet deep. Ben grabbed me a handful of dirt from the floor of the lake, which now sits in a bottle on my counter, a precious souvenir.



Here's another glimpse of the eastern shoreline of Lake George with it's phenomenal fall colors. With the water, it's so stunningly beautiful. I can't resist sharing these.



More fall color...



Another glimpse at that 18th-century forest...



We don't have moss in Colorado, really, except maybe near creeks that have water in them all year round and even then... Not so much.



The trees in that forest were so tall and straight! In Colorado, they often grown twisted or leaning or with branches bent to one side as a result of exposure to our near-constant wind.


And now for the silly....



Here's Ben acting out a moment of Last of the Mohicans on the actual site of the battle shown in the movie. He said he'd always wanted to do that — aim a musket from the walls of Fort William-Henry.



Here he is guarding prisoners in the so-called dungeon of Fort William-Henry. These little "cells" are not part of the original fort and are not historically accurate. But they are interesting and make the average nine-by-nine prison cell seem spacious. I don't think they comply with the Geneva Conventions, however.



Here Ben is again, guarding a couple of miscreants who got into trouble and were placed in the stocks at Fort William-Henry...



Another glamorous hair shot. I won't even tell you how fun this was to comb afterward.



As we were leaving the marina, Mike warned us that with the three-foot swells and the wind, it was possible that water could splash over the prow and get us wet if we sat up front. But Eileen and I apparently felt the view and the rush of riding up front were worth the risk. Then we hit a swell just right and — sloosh! — we were both wet from head to toe and freezing cold. Here we are shortly after getting splashed. You can see my hair is wet.

And lastly, for the sweet...



Here I am standing with Ben at Shelving Falls. Gosh, I miss that kid!



Here's my lovely mother, Mary, who came with us on this trip and took most of these photos. In fact, she spent so much time behind the camera that she was rarely in the photos. Thanks, Mom!



Yes, he's almost 19. But, doggone it, he'd had such a busy day of scouting, ambushing, firing guns from the walls of William-Henry and otherwise standing guard that on the journey back to the marina he simply... fell asleep. Eileen pointed to him, smiled to me and whispered, "Five hundred lashes!"

This concludes my travel diaries. I hope you've enjoyed them. I may have a few more stories to tell, particularly if I can get photos of the Indians who kidnapped Ben... That's one of the funniest (if not THE funniest) story to come out of the entire trip.

My deepest gratitude to Eileen Hannay, manager of the Rogers Island Visitor Center, for her companionship, patience and expertise and to Christopher Fox, curator of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, for sharing his time and knowledge. Both Rogers Island and Ticonderoga depend on the support of people who value American history in order to provide the educational resources and historic preservation that keep the past alive for all of us. Please pay them a visit online to learn more or to help out.

Thanks, too, to Mike Terenzetti of Pontoon Boat Tours of Lake George for the fantastic afternoon and for going out of his way to help me travel through time. If you're ever in the area, look him up. I hope to go out on the water again, hopefully when it's warmer and I have more time.

And thanks, of course, to Ben and to my mother, for sharing this grand adventure with me! It wouldn't have been as fun without them. And, believe me, they know now how very important it is for me to get my coffee in the morning. One day I didn't get coffee and grumped pretty much all day. The next day they were very focused on helping me get that latte. I recall one joking, "For God's sake find a Starbucks!" They found this funny. I found it less funny.

What they really found funny is how every round thing on a road sign looked like a Starbucks sign to me... but usually wasn't. My mom told me I was hallucinating.

I'm so sad it's over. The only solution is to go again!

4 comments:

Debbie H said...

Sweetie, I cringed when I thought of you trying to comb your hair. That probably took several hours to comb through.

It is too beautiful there. Imagine how the Rangers saw it. They saw it before any pollutants touched it. Wow!

I think you have a Starbucks addiction. LOL I loved what Ben and your mother were saying about finding a Starbucks. LOL

Going to a place you love with loved ones that get it, is so incrediable.

Love and Hugs

Anonymous said...

Hey there are worse addictions than a Starbucks one! But I feel for you: no coffee to start the day s****cks.
Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. Your pics are really beautiful. And I won't reread Surrender or Untamed the same way now that I know what the Rangers actually saw so many years ago.

Hugs
stef

PS The anti spam word was belattee....Was it a sign?

Lori said...

First, wow. Again, just so gorgeous! Second, I can totally relate to the combing out the hair thing. My hair is long and curly also - almost like yours! Throw in windblown, and fuggedaboudit! I can also relate to the Starbucks hallucinations. I had them in Ireland.

And how sweet is that pic of Ben asleep? Sounds like just the best trip evah.

Hi, Debbie — Yeah, I went through a lot of conditioner. I can't comb my hair at all unless it's wet and slicked with conditioner. This time I just ended up ripping a bunch out. LOL!

I'm so glad you're able to "see" the Rangers, too. :-)

As for Starbucks, I actually prefer to use locally owned coffee shops, but in Upstate NY a coffee shop serves, well, drip coffee. I'm a latte snob. I ended up drinking drip coffee two days of the four we were there for lack of a proper latte. Hence the hallucinations.

Hi, Stef — You're right about that! I'm getting ready to do an article about heroin addiction. I'm betting it's worse than my caffeine jones. If I got to sleep now and then I probably wouldn't need coffee quite in the same way. But on four hours of sleep a night... Well, my body has to run on something.

I hope seeing this makes your re-read of Surrender more vivid and fun. Just remember that Ranger Island would have been bare of trees and pretty muddy due to the use of trees for firewood, fortifications and cabins.

LOL on "belattee"! Too funny!

Hi, Lori — So good to see you again. Curly hair comes with it's own challenges, doesn't it? So Ireland has no Starbucks? Do they have latte shops? Important travel plans revolve around information like this. ;-)

And I just love that picture of Ben sleeping. Makes me want to kiss his rosy cheeks.

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