Whiteface and the Adirondacks: a Global connection
Each fall as winter approaches and we gear up for another season at Whiteface Mountain, I embark on some last minute adventures outside of the region before I hunker down for the winter. I only leave the region during the spring and after the leaves drop - very short windows in a perfect Adirondack world.
My first adventure was a trip to New York City. I embrace the fact that no one really knows me in the city; I can drive and walk down the streets in complete anonymity, which strangely enough I find to be very relaxing. (Donít get me wrong- living in a small town is wonderful and I love it, but truly mountain town social media and word of mouth has a far greater reach and is faster than any 4G wi-fi facebook and twitter network out there. Everybody knows everybody and everything!)
Oddly enough while in New York I found myself just beyond the corner of Fifth Avenue and Tito Puente Way, which is the entrance to the Adirondacks of Manhattan. Did you know that when Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park the North Woods located in the Upper West corner of Central Park was homage to the Adirondacks? Oh yes, The Central Park Conservancy conducts tours of the Manhattan Adirondacks. I took the tour and seriously it was as though I never left the park. I stumbled upon a man fishing and was actually catching fish; he said fishing in Central Park was his special relaxation place which I could totally appreciate.
Further along the walk I couldn't believe the Adirondack twig features and even a lovely marriage proposal by a waterfall. Overall I have to say if you are in the city and having a rough go of it, homesick for the Adirondacks of course my first suggestion is to just get up here, but if time is of the essence head to the North Woods and you are home.
Next on the docket was my fun adventure to attend the London Ski and Snowboard Show in the UK. Believe it or not we have many guests that visit us each year from the UK for many reasons. It is even said the former Prime Minister Tony Blair has gone fly fishing in the Adirondacks. Most recently, British X Factor Boy Band One Connection filmed their latest music video here.
Now, I can show you a million photos of my life in the Adirondacks, but they never do the place justice. What they are lacking is the true heart and essence of the ADKS. I will tell you what I find to be the most marvelous aspect of life here is the PEOPLE.
Prior to leaving for my trip, US Luge Team Marketing Manager Dmitry Feld called me: "Bridget I will hook you up with some fabulous people from Lake Placid region that live in UK." I figure why not, even though we have never met prior, mutual friendships and love of Adirondacks should be enough to have in common. It was an amazing journey.
I was met in the Lake District of England, Keswick to be exact, by the Barrett Family, they are awesome and has family ties to Keene Valley spending time there each summer. I was welcomed into their home, treated to a wonderful Indian dinner and a terrific play of The Titanic presented
by their 10 year old daughter and her friend. It was a wonderful visit telling stories of hiking t
he high peaks and discovering we knew several other people in the region. The next day they drove me on to the train station where I carried on with my journey.
While in London I then had lunch with a wonderful woman from Westport, her son was doing a school project on Whiteface over the summer for which I helped answer some of his questions. They live in London during the school year, traveling to Westport for the summer and holidays. He emailed me and he and his mother invited me to lunch. We had a wonderful time, visiting, shopping and once again discovered so many local folks we both knew.
I met up for another dinner with a Special Guest Star Chef from I love NY Barbeque Festival held in Lake Placid each July to raise funds for our youth center. He participated in the event 2 years ago and both he and his wife absolutely loved Lake Placid. He is now chef at Bermondsey Square Hotel in London. I had an astounding dinner prepared by him with his brother who was visiting from Canada, and another woman about my age who Dmitry had help to arrange to move her parents and her here from the former Soviet Union. She is now living in the UK.
Finally, the Olympic spirit connection came in the form of a friend of mine that I used to work with at Whiteface from our events department. She went on to work for the Vancouver Winter Olympic Committee and is now Regional Manager for venues for London 2012. We had traditional Sunday roast at a pub discussing the venues she is in charge of: volleyball, beach volleyball, triathlon, speed walking and road bike. A really big job but I can tell you my friend will do an awesome job next summer and I am so psyched for her.
Why do I bring all of this up? Every person I met represents the very best that the Adirondack culture has to offer. It is an old fashioned way of life that welcomes strangers into your home quickly becoming the greatest of friends with plans to meet for Christmas dinners. Many of my new friends have lived here for many years and some were only here for two days. All of them embody the spirit of this amazing part of the world. Once you fall in love with the spirit of the Adirondacks it will stay with you forever - no matter where you go.
Join me next week as I discuss skiing and riding at Whiteface Mountain! It is going to be an awesome winter!!!!!!
P.S. While I love the heart and spirit, I would like to share with you one of my favorite fall photos of the Adirondacks that I also took prior to leaving for my fall adventure: