It's one thing to travel, but Wake Robin residents like to take their adventures one step further and really experience all a place has to offer. That's exactly what 40 residents, and future residents, did October 6-7 when they traveled to the Adirondacks as part of the Inquire program.
The kaleidoscope of autumn colors travelers witnessed as the bus wrapped itself along the most scenic routes, set the tone perfectly. Travelers were able to witness untouched natural areas, breath the air, hear the sounds, visit museums, and stay overnight in an authentic Adirondack Great Camp.
Day one included a visit to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. There, participants were able to see historically significant treasures from boats and horse-drawn coaches and sleighs to an original Adirondack steamer with its rustic seating for summer transport. Dozens of authentic exhibits demonstrated the stark contrast of those who struggled to live in the wilderness verses the comfort of life those who used the Adirondacks as their seasonal playground experienced.
Great Camp Sagamore offered residents a chance to step back in time, enjoy nature, and relax in a rustic and comfortable setting. The century old cabins, named after Vanderbilt children; George, Gloria, and Alfred, as well as the large chalet style lodge "Wigwam" held gorgeous stone fireplaces and woodwork inside making for a cozy overnight after a private tour of the camp, tasty dinner, and lively concert featuring local folk musicians and story tellers. The following day started out beautifully as some canoed, hiked or just relaxed in lakeside Adirondack chairs after a hearty breakfast and an optional morning meditation. It was quite a feeling to be taking in the same sights and comforts as celebrities like Cary Grant, Jean Tierney and Howard Hughes all of whom frequented the property to escape the Hollywood rat race. Imagine sitting in the room where Hoagie Carmichel wrote Stardust. We did.
The personalized trip didn't end at Sagamore though. The Wild Center, an Adirondack natural history museum, was the focus of day two. The group enjoyed dozens of exhibits on display to the public, but especially enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tour arranged just for Wake Robiners. Led by staff wildlife biologists, groups from Wake Robin were taken behind locked doors to experience day-to-day operations including animal care. Although intimidating, the resident porcupine was quiet and unthreatening – as were a bevy of native snakes, owls, hawks, and the museum's grand dame – Skitters – a 14-year old otter.
Coming home through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid was a perfect way to see peak color and the high peaks did not disappoint – deep reds, bright oranges, yellow, and just enough green to let us know what a treat we were seeing. The ferry ride across Lake Champlain was smooth as silk and the Green Mountains, although largely still green, were a welcomed sight for this bleary eyed group of adventurers. Back in time for dinner at Wake Robin and a good night's sleep. Where to next?