Category Archives: Lake George

A Day at the Races

Thursday morning we slept in. It was after 8am when I woke up. I’m getting used to retirement! Actually, Thursday was my first official day of retirement, I was using vacation time in July. First pension check deposited to my account!

I sat at the table and posted to the blog. We planned to go the horse races at Saratoga with Donna’s sister, Linda, and her husband Tom at 10am. Somehow the time got away from us and we were scrambling to get showered and dressed. We left around 10:20am. We were supposed to meet Donna’s brother, Mark, his wife Miriam and daughter Michelle at 11am. We made it on time thanks to Tom’s lead foot driving.


Thoroughbred racing has been going on in Saratoga Springs since 1863. The facility was built in 1864. It’s a great place. We had reserved seats in the clubhouse thanks to Mark.

With Donna at Saratoga

With Donna at Saratoga

The first two races were steeplechase events. These are long races (2+miles) and involve the horse and rider jumping over fences. In the first race, a rider toppled from the horse on the back stretch. I hope he’s okay. I picked up the racing form and studied the expert advice. I’m not in the habit of going to horse racing. It’s been at least 20 years since I last attended a horse race. When I lived in San Diego, I would occasionally go to the races at Del Mar.

I played Exacta bets – this type of bet requires you to pick first and second place. I won the fourth race, but at the end of the day, I was just a contributor to the pari-mutuel pool. Donna introduced a new food to me – Montreal poutine. These are French fries with gravy and cheese curd. Very tasty. We also had Manhattan clam chowder.


There were beer gardens at the site and live music as well. Unfortunately shortly after we arrived it started to rain and the temperature dropped. Donna was cold and left with Tom and Linda after the 6th race. I stayed with Mark, Miriam and Michelle but we also decided to leave after the 7th race.


Back at the campground, I grilled Key West chicken and Tom roasted local corn on the cob. Tasty! They stopped at a bakery on the way back and picked up dessert – cannoli, eclairs and cookies.

It was a great way to kick off my retirement and I’m ready to get used to living like this.

Today we’ll move to Thompson Lake.


Changing Plans

We’re still at the Great Escape RV Park in Lake George. Yesterday we decided the extend our stay here until Friday. I didn’t post yesterday so I need to catch up.

Tuesday we thought about tubing the Schroon River but it became overcast and a little breezy in the afternoon. We made it a mostly lazy day. Donna used the laundromat onsite to get all of the laundry done. We have a Splendide washer/dryer combo in our motorhome. It works well but can only handle small loads. We had towels and whatnot from our clean-up of the gray water incident as well as bicycling clothing stored in suitcases that got wet. Using two machines at the laundromat allowed us to get all of our laundry done in a matter of less than two hours.

Donna whipped up a salad from leftovers for lunch. She can put together the most amazing dishes.


Donna’s sister, Linda, and brother-in-law, Tom, have mountain bikes here. They’re camped across the road from us in their fifth wheel trailer. I borrowed Tom’s bike and rode around the campground. This is a large park – 178 acres with 575 sites. There’s a mile of Schroon River frontage. I enjoyed cruising around, people watching and checking out some of the RVs.

We got together with with Tom and Linda and grilled chicken and zucchini for dinner. Altogether a very relaxing day.


Wednesday, July 31st was officially my last day of employment. Technically I’m on vacation and my retirement starts August 1st. We planned to move to Thompson Lake State Park but plans have a way of changing. The day dawned bright and clear and we still wanted to go tubing on the Schroon River. Thursday we will join Donna’s brother, Mark, and his wife, Miriam, at the horse races in Saratoga. Thinking about this, it made sense for us to stay here in Lake George. We can catch a ride to Saratoga with Tom and Linda instead of having Mark drive way out of his way to Thompson Lake to pick us up.

I rode Tom’s bike to the campground office to extend our stay. This turned out to be more complicated than I thought. The girl at the counter said our site was only open for one more day. I needed to extend at least two more days or we couldn’t go to the races. She said she could extend one day in our site then we would have to move. It was a little hard for me to understand why I had to move. There were open sites and it seemed like she could re-arrange a reservation with a few keystrokes on the computer. I guess managing 575 sites might be more complicated than that.

Instead of staying in our site one more day then moving for a one night stay, we opted to move now and settle in to a new site for two days. The move was all of 150 feet from site 653 to site 660. This took about an hour. We had to unhook, pack, pull the slides in then drive the loop to the new site, hook up, level the coach and put the slides back out. It was a hassle but it was worth it.

By the time we finished, cloud cover returned and it felt a little too cool to be tubing in the cold river water. We spent the afternoon relaxing. Donna and I took bike rides around the park. For dinner I grilled cedar planked steelhead trout. We toasted my last day of “work” and are ready for the road ahead.


We capped the day with a trip into town for ice cream.

Today we’re off to Saratoga to bet on the ponies.



On some of the blogs I follow, people have names for their RV. I’ve never been one to name my vehicles, but we’ve been trying to come up with a name. This morning I woke up thinking about our trip out west coming up. I thought about the settlers heading west in their Conestoga wagons. I think we’ll call our RV “Connie” as it’s our modern day version of the Conestoga wagon heading west with all of our possessions aboard. What do you think?

Photo, caption and description below courtesy of Wikipedia

Painting depicting a Conestoga wagon

The Conestoga wagon is a heavy, covered wagon that was used extensively during the late 18th century and the 19th century in the United States and Canada. It was large enough to transport loads up to 8 tons (7 metric tons), and was drawn by horses, mules or oxen. It was designed to help keep its contents from moving about when in motion and to aid it in crossing rivers and streams, though it sometimes leaked unless caulked…

Yesterday was a move day. We were still trying to dry things from the disaster the day before. It poured rain overnight. This didn’t help with the things we had hanging to dry.

In the morning, I rode the scooter to the FedEx office in the village to overnight the title to my BMW motorcycle. I’m really happy that it sold; it’s been on consignment at the BMW dealership for a few months. Donna’s Beemer sold after couple of weeks there.

Packing up to move took a lot of time. I had to rearrange much of the trailer before I could load the scooter. We didn’t hit the road until 1PM. We followed Rt 73 out of Lake Placid through Keene Valley to I-87 (the Adirondack Northway). The first section of 73 to the village of Keene has a few steep downgrades. This was part of the Ironman cycling course. Driving 11+ tons of RV requires attention when going downhill. I used lower gears to utilize engine braking and braked with the service brakes as necessary to maintain the desired speed. The worst thing to do is to ride the brakes all the time, they will overheat and become ineffective.

We arrived at the Lake George Escape Campground a couple of hours later. While we were on the road, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything except for a cup of Greek yogurt all day. In our estate sale, I sold pants that were tight fitting and only kept a few with a 36″ waist size. After one week on the road these are loose and falling down. I’ll be wearing 34″ again very soon!

We checked in and found that Donna’s brother-in-law, Tom, had set us up with a nice pull-through site. The Lake George Escape Campground is a large private facility with all of the amenities. We have full hookups with 50 amp service and cable TV. The site is large, level and the trees and shrubs make it relatively private. We booked our stay here several months ago and neither Donna or I can remember what we paid; we’ll have to check our records.

We’re thinking about tubing on the river today. The campground is located on the Schroon River which runs from Schroon Lake to the Hudson River. We plan to make today a mostly lazy day as we had a fairly busy time in Lake Placid.

Tomorrow we’ll move to Thompson’s Lake State Park where we’ll visit with Donna’s parents, her brother Mark’s family and some old friends (she grew up and lived in the area for many years).