Travels with Clark and Reba travel blog

Sackett House in Sackett's Harbor

Tibbett's Point Lighthouse

I love these chairs

Syracuse Farmer's Market - big market

Beautiful produce at great prices

Lock #23 on Erie Canal

Antique Boat Museum

Boldt's Castle - Thousand Islands

Funny Little Island - Funny Little House

Such a Beautiful place


First Day – Arrived at Fort Drum on Tuesday, Aug. 31. Fort Drum is located near Watertown, NY, right at the east end of Lake Ontario. It’s a beautiful installation, the home of the 10th Mountain Division. Chris and Sumiko are still in temporary quarters, waiting for housing to become available. When we arrived on post, we noticed the fire hydrants have long poles attached, which is a good indication of the amount of snow the area gets in the winter.

Second/Third Days -- Our first two days were spent catching up with stuff.

Fourth Day -- On the 3rd, we drove to Sacketts Harbor, which was the site of a major battle in the War of 1812. The battlefield is now a state historic site and the ranger was very enthusiastic about sharing all the details of the battle. Sackets Harbor is a delightful little village and could have taken hours to explore. We left there and drove to Cape Vincent, which is where Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River meet -- another interesting place. We visited the Fisheries Aquarium, which is located is a beautiful old building. The Tibbetts Point lighthouse is only a few miles from town and one of many on the river and lake.

Fifth Day -- On the 4th, the kids took us to Syracuse to the biggest farmer’s market I’ve ever seen. IT WAS HUGE. It was also packed with people and the parking lot was a circus. More important, though, is that the prices were terrific and all of the produce was beautiful. We found really good bread, raw cheese and cheese curds. After we left the market, we drove back toward Fort Drum and stopped at a Lock #23 on the Erie Canal. We were roaming all over the lock, when the keeper of the lock told us we weren’t supposed to be there. So, we retreated to the side of the lock and continued to watch as a boat approached and the gates on the lock opened. The man then came to the other end to open the other gate and told us we were supposed to stay on the other side of the fence. None of us had seen the “No Trespassing” signs, which were posted on the fence. I started to leave and he told me to come back and take my pictures. Not only did he let us stay to see the whole procedure, he had an employee open the power house so we could see all of the old equipment. All of the men who worked there continued to tell us about the operation and provided us with maps and all the literature we’d ever want to have about the history of the New York canal system. We were there to see the tour boat go through in one direction, where the lock was emptied; then it came back through and we watched the lock being filled. I asked if they ever have more than one boat in the lock. Back when the canal was busier, they would have as many as 32 boats in the lock. That would have been a sight to see. It was another great day.

Sixth Day -- After church on the 5th, while Chris and Sumiko took the kids to do school shopping, we drove north to Clayton. We wanted to see the Antique Boat Museum and were not disappointed in what we found. The museum consists of several buildings and lots and lots of old boats. Everything is self-guided, except for the 104’ house boat and we did take the tour to see that. The house boat had been built by Mr. Boldt, building of the Boldt Castle. We walked through every building and were so impressed by the beauty and diversity of the wooden boats.

Seventh Day -- Labor Day, we and the kids drove north to go to the Thousand Islands and had such a good day. We arrived in time to get on a tour boat and, for two hours, slowly made our way up and down the St. Lawrence River, in and out of countless islands. There is no official count, but it’s about 1800 islands that are in the river. There is every size imaginable and it appeared that most of them have some kind of building and the building sizes were as diverse as the size of the islands.

At the end of the boat tour, we stopped at Heart Island to see Boldt Castle. Mr. Boldt started building the castle as a gift to his wife in 1904, but she died before it was finished and he stopped all work on the castle. It sat vacant for many, many years, vandalized and deteriorating. It now belongs to the Thousand Island Bridge Authority and they’ve been repairing and finishing it since the late ‘70s. So far, they spent about $30 million to do the restoration that has been done and I think they’re doing a superb job. We wandered all over the castle. The rooms have that have been finished are beautiful. The Boldt family has donated some family furniture and other period pieces are bought at auction. Besides the castle, there are several other structures to see. These were all finished before the castle was started. One is called the playhouse and it’s where the family lived while the castle was under construction. We took the launch to the Yacht House and saw another good collection of antique wooden boats. The yacht house is another very special structure. Right next door to Heart Island is an island called, “Just Big Enough.” I loved it and think it’s great that they have a castle next door.



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