Mike and Di ByCycle 2016 travel blog

This is a different shot of the same photo, Middle Branch of...

The Van Auken Inn. The Inn that was moved 75 feet in...

Thendara, NY The Andirondack Scenic Railroad Station

Enjoying the open car on the scenic railroad

The Scenery on the scenic train ride . . . It never...

I thought this was really cute A Sweet Car Named Desire!!


Aug 26 - Zero miles on the bike today as we rested and had a fun day in Old Forge. Woke up in the morning as excited as any kid would be knowing we get to ride the train today!! ( well, let's say I was excited!!). Old Forge is small enough that we could enjoy the morning and walk to the train station. Arrived a little early so we spent a relaxing hour on the deck of the Van Auken Hotel across the street. I found this to be quite an amazing fact. The gorgeous two story building with wide deck and pillars was built in about 1876 and in 1906, it was MOVED 75 feet back from the railroad tracks to allow their guests to be more comfortable!! I just can't imagine the task of moving that building, and only 75 feet!! Have you heard a train whistle lately?? 75 feet doesn't make much difference!! But it did give me lots to think about as we waited for the train!

I love trains, don't know why really, just a carry over from somewhere in my childhood!. The anticipation was way more fun than the actual ride (sorry) It was fun, but was advertised as a "scenic" ride, which I of course probably went overboard in my visualization of what to expect. We had only a brief break in the thick forest to see the Moose River before it quickly disappeared again behind the thick forest. Passed thru several rock cuts that were dangerously close to the open air doorway, but that was it!! When we arrived at the turnaround point, we sat for 30 min within the thick forest while the locomotive engine moved from one end of the train to the other in order to pull us home again!! Sorry to be disappointed, we did hang out the open air doorway the whole time but it was no different than what we see on our bicycles!! Oh well!

The rest of the day passed quite pleasantly as we strolled into town to do our laundry (it has to be done!), had a small bite of lunch, people watched, window shopped, visited the museum, sat by the pool and read the book I am addicted to and so close to the end,(Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult - read it- it is a great read!!) and just plain relaxing time!! A short walk to Fankie's Italian restaurant where they use fresh pasta!! What a difference fresh pasta makes! Old Forge is like walking back into time, really it is a definite tourist area but not all upscale and fancy. We ate in a steak house that seriously reminded me of going out to dinner as a kid with my mom and dad. But it was the best darn steak we have had in a long time! At Frankie's, Frankie himself and his sweet wife Tina were present the whole time managing the dining room and greeting everyone that came in. Dinner music was only Frank Sinatra and it all had the definite feeling of what we saw in the movies giving us all an image of a special era and maybe a little mafia suggestion!! Frankie and Tina could not have been sweeter as we struck up a conversation with them! It is so refreshing that this little place, and the smaller hamlets we have passed thru,despite its huge popularity has remained true to the kind of town it has always been and not surrendered to the demands of modernizing! I guess you have to get used to it as a customer because we have conditioned ourselves to accept only a certain level of modern. Old does not have to mean inferior, I love it!! So we had a wonderful time on our day off!



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