June 9th, Day 3. Morning clouds. I think we may escape a day of rain. Seemed as if the itinerary gave us a bit of extra time as we headed for Gore Mountain Farm to see some overly cute alpacas. I never realized that these animals could be described as “unicorns without horns”, but I guess it is so. Barry Finer and Virginia French are the owners of the farm. Sheared like sheep, the wool produces a much warmer and “non-itchy” piece of clothing that feels more like cashmere. A tour will have you feeding them with Barry obtaining a particular hay that beckons them. These alpacas are more intelligent than may appear.
There is no charge for the tour and the gift shop is a must. Have them describe the wares. I bought a pair of socks that are a combo of fabrics with mostly alpaca wool as I tend to wear my sandals all year round. Check out the hats and blankets. They are certainly worth the price when you live in areas where the temperature goes down to a below zero double digit! www.goremountainfarm.com
Nearby Gore Mountain is next on the list. Located at 793 Peaceful Valley Road, in North Creek, we arrive and board a gondola…the kind that is taken up a mountain vs the one that floats a canal. I can deal with the height as it is enclosed. Cannot say the same for a ski lift! We are taken to a high place but not to the top. This site allows one to choose from various ski slopes each with its own lift. During the non-ski season, just the view alone is worth the trip. Hiking and biking trails are all around the mountain. There is a café at the bottom as well as a play area for the young-uns. I noticed a pre-bungee ride and new mini-golf course. www.goremountain.com
This brings us to lunch back on Main Street at Café Sarah and Bakery. The décor echoes “coffee house” with odd tables and chairs plus a couch and “couchy chairs”. Food is more of the “sandwich” ilk. I had a wrap of mozzarella, tomato and pesto. Then there was the gazpacho that I couldn’t resist. Loved it! Being that this place is also a bakery, I could not miss having a piece of flourless chocolate cake, accompanied by a latte. Weather permitting, you can eat outside.
Continuing north to the town of Speculator and Lake Pleasant, where Lake Pleasant Lodge is located on the main road. Michael Welch is the manager who lives on the property. More than a motel looking venue with clean and comfy rooms each having a frig and microwave. Who wants to spend much time hanging in your room when Lake Pleasant is just out your door? Take out the canoe or rent a kayak nearby. It’s all about relaxation, so take the time to sit in the gazebo or spend a cool evening around the fire pit. We did both. Finally a clear night and all of the constellations eye popping. www.lakepleasantlodge.com
Dinner was at Inn At Speculator, located a short distance away on Route 8. Casual dining and friendly atmosphere. I had a few appetizers and one entrée as I was in the mood for chicken and seafood. Chickens wings hit the spot and so did the coconut shrimp. Entrée was a broiled seafood platter of shrimp, scallops and haddock. Got to chat with the owner, Neil McGovern as he is also the town supervisor. Looks like “camps” are the thing for families with leaving less accommodations for tourists. Sort of like the kids moving back home, or perhaps never leaving.