Friday August 5, 2016
- When planning a food crawl or a trip to see my family I often find myself using Google Maps to come up with interesting places to eat and things to do. One such place I came across was the a place called Donut Shop
(aka Washboard Laundromat
) in Tupper Lake, NY. Turns out it is a mix of Native American art store/laundromat/donut shop, with a pair of horses on the roof. Definitely a combination I have never encountered in any of my Roadfood travels!
The laundromat is pretty much what you'd expect, nothing fancy.
The Native American art store was pretty cool and featured some really creative pieces of artwork.
Dolls. I could never buy one of these for myself as the though of having one in my apartment, looking at me, would just be too creepy.
And some really creative pieces of furniture.
The donut shop is pretty small and very simple. They only make plain cake-style donuts and the different flavors come from the various frostings and toppings. This seems easy enough to understand but for some reason I just wasn't getting it until Dayna explained it to me for a second time! While they do have bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other assorted foods, I'm not sure if they are homemade. However, I did notice the large standing mixer, flour scale and handheld donut extruder on the counter (below the menu - sorry for the poorly lit photo) so I had a feeling that these donuts were going to be great.
Cinnamon-sugar on the left and Maple-frosted on the right. Both of these were fresh tasting and the Maple-frosted had an intense maple flavor to it. I'll be back when we stay in Tupper Lake next summer.
Our lunch stop was another find courtesy of of a Google search that led me to the www.tupperlake.com
website. Great listings for restaurants, hiking, outdoor activities, museums and so much more! Larkin's Deli & Bakery
is part gas station, part convenience store, part deli, part bakery and stop number two for another taste of those Michigan-style hot dogs.
Firewood for S'mores, anyone? Nope. My uncle knows a guy in the area and he gave us all of the free firewood we needed for the week. Michigans are why I'm here!
Signs for local fundraisers, ice cream socials, jobs, concerts and other goings-on are usually a good indicator of a place the locals frequent.
Just a few booths for seating. Food is ordered at the cash register and drinks are from the refrigerated cases.
This is one drink I think I'll pass on trying. I don't even remember drinking it in the 1990s when it first came on the market.
A pair of Michigans with chips for my lady & I. These were pretty good. I forgot to ask what kind of dogs they use. I think these may have been steamed rather than grilled as I didn't detect any char or crust on them. I'm definitely more of a grilled/griddled hot dog fan but I liked these and would go back again. The Michigan meat sauce was a bit drier than the sauce at Skyline Drive-In the day before. There wasn't any spice to this or tomato sauce in it but there was some onion and I did taste something slightly sweet. Cinnamon? Clove? Not sure, but it worked for me.
There was a LOT more "road" than "food" on this trip and since we had fled up on those donuts and hot dogs, we were ready to tackle our big hike up Mt. Arab in Piercefield, NY, just outside of Tupper Lake. I read about this on the Tupper Lake website as well and what really drew me in is that they have a fire tower at the summit and hikers can climb up i it and get 360 degree views that I really cannot describe in a way that will do them justice. A short drive down a dirt road, there isn't much signage to point out the trailhead except for this one below. Parking is in a loose gravel lot across the street.
The beginning of the trail...
Dayna, signing in the log book. This lets rangers know who is on the trail and when they arrived. Hikers should also sign out when they leave so that rangers will know that everyone came down safely and to look for anyone should they not sign out. Dayna had never gone hiking before and this was fairly challenging terrain so I was a bit nervous.
The trail is pretty well-maintained...
with lots of beautiful foliage along the way. It is very important though, to keep one's eyes on the trail. I did trip a few times on the way up while getting distracted by some of the sights off of the trail...
and as flat as it is in some places...
and very scenic...
it did get pretty rough and uneven, with a lot of rocks and tree roots sticking out of the ground. There were also some areas where the trail would plateau but for the most part it was a very vigorous uphill climb.
The rocks in the photo above were quite obvious but these ones below were few and far between so paying attention was key.
These looked like little mini ferns.
We had gotten a late start and didn't begin our ascent until 3:00pm so we didn't see too many people on the way up. We passed on small group on the way down and the guide who operates the museum at the summit. Dang! I was really hoping to take a tour of that but perhaps next summer. We did come across a family near the summit who had an interesting story. They hike all over the U.S. and the father had made hiking sticks for his wife and their 7-year old daughter.
As you can see, they have been to quite a few places and have acquired metal tags from each hike they have completed. Bryce Canyon in Utah, Niagara Falls in New York, Glacier National Park in Montana and many, many more.
The father & mother said that their daughter had hiked up the Delicate Arch in Utah with them when she was just 3 years old! Pretty cool. Hearing about this and seeing their tags from various Utah-based parks reminded of so many of the fantastic trip report and photos that Buffetbuster
has posted from those parks and that region. Great stuff, man!! I find myself re-reading them often.
Dayna, relaxing on a bench just before the summit. This photo op was just too good to pass up. The views from here were amazing!
Welcome to the Adirondacks.
So Dayna took one of me soaking in the view as well.
Not sure what sign I was trying to make here but pay no attention to the weird man in the photo. Instead, focus your gaze just to his right...
A better close-up.
The fire tower museum that we just missed before it closed for the day. Fire towers have been around on the summits of many Adirondack Mountains with fire watchers manning them as an early warning system should a fire break out in the region. The Travelin' Man
was there in spirit... I read a lot about it here: http://www.tupperlake.com/blog/2015/05/mount-arab-fire-tower-peak-museum
Sounds like a very interesting place and the Nature Interpreter who runs it sounds like he has some great stories!
The fire tower awaits...
I am NOT a fan of heights! Despite this being Dayna's first hike and neither of us being in prime shape for it, we both made it to the summit in good time and she was "gung-ho" to climb the tower so I couldn't chicken out now. Great.
That's mighty high...
My legs were definitely shaking and I didn't look down once during the 5-story climb but the view was totally worth it!
It was pretty windy up here and the platform shook (just a wee bit) but I would have regretted it if I had only seen pictures of this later. What these do not convey, however, are the sounds, sights and smells of just how wonderful it is to be in the middle of the Adirondacks. In person, the green of the trees really does pop, the sound of the wind as it makes the leaves rustle, the smell of the vast array of tree species. Brings back many memories of camping, hiking and spending time with my family in this region so many years ago.
On our way back to Long Lake, we passed this motel and I just had to try around for some photos. I asked the proprietor if I could take some photos and he was totally okay with it. He said it was for sale and wanted to know if would be interested in buying. Given the name, if figured that this was one offer I could totally refuse! Love that neon though. I'll bet that it really pops at after dark.
Looks like a throwback to the 1950s or 1960s.
That's it for this installment. Just one more to go for this trip. Coming up next...another BIG chair, a museum unlike any other, doggies on parade (Yay!!), pure maple goodness and a Taste of NY!! The 411:
1.) Washboard Laundromat
48 Park Street
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
2.) Larkin's Deli & Bakery
548 Main Street
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
3.) Mt. Arab
Mount Arab Road
Piercefield, NY 12973