Helpful ReplyHot!"MICHIGAN" IMPOSSIBLE - My 6-Day Obsession with the Iconic Hot Dogs of NY's North Country

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2017/08/18 03:13:50 (permalink)

"MICHIGAN" IMPOSSIBLE - My 6-Day Obsession with the Iconic Hot Dogs of NY's North Country

UPDATE: Days 1 through 7 (yes, there ended up being 7 of them!) are now posted as of Monday 08/28/17.  Enjoy!!
 
Good Morning, Billyboy...your mission...should you decide to accept it, is to sample as many Michigan-style hot dogs as you can during your 6-day stay in the Adirondack Park.  While it is unknown what connection these North Country staples have to the Wolverine State, they have been a big part of the local history for nearly 100 years.  Preliminary research places the center of origin for these divine dogs, referred to by some locals under the code name "gut bombs", as in and around the city of Plattsburgh, NY.  Seek any leads from local newspapers, magazines, waitstaff and fellow hot dog lovers and explore all avenues available to you: roadside stands, diners, family restaurants, hot dog carts, mini-marts, car hops and any other places that catch your eye.  Report back to Roadfood on your findings so that we may analyze the data for future tours.  As always, if you should be caught inquiring about where to find a Tuscon-based Sonoran-style hot dog or actually eating a Chicago dog "dragged through the garden", as it were, the Roadfood Secretary of Regional Eats (Wanderingjew) will disavow any knowledge of your actions.  This tape will self destruct in 5 seconds...
 
And so it begins...

 
Monday July 31, 2017 - Day 1 - Time once again for my family's annual weeklong vacation in the Adirondack Mountains.  Having secured a decently priced rental car in Manhattan instead of hiking over to Hoboken, NJ as I did last year, I hightailed it out of NYC as fast as I could through the traffic jam that is the Westside Highway and eventually made it on to the Taconic State Parkway.  Now you might be thinking, "Wait a minute.  Isn't Rte. 87 North much quicker?"  Why yes, it is.  However I had a good reason to take a more scenic and less direct route which shall reveal itself soon enough.  After a bit, I felt the need for a stretch/nosh/restroom break so I pulled off to then left to check out the TASTE NY building I had seen when passing by on a previous trip.  These stores are located in rest areas along the NYS Thruway, at airports and many other locations throughout New York state.  The great thing about them is that they feature jams, honey, sauces, cheeses, ice cream, milk, meats, ready-to eat foods and much more from local farmers, beekeepers, butchers and other artisans.  While the price may be more than what one would pay for some snacks from a convenience store, the taste is worth it and it just felt right to support local people plying their trade.  Unfortunately, the pictures of my Ronnybrook chocolate milk and turkey sandwich with apple and NYS sharp cheddar didn't turn out so well, but I'd highly recommend stopping at one of these stores if you have the chance.  

My first planned stop was at Green Acres Farm in Hudson, NY.  Just a small farm on Rte. 82 about 40 minutes from the Massachusetts border.  

I had first hear about them in 2010 when my friends, Doug & Marisa, introduced me to the wonderful peach pie from Green Acres that has haunted my dreams ever since.  I've have tasted most of their pie line in the ensuing 7 years.  Last year, I called ahead to reserve three pies but today I rolled the dice since I knew I'd be arriving well before closing.  

As I entered the store, I saw a man, his wife and their daughter looking at the last two pies behind the glass, an apple and a peach.  The wife turned to her husband and said, "So, should we take them both?"  "Yes.", he replied.  The look of grief that must have swept over my face having been that close to greatness, only to have it snatched away at the last second was surely obvious to the wife and to the pie man who said, "Don't worry, I've got more in the oven."  This empty case almost made me cry until he uttered those words!  

He was even kind enough to allow me behind the counter so I could take picture of the pies on the cooling rack.  Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you!!


The peach pie of my dreams.

And a Dutch Apple pie for the rest of the family...hahaha!!

While their pies are fantastic, the suagr-dusted apple cider donuts are not to be missed.  Moist, cakey and the cider comes through in each bite.  I called Dayna and she asked for some of the Peach Applesauce she had bought last year.  She didn't have enough vacation time at work so she didn't make the trip this year.  I said I'd bring her back a double crust apple pie but the pie man said I should come by on my way back to NYC for a fresh pie.  Oh well, I guess another visit is in order at the end of the week!

MICHIGAN STOP #1 - The Noon Mark Diner has been on my radar for about a year, ever since I had read about it in a local magazine on last year's trip and found out that they not only serve Michigans, but they also make lots of homemade pie, including Maple Walnut pie.  

This place had a real homey feel to it.  

Hooks to hang up your camo hunting clothes.

Local newspapers to read over a cuppa coffee and a slice of pie. 

Naturally, I went for a stool at the counter so I could watch the comings and goings from the kitchen.

Noon Mark has many homemade items on the menu: pies, breads, english muffins (seriously, who does THAT anymore?) and soups.  When I spied homemade corn chowder on the menu, I had to try it.  I rarely see it in NYC and even then it is only in the colder months.  A cup of the Noon Mark's excellent homemade corn chowder. Lots of cream, corn, potatoes and bacon in this one. Pleasantly surprised to find this true gem available during the hot summer months.

The Michigan, presented naked, with chips and pickles. Onions to be added as desired.  Mustard on the counter.  

All dressed, with chopped raw onions and mustard.  I neglected to ask what kind of dog they use but it was a tasty dog though I prefer mine with a char.  I do think that Michigans, like NY Systems, Coneys and Texas Hots, are meant for the griddle. They used a top-split bun and the Michigan sauce was spiced with cumin and a hot kick of red pepper flakes.  I'm not a huge fan of cumin but this wasn't overpowering.  
 
Some places serve them up naked, others ask if you want onions and mustard, a few will serve them up fully dressed and an occasion, they will bury the onions under the sauce to reduce spillage. And yes Virginia, there will be spillage!  Make no mistake, a Michigan-style hot dog is not a food for dainty nibblers.  Upon picking it up (and many others throughout the week), the bun felt like an Olympic strongman at the end of a deadlift and is about to  collapse under the weight of it all.
 
Michigan sauces are hearty, hefty, rib-sticking, multi-napkin affairs.  Leaning forward while taking EACH bite is highly recommended and a fork (and knife?) is usually necessary to scrape up the rogue bits that spill onto the plate or into the cardboard boat.  The only downside to this particular example is that the bun fell apart about halfway through.  I should have asked if they would butter and griddle it for me, to shore up the bun and for that buttery flavor and crisp crust.  It ain't just for lobster rolls, ya know!

My slice of Maple-Walnut pie.  Yeah, there was no question what I'd be having for dessert.  I even placed my pie order at the beginning just to make sure that I would not be denied!  Buffetbuster, The Travelin' Man and ChiTownDiner, you have taught me well!  This was a very maple-y slice of pie with an abundance of crunchy walnuts. I was a bit concerned at first as it was served cold from a refrigerated case and while I do prefer a warm slice of pie, this was no slouch. Like a pecan pie but instead of molasses and pecans they subbed in maple syrup and walnuts.  I'll definitely need to stop here next summer.

I was right in the heart of maple country and there were sugar houses all around.  Many of the local farmers markets and diners have jugs of pure maple syrup for sale. After tasting just one drop of the liquid gold from those trees I can't imagine ever pouring the processed stuff on my pancakes ever again.

A big part of their business is their homemade breads, cookies, and an insane variety of pies!  And for pretty much every fruit pie they make, they also have a crumb-topped version.

Pie, anyone?

I figure $4.00 a slice for a 6-slice pie is a pretty good deal.

They also make lasagna and quiches to eat-in or take home.  

If you're in Keene Valley, NY and you see one of these signs along the road, pull over and pick up some of the real thing!

It seems unlikely that one would PLAN to stop at a roadside maple syrup shack but I had encountered Black Rooster Maple back in 2016 when Dayna & I spent an afternoon at the Adirondack Museum (now known as the Adirondack Experience) in Blue Mountain Lake.  Run by the Bassarab family, Black Rooster had a tent there that day and I walked away with a jar of their pure maple cream which has adorned many plates of pancakes and french toast since then.  When I found out that they were along my route to our rental house, I knew I'd have to stop in and they were just up the road a short way from the Noon Mark Diner.

I saw this sign along local country roads a lot when I was a kid.  

Their logo.  "Black" was the name of the rooster that the Bassarab family had and he would look over a flock of Rhode Island hens and they liked to peck at the white feathers on his head.  The family made a small top hat out of duct tape to protect his feathers, hence the logo.

The OPEN sign outside was lit and the door was open, but when I walked in I just saw some empty boxes and sugaring equipment in front of me and a table with jugs, jars and bottles of maple syrup to the left.  I called out. "Hello?!", a few times, but no one answered.  No one was here?  Strange...

Sap buckets as light fixtures.  Pretty cool.  

Decisions, decisions...

Now there's a contest I'd love to judge!

Seriously?!  Wow!  I didn't even know that that was a "thing"!  I took a nice pic of the shot I poured from an open bottle into a sample cup but I seem to have misfiled it somewhere. NOTE: Found it!  Next picture after this one. Man, this was some next level stuff!  The bourbon scent was front and center.  And I could taste it in there too.  What a treat!  I ended up grabbing some maple candies and a jug of maple syrup to tide me over until my next trip up north.  I dropped my cash in the box, made my change and signed the log, listing the items I purchased.

While Keene, NY isn't exactly the Lido deck on the Pacific Princess, this shot of high-quality PURE maple syrup made for one heckuva nightcap!

Having lived in NYC for 14 years and seen a lot of weird goings-on at all hours, I think I may have become somewhat jaded about the human condition.  When I saw this sign and the pile of cash in the box I just couldn't believe that it was real!  I thought maybe there was a hidden camera or there HAD to be a catch.  The honor system?  People still do that? No way would anyone even think about doing this in the Big Apple!  A very heartwarming surprise that filled me with hope about my fellow man.  

While Michigans may be on the sign I'm not so sure that a clown is the best way to draw in customers.  Though it could be that between Stephen King's "IT", John Wayne Gacy and that freaky clown doll in "Poltergeist", clowns are just ruined for me!

MICHIGAN STOP #2 - Mountain Mist Ice Cream is right alongside the road on Rte. 86 in Saranac Lake, NY.  I had known about them since my trip last year as Custard's Last Stand in Long Lake, NY has strikingly similar architecture and the font on the sign is a close match.  

Separated at birth from Mountain Mist?

The menu.

While not listed on the regular menu, one of the specials was a Maple-Walnut milkshake (made with REAL maple syrup!).  I was all over that in a second and watching the counter girl pour in two ladles of that golden nectar of the trees only served to amp up my excitement!  Shakes don't tend to make for great photos but this one had a rich maple flavor and most of the walnuts had been blended down, which gave the shake a nutty grit, which was a good thing and and assertive walnut flavor.  The real surprise were the few rogue walnuts that had somehow escaped the executioner's blade and provided a nice crunch at the end.

My Michigan which features a split and griddled dog which had a nice crust on it, a heftier sesame-seeded bun which held up nicely to the sauce, and a thick Michigan sauce, the contents of which escape me at the moment.  I think this one was leaning more towards a chili with a hint of sweetness but I just can't be sure.  In any case, I really liked it a lot.  

It was initially wrapped in foil and they had forgotten to ask if I wanted onions and/or mustard so I brought it back and they gave me the classic Michigan hook-up.  For some reason, I had never been a big fan of mustard on a hot dog with a meat sauce on it but so far on this trip it REALLY works for me and just seems to make sense.

While it had started to rain just as I sat at one of the picnic tables under some trees, the view was great.  Like eating lobster rolls on a deck by the wharf in Maine, tucking into some Texas barbecue in a smoke-filled parlor or wolfing down a late-night Philly cheesesteak on the sidewalk, surrounded by the glow of neon, having a Michigan amongst the waters and mountains of the Adirondacks just feels right.

It was getting late and the sun began to set.  Last year, we didn't arrive until after midnight and driving along the winding country roads with deer lurking among the trees was not a performance I cared to repeat.  I arrived at our rental house in the very small town of Rainbow Lake just before dark and I actually missed it twice before doubling back and seeing my sister's car in the driveway.  I took these pictures throughout the week but for the sake of continuity, I thought I give you all the full tour right here.  Camp Casey looks pretty small and ordinary from the outside.  

Surrounded by trees, we had lots of privacy.

We spent a fair amount of time in the backyard: eating on the deck, grilling with the pretty new Kitchen-Aid grill and sitting around the fire pit.  They also provided bikes, canoes and kayaks for our use, at no extra cost.  The wooden structure at the left of the picture is an outdoor shower.  How cool is that?!  I told myself I'd use it at least once but 'twas not meant to be.

Love this bear.  I have one very much like it that my Uncle Joe made for me years ago.

These four bears watch over the living room.

The living room and my bedroom for the week.  The sofa bed was comfortable enough but not having a place to unpack or store my items did wear on me somewhat by the end of the week.  

The attention to the little accents and details was incredible.  I think this may have been a painting by the homeowner.

Even the curtain rods were made from reclaimed wood.

A blanket rack, for those cold nights.  Even in the heat of summer, the nights in the mountains can dip down to the high 50s/low 40s.  

Lovely light shade.

There were hooks like these all throughout the house.  Hats, keys, jackets, same place every day for me.

The main hallway, looking into the kitchen from the front door.

The full kitchen.  The house was completely decked out.  Flatware, glasses, cookware, linens, towels, cleaning supplies, shampoo...  I think they thought of just about everything.  We really only had to bring our own food.  Mom & Harold had found this place online and then they had taken a day trip up to check it out in person.  There was a binder on the coffee table with a  list of who to contact if any questions or problems and there were rules about how and where to toss out garbage, etc...  Basically, it's a "carry-in, carry-out" philosophy.  Leave the place as clean or cleaner than when you arrived.  We always practiced that as campers when I was a kid so no problem.  

The ceiling light in the kitchen.  Love the tree shadows.  Nearly every fixture had an Adirondack theme.  

For opening beer/soda bottles and catching the caps.

The eating nook in the kitchen,  While there wasn't a formal dining room, this space worked quite well.  There were 7 of us there but we did;t all eat at the same time.  Still, 6 could fit in there pretty comfortably.  We didn't go out for breakfast any of the mornings so we started the day here with some fruit salad, pancakes, omelets or just a slice of pie and watched news on the flat screen TV.  The end of the day sometimes consisted of playing a card game of pitch or sometimes I would write my notes for the stops I made and plan out the next day's adventure here.  I really love the wood throughout this house.  

The front bedroom.  Not huge but it worked well for my niece, Maddie and her friend Chantyra who was with us for the week. This room had a dresser for storage and a closet, though it was full with the life vests and paddles for the canoes and kayaks. 

A map of the Adirondack Park.  It encompasses about 6 million acres and is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States.  I hope it remains that way forever.  Here's some more info for your reading pleasure: https://www.apa.ny.gov/About_Park/more_park.html

In addition to maps and magazines featuring local attractions thoughtfully provided on the kitchen counter, two of the bedrooms had various books on the dressers with some great local reading material.  There really is such a rich history in this region of environmentalists, captains of industry (aka robber barons) building "great" camps, and pioneers in medicine, outdoor living and cooking, making their mark in this region.  I could spend a lifetime reading about them and never tire of their stories.

Ok, I know bathroom shots can be odd but this was just such a beautiful space.

From the bear metalwork on the light fixture, to the pine cone towel rack and the picture on the wall of Lake Placid as seen from atop Whiteface Mountain (SPOILER ALERT: a much more vivid photo to come in the next installment!), the little details really put us in an Adirondack state of mind for the whole week.

The bedroom off of the living room where my sister and her husband Dennis stayed.  Looks cozy and I like the comforter.

I'm not sure if the rods & reels and the guitar were for decoration or for our use.  

The master bedroom where Mom & Harold stayed.  

All of the bedrooms had ceiling fans as did the living room, which made for very comfortable sleeping conditions.  The house even had A/C!  Love the handles on the dresser and the canoe above the TV.

Just a couple of chipmunks out for a paddle on the river.

More ADK reading.  Love the split pine cone bookends.  

The master bath.  Great accents, a flat screen TV and...

a jacuzzi tub!  Not too shabby.

That's it for Day One!  Thought I'd end the day with this folksy sign in the front entryway.  

 
Coming up on Day Two...we go up high where the crow soars, a sleeper hit sandwich shop, ice cream with a twist and a toasty end to the day with a fire and some pie!
 
The 411: 
 
1.)  TASTE NY Market at Todd Hill
      Taconic State Parkway
      Lagrangeville, NY 12540
      Ph# (845) 849-0247
      Website: http://ccedutchess.org/taste-ny-at-todd-hill
 
2.)  Green Acres Farm
      226 NY-82
      Hudson, NY 12534
      Ph# (518) 851-7460
      Website: http://www.greenacreshudson.com
 
3.)  Noon Mark Diner
      1770 NY-73
      Keene Valley, NY 12943
      Ph# (518) 576-4499
      Website: http://www.noonmarkdiner.com
 
4.)  Black Rooster Maple
      10819 Rte. 9N 
      Keene, NY 12942
      Ph# (518) 576-9792
      Website: https://www.blackroostermaple.com
 
5.)  Mountain Mist Ice Cream (listed as Mountain Mist Custard in Google Maps)
      260 Lake Flower Ave
      Saranac Lake, NY 12983
      Ph# (603) 848-7629
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mountainmisticecream/  (also listed Mountain Mist Custard on their FB page)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/11/08 11:36:59
#1
billyboy
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 03:56:03 (permalink)
Hello all, I'm trying to embed a YouTube video at the beginning of this report but not being much of a techie, I am struggling with it.  Right now there is a link attached that brings the user to the YouTube page with the video.  I'd rather have a clickable image on the page that will play the video and keep the viewer here on Roadfood.  I've tried using the embed function on YouTube and also the Special PGDCode for YouTube videos here within the Edit function of the Forums, both without any luck.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
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joerogo
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 07:12:26 (permalink)
BillyBoy, Great start!!  Upstate New York is definitely a unique area.  Most of the towns are vacant from loss of industry, textiles mostly I believe, but, every town has an ice cream place where people gather in the evening.  And from your report, I see they gather for Michigan's also!  
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JRPfeff
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 07:25:46 (permalink)
billyboy,

You get a 10 for the title alone. Fine report.

Jim
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 15:19:00 (permalink)
billyboy 
Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you!!

 



You didn't really think you could make that reference without somebody remembering this, did you?  Not sure who you are in this clip, Madeline Kahn or Peter Boyle, but it really doesn't matter.
 
Great start, looking forward to the rest of it.
 
BTW, I had the same issues with the video embed.  I was really hoping to have Madeline Kahn's Bride of Frankenstein face gracing this post.
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2017/08/26 13:46:57
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 17:13:39 (permalink)
Very nice digs you had, Billy!  It looks like the cabin's a lot more spacious than the outside would lead one to believe, and that kitchen would be great in a full-size house!
 
billyboy


Pennywise would like you to come to 29 Neibolt Street for some ice cream, Billy...
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2017/08/18 17:21:49
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Wintahaba
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 17:23:11 (permalink)
Awesome start to the report. Having lived a few years in the Adirondacks, I appreciate the memories...loved our time there. Try to hit Oscar's Smokehouse in Warrensburg next time around.
post edited by Wintahaba - 2017/08/20 10:22:52
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Uncle Groucho
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/18 20:46:03 (permalink)
Great report. I need to take time and read more carefully instead of looking at the awesome pictures.
Thanks Buddy
Karl
 
 
post edited by Uncle Groucho - 2017/08/19 06:59:23
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/19 06:39:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2017/08/19 06:58:05
Great write and I love the cabin.  You were very close to one of my favorite places in NY.  That is Paul Smith NY.  Great college there called Paul Smith's.
 
Paul E. Smith
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leethebard
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/19 10:27:15 (permalink)
Very nice report. Love that cabin!
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ann peeples
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/19 14:58:24 (permalink)
You had me at peach pie! Seriously, great looking food, so far, and that beautiful cabin!
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billyboy
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/19 21:20:02 (permalink)
joerogo, many towns in the various regions of NYS experienced downsizing over the last 20-30 years.  My hometown of Rome, NY had many manufacturing plants that closed up and it was a huge blow to the local economy from which it is still trying to recover.  Soft serve ice cream stands have always been a summertime ritual and kids (and adults) always get excited when these seasonal treasures open up once again.  Fridays and Saturdays meant going out to dinner, probably for a fish fry, maybe playing some mini golf and then getting some soft serve and we almost always ran into classmates from school, relatives or neighbors.
 
JRPfeff, thanks!  It popped into my head as I was driving from one stop to the next and thought about how daunting this quest might become.  Next thing I knew, I was humming theme Mission: Impossible theme song!  I did update the trip report title as I realized that while it was clear to me that this took place in New York State (I mean, I WAS there as it was happening!), not everyone is familiar with Michigan dogs or the Adirondack Park.
 
Buddy, I think I'll have to be Madeleine Kahn and those pies were the monster that ultimately brought me so much joy!  
 
ScreamingChicken, yeah, the camp didn't jump out at me from the outside.  I had seen the pictures on the rental website months in advance and I thought, "THIS is the same place?"  I have tell you, I was staying over at a friend's house last night when I made the mistake of reading your post right before walking down a long, dark hallway to go to bed and Pennywise crept right into my brain, so, thanks for that!  " />
 
Wintahaba, thanks for the kind words and the great tip.  I think I may have read about Oscar's before but forgot to add them to my list.  I received so many great tips from people all over the region while I was eating, hiking, browsing in a gift shop, etc...  I ended up with some great finds just by listening to the locals.  
 
Uncle Groucho, no worries.  I realized that the title seemed clear to me but from outside looking in it could easily be mistaken for a trip to the state of Michigan.  
 
Sundancer7, there will be a couple of segments on Paul Smith's coming up later in the report.  I found one of my most favorite Michigans and a great guy slinging them right outside the entrance to Paul Smith's College, a terrific hike on some gorgeous trails at the VIC and an excellent dinner at one of the fine dining restaurants on the college campus.  
 
leethebard and annpeeples, that cabin was really special.  Hopefully we can rent it again next summer, though we do like to move around and explore various towns.  
 
 
 
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/20 03:01:12 (permalink)
billyboy
Buddy, I think I'll have to be Madeleine Kahn and those pies were the monster that ultimately brought me so much joy!  

It takes a big man to admit he's Madeline Kahn.  I'm proud of you dude.
 
As long as we're confessing, I'm a bit Marty Feldman-y myself from time to time.
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2017/08/20 03:04:18
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/21 18:30:03 (permalink)
Tuesday August 01, 2017 - Day 2 - I was looking forward our trip this morning to the summit of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, NY. It was a long and winding road that can become precarious, especially on the descent.  We saw many cyclists going up and down and I can only imagine how tough that must have been.  It is worth it though for the stunning view.

There are a couple of options to reach the summit.  Visitors can hike from the base, drive to the castle/gift shop and park, then walk up a long stone staircase or they can do what we did, park and then walk along a 426-foot tunnel inside of the mountain and then take an elevator to the summit.  

A really cool tunnel, visually and temperature-wise.  Very refreshing on a hot day and there is always water slowly dripping down the walls.  

And many signs throughout with quotes from noted writers.

 

 

Guess it can get rather windy up here!

And I thought flurries on Mother's Day in Rome, NY was late in the season!

This center was established in 1961 by the State University of New York to study the atmosphere and apply their findings to better understand the environment and improving our role in it.

With all of the stunning views outside, I forgot to get any really good shots inside.  While they do get many tourists here in the spring, summer and fall, the elevator operator said it's pretty much empty in there winter except for the occasional research team.  Many of the people who work on this mountain also work over at the Whiteface skiing resort during the winter months.

While the rest of the family stayed on the viewing platform, I strayed a bit to find some majestic vistas.  Is it just me or does the weather station atop Whiteface Mountain remind anyone else of Piz Gloria, Blofeld's mountaintop lair in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"?

They can even collect raindrops and analyze it for its chemical composition.  They've found that ash from volcanic eruptions in Japan have traveled all the way to Northern NY.  Like the quote I read last year at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, everything on earth is connected, even if it is imperceptible to the naked eye.

These steps lead from the summit down to the castle/gift shop.  I was definitely afraid of them on this trip but I may need to tackle my fear next summer.

I could just sit here all day and contemplate.  I'm not sure how many answers I'd come up with any but this view would  surely help me to forget the questions.

Lake Placid, as seen from atop Whiteface Mountain.

Oh Mr. Crow, you made my day. Thanks for stopping by.

A wider shot shows how close the drop off is so watch your step!

Man, those hikers were livin' on the edge! You'll keep on eye on them, right Mr. Crow?

And our group shot, from left to right: Kelly (sister), Dennis (brother-in-law), Harold (Mom's husband), Mom, Maddie (niece), Chantyra (Maddie's friend), Billyboy.  I'm not sure that words or even pictures can do justice to the beauty that I saw this morning from atop this summit.  If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend a trip to Whiteface Mountain.

After our very slow and cautious drive back down the mountain, we stopped in at Adirondack Chocolates for some treats.

Big Bear says, "Hello!".

These cool birdhouses were the closest thing to a moose that we saw on this trip.

Maple cotton candy?  I'm definitely putting Bechard's on my last for next year's trip.  Plus, they are only 2.5 miles from the 2015 Michigan Master Champion, the Happy Pike Ice Cream & Shack Bar.  Being so close to Montreal AND Plattsburgh, they have Michigans, Michigan cheese fries, Michigan sauce in a bun, Loaded Poutine (with smoked meat & cheese curds), homemade baked beans and ice cream that comes in a donut cone!  Yup.  I'd better train for THAT meal!
 
Sorry to get so off track for a moment.  Mom got a box of chocolates that we shared.  They were pretty good but I forgot to take a picture.  I bought some postcards to send out to my friends and a large dark chocolate peanut butter cup that was somewhat disappointing.  The PB was bland.  Oh well, they can't all be winners.

So close to many great eats and points of interest.  

How far is Wilmington?  Well, that depends on which Wilmington you're lookin' for, pal.

Our parents brought us to Santa's Workshop a couple of times in the mid 1970s and I think there are some Polaroids in a shoebox somewhere in Mom's house.  Not sure if I had fun or I cried when I saw Santa.

Driving back on Rte. 86 West towards the house, we stopped for lunch at the Saranac Sourdough Deli & Market in Lake Placid, NY.

Just a small cafe/sandwich shop that doesn't necessarily stand out in terms of the decor...

...but as you can see rom the menu, they roast many of their meats in-house.  Pit Ham?  Pork Loin?  Turkey?  Score!  Lots of great sandwiches to consider.

And a bevy of homemade salads.  

I went with a Turkey Gobbler (fresh roast turkey with cranberry ketchup, cheddar cheese and apple).  This one came with lettuce as well.  I inquired about the cranberry ketchup as Mom was concerned that it might be ketchup with cranberries in it.  Nope.  Just cranberries cooked down and blended into a ketchup-like consistency.  I had hoped to get it on Country White bread but they were out so I went with Honey Whole Wheat.  This was a really great sandwich that had a fresh taste to it.  That in-house roast turkey really makes a difference.  Plus, they make all of their own breads in house and that brought the sandwich to another level.  

We ordered sides of housemate potato salad and pasta salad to pass around.  Both were mayo-based and chock full of fresh veggies (carrot, onion, red & green pepper, celery) and the potato salad had lots of dill.  Probably some of the best cold salads I've had aside from the Grandma's and my sister's versions.

Each Christmas, Mom always finds a book for each one of us that she knows we will really enjoy reading.  Last year, she gave me "A Taste of Upstate New York".  Mom belongs to a group called the Wednesday Morning Club and author Chuck D'Imperio spoke at one of their meetings.  She knew I'd love it so she bought a copy and had him sign it.  I've been loving it and I made it to a number of places he talked about while I was on this most recent trip.  

One place that Mr. D'Imperio profiled was Donnelly's Soft Ice Cream in Saranac Lake.  The family sold the farm some time ago but still use fresh, local dairy to make their soft serve ice cream.  Ok, I didn't actually confirm that last sentence with anyone, but after one taste I d believe it is true.  I took this shot just as they were opening the day after we went so I could get a full shot of the barn behind the small stand and I had a chance to talk with some of the workers without holding up the line.  

As you can see, Donnelly's is a very small stand and only about 5-6 people can fit inside at one time.  This was the line on the evening we went and it just got bigger and bigger while we ate our ice cream.  

I had a feeling this place was going to be special but I guess it is official!

They also carry dairy products loved by locals: Crowley, Heluva Good (both now owned by Hood) and Cabot.  

The old 1953 Cherry-Burrell model, made in Little Falls, NY, is the same machine they have been using since they opened in 1953.  It only has the capacity to make one flavor combination a day so they have a REALLY small menu.  However, they do make milkshakes and hot fudge sundaes with the twist ice cream (not sure if the hot fudge is homemade) and they have pints of different flavors in a freezer case to take home but one's first taste of this tiny gem should be a twist cone in all of its simple glory.

They have been a seasonal stand from Memorial Day to Labor Day for the past 64 years, but if an unusually warm day pops up in early spring the phone starts ringing with questions from locals wanting to know if they are open yet.

Vanilla soft serve is always available and when we arrived on a Wednesday, Black Raspberry was the flavor of the day.  

I've had many a twist cone since I was a little kid but I have never seen one that formed this pattern.  As Wanderingjew would say, this tasted like sweet, creamy moo!  Just really high-quality ice cream with a strong black raspberry flavor and not too sweet.  Perfect treat on a hot summer night.  As you can probably tell from the first pictures of Donnelly's there isn't much in the way of seating.  Just a red bench in front that may seat 6-7 kids or 4-5 adults.  If that's full you either eat in your car or stand in the parking lot.  Like a doofus, I forgot to take a picture of the view from the parking lot.  Looking out while licking my twist cone, there was green as far as the eye could see.  Trees, mountains and a whole lotta nothing else  Donnelly's is definitely destination-worthy ice cream. 

Fire pit time!  You didn't think dessert ended with ice cream, dd you?  Nothing says relaxing in the ADKs like a good fire pit at the campsite or in the backyard.  And though the photo didn't come out so well, that's one of the tasty S'Mores I had before retiring for the night.  Never get tired of those.  

Let me stand next to your fire!

Like last year, I sat outside by myself, long after everyone else turned in for the night.  Words cannot begin to describe how happy I feel when basking in the warm glow of a fire pit's dying embers.

Another of the many small accents in this house were the dishes.  Love this plate with Whiteface Mountain (the ski resort, not the weather observatory) depicted on it.  Why am I showing this, you ask?    

Because after two days, I finally had my first slice of that heavenly peach pie from Green Acres Farm.  Just as good as ever and easily the best slice of pie I have ever eaten.  When I commented on how much I loved that the fruit still had some bite to it, the pie guy (I keep forgetting to ask his name!) said he only uses peaches that are slightly underripe so that they retain some texture and don't turn to mush and he feed the bruised peaches to the chickens.

 
Some spoilers from Day 3...my first footlong Michigan, a chance stop at a great farm market, hiking through the "Inner Sanctum" and a couple of fantastic Michigans at a pair of classic Roadfood reviewed stands.  Stay tuned!!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Whiteface Mountain
      Website: http://www.whiteface.com/activities/whiteface-veterans-memorial-highway
      The ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station: http://www.albany.edu/asrc/wfm.php
 
2.)  Adirondack Chocolates
      5680 NY-86
      Wilmington, NY 12997
      Ph# (518) 946-7270
      Website: https://www.adirondackchocolates.com/pages/contact-us
 
3.)  Saranac Sourdough Deli & Market
      2126 Saranac Ave #1
      Lake Placid, NY 12946
      Ph# (518) 523-4897
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Saranac-Sourdough-697111806996157/
 
4.)  Donnelly's Soft Ice Cream
      1564 NY-86
      Saranac Lake, NY 12983
      No phone
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Donnellys-Ice-Cream-219558278055451/
 
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/08/21 18:31:37
#14
Greymo
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/21 19:39:33 (permalink)
Wow.........................cannot believe that you did not visit  Santa  at Whiteface!
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/21 20:19:04 (permalink)
I'd love to visit the Whiteface Mountain observatory in the middle of winter!
 
(Billy, you bring the Saranac Sourdough sandwiches.)
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/21 21:25:23 (permalink)
billyboy
How far is Wilmington?  Well, that depends on which Wilmington you're lookin' for, pal.


Wilmington, IL, eh?  Home of the equally photogenic Route 66 landmark, The Gemini Giant...

...oversized mascot of the Launching Pad Diner.
 
Betcha didn't have one of these in your fancy shmancy mountains.
 
Any idea if the Maple Cotton Candy was made with real maple syrup, or just HFCS and artificial flavors?
EDIT: Never mind.  I just did a blow up of the photo and read the ingredients: Cane Sugar and PURE Maple Sugar
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2017/08/23 19:18:28
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/22 11:04:26 (permalink)
Greymo, maybe I'll have to make a trip up north in December to tell the big guy what I want for Christmas.  
Or I could just wait for a visit from Sump'n Claus:

 
ScreamingChicken, I'll bring the Saranac Sourdough sandwiches if you bring the Saranac root beer to wash them down! 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/11/08 11:31:00
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/22 11:13:26 (permalink)
Buddy, I'll see your Gemini Giant and raise you a Paul Bunyan at the Enchanted Forest in Old Forge, NY.

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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/22 14:04:09 (permalink)
Billy, I hate emojis, but that picture is totally deserving of a !  I am humbled sir.
 
Buddy
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/23 18:46:50 (permalink)
Wednesday August 02, 2017 - Day 3 - That fresh mountain air took a lot out of us so we all slept in late this morning.  Kelly, Dennis and the kids headed down to Blue Mountain Lake to explore the Adirondack Museum (FKA the Adirondack Museum).  Mom, Harold and I decided to drive a couple of miles over to White Pine Camp in the town of Paul Smiths, NY.  More on this town and its wonderful offerings later in this report...  This was one of the Adirondack Great Camps that was known as the "Summer White House" for President Calvin Coolidge.  We arrived at 11:30am and unfortunately, we had our signals crossed as we thought that they offered tours between the hours of 10:30am - 1:30pm when in fact the tours are AT 10:30am and 1:30pm.  And it turns out that the walkways and paths are NOT handicap/motorized scooter accessible so that presented an issue for us.    Based on what I've read on their website, it is a very lovely place, with cabins for rent, much to do on and around the water and lots of trails to walk.  Perhaps I can convince Dayna to come here next year and we can get our own cabin and go back to nature!

Mom & Harold decided to go back to the house and then go into Saranac Lake to run some errands and grab lunch.  I thought this would be a good time to embark on a solo mission to get back on track with my Michigan Quest and to head east for some hiking.  MICHIGAN STOP #3 was at the Whitebrook Dairy Bar in Wilmington, not too far from Whiteface Mountain.  

Now this roadside ice cream/hot dog stand is exactly the kind of place I grew up going to as a kid.  Ice cream cone on the roof?  Check.  Slanted roof?  Check.  Neon trim?  Check.  Outdoor seating only?  Check.  They are seasonal and I think that as I write this, they may have already closed until 2018.

Not sure I would be able to handle the Big Nasty or Cry ass Fries but a foot-long Michigan will suit me just fine.  As a side note, I'm not sure if they meant to write Crazy Ass or if they meant that it is so intense that it'll make your ass cry. In any case, that's gonna be a "hard pass" for Ole' Billyboy!

While plastic foods and animals on the roof are usually indicators that a place will probably be good, I've often found that funny signs and tip jars yield the same results.

You can't see it from this angle but the school is the Albany College of Pharmacy.

My foot-long with Michigan sauce, onions and mustard.  I'm sure glad they provided a cardboard boat long enough to fit it all as there was spillage but since I assumed the position and leaned forward with each bite, I didn't waste a drop!  This one had a hint of cumin, a spicy kick and was very saucy. I like that they let the dog brown up a bit on the griddle. Forgot to ask what kind of dog they use but it was tasty.

Huge bonus points for the buttered and griddled bun! The first but not last of its kind on this trip.  Great buttery taste and the crispy texture that held up nicely to the ample Michigan sauce.

Another Maple milkshake (no walnuts this time) made with PURE maple syrup.  I. Am. In. Heaven!!  The pine trees, Adirondack chairs and picnic tables off to the side only added to the charm of the Whitebrook.  

I took a long winding road to my next destination and along the way, I drove by a place mentioned in "A Taste of Upstate New York".  Pray's Farm Market in Keeseville has been around for over 50 years and most of the fruits and vegetables they grow are sold at farmers' markets in Plattsburgh and Albany.  

I love it when I walk into a family-run business and see signs for local events that support the community.

Pray's also has baked good and pies as well as dairy, canned goods and much more from local vendors that they carry.

Love this bench, the low quality shot, not so much.

I had never heard of Kutztown (based out of Kutztown, PA before but Ayersian got me hooked years ago on trying locally made, regional sodas.  

Sarsaparilla an d Red Crea are flavors that I rarely see and these two were terrific.  The both had a sweetness to them but not overly so and the Sarsaparilla had a clean, minty flavor, almost as if a root beer and a birch beer had a love child.

My main, non-food goal for the day was a hike at Ausable Chasm.  Opened in 1870, the "Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks" is a vertical-walled chasm made up of 500 million year old rock.  

Most of the parking was in the upper lot, far away from the welcome center but just follow the signs...

to this building where you check in to buy your ticket for whichever package you want.  Trail walking, rock climbing, rappelling, tubing.  Lots of choices for most skill levels.  This is definitely a place to visit if you are mobile and in good, walking shape.  Very few paved paths here and most of it is hard packed dirt with some rocks and tree roots sticking out.  

The view from the bridge heading to the Rim Walk trail.  I'm not a huge fan of heights, as many Roadfooders who have been on tours with me can attest to.  However, I do like to challenge myself from time to time.  Looking at a display of the twisted metal of the previous bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011 as I walked towards this bridge did NOT inspire me with confidence!

It may be hard to see in this picture but the blue specks just right of center are people who paid for the Adventure Trail and they are walking across a very narrow cable "bridge".  They are in harnesses but just watching them made me queasy.  

Enter if you dare...

A fine rule that my family has always adhered to while camping over the years.

Lots of tall, majestic trees along the path.

 

The Rim Walk was the easier of the two that went along the upper edge of the chasm, while the Inner Sanctum went down further into the chasm and provided some closer views but on much narrower pathways.

I chose the Rim Walk and there were many points like this that provided viewing platforms with stunning scenery.

Just gorgeous.  More people walking across the chasm and others preparing to go rafting or tubing.

This packed dirt/wood chip strewn path reminded me very much of the nature walks I would take in the woods behind our house when I was a kid.  While I didn't find any empty beer balls, deployed fireworks or fresh blackberry bushes to plunder on this path, it was very serene and relaxing.

Rainbow Falls.

 

I wish I had taken some video so you could hear the sound of the falls.  I've loved exploring waterfalls since I was a wee lad and they always bring out the kid in me.

Bullyboy climb these stairs?  No way!  Or so I thought...

Someone had a lot of time on their hands.

Split-Rock Tension Joint.  You may notice in this sign the word AuSable (Aww-sable).  It is also spelled Ausable (Aww-sah-bull) and both versions appear throughout the region.  Depending on to whom you speak, there are two different pronunciations.  Not sure why.  

It's a long drop.

There are a few lean-to shelters along the path in case the rain starts coming down.

I'll just let the scenery in these next two pictures speak for itself.  

 

I could have gone all the way around to the other side of the chasm on the Rim Walk but I decided to double back to the Inner Sanctum trail further down into the chasm and see what it had to offer.  These stairs, while not as steep as the ones I saw earlier, still made me a bit uneasy.  Truthfully, all of the stairs, railings, bridges and pathways I encountered were very secure and stable.  NOTE: I brought my water bottle to stay hydrated as it was a very hot day and while not the most difficult day of hiking I have ever encountered (see Mt. Arab from my trip last summer!) one could get dehydrated very easily.  There aren't any water fountains in the welcome center and no running water on the trails but there are a few points where you can buy a bottle of Aquafina at $3.00 a pop.  I bought two from a very nice woman who worked at the chasm and felt guilty for selling them to me at what she referred to as "Hollywood prices".

Splash Board Bridge.

This provided me with a nice view all the way down into the river.  Not scary at all!  Hehe!

The water cascading down this mossy rock formation misted off towards me, providing some much appreciated relief.

Some more natural beauty for which my words simply cannot do justice. 

 

As you can see, the trail narrows a bit in some places and people are walking it from both directions so it becomes necessary to find a small spot to duck into from time to time to allow others to pass.  

An the path widens once again.  

This part of the Inner Sanctum path was incredibly narrow and ole Billyboy had to do a side shuffle to get by hikers coming from the opposite direction!

This was a nice little rest area with a picnic table and some wooden Adirondack chairs where one could just take in the chasm and relax, listening to the sound of rushing waters.  

Ahh, Ausable Chasm, take me away!   I did meet a very nice couple who said that they lived 15 minutes from here for most of their lives and this was their first time visiting the Chasm!  Like Michael & Jane have said over the years, it's too easy to have a blind spot for all of the wonderful places right in your own town.  I told them of my Michigan quest and they said I should try Ronnie's Michigan Stand and Clare & Carl's and McSweeney's.  

More chasm...

 

There was a sign and a barrier up saying that this bridge was closed off.  Good thing, because when I first looked at it all I could imagine was Indiana Jones hacking it apart with a machete, sending everyone plummeting to the river below!  "Drop the stones, Dr. Jones!  They will be found!  You won't!" - Mola Ram, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984).

While it looks like an interesting place to explore, all of that loose stone means that pieces must break off from time to time, I'm guessing during the spring thaw, making for a dangerous place to be standing at any time.

 

 

Can anyone spot the face in the rock.  Large nose sticking straight out and a weak chin?

A nice little nook to hide in for a few moments, take a swig of water, and move forward.

As much I would love to go down and check this out, the thought of being in that cave when an earthquake hits gives me the willies.

It is rather beautiful though.

The walk down to this platform is very brief but can be treacherous if you're not paying attention.  Uneven, roots and rocks sticking out and some of the steps down are more steep than others.  

However, the view is worth it.

One more place to rest if need be.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of their most famous rock formation, Elephant's Head.  

Some history.  

Back in the welcome center, I made a break for the restroom so I could wash up.  The hike was about 3 miles and I had worked up quite a sweat.  The counter guy at the snack bar was very nice and filled up my water bottle from the tap behind the counter.  Thanks, man!  They have a small museum with the history of the chasm and the surrounding area, going back to the 1870s.  Love this old sign.

This sign in the snack bar was just begging to be mocked.  I wonder what became of the Madison Avenue ad man who came up with it.  Hey Mr. Draper, please come to my office and bring everything in your desk with you, ok?  Uh, no thanks Mountain Dew.  I'll pass.  I'd prefer it if you didn't tickle or do anything else to my innards, since we're on the subject.

Is it just me or does Seneca Ray look like the actor Adam Driver (from Girls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens)?

Age is all relative.

There really is a great deal of history and so much to do in the Adirondack Park.  A great love of the outdoors is a big plus.  I will definitely be back here for more hiking and if I can get my weight down to a respectable level, I'd love to tackle that Adventure Trail.  One of my friends from college came here with her husband and two daughters a week later and tried it.  She was nervous but they all loved it.

MICHIGAN STOP #4 was at what is probably one of the more well-known Michigan stands in the region, Clare & Carl's.  Michigan, Coneys, Texas Red Hots, call them by any name, they taste just as good all the same!

It really did feel like stepping into a place that time forgot.  There was a guy in the back stirring a pot with what I am guessing was a batch Michigan sauce.  A small menu.  There were picnic tables outside but they only indoor seating were stools at the counter and next to me were a couple whom I am guessing had retired many years ago and in conversing with them, it turns out that I was right and the husband used to be a baker and he baked many of the closed-end hot dog buns that the local Michigan stands would buy.  

The menu.  Being so close to Montreal, poutine is pretty common in this region.  While I was tempted to try it, tackling multiple Michigans is a marathon, not a sprint and I had to pace myself.

Some photos from the old days.

One Michigan and a chocolate milk, please.  This was really, really good. They aren't shy with the Michigan sauce and the onions (mustard is on the counter to be applied as desired). I usually prefer much smaller, minced onions as I find the larger chunks to be very overpowering but on this Michigan, they just worked.  This was a spicy, somewhat dry-ish, pebbly meat sauce and I craved it more with each bite.

One of the few places that use a bun with the ends closed off. A great idea that helps prevent the toppings from slipping out of the far end and onto my lap.  However, they really pile on the sauce which negates the whole closed-end bun solution but hey, if it means I get more of that addictive sauce, I guess I'll just have to live with it.  As always, lean forward, eat over your cardboard boat, grab a fork to capture every last dollop of rogue sauce and don't be shy with the napkins!

I'm not in the habit of posting photos of half eaten food but I wanted to show the cross-section (and to prove that there was actually a hot dog in there!) and I realized I forgot to ask for a knife after I was two bites in. D'oh!

Seventy-five years old and like a classic Hollywood actor who refuses plastic surgery, this building has a ton of history and it shows in every sloping board, well-worn countertop and stool that has hosted countless Michigan lovers.  The staff and customers were great and they also recommended that I try Ronnie's Michigan Stand, McSweeney's and Gus' (though they did let me know that their sauce is the BEST!).  

MICHIGAN STOP #5 was at one of the 3 locations of McSweeney's Red Hots & Restaurant.  I went to the location on Rte. 9, north of Plattsburgh as I thought it was the original and oldest one.  I had quickly forgotten the story that the counter girl at Clare & Carl's had told me.  The McSweeney's across the street from Clare & Carl's is the oldest one and was the original site of Nitzi's, which was one of the earliest Michigan stands in the area and McSweeney's still had some of the old Nitzi's signage on display.  D'oh!  I'll have to make it back next summer.  

Driving through Plattsburgh, Google Maps got me all confused but a coupe of twists and turns later, I was here.  A girl came right out to my car.  Oh wow, a car hop!  It seemed cool at first but having not grown-up in that generation there just wasn't any nostalgia for me and the thought of trying to eat a Michigan in my rental car without spilling anything seemed like an endeavor doomed to failure.  So, I went inside to place my order and then parked myself at one of the umbrella picnic tables outside.  

McSweeney's (est. 1991) is a full-service restaurant serving lunch and dinner.  

They brought out my order and all of the necessary condiments on a car hop window tray, a nice touch.  

Bun closed on both ends, solid hot dog, spicy, meaty sauce that was somewhat dry-ish and pebbly, and rough chopped onions and mustard on the tray, this was another stellar Michigan.  While looking at the menu as I wrote this, I came across this listing for their Michigan: Red Hots - hot dog in a steamed bun with McS meat sauce, with or without onions. (onions buried, may cause sauce to fall off hot dog due to bun crisis of 2002)...$1.95  The bolding is my doing but I wish I had seen this when I ordered as I would love to have asked about the backstory!  

While they offer frozen crinkle-cut fries, these fresh cut ones were just amazing. Crispy outside, creamy inside and with great potato flavor. I'm still thinking about them...

A slice of homemade Coconut Cream Pie. Good filling but the crust was somewhat bland and I'm not a fan of untoasted coconut on my pie. They can't all be home runs.   I only took two bites and then had it boxed up to take back as Mom is a big fan of coconut cream pie.  
 
As luck would have it, Gus' Restaurant was less than 2000 feet away on the same road!  However, I was out of time.  Maddie & her friend have been learning to cook and they wanted to make stir fry, coconut rice and mango pudding for everyone tonight for dinner.  I didn't want to be late as they had put a lot of effort into it but I was running out of time.  I actually arrived back to the house 30 minutes later than I was supposed to but they were still cooking.  Whew!  In typical Roadfooder fashion, I had to stop Roadfooding for the night to go home for dinner!  On the route I took back, I passed Gus' Restaurant, Michigans Plus, another location of McSweeney's and Ronnie's Michigan Stand.  So close and yet so far!  Do not despair, dear readers as I (mostly) remedied that situation by downing Michigans at three of those spots later in the week!

Later that night...I had to break into the Dutch Apple pie from Green Acres Farms.  What?  I made it two whole days without touching it!  And this was after driving up in the car with the box open as it had just come out of the oven so the aroma was all up in my face for HOURS!  That, my dear friends, is willpower.  Another winner.  The crumb topping was not sweet at all.  It was a bit salty and a bit buttery, which really worked well with the tart-sweet balance of the apples.  And it held up really well over the last 48 hours and still had a nice crunch to it.  Don't get me wrong, the double-crust pie is still king in my book but this Dutch Apple can sit in the royal court any day.

 
On the next episode of "Michigan" Impossible...a trip to a tuberculosis museum (no kidding), back to the ('dack) SHACK fka Howard Johnson's, a visit to John Brown's homestead and grave, an excellent ice cream find at a local stalwart, "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Cabin!" and grabbing' some grub at the Tail O' the Pup!
 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  White Pine Camp
      White Pine Rd.
      Paul Smiths, NY 12970
      (518) 327-3030
      Website: http://www.whitepinecamp.com
 
2.)  Whitebrook Dairy Bar
      5660 NY-86 Scenic
      Wilmington, NY 12997
      Ph# (518) 946-7458
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/whitebrookdairy/
 
3.)  Pray's Farm Market (listed as Pray's Family Farms on Google Maps)
      391 NY-9N
      Keeseville, NY 12944
      Ph# (518) 834-9130
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Prays-Family-Farm-410546402459568/
 
4.)  Ausable Chasm
      2144 U.S. 9
      Ausable Chasm, NY 12911
      Ph# (518) 834-7454
      Website: ausablechasm.com
 
5.)  Clare & Carl's
      4729 U.S. 9
      Plattsburgh, NY 12901
      Ph# (518) 561-1163
      Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Clare-Carls-156185831549/
 
6.)  McSweeney's
      7067 U.S. 9
      Plattsburgh, NY 12901
      Ph# (518) 562-9309
      Website: http://www.mcsweeneysredhots.com
      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/08/24 04:06:13
#21
leethebard
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/23 21:01:41 (permalink)
Wow, great photography. Really enjoy this!
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/24 18:27:58 (permalink)
Wonderful report billyboy!  I have to admit that I liked the Michigan part of your report on Hot Dog Nation and never made the connection that it was you! Thank you for sharing this. Really enjoyable!
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ChicagoIrish
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/24 20:55:32 (permalink)
Great report billyboy! I had relatives in Plattsburgh during my high school years and had the luck to get to visit a few times. Your report reminded me of visiting Lake Placid, swimming in Lake Champlain and looking for Champy. Unfortunately back then I had no idea what roadfood was or could be and obviously missed out in that regard. However, your terrific pictures and narrative show off what a beautiful and under appreciated area the Adirondacks area really is. Thanks for doing both the literal and figurative leg work!
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/25 04:47:02 (permalink)
Thursday August 04, 2017 - Day 4 - While driving east on Rte. 86 towards Ausable Chasm the day before, I passed through the town of Saranac Lake and saw the sign below so I made a note to check it out online when I returned.  Turns out that the Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum has quite a lot to tell about the history of tuberculosis and Saranac Lake's role in the research for a cure, fresh-air cures and the Cure Cottages of the region from the late 19th onward.  

While it is a lovely old building and the site of the Saranac Laboratory, it is not yet completely handicap accessible, so we started out in the ground level and they didn't charge us admission, but I gave them money anyway and asked that they put it towards a ramp/lift to make it accessible for everyone.  

Tuberculosis/consumption were deadly back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau =came to the Adirondack in 1873, while seriously ill with TB.  He found that the fresh, clean mountain air was a restorative, started a sanitorium to care for the poor who had TB and set about researching the disease and finding a cure by establishing the very first laboratory in the United State dedicated to studying the disease.  .  

Dr. Trudeau was a pioneer in the study of TB and many people from around the world came to Saranac Lake to seek treatment.

 

This didn't necessarily mean that they were "cured" of TB but the word was used more as a verb back in those days.  

The back of the laboratory.

The research laboratory, sanitoriums and increase in population helped to create an industry of health care workers and boost the economy and growth of the village.

Many people didn't talk about TB for fear of being stigmatized but Saranac Lake became a place of understanding for most patients.

A typical bed for a TB patient.

Weight loss was a problem for many patients, so local dairies provided milk as part of a high-calorie diet.

Many sanitoriums and "cure cottages" sprang up to house patients while they were taking their cure.  One of the more well-known patients was Christy "The Christian Gentleman" Mathewson, the star pitcher for John McGraw's New York Giants from 1900-1916.  He was exposed to chemical gases while in Army training and his weakened lungs were more susceptible to TB, which he contracted not long after.  

 

One of the patients in Saranac Lake. 

Many of the patients stayed on in the area and married fellow patients or nurses.  Going back home might have meant facing the stigma and/or discrimination of those who knew they had TB.  Finding employment, housing or a spouse could be difficult, so they rebuilt their lives anew in the Adirondack and many went on to lead very interesting lives.  I think it's a good thing that Mr. Worthington helped put together reunions of former patients and caregivers as they all has a special connection.

 

Dr. Trudeau's son and grandson (at left and center) carried on his legacy.  To the right is his great-grandson, Garry Trudeau, creator of the comic strip, Doonesbury.

More stories of Dr. Trudeau's patients.

 

In the early 20th century, many of the captions of industry came to "summer" in the Adirondack Mountains and built opulent private residences, known as "great camps".  However, the growth of the villages and towns made it possible for the person or family wealthy but somewhat less extravagant means to escape the big cities and enjoy the fresh, clean air of the mountains as well.  Many grand hotels were built during this time.  

And as the years progressed, more mainstream accommodations sprang up for tourists of more modest means.

Of course, I rang the bell several times, but the bellhop never came for my bags!  That'll come out of his tip!

I would love to have seen these places up close in their heyday.

A dollar and a half!  Wonder what that would be in today's economy?

Ok...
[/URL
Don't mind if I do!!  
[URL=http://s115.photobucket.com/user/billyboy71_2006/media/2017%20Michigan%20Impossible%20ADK%20August%20Family%20Trip/20170803_111629_zpszvlg1ht5.jpg.html]
Sadly, not all visitors were welcome.  We've come a long way but we still have miles to go...

Even the rich and famous were not immune to health problems.  While I'm not familiar with his work, this has definitely sparked an interest for me.

And maybe a tour of their cabin next summer.

As odd as it may seem, the TB industry was a boom for Saranac Lake.

The combination of the Great Depression and the development of the suburbs and highways over the years took its toll on the hotel industry and slowly, many of the grand hotels shuttered or were lost to fire.

Only one remains.

Some truly grand hotels. The Alpine Hotel.

The Ampersand Hotel.

The Hotel Saranac.

The Riverside Inn.

The Hotel Algonquin.

Temperance societies popped up during Prohibition and some of these signs could be found around Saranac Lake to warn people of the dangers of alcohol consumption. 

Some of the slang from the 20s and 30s.  How many can you guess correctly?

We didn't have a set place for lunch, so we pulled into this dual deli/shack and ended up eating at the restaurant/bar known as the 'dack SHACK in Lake Placid.  

As it turned out, this was the former Howard Johnson's that closed in 2015.

Many homes and businesses have artwork that incorporates the outline of the Adirondack Park. 

And lots of accents featuring old wood.

Love these miniatures.  These are the classic Adirondack style chairs that can be found on deck, porches and at hotels, camps and cabins throughout the region.

 

The menu.  The fare is definitely different that what I remember at HoJo's.

The do still offer the classic clam roll.

Harold went with an off-menu special of twin grilled coneys with sautéed onions and garlic-sauteed mushrooms.  He said they were the best he has had in some time.  I think Mom had a salad with grilled chicken that she really enjoyed.  

I had the Dack Burger with cheddar, onions, bacon and Dack sauce, which I'm guessing is like a Special sauce.  The fresh-cut fries were really good.

I requested my burger medium and it came quite juicy and with just the right amount of pink.

Presenting the bill in a mini fry basket was a nice touch.

On my way up from NYC, I took a wrong turn which actually allowed me to avoid the downtown traffic along Main Street in Lake Placid and ended up taking me past John Brown Road and the entrance to the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid.  We weren't able to spend much time in this cemetery as thunder and lightning were ominously rolling in from above and with the wrought-iron fencing, they had to close it down.  We were able to continue on into the house and barn for more of the tour.

I knew a little bit about John Brown from what I had learned history class but it had been so long ago.  Apparently, I am the only person for miles who has never heard/does not remember the John Brown song.  Do any Roadfooders know it? The graves hold John Brown, two of his sons (Watson and Oliver) and the others who participated in the raid on Harper's Ferry.

A closer picture of John Brown's grave.

A plaque, dedicated to the women of the Brown family.

A plaque for John Brown and his followers.

Some history on John Brown and his family...

 

 

 

The Brown homestead.  Between his first and second wife, John Brown fathered 20 children.  Not all survived childhood and not all lived there at the same time, but I can't imagine doing the work that he did with the massive responsibilities that he had back home.  Some of the furnishings are original and some are recreations of items from the mid 1850s.  There were two very helpful guides who explained what each room was for, what a typical day might consist of for the family and answered any questions that we had.  

On my way to the barn, I met some tourists who were her with this sweet boy who just wanted some love.  My new buddy, Buddy.

Inside the barn there is a video about John Brown playing on a loop, as well as various pieces of artwork on the walls and some semi-interactive video screens like in the next two photos.  Even before the raid on Harper's Ferry, John Brown was a very polarizing figure and people on both sides (pro-slavery and abolitionists) had very string opinions about him.  

 

John Brown, helping a young boy towards freedom.

After we left the Brown homestead, we made our way to Tupper Lake to meet my sister and her family.  Maddie's friend had family commitments and had to leave early so they went to drop her off in Watertown, NY while Dennis came back to the house with us.  On the way, we stopped at a Stewart's Shops in Tupper Lake for some of their always excellent ice cream.  A scoop of Mint Cookie Crumble and scoop of Maple Walnut were just right.  The Mint Cookie Crumble was especially good with thick ribbons of cookies, fudge and a nice minty taste.

A scoop of Mint Cookie Crumble and scoop of Maple Walnut were just right.  The Mint Cookie Crumble was especially good with thick ribbons of cookies, fudge and a nice minty taste.

On the way back to Rainbow Lake, we passed the Northwood Cabins in Tupper Lake and I asked Mom to pull over so I could take some pictures.  I am always fascinated by colorful neon signs...

...and old time cabins.  Mom said she and her family would stay in places like these from time to time on vacations.  Maybe I'm from a spoiled generation but I just can't imagine five people spending more than one night in a space that small.  

Dinner this night was at a place I had heard about some years ago and had hoped we could have gone to last year but we were too far away and it would have been a long drive.  Tail 'O the Pup in Ray Brook, NY has been around since 1927 and is a combination BBQ-lobster-clam bake restaurant.  Not too many of those around!  Pretty easy to find from the street with the smoker, the sign...

...and this guy out front.

They have indoor seating, stools at the window and take-out but we opted to sit under the big tent.

Paradise is just a few thousand miles away.

More Adirondack artwork on display.

The Tail 'O the Pup is huge place and also has small cabins for rent and is family-friendly.  

It stretches out for a bit.

I wonder if they give tours.  I'm dying to know what they look like inside.

The view from our table.  Live music, communal seating, fire pits out back to relax (those may be for residents of the cabins), this place had a great, chill vibe.

Mom and I decided to split a Twin Lobster Clam Bake on the specials menu.  A pair of 1 1/4 lb lobsters with steamers, lemon and melted butter.  This was a mess to eat but so good.

The sweet corn on the cob and red skin potato salad were perfect summertime complements.

Harold and Dennis split the King Eddie's Crown Rack Rib, presented like a crown, with waffle fries.  

It came with homemade baked beans and slaw.  The guys really liked it.  I think we need to come back next year and I need to get on that BBQ!

Mom, Harold, Dennis and I.  Our waitress was even kind enough to tie on our lobster bibs.  

And of course, another night ending with a fire in the backyard pit.  I could get used to this!

 
When we return in Episode Five...Travelin' Manned trying to find a Michigan, an unexpected and wonderful roadside Michigan, losing myself hiking at the VIC, one of my favorite Michigans on this mission and rounding out the night at Paul Smith's College with a top-notch meal.
 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum
      89 Church St. #2
      Saranac Lake, NY 12983
      Ph# (518) 891-4606
      Website: http://www.historicsaranaclake.org
 
2.) 'dack SHACK
      2099 Saranac Ave.
      Lake Placid, NY 12946
      Ph# (518) 523-3555
      Website: http://www.simplygourmetlakeplacid.com
 
3.)  John Brown Farm State Historic Site
      115 John Brown Rd.
      Lake Placid, NY 12946
      Ph# (518) 523-3900
      Website: https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/29/details.aspx
 
4.)  Stewart's Shops
      124 Park St.
      Tupper Lake, NY 12986
      Ph# (518) 359-8513
      Website: http://www.stewartsshops.com
 
5.)  Northwood Cabins
      2775 NY-30
      Tupper Lake, NY 12986
      Ph# (800) 727-5756
      Website: http://www.northwoodcabinsadk.com
 
6.)  Tail 'O the Pup
      1186 NY-86
      Ray Brook, NY 12977
      Ph# (518) 891-0777
      Website: http://www.tailofthepupbbq.com/index.html
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/08/26 13:52:58
#25
billyboy
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/25 04:56:37 (permalink)
leethebard, thanks so much!
 
agnesrob, I'm still playing around with the different bits and bobs on my relatively new-ish smartphone.  Since we had free WiFi at our rental house I figured I'd post my daily Michigan finds on Hot Dog Nation and then do the long form report here on Roadfood after I returned.  Glad I did it that way as I don't think my bratwurst fingers could have handled all of the typing on that little phone!  
 
ChicagoIrish, not sure if I've seen you on the Forums before.  Apologies if I've missed any of your comments.  A belated welcome to Roadfood!  Sounds like you've got some great memories of the North Country.  Don't think I've ever heard of Champy before.  Is that anything like Loch Ness' "Nessie"?  I too have traveled to places before I knew about Roadfood and I'm sure I've passed by or even eaten at places that would be great additions to this site.  This trip was fun and it's been great going deeper into the Adirondack Park as my youth was spent in mostly the southern portions.  It really is so vast and diverse and I could spend two lifetimes trying to see it all!
 
#26
billyboy
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/26 13:02:58 (permalink)
Friday August 04, 2017 - Day 5 - This was a sleep in and relax kind of day so I got a late start.  First up was MICHIGAN STOP #6 at the Packbasket Diner in the town of Gabriels, who was maybe a 1/2 mile from the house where we were staying.  

It's a small, homey diner and the staff were nice but I arrived less than an hour before they were closing for the day and they had run to of Michigan sauce.  Perhaps tomorrow before I head out of town.  

I headed west on Rte. 86 when I remembered that Harold had mentioned seeing a small hot dog cart in a parking lot just north of the entrance to Paul Smith's College on Rte. 30.  Fifteen minutes later, I was at the loose gravel lot and I knew right from looking at this truck that good things were in store for me.  "Don't be a Meanie.  But a Weenie."  is a great slogan and I looked forward to meeting the owner of Just Dogs in the town of Paul Smiths, NY, MICHIGAN STOP #7.  

I wasn't even sure that this place had Michigans but when I approached the cart, I was in luck!  

A witty tip jar.  Yet another good sign.  

Owner Steve Dale, hard at work.  I ordered the combo and in another stroke of good luck, Mr. Dale asked me if I preferred a Nathan's or a Glazier dog.  This was my first encounter with the locally made Glazier dog so I opted for that.  He was cool with me taking photos and he liked that I was on a mission for Michigans.  

Apologies for the poor photos.  I didn't think the sun and shade were in these shots when I first viewed them.  As ChiTownDiner would say, I was dining "a la trunk".  No tables or chairs of any kind at this operation,  Just a man and his hot dog cart.  When he lifted the lid to spoon out the Michigan sauce I thought it looked pretty darn good and definitely homemade but the aroma was what made me almost swoon.  It reminded me of a meat tomatoey meat sauce that might be simmering all day on my grandma's stove for pasta on Sunday night dinner.  The bun was soft and the snap of the casing on that Glazier dog and the soulful (I really can't think of a better word to describe it) sauce just blew me away.  I stopped eating every so often and said to myself, "Damn!  That's a good dog!!  That's a REALLY good dog!!"

This was about the best shot I came up with that shows the distinctive red casing of the Glazier.  

Mr. Dale had a couple of other customers show up while I was eating and after they left, he came over and the chatted for a bit.  He told me about how he was from Vermont and had his own line of pasta sauces that he jarred and sold in local stores.  Eventually, he sold the recipe and retired to the Adirondacks with his wife but was still eager to do "something".  He decided he just wanted to sell hot dogs out of a cart and set about coming up with a Michigan sauce recipe and his sauce is closer to a Bolognese/pasta sauce (as some are) rather than a chili.  I could totally see this being a great sauce with rigatoni.  He'd let me take his picture in front of the truck and wished me well on my mission.  The combination of the Glazier dog, his fantastic homemade sauce, his sense of humor and easygoing personality and the location made this one of the best Michigan experiences of this trip.

I had mentioned to Paul Smith (Sundancer7) earlier in this thread that there would be more on his namesake coming up soon.  Well, here we go!  The Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at Paul Smith's College in the town of Paul Smiths, NY is a place my Mom recommended I check out during our stay in the ADKs.  Here is some history of the man and the college from the college's website: "Born in 1825 in Milton, Vermont, Paul Smith fell in love with the Adirondacks at an early age and purchased 50,000 acres of pristine wilderness in 1858 on which to build his dream hotel, a “primitive” lakeside resort serving outdoor enthusiasts. Smith was not only owner and proprietor of the hotel, but its chief wilderness guide and educator.
 
When Smith died in 1912, his son Phelps continued to operate the hotel until it was destroyed by a fire in 1930. By that time, the Paul Smith name adorned a railroad, a telephone company and a regional electric company. Even the village that sprang up around the hotel was called Paul Smiths.
 
The hotel was the Adirondacks’ first wilderness resort, growing to include 255 guest rooms, housing for 60 wilderness guides, a boathouse, a casino and a bowling alley. In its heyday, the resort drew high-profile guests including three U.S. presidents and 19th-century luminaries like P.T. Barnum.
 
Phelps Smith died a wealthy man and bequeathed the bulk of his estate to the foundation of a college in his father’s name. Paul Smith’s College was established in 1937 and the original campus was built on the very same site as the former hotel. The first class entered in 1946, largely composed of WWII veterans and local high school graduates. Seventy years later, Paul Smith’s remains the only baccalaureate-degree-granting institution in the six-million-acre Adirondack Park."
 
I think they have a terrific mission: 
To develop career-ready graduates through hands-on, personalized education.
To educate, research and advocate on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people that inhabit it.
To help the Adirondack region be ecologically and economically sustainable.

Mo goal today was to sign in at the welcome center and set off to hike some of the trails around the VIC.

Whether you're spending lots of time in the Adirondack Park on vacation or enrolling at Paul Smith's College, a love and appreciation for the outdoors and all it has to offer is a big plus.

 

Sounds good to me.

Plus, they tap their own maple trees and sugar their own sap.

Love these retro posters.

And the Adirondack furniture.

The deck at the back of the welcome center.  A great place to sit, relax and just enjoy the view.  

Pretty good deal on the firewood.

This is where things get a bit confusing.  For all of the hiking that I do, map-reading is definitely NOT my strong suit.  I was attempting to find the Boreal Life Trail and I got lost...twice!  Once I ended up in the parking lot and the second time I just went back to the information desk in the welcome center for directions.  Not sure I would graduate with honors if I attended school here!  

While I was on the wrong path though, I came across this really cool outdoor theater called Whispering Pines.  I'm not sure what performances take place here but as an actor, performing outdoors in the woods would be a dream come true!

The view from the deck.  Goes on for miles.

At last, I've found the trail!

It takes a village or at least a whole lotta inmates over a few years.

Just pick a trail and start walking.

Follow the trail markers.

I came across a number of these along the way but I'm not sure what they meant.

I'll just let nature do the talking in these next few photos.  

 

 

 

Around the halfway point on the Boreal Life Trail, there is a lookout platform with a great view.

 

 

A long, sweaty hike, but most satisfying.  

This wooden walkway goes on for a while and much of it is out in the open, so be sure to wear a hat and put on sunscreen as you will get lots of exposure to the golden orb above.

 

This led right back to the forest trail and then a bit of a hike back to the welcome center.  So much to do here.  Classes on shelter building, identifying mushrooms, fire starting, trail maintenance, painting classes, canoe paddles, bird walks and much, much more.  I hope to come back and spend more time here next summer.

After my hike I still had time to check out one more Michigan before I had to get back in time for dinner.  MICHIGAN STOP #8 - The Cone Cabin in Lake Clear, NY.  Situated right at the intersections of Rte. 30 & 186, one could have a cone here and then a mere 3 minute drive later they could be indulging in a twist cone at Donnelly's Soft Ice Cream at the intersection of Rtes. 86 & 186.  Such choices!

The Cone Cabin is a small place, just set off of the road.  No indoor seating but they do have a couple of small 2-person tables near the order window and a number of picnic tables near the parking lot.  They have a pretty big specials menu.

As well as a substantial everyday menu.  I like that taxes are included in the prices.  I'm here to chow down not take a math test!

They gave me my Michigan, fully dressed, wrapped in foil in a bag to go as I wasn't sure how much time I'd have to eat here and when I pulled it out for its requisite Roadfood "close-up", this is what I found: a paragon of what I feel a Michigan should be.  

It did take about 20 minutes from when I ordered so I was a bit peeved about that but all was forgiven when I took the first bite. As you can see from this shot, they buttered and griddled the bun. Major points and it had a great buttery flavor and nice crunch to it. The Michigan sauce is a pebbly meat sauce but a bit smoother and a bit saucy. It's not spicy and there were different flavors in it but I can't pinpoint any one in particular. Make no mistake, this is a messy, multi-napkin affair and you'll definitely want a fork to pick up the chunks of onion and little piles of Michigan sauce that WILL fall into the cardboard boat. Make sure that you eat it over the boat as giving up any of this sauce to the ground would be a crime! Man, I'm wishing I had another one of these and one from Just Dogs!!

I hightailed it back to the house to hop in the shower after my hike as we had a 6:00pm dinner reservation at The Adirondack Waterside Palm at Paul Smith's College.  Aside from being an environmental and forestry school, Paul Smith's College specializes in hospitality and the culinary arts.  We had a bit of a hiccup in our plans as we couldn't find the restaurant which we had been told was located in Cantwell Hall.  There is a sign for The Palm, as well as an old menu and old photos from the New York location of The Palm in this building, but the entrance to the restaurant was locked.  Hmmm??

I tracked down someone wearing a Paul Smith's shirt and asked them if the knew where The Palm was located.  They said it had been moved for the summer into the St. Regis Cafe inside of the Joan Weill Student Center seen in the picture below.  A bit confusing as there wasn't any signage and my sister didn't receive any notice of the change when she made the email reservation.  

No matter though as we made our reservation on time and the staff apologized for the confusion.  



I'll bet the view must be spectacular most days but the thunder and lightning were really rolling in so I didn't hang out on the back deck for too long.  

I couldn't believe my luck when I looked at the CRAFT SODAS on the beverage menu...

Sprecher Sodas!!!  Kelly had a Root Beer, Maddie went with the Orange Dream and I had never seen their Cherry Cola before so I had to give it a go.  Tasted just a like a liquid cherry Lifesaver with a lot of fizz.  Loved it!  Maddie really got a kick out of reading the description on the bottle to me: "Enjoy this super citrus drink of natural orange flavors, honey and vanilla for a creamy, dreamy taste experience that's over the moon. In your wildest dreams, cows roam the orange groves in search of a starry spot for sitting and sipping a succulent citrus soda."  

Our waiter was really great and very chatty.  He is a junior at Paul Smith's and I forget what he told us what his focus is but he is definitely a very busy young man.  Classes, working here during the summer, an internship and he's an Eagle Scout.  I wonder when he finds time to sleep.  Ahh, to be young!  Hr brought us a couple baskets of excellent breads and rolls.  Not sure if they are made in house but they sure tasted like it.

Harold went with the Pan-Roasted, All-Natural, 12oz Bone-In Pork Chop.  It came with roasted seasonal vegetables: carrots, asparagus potatoes and a few other treats.  I didn't get to sample it but it looked pretty good.  

I had the Char-Grilled Marinated 6oz Flat-Iron Steak with asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes with roasted garlic & parsley butter and a chimichurri & red wine reduction.  This is a dish that is meant to be savored.  The also have a "Classic Palm" section of the menu, featuring a selection of the same dishes that are on the menu in The Palm restaurants across the country.  One of the owners of The Palm is a Paul Smith's alum and wanted to bring a bit of The Palm back to is alma mater.  

I went with the chocolate ganache cake for dessert with fresh berries and it was a dark, moist and bittersweet delight.

Mom chose the Key Lime Pie and she was rewarded with a very tart and creamy pie with a perfect graham cracker crust.  The fresh berries and raspberry coulis was a nice touch.  A perfect way to cap off a very busy and filling day in the Adirondacks.  I was hoping to build another fire in the pit for our final night but the rain wouldn't hold off.  I'll settle for tucking in for a good night's sleep and waking early to pack ands plan my route for the day.  I've got a long drive ahead of me and many stops to make before my next part of the vacation.  

 
Up Next - MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE...THE FINAL CHAPTER...Travelin' Manned twice in 1 hour but 3 more Michigans to make up for it (and one was just outstanding), pie & donut time once again and Poughkeepsie-bound to visit old friends!
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Packbasket Diner
      781 NY-86
      Gabriels, NY 12939
      Ph# (518) 327-9301
      No website
 
2.)  Just Dogs
      In gravel parking lot on Rte. 30, just 1/4 mile north of the Paul Smith's College entrance
      No phone or website
      Hours: 11:00am(ish) to 3:00pm(ish) - March to October
 
3.)  Paul Smith's College VIC
      8023 NY-30
      Paul Smiths, NY 12970
      Ph# (518) 327-6241
      Website: http://www.paulsmiths.edu/vic/
 
4.)  The Cone Cabin
      6386 NY-30
      Lake Clear, NY 12945
      No phone (hours are 11:00am to 9:00pm but grille and fryer are shut off at 8:30pm)
      Website: http://www.theconecabin.com
 
5.)  The Adirondack Waterside Palm at Paul Smith's College
      7777 NY-30
      Paul Smiths, NY 12970
      Ph# (518) 327-6268
      Website: http://www.paulsmiths.edu/thepalm/
 
post edited by billyboy - 2017/08/26 13:05:57
#27
Davidsanders
Double Cheeseburger
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/26 13:56:49 (permalink)
billyboy
leethebard, thanks so much!
 
agnesrob, I'm still playing around with the different bits and bobs on my relatively new-ish smartphone.  Since we had free WiFi at our rental house I figured I'd post my daily Michigan finds on Hot Dog Nation and then do the long form report here on Roadfood after I returned.  Glad I did it that way as I don't think my bratwurst fingers could have handled all of the typing on that little phone!  
 
ChicagoIrish, not sure if I've seen you on the Forums before.  Apologies if I've missed any of your comments.  A belated welcome to Roadfood!  Sounds like you've got some great memories of the North Country.  Don't think I've ever heard of Champy before.  Is that anything like Loch Ness' "Nessie"?  I too have traveled to places before I knew about Roadfood and I'm sure I've passed by or even eaten at places that would be great additions to this site.  This trip was fun and it's been great going deeper into the Adirondack Park as my youth was spent in mostly the southern portions.  It really is so vast and diverse and I could spend two lifetimes trying to see it all!
 


John Brown's body lie's a mouldering in the grave..................


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jso1YRQnpCI
 
There are many different versions with different verses.
#28
Greymo
Filet Mignon
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/26 15:11:24 (permalink)
You are the first person I have ever heard that has been to  "Tail 'O the Pup"  We have eaten there twice over the years.  It is a fun stop but we were not thrilled with our meals.  Glad that you had some really good food.
#29
Greymo
Filet Mignon
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Re: MICHIGAN IMPOSSIBLE - A 6-Day Obsession with North Country New York Hot Dogs 2017/08/26 15:14:56 (permalink)
You are the first person that I have heard that has been to "Tail 'O the Pup".  We stopped here a couple of times on our way to Lake Placid.  We had a fun time but was not thrilled with the food.  Glad to hear that you had nice meals there.
#30
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