Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall Foliage 2009

Better late than never...! Our fall foliage season was amazing! Unfortunately, our camera croaked just as the leaves were approaching peak. We quickly ordered another one and managed to capture a few scenes of splendor. Enjoy!!

One of our favorite shots is this one of Giant Mountain wearing a snowy cap with the autumn colors beneath.

Mirror Lake in Lake Placid

The view from the top of Snow Mountain ... in our backyard!

Roaring Brook Falls roaring with the fall rains.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Summer 2009 ... Simple Pleasures That Made Me Smile

Autumn sights and smells surround the Snow Goose ... the leaves are at peak, the fireplaces crackle and we are serving our fall breakfast specials like Baked Apples and Pumpkin Waffles.

Snow has already fallen on the High Peaks, but before the first flakes fall here in the valley, I want to take a look back and share a few of my favorite things from Summer 2009.

One of my favorite spots in the world -- I had to fight a lot more guests for my hammock time this summer!

Our family spent a fun day tubing at Schroon Lake for Sodie's 13th birthday. They even got Mom out on the tube ... here's the photographic evidence!

One of the benefits of our very rainy June and July was that the little waterfall just beyond our driveway flowed most of the summer

On summer Sunday mornings, I played the organ at this little chapel in St. Hubert's. More than one Sunday found me running up the road with the hymnal under my arm... leaving guests at the breakfast table! (Doesn't this church just make you want to hum "the little brown church in the dell?!")

Our personal flock of hummingbirds brought many moments of joy to us as they zipped and zoomed around - sometimes 5-6 at a time. They are, however, very hard to photograph with our less-than-speedy camera.

We love the Keene Valley Farmer's Market. One of our favorite stands features the one-and-only Dimitry who sells wonderful olive oil and goat's cheeses. Our girls look forward to his hugs and their weekly sample of bread dipped in olive oil with garlic, tomato and basil. We make the same thing at home, but somehow it never tastes as good as Dimitry's ... which is served "from Bulgaria with LOVE!"

Wayne gets his weekly cup of coffee from John of Adirondack Country Gourmet Coffee. His coffee beans come straight from his friend's farm in Honduras. Our guests rave about the fresh roast and perfect blend. If you'd like to try a bag, just email John at

And last but definitely not least ... my new keyboard! A birthday gift that I will enjoy for many years to come.

It was a good summer ... now onto FALL!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tough Job!

Most of my postings have to do with life here at the Snow Goose, but I know that many of you are also curious about Wayne and the work he does. Monday through Thursday, he works for White Barn Design - a Lake Placid company that does care-taking and renovations for over 40 homes. From painting to plumbing to tiling to snow-plowing, his job provides a LOT of variety which is right down his alley.

But over this past summer, Wayne discovered that, like any workplace, some aspects of his job are ... well ... let me show you!

First, there is the drive to work ... out across the lake in the early morning light. Braving the wind and waves at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

Upon arriving at work, there is the challenge of parking. Have you ever had to park a boat under a house?!

And then the work of entirely repainting this beautiful lakefront camp. Doesn't sound too hard until you realize that the entire front of the house is OVER the water! Yes ... scaffolding had to be built down into the lake so that Wayne and his co-workers could "walk on water" to wield their paintbrushes.

Lunch time presents new challenges. Hmmm.... should I eat my lunch facing this direction....?

Or perhaps I should sit this way and enjoy the view of Whiteface Mountain?

At the end of the day, there is that commute again. Twenty minutes of pure lake bliss.

Sigh... it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ironman 2009 - Swim 2.4 - Bike 112 - Run 26.2

Each July, Lake Placid is privileged to host the Ford Ironman competition. Last year, we did not attend any of the event because we were B&B "newbies" and it was our first weekend to be "full!" This year, as seasoned veterans (Ha!), we decided that the Inn would survive our absence for a few hours.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ironman, it is a triathalon event consisting of three parts ... swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and finally, running a full 26.2 mile marathon!

The swimming portion began about 7 am. Since that is right in the middle of breakfast preparations, we will probably never get to witness that portion in person. But imagine... over 2,200 swimmers all plunging into Mirror Lake. From what we've been told, the swimmers get hit in the head, kicked in the stomach, and generally pummeled while swimming the entire length of Mirror lake 4 times. In fact, there are actually scuba divers who swim under the chaos looking for swimmers in distress ... or those who are getting "swum over" by the herd!

The following picture is courtesy of

And to give you an idea of what this looks like in motion... here is a one observer's video record of this year's swim start:

After serving breakfast and doing room service, we headed up to Keene to watch some of the biking portion of the race. We stood along the road with a handful of others, cheering as the athletes came down the hill, made the turn and headed back up the other side of a 56 mile loop. They rode the loop twice for a total of 112 miles.

One of my favorite things was watching our friend, Ruth. She has such a joyful spirit and I know that each cyclist appreciated her tribute as they passed by.

We were so inspired by watching the cyclists, we decided to head up to Lake Placid to watch the finishers. As we entered the village, we passed some of the marathoners just heading out ...

Once in town, we saw others who were nearing the end of the race ... having pushed their bodies to the limit for almost twelve hours.

As the finishers entered the Olympic speed skating oval, the cheers of the crowd seemed to energize them for the home stretch.

As each runner approached the finish line, the announcer called his/her name, where they were from and interesting trivia (such as "7 time finisher" or "62-year-old grandmother of four", etc). Each time a first-time finisher crossed the line, the announcer would shout, "John... you ... are... an... IIIIRRROONNNMMMAAANNN!!" (I still get chills just remembering!)

Each finisher had their "moment." Most ran across the line with their arms in the air. Some were a bit more subdued (or maybe exhausted?!). And then there were the "memorable" finishes... like several guys who laid down and rolled across, the girl who cartwheeled across, the couple who finished holding hands. Personally, my favorite finish occurred as a man and woman approached the finish line side by side. At the last second, he slowed his pace and let her cross first. Such a gentleman!

Each finisher was greeted by a team of volunteers who made assisted them to the sidelines.

One woman had the honor of placing a medal around the neck of each finisher. What a fun job!

Some scenes at the finish...

These are some of the bikes parked inside the Olympic speed skating oval. We were there from about 6:30 pm until about 9:30 pm and there were close to 1,000 athletes still out on the course. Remember ... they had started at 7:00 am!

We were amazed by how "spry" many of the finishers still looked. Check out the big smile and energetic stride on this young woman!

The best hair of the day...

Being an Ironman athlete is a huge commitment. Athletes train about 25-30 hours a week - in addition to their jobs! There are so many inspirational stories of men and women who've overcome incredible odds to compete. Even the ones who don't finish are champions!

The medal represents each athlete's personal journey of determination, perseverance and victory...

Curious about the winning times? The men's winner was Maik Twelsiek from Germany with a time of 8:36:37. The women's winner was Tereza Macel from the Czech Republic with a time of 9:29:36.

In order to be considered an official Ironman finisher, you must cross the finish line by midnight. This year's race ended dramatically as Paul Goldstone entered the arena with just seconds to spare. As the crowd roared, he gave it everything he had and crossed the finish line at .... 12:00:00! One fraction of a second later and it wouldn't have counted! Here is his finish:

It is impossible to adequately capture the thrill of that day, but hopefully these photos have given you a taste of the experience. And if you like this sort of thing, I invite you to join us next July. But book early! (2,200 athletes and their friends/families fill up the accommodations quickly)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Memory Lane...

"Good morning, Snow Goose."

The phone call began like any other as the gentleman on the other end inquired politely about our guest rooms, rates, and availability. My pencil was poised over the appointment book when he dropped the bomb!

"My great-grandfather built your house."

With those six words, we were suddenly no longer booking a reservation ... we were hosting a Broe family reunion at the old homestead! For a whole weekend in May, we had the incredible honor to learn first-hand the history of our beautiful home.

Nelson Broe (the man who bought the land) in his Civil War uniform, proudly displaying the fingers he lost in battle.

The original deed shows that the land was purchased for $100.00 and a Singer sewing machine! We learned that this was once a 1,000 acre working farm. (Wayne says "Yeah!")

Broemont was an inn hosting travelers who came to Keene Valley to hike and hunt. The Broe men served as guides working for the Ausable Club in St. Hubert's. We were amazed to discover that we have the livingroom furniture arranged exactly as it was in the early days of the Broemont Inn.

A bit of Keene Valley history... this photo depicts the "new highway" Route 73 when it was first built.

The third generation... baby Betty was born and raised in this house. Her mother, Mae, taught elementary school in Keene Valley for 30 years. People in town still call the Snow Goose "Mae Broe's house!"

Young Betty and a friend at the swimming hole ... the same one our girls swim in!

Betty was thrilled to return to her childhood home and to spend Mother's Day weekend sleeping in her old bedroom which is now our "Harmonies" guest room!

Breakfast was truly a family affair! Betty, her husband and two sons had such great stories to tell. We felt honored to "listen in" as they reminisced about the day Nixon resigned, summer afternoons reading on the hammock, and fond memories of Uncle "Collie" - a Keene Valley legend in his own right.

Forget breakfast ... let's look at pictures!

From the moment we set foot in the Snow Goose, we have felt chosen to carry on the legacy of this grand home. Following their visit, we received this email from Mike Green (Betty's son)...

"Both of you have done an excellent job keeping the "big house" looking great. We have often worried what would become of her and were delighted in her present condition. You all have truly done a fantastic job in keeping her running. "

After spending a weekend traveling "Memory Lane," we are even more thankful for this amazing place and more inspired to bless others with this sanctuary for weary travelers who want to enjoy nature and find a quiet place for their souls.


Another email from Mike shared these additional thoughts about "Collie" (Charles Broe)...

"Every visit my family made to Keene Valley while I was growing up was highlighted by Uncle Collie stopping at the "Goose" to say hello to everyone. I can still see his jeep turning in the driveway. Uncle Collie even went so far as to take me, my brothers and friends to his hunting camp. Another memory I will not forget.

Uncle Collie ... was kind, generous with his time and loved telling us about his life experiences. Collie had a heart the size of the Adirondacks. I was in college when my mother called and told me that Uncle Collie had passed away. My sadness was immense. He was truly a fine man."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

80 Degrees Arrives in Keene Valley (briefly!)

Today was absolutely gorgeous ... sunny with a piercing blue sky and a thermometer reading that made one do a double-take! Since my last blog entry featured MUD, I thought I would treat you to a more scenic view of the Adirondacks in spring!

All day as we worked around the yard, we heard the roaring of water. By mid-afternoon, my curiosity was getting the best of me. I took a break and hiked through the woods to Deer Brook - which is usually a sweet little gurgling stream. As you can see, it is gushing with snowmelt from Snow Mountain. That's what 80 degrees will do!

So how do you end a picture perfect spring (summer-like) day?

You find one of the last remaining snowbanks and make home-made ice cream!

I'd write more, but the ice cream is ready. Gotta run ... Yum!