Monday, September 3, 2012

Olympics sites at Lake Placid

I've been looking forward to coming back to Lake Placid with John ever since I found out that you can tour many of the Winter Olympics sites.  I'm a big Olympics fan (currently working my way through many hours of DVR coverage from the London games).  And this is the biggest "show me something about the Olympics" town we have found so far.

With our "Passports" in hand, we started with a drive up Whiteface Mountain and several stops along the way to learn about the area.


Checking out the drainage system that keeps the road from washing away:


Checking out the culvert under the road!


Only John can turn this into a rock climbing expedition:


Gorgeous views from the 5th highest peak in NY state:


Ready to climb up to the top:


Lake Placid view from up high:


Fun trail up to the summit:


And a neat elevator/tunnel system as an alternate way up or down:


Around to the base of the ski area, we hopped on a gondola for a ride above the downhill ski/mountain bike trails:


Yep, John could sleep here:


Another nice view of Lake Placid:


Whiteface Mountain top:


Hints of fall color here and there - this was the brightest tree we saw (photo taken from the gondola):


On the way back to Lake Placid - I guess John could sleep here too...


I just liked the sign:


One of the venues that is still open and hosting training and competition - the ski jumps.  Including aerials where they practice with skis, ski boots, and wet or dry suits, skiing down a wet ramp and doing aerial maneuvers to land in the pool!  We were stoked to get to watch this, very cool:



Taking a chair lift up to the big hill, where they also have summer training (just not that day):



Go Team V!


Jeepers, that is a LONG way down:


What are these people thinking?  And who is the first person that decided this was a good idea??




Whee!


John spotted the site of the Olympic flame from 1980 so we had to go visit it:


Final stop that we had time for - the bobsled/luge/skeleton track.  This one is open for rides!  We opted not to pay for it, but on our tour we found out that the winter version is way more awesome than the summer experience, so now we have to come back and try it.


View from the top - this venue is also still being used for training and competition, and it's considered pretty challenging:


At the end of the tour we were given the option to "walk down the track" - yes, actually walking on the track for a mile all the way to the bottom.  Heck yeah!  How awesome is that?


Pretty dang awesome:


I haven't decided if John is practicing for skeleton or answering the question of whether he could sleep here:


Ready...




The end!


At least for now... we will be back for sure.  There is still more to do!  I love this town and how they keep the Olympics alive.  Tourists, sports fans, athletes, potential athletes, hikers, summer, winter - just a neat place in the middle of the mountains.

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