Lake Placid, Part I

As you and the Pulitzer Committee already know, Croak is set in the Adirondacks. So when I was contacted by Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid to come do a signing, I packed my bags and hopped in the car…and then sat there for several weeks until it was time to go.

Will and I decided to make a fun weekend of it, so here are the highlights, along with all the wacky photos to prove it.


Is GORGEOUS. I had only ever been once before when I was young to attend a cousin’s graduation (and to have dinner at the Von Trapp family lodge, which, given my visceral hatred for all things Sound of Music, is not a pleasant memory). But holy mountains, when it comes to scenery–Vermont for the win.

Of course, I did not take any photos of said scenery, because I’m not good at capturing magical landscapes from the car as they whiz by so much as getting photos of far more ridiculous things instead. Case in point: we stopped at the Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille in New London for lunch, a restaurant that featured all sorts of Collections O’ Crap on the walls, including every tool a wife could ever need for beating a henpecked husband:

Rolling pins and cast iron pans? Concussions all around tonight!

Also, because no restaurant is complete without farm equipment, I was particularly excited about Ye Olde Scythe Cornere.

There was a couple eating just beneath this whose lunch I may or may not have ruined.

In fact, little Croak signs popped up all over the trip, including a small shopping plaza that contained a nail salon, an insurance company, and an appropriately harmless name to go along with it:

“Buy five deaths and the next is on us!”

Lake Placid

Is a lovely town, full of cute shops and restaurants and spandex. There are a TON of athletes bumming around the place, and by bumming I mean biking, running, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, hiking, and overall being better people than I am. I tend to stick to this sentiment, found in the store window of one of the shops:

“So suck it, bikers.”

Further proof: the Bacon Mary I had with breakfast. That’s a Bloody Mary with bacon-flavored vodka and every single garnish they could cram into the thing.


Not pictured: the ambulance that arrived soon thereafter.

Bobsled track

Lake Placid was home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, a fact that you cannot possibly miss if you are anywhere in the vicinity of the place. A lot of training and competitions still go on there, but in the off season the bobsled track is opened up for tourists to come and gunk it all up. You’re even allowed to walk down the track at the end of the tour, a phenomenon I like to call the Ridiculous Photo Bonanza.

Of course, no bobsledding shenanigans are complete without at least several hundred references to Cool Runnings, a movie that I’ve seen so many times that I can basically recite it at will. So I knew all about how bobsleds are driven, the curves, the brakes, the whatnots. It took all my strength not to mutiny against the tour guide and start giving my own take on the sport, of which he clearly knew so little, while I was an expert, having seen a movie about it.

“Kiss the lucky egg!” –Sir Doug E. Doug

And the bobsledding adventure ended as we all expected it would: me, victorious; Will, pouting.

Not even good enough for second place. Shameful.

Tomorrow, Part II: featuring ski jumps, book signings, misty mountains, and NAKED BOYS.



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