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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
ADK Vacation Road Trip #1, part #2
Continued from last week...
So, I had randomly made the decision to drive all the way to Tupper Lake. I had no idea how long the drive would be and hadn't even been there in 20+ years so I had no idea if there would be anything to even see or do. After a bit of driving around small town type streets I saw signs for The Wild Center which is a natural history museum of the Adirondacks. Bingo!
When I pulled in to the parking lot there was only 2 other cars and there were "weeds" everywhere. I was beginning to second guess my decision...but I decided to check the front door anyway. Hah! Turns out they had just opened 5 minutes ago and I was the first one there. And, being a natural history museum, I am going to guess the "weeds" were wildflowers or something along those lines...
I glanced over the schedule of daily events and noticed in just 15 minutes they would be feeding and entertaining the river otters! They are certainly hard to get pictures of because they never seem to sit still while they run and play in the water and they are behind 6" of glass so I'll just share a photo of this cute little girl finally settling in for a nap...2 hours later!
The rest of the museum included a wonderful 3D movie on the annual migration of monarch butterflies and exhibits on fish and amphibians in the ADK. The melting glacier exhibit, complete with sounds and running water, was amazing. There was even a huge globe hanging in a room that could display movies about lightening, hurricanes and such from either local or global perspectives.
And then I moved outside to see the rest of the exhibits. There were lots of gardens with native perrenials and places to sit by the pond. BTW - this land used to be a gravel pit of sorts and instead of converting another property to their needs, they utilized the landscape and included a pond in the leftover pit. Ingenious! It's probably a little hard to see in either photo but the water level is at the bottom ledge of the windows. From inside the building, you are standing 3 feet below water level.
One of the buildings was "green" - literally - 1 side of the roof had a sedum garden and the other side had almost 200 solar panels. The solar panels were supposed to run a fountain in the pond but it didn't seem to be working - and trust me as it was near 90 in the blazing sun so it should have been working!
As I continued walking down the hillside trails, there was a bird blind and lots of trees and boulders to peruse. At the bottom of the hill was a river with 2 decks to sit on. As with the whole vacation, the bugs were horrid and bug spray wasn't making a difference so after just a few hexies I trekked back to my car and called it a day...I still had a 75+ minute to drive back to camp after a stop for 'ADK Black Bear' ice cream at Long Lake, of course!