THE ADIRONDACKS - DAY #5 - Sunday, September 26, 2004
Today is a big day for me, I have plans to tour a large portion of Lake Placid's Winter Olympic Complex. As a kid I always loved to watch the Winter Olympics. I can't wait to see what it has to offer.
After departing the campgrounds in the morning I start my tour. Nestled within the village of Lake Placid, you'll find two ice skating complexes and an outdoor speed skating oval. I tour both rinks and in the process experience a strange dream of playing in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games against the Russians when USA emerged victorious to win a Gold Metal.
After touring the ice rinks I drive a little way outside of Lake Placid to the Olympic Jumping Complex. I park the van, then pay a visit to the freestyle skiing practice area. The idea here is you can practice freestyle ski jumping in the saftey of a pool setting. Skiers launch off various ski jumps, do their routines of twists, flips and turns, then safely fall into the water. I just sit back and watch the fun for a while.
Once I receive my fill of freestyle ski jumping, I take a ski lift up a hill that drops me off at the base of the facility's two towering ski jumps. The 90 and 120 meter ski jumps are indeed very impressive, I cannot imagine I'd ever have the courage to ski off of them. I take an elevator ride up the 120 meter tower to it's observation enclosure. Once there, I walk through a door leading outside, then make my way up a flight of stairs to the outdoor observation deck. It is from here ski jumpers access the jump ramp. I must say, this observation deck really dishes up some pretty sweet panoramas.
Moving along, I return back to the van then head to my last Winter Olympic site, namely, the Verizon Sports Complex. Located about 10 miles outside of Lake Placid, the complex is used for a variety of sports, including bobsled, luge, and skeleton. Upon arrival I decide to bypass the bus tour and opt for a walking self-tour. The facility is really impressive. Near the tailend of my visit I actually get to see a bobsled in action.
The day winds down and I drive back to my campsite to chill for a bit. I work on my travel writing into the late evening hours then retire for the night.
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