On The Road Again. First Stop. Alexandria Bay New York.
I write this blog while enjoying a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River from my hotel room in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York, I had just spent the afternoon exploring this quaint little tourist town and nearby Wellesley State Park. There was so much to see here, but sadly I am only here one day. I am on my way to the Hudson Bay.
My birthday is Thursday. I have been traveling on my birthday for a couple of years now. In the past , my birthday was spent at home with a large and loving family. But with the loss of my parents, my beloved sister Linda and her husband Charlie , and all of my aunts and uncles, ( I have wonderful brothers, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews, who I love dearly) and now being alone (I’ve made some bad decisions in relationships) I have been traveling on my birthday to reflect on another trip around the sun.
And this year I decided to drive through some remote areas of Canada to the Hudson Bay . I love being on the road. So I packed up my Jeep and left my home in Hazle Township in Northeastern Pennsylvania early today. I took a carefree 4 1/2 hour drive to Alexandria Bay in New York. It was a pleasant drive, I love the scenery, cities and small towns along the way. And the freedom to stop when and where I want. It’s like the old song by Lobo , one of my favorites, Me and You and a Dog named Boo without the You and without the Boo.
Well, my birthday is over and I am now working on this post from my room in Cochrane in Canada three days after I wrote the last paragraph. I have spent the past two days exploring Alexandria Bay in New York and Mattawa and Cochrane in Canada. The towns were small but I loved them. I did a lot of driving too, and it was an exhausting two days. More on that later, now back to Alexandria Bay. On Tuesday I arrived at the North County visitor center around 11:30 a.m.
It was windy, and the large trucks rolled by seeming way to close for comfort, but the views of the deep blue waters of the wide river, the green islands and surrounding countryside made the walk worth the effort. I reflected on when I first learned about the famous St Lawrence Seaway from the nuns in my geography class in elementary school a long time ago. ( George Eats Oats Goats Rats and Played Hooky Yesterday.. GEOGRAHY… learned that mnemonic device too.)
I left the visitor center and drove to downtown Alexandria Bay where I was staying at Capt. Thomson’s resort. The room wasn’t ready so I decided to walk through the usually busy tourist town and have breakfast. I was here in August, about ten years ago, and the place was packed. There were no vacancies in the hotels, the restaurants were full and the streets were crowded. Not this time the streets were empty
Alexandria Bay was once he summer hunting and fishing grounds of the Native Americas. Early American settlers replaced them and the area became a refilling station for steams ships traveling the St Lawrence River. It wasn’t until after the Civil War when prominent and wealthy business men built large summer homes here that it became a popular resort town. The first was George Pullman and many others followed including George Boldt who built his famous mansion on Heart Island. I strolled the now quiet streets reflecting on the many folks who visited before me ,and those who lived here and,
and wondered who Mr. Crawford was. I love visiting cemeteries on my travel and reflecting on the lives of the graves I see, both the large and humble ones. Mr. Crawford had the largest. So many questions race though my head about the lives they lived. Their memories of their childhood, their travels, careers, their families. And now just dust in the wind. Yep, cemeteries always make me think about my mortality.
But while I am alive I am going to continue to explore as much of this beautiful planet we call Earth as I can. It’s natural beauty, it’s people, wildlife, flora and it’s history. I walked back to my hotel. observing the homes and gardens along the way. I was glad to find my my room was ready when I returned . Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more phots of my walk through Alexandria Bay. New York Alexandria Bay May 30 2023.
I quickly settled into my room and was soon off the the nature center in Wellesley State Park. It was now mid afternoon and unseasonably hot. Temperatures where in the mid 80’s. I wanted to walk along the St Lawrence River but I should have studied the maps at the nature center before I began my three mile hike. I walked on the first trail I came to thinking it would take me to the river. It didn’t.
It was still a nice hike. I took the North Field trail first took me through some fields and once been orchards and farm land. There wasn’t a lot of wildlife or bird activity since it was mid afternoon. I did encounter this house wren singing in the afternoon heat.
There weren’t many birds active in the afternoon heat, even in the shade of the tall trees. However, I knew the songs of the ones I heard, the ovenbird and the red-eyed vireo . I was only able to get a photos of the red-eyed vireo.
Here I saw a beautiful indigo bunting, the last bird I would see on my hike. Here is a link to a gallery with some more of the birds I saw on my hike. Alexandria Bay New York afternoon hike birds May 30 2023.
It was late afternoon when I left the nature center. Before heading back to my hotel I took the advice of the women at the visitor center and visited the small village of Thousand Island Park and it’s gingerbread looking houses.
I only drove through this quaint historic village but it would be a great place to stay next time I am in this region. Here is a link to a gallery wit some more photos from my afternoon hike and visit to Wellesley Island. . Alexandria Bay New York afternoon hike May 30 2023.
I drove back to the hotel and now had to find a place to eat diner. Many of the restaurants were closed and I didn’t like the menu at the few that were open. I finally decided on Dockers of the Bay where I had a nice wholesome meal of baked salmon, boiled potatoes and corn on the cob. It was wholesome and filling.
It was a great start to another adventure. It was great to be back on the road again. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the sunset. Alexandria Bay New York sunset May 30 2023.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And venture belongs to the adventurous.”
— Navjot Singh Sidhu