Waking up in Alexandria Bay (or as its called by some folks from New York Alex Bay or as some people call it A Bay), is much different than the evenings. The previous evening while we were eating dinner there were people walking up and down the street shopping. This morning at about 8:30 there are no stores open on the main street, in fact there’s only one place open for breakfast, Cathy’s. They claim to have the best breakfast in Alex Bay the catch we found out is they’re the only breakfast in Alex Bay…that having been declared the breakfast was really good.
A note about the trip, every year when we go on this tour we generally have a rough plan of where we’re going to go and what we’re gonna do. Although it’s very flexible because you never know how far you’re gonna ride or what weather might keep you from progressing at the pace you had intended (for instance were staring at rain clouds while eating breakfast this morning, obviously the day after Alex Bay). This year Julie and I have based several of our trip decisions on people we’ve talked to along the way. For instance we were considering going to Bar Harbor but we’re not sure until speaking to a couple from New Jersey on the ferry ride over to the Jersey shores. We also were not sure whether we want to go to thousand islands or not but this couple in Lake Placid told us it was a wonderful location. We really enjoyed basing our trip on local recommendations – a bit of a twist from the past.
Now onto the day. We started the day with a 2 1/2 hour cruise up and down Saint Lawrence river to look at the homes that have been built by the well-to-do on the islands. We learned that are actually 1864 Islands and what constitutes an island is it must be 4 square meters, have a tree growing on it and is above water 365 days a year.
So yes this little guy does count. If you can see the sign on it that says 15 that’s not an hour marker that’s the number of people they were actually able to get on the island, just a fun sidenote.
Although that little one counted as well and it was much more typical to see this.
After the two hour cruise the boat drops you on Heart Island. The castle sits on an island named heart island built by the original proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria. He was building it for his wife.
Unfortunately while it was being constructed his wife died and as the story goes he sent word to the builders to put down all their work tools and leave and he never went to the island again. Over all the years of it sitting there unoccupied it became a place for local kids to hang out and to practice their graffiti.
The story was confirmed to us by a gentleman we met on the island who used to go out and hang out in the castle when he was young.
Now the bridge authority owns the island after having purchased it for one dollar and is in the process of restoring the castle. Restoration of the grounds and the first floor seems to be fairly advanced
but as you go up to the second, third and fourth floors you can see that the construction hasn’t made it that far but they do let you go up and look at the dilapidated state.
After jumping on the shuttle from the heart Island back to “A Bay” we got on the bike to make a few miles towards Arkansas. Along the way we stopped at the much anticipated Duff’s wings restaurant in Buffalo, the original, Julie and I both had the medium which they say is hot and they are correct.
The wings were wonderful and now back on the bike for another 50 miles to Dunkirk, New York. Today was a beautiful ride from both the roads and the weather, tomorrow it looks like we’ll get 50% of that as the weather is going to be windy and rainy, oh well we’ve had excellent conditions the whole trip we deserve one day of rain.