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Bobsled Mountain

September 19, 2012

New York – Mon. Sept. 17

I stayed in Lake Placid last night, because I knew I wanted to go back to the Olympic Sports Complex. One of the guys there had said there was a 3.3 mile round trip trail that started off along the bobsled run. And since I needed 3.4 miles to finish off my New York walking, I knew that’s what I wanted to do – and I would get an up-close look at a world-class bobsled track that is still used for championship racing and Olympic training.

I took Tula for a short walk in Lake Placid because dogs were not allowed on the grounds at the sports center. I gpt my $4 ticket and was told to follow the gravel road up the bobsled track, climb a little more, and then the trail in the woods would start. So I started the climb, and it was steep! It was kind of strange to see the outside of the bobsled track, and the fiberglass, and the refrigeration pipes so they don’t have to depend on Mother Nature to keep the ice at optimal levels. It didn’t look like any world-class sort of place – but, it’s not the view that most people see. There’s no ice in the track now – they’ll start getting that ready at the end of the month, and bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes have already started reserving track time. I had to stop and rest a few times on the steep trudge up, but the mountain views were pretty – and about 4 miles away those ski jumps dominated the skyline. I finally got to the top, climbed another steep hill, and found the other trail, which was a loop, and also uphill for half of it, but not so steep. It was pretty and peaceful in the woods. Walking back down went quicker for the most part, but some of the steep parts still made for some slow going to not slip on loose stones. When I finished the walk (and my legs were feeling it despite all the walking I’ve been doing), I discovered I had lost my ticket, and it was a really interesting one that I wanted for my journal/scrapbook. But I was not going to retrace my steps to look for it! Since it was the last day of my NY visit, and I had a few extra dollars, I decided to just go pay for another one (I already tried seeing if they could give me a duplicate, but no)and they told me that as long as I was paying another $4, I could join the guided tour that was leaving right then, and that was in a little bus to the top, with a couple stops for some info, and then I had the choice of either taking the bus back down, or actually walking down the bobsled track, so I had to do it! Those bobsleds (2- or 4-man), luge (going down footfirst) and skeleton (going down headfirst) all share the same track, with different starting locations. The bobsled can get going faster than 70-80mph, and when I was walking through the fastest curves, there wasn’t much room for normal walking because they’re all going so fast they’re on the wall on the curves. It was really cool to be able to walk down that – I can’t imagine what it’s like on ice. But, in the 12 years since the combined track has been in use, there’s only be 1 injury – a broken collar bone. They make it as safe as they can. So, all in all, I’m happy I lost my original ticket!

At that point, I had more than completed my walking for New York, and was ready to sit in the car for a bit to head for State #3 – Vermont! Mission accomplished in New York – 7 donations made; 56 miles walked; 810 miles driven; and lots of wonderful memories! I used the last of the New York funds to fill up the gas tank for a new start in a new state!

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