Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bad New, Good News in Lake Luzerne

We'd heard that the Hudson had reached record levels of flooding today, but had no idea what that meant for homeowners along the river at Lake Luzerne until we crossed over the Rte. 9N bridge this afternoon on our way to Rockwell Falls. Never in all the years I've been living in Saratoga County (41 years) have I seen the river so high. I sure hope the folks who lived in these houses got safely away. Just tonight, I learned that a dam upstream in Indian Lake is in danger of giving way, which would flood the Hudson with millions more gallons of water. That would be very bad news, indeed, for all the communities along the river.

The Hudson falls through a narrow gorge at Lake Luzerne, and today all that excess water came charging down the gorge with unparalleled ferocity, the watercourse so filled that the falls was completely drowned beneath that raging water.

Here are a couple of still photos of that ferocity, but do continue down to my previous post to see some videos that capture more of the river's sound and fury.

Not all the news was bad in Lake Luzerne, however. We were delighted to find our favorite ice cream parlor, Papa's, has reopened under a new name, Upriver Cafe, after having been closed all last year.

There's no finer way to spend a summer afternoon or evening than here on this beautiful deck overlooking the Hudson, enjoying a full meal or an ice cream treat.

You can also get breakfast here, Wednesday through Sunday for now, but seven days a week as the summer comes on. We ordered a chocolate malt to share, and our waitress told us the cafe will be open all year, not just during the summer season, as in past years. (There's cozy seating inside.) Let's all get up there and help keep this one-of-a-kind restaurant going strong.

Another relatively new attraction in town is the Adirondack Folk School, located in what was once the Lake Luzerne Town Hall. Now in its second year, the AFS is the only school of its kind in the country dedicated to teaching the arts, crafts, and culture unique to the Adirondack region, according to a brochure I picked up in the town's very pleasant little library.

One of the librarians there, Roberta Games, also teaches a class at AFS called "Adirondack Floral Art," using native plants, twigs, birch bark, feathers, and other natural materials to create arrangements that represent the beauty of the Adirondacks. Looking through the course listings Roberta gave me, I was astounded by the variety and quality of the offerings, from the expected pack basket and rustic furniture courses, to instruction in fly fishing, canoe-paddle carving, and even classes in how to make toboggans or a traditional corn broom. To learn more about this remarkable year-round school, visit their website at

A few minutes after I posted this blog, I received a note from the Adirondack Almanack's John Warren regarding major flooding in many parts of the Adirondacks. The Almanack has published a regularly updated round-up of flood conditions throughout the area, which my readers can access by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

We visited Saratoga Springs several years back - it took us two days to get here from south-central CT - we spent our first night in Albany - and no, we didn't leave late in the day, nor did we arrive early in SS :-) We love to play! I read your blog about the cafe and the folk arts school and immediately thought, "Road Trip!!!"

My thoughts are with those folks along the river, as well as elsewhere in the country, where extreme weather is pummeling them!

The river does indeed have awesome power!

Anonymous said...

Did you see the story about a dam in Wilton which collapsed and emptied a pond?