Dear friends,

It’s amazing what you can fit into a week if you are with energetic and generous friends. Rada and Steve have a beautiful house right on the shore of Lake Champlain in Upper New York State, and although I am not generally an early riser, getting up before six am to view the sunrise was certainly worth it.  The colours were just beautiful and the chill of dawn made the hot coffee and tasty breakfast all the more enjoyable once the colours faded. We hiked and kayaked and enjoyed the fall colours in the woods and along the shore.

Flying into Plattsburgh, Upper New York State over the greens and golds of fall.

A sliver of colour and light across the water at sunrise.

And the sun is up, with the rays lighting up the kayaks on the shore.

Another morning, another dramatic sunrise enhanced by a more cloudy sky.

Couldn’t resist posting this one too – the colours were just glorious.

Later in the morning, passing by the marina with the boats out of the water for the winter months ahead. 

A beautiful morning walk along the shoreline, bays and paths along Lake Champlain.

Morning serenity.

Well, we couldn’t just walk anywhere – it was made rather clear.

The reflections magnified the fall colours.

Trees and fence posts as lovely silhouettes against the cool blue of the lake. 

Bright flowers against the evergreen pines.

A seat with a view, for the morning meditation perhaps.

A path through the woods. 

Juniper berries along the path. 

The path continues through the trees.

A bright spot of fall colours with these leaves.

Looking like late strawberries, but actually seedpods all in a row.

The last part of our forest walk, the path soft pine needles bright against the trees.

One of the nicest aspects of living by a lake is not just the views it affords you which are certainly impressive, but also it gives an opportunity to venture out onto the lake at any time the weather is kind and the time is available.

A yacht sails across Lake Champlain, a dark shadow against the sheen of light on the water. 

The sun is up and time to kayak across the lake.

Rada catches my reflection, albeit a little skewed, as I drift along the shoreline of an island in the lake. 

And then it was my turn to photograph Rada, looking sporty in her kayak.

Found our way home again by aiming for these colourful Adirondack chairs in the neighbouring garden.

And after these enjoyable days, we set out on a road trip, first to a beautifully isolated cabin in the Adirondack mountains, then to Buffalo, Niagara Falls from both sides of the border, staying at Niagara on the Lake, doing some wine tasting, and travelling back along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and back into Upper New York State.

The three of us heading to the mountains, and the cat came too.

Stopped for a walk on the way, but the views were limited due to it being a misty, moisty morning.

A little red gecko scurries into the undergrowth as we approach.

Intriguing markings on a log, looking almost like a cave painting or an impressionist artwork.

Bright leaves against the dark foliage in a little clearing.

Arriving at the cabin, Steve, Rada and I enjoyed a nice glass of red.  

A stream meanders through their property and the colours are turning. 

Leaves on the forest floor testify to the season. Glorious colours.

Looking rather like a fairy condo, these mushrooms are sprouting on a moss-covered rotting tree trunk.

Time to move on again – to Buffalo …

Our overnight in Buffalo meant that we got the chance to try the ‘original’ buffalo wings …

… just a plate of 50 wings with blue cheese sauce and celery sticks to be shared between four of us – we didn’t finish!

And from Buffalo, it is just a short hop to see the magnificent Niagara Falls …

Niagara Falls from the US side, keen tourists in pink rainjackets get up close.

A little boy with his bright umbrella brightened an otherwise overcast day.

Looking across from the Canadian side, a tourist boat brings the visitors as close to the falls as possible.

Canadian colours bloom beside the walkway along the length of the falls. 

‘Maid of the Mist getting pretty close now.

The enormous power of the water, and the deep green colour as it tumbles over the falls.

With Rada, trying to stay dry in the rain and mist by Niagara Falls.

On always onward, to spend the night at Niagara on the Lake and do some wine-tasting on the way…

After the drama of the waterfalls, what could be better than a wine tasting – at the Peller Estates close to Niagara on the Lake. 

Not just a cellar, but an exhibition of all things related to wine including this wonderful decanter.

And further down the road, another winery – Stratus – with a most attentive and knowledgable barman.

A dramatic presentation of the Stratus Wines and other produce. 

Many beautiful old houses like this one in Niagara on the Lake, where we stayed overnight. 

A little statue testifying to the many vineyards in this region.

On the road home back in Upper New York State, we stopped to buy some jam and fruit tarts from some Amish women. We saw several buggies on the road as well, but I was usually not quick enough with my camera to catch them.

Amish buggies parked alongside the road, with three generations of women selling their produce. 

Rada buying us some dessert for when we reach home. 

Yes, I did manage to capture one of the Amish carts on the road as it drove past us.

The long road home, but the colours and dramatic sky were beautiful.

The smooth green lawns of a golf course, the dark trees and the blue sky make for a lovely landscape.

Stopped for petrol at Dick’s Country Store and Music Oasis – everything for sale here!

Country roads, take me home …..

A very small library in one of the towns we passed.  Bring a book and take a book – great idea.

Plenty of windmills soaring above the trees – very attractive in their own way.

The windmills looking spectacular silhouetted against the setting sun.

So fitting to start with the spectacular sunrises and conclude this travel journal with an equally impressive sunset. A big thank you to Rada and Steve for a really wonderful week.  From Upper New York State I continued on to Vermont where the colours were even more spectacular – watch out for my next story.

Until then, enjoy my story and all good wishes,