Archive for July, 2012

Recent Flight and Current Weather Forecast

Friday, July 27th, 2012

There isn’t much to update for hot air balloon rides, since the weather has been rather lousy for balloon flying, and unfortunately, it looks to continue that way, except for maybe a brief break next Monday and part of Tuesday, for the foreseeable future.

The only flight this week was Robbie and Roxanne on a Wednesday morning Private Hot Air Balloon Flight, and, it was a beautiful morning to be out and about over the Lake George, Saratoga Springs area.

The weather forecast for the Lake George area is rather lousy for the next 7 days, other than a break early in the week on Monday. I know that some folks were fretting dry conditions, especially with the media folks hyping the drought mid country, but this is the North East, and while we do get dry periods, they tend to be short as the rain always returns.

Recent Hot Air Balloon Rides and Flying Weather Forecast for this Week

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

We just finished up a good run of flying, due to some darn nice flying conditions that went from the middle of the week, thru most of the weekend. I’ll post-up some pics from the flights, then discuss the weather forecast for this week.
Our current run of flights started on Thursday morning with the Schroeder Family from Manitowoc, WI.

Kevin, Tara, and Colten on a beautiful early morning over rural Washington County.

On Friday morning, Kip and Andrew shared a balloon flight with their mother Eleanor for her 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Eleanor!

On Saturday morning, I had Joann and her son Nick from the Schuylerville area on the balloon flight.

On Saturday afternoon, I had Angela, Kimberly and Marolis on the balloon ride, from the Albany area and Alabama.

On the Sunday morning balloon ride, I had Alic and Robert who came down from the Rutland VT area to fly. This ended our streak of flights and good flying conditions, as the flying weather goes downhill from here for a good part of the week.

Now for the weather part for the Lake George, Saratoga Springs area – It’s gotten a bit on the dry side lately, which has made some folks fret. But hey, this is the Northeast, not the Southwest, and it will rain. Folks have a short memory about the weather, where so far this year, we went from a precipitation deficit from this past winter, to a surplus just from rain from the latter half of May, thru the early half of June, and that’s after a year where we had hugh snowfall and flooding rains. So it’s been a little dry lately, and, what do we get this week, the forecast calls for numerous chances of rain for a majority of the week into the coming weekend. Best days look like Wednesday and Sunday.

Balloon Ride Flying Weather Forecast into coming Weekend

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Our weather forecast for the Lake George and Saratoga Springs area is looking real good for the next 5 days, which should provide some opportunities for doing some balloon rides for folks that we have scheduled. If you are looking at tying out a balloon ride with us, I still have a couple of spaces available on Sunday, plus, i have plenty of space available next week. So give a call to 518-793-6342, or contact me through my web site to make a reservation.

Things to do in the Lake George – Saratoga Springs Region

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

I’ve been wanting to organize a blog on some of the things to do in the area from a locals perspective, not the chamber of commerce. You can get a great overview by noodling around  my web site’s Regional Info page –  just click the hi-lighted link to the left. Our region is rich in natural and man-made attractions for you to enjoy.

A late fall view of a quiet Lake George

Lake George Village features it’s tour boats, historical sites, para sailing, mini golf, hotels/motels, restaurants and tourists shops. Further up Lake George is quieter than the Village, with locations like Bolton Landing, and Hague . You will find many white water rafting and tubing operations in the area, horse back riding, golf, amusement parks like The Great Escape. There are many biking, hiking and climbing options around, check-out the Adirondack Mountain Club for details/maps on area hikes/climbing options.

The view from on top of Mt. Jo, that you access from Adk Loj.

Other communities to to check-out while visiting, just to the north of Lake George off I-87 exit #23 (Adirondack Northway), there is Warrensburg for lots of antique shops and beautiful Victorian B&Bs. From Warrensburg, head north on Rt 28 to North Creek/Gore Mountain for rafting on the upper Hudson River, hiking/biking, gondola rides on Gore Mountain, and train rides on the Saratoga/North Creek Railway . Next up on Rt 28 north, is the Adirondack mountain community of Indian Lake. Further up Rt. 28 is beautiful Blue Mountain Lake. One of our absolute favorite places to go for a quick get-a-way in the mountains is, The Hedges on Blue Mountain Lake.

The Hedges was built in the Adirondack Arts & Crafts style of the Adirondack Great Camp

Hedges provides opportunities to get out on the water.


Enjoy a quiet morning.


Take-in a beautiful Adirondack Mountain sunset.

The Arts & Crafts style of one of the lodge buildings at the Hedges

Blue is also home to the renown, Adirondack Museum, worth the drive from anywhere. From there, you can either head north on Rt. 30 thru Long Lake (for a special treat, stop at the Long Lake beach and take a seaplane ride with Helms Aero) and on to Tupper Lake (home of The Wild Center Museum of the Adirondack’s), or circle back east on Rt. 28N toward Newcomb (Newcomb has great views of the High Peaks from it’s town park, or you can take the Tahawus Rd to access trailheads and views of the high peak region), Minerva, Olmstedville, Pottersville and Exit 26, I-87. If you chose the Tupper Lake route, after Tupper, take Rt. 3 toward  Saranac Lake, near-by is the Visitors Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s. From there, Rt. 86 heads toward the Village of Lake Placid, home of the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics and current U.S.Olympic Training site for winter sport athletes.

Lake Placid, is a beautiful, alpine Adirondack Mountain Village

Lake Placid features 4 seasons of fun things to do. Near-by, you have the various Olympic venues that offer both visitor participation and spectator viewing of athlete training & competitions, plus Whiteface Mountain and the Veterans Memorial Highway Drive.

You can drive most of the way to the top of Whiteface, (make sure your vehicle has good brakes for the ride down before going) and either climb the last 200 feet or take the elevator to the top.

There is a variety of lodging options, and decent dining in Lake Placid Village.

Alfresco dining at the Adirondack Steak & Seafood, which is also a brewery.

The Brown Dog Cafe & Wine Bar is our favorite eatery in Lake Placid.


Lake Placid Pub & Brewery is a good choice. Their Ubu Ale is a tasty, hi-octain brew.

From Placid, head south/east on Rt. 73 toward I-87, and back to Lake George. You will pass many hiking options along the way.

The view along the Adirondack Loj Road, looking toward the High Peaks Wilderness Region. Lots of good hiking from the High Peaks Information Center maintained by Adk Mt Club at the end of Loj Road.

On the way to I-87, you pass thru the hamlet of Keene Valley and the Noon Mark Diner, famous for their pies.

To the East of Lake George, you can travel to Vermont either thru beautiful, rural Washington County, aka our balloon flying area, or you can take various car ferries across Lake Champlain from the New York side to Vermont.

The Lake Champlain car ferry at Fort Ti.

Washington County, NY is a great place to check out if you are in the mood for a drive in the country. It borders Vermont, and scenery wise, is much like what you expect to find in Vermont, with many small Towns, Villages and Hamlets, and historically an agrarian economy. One notable county resident who lived in Eagle Bridge, Anna Mary Robertson (better known as Grandma Moses), painted country scenes typical of where she lived. Her grandson, Will Moses, continues the family tradition, painting in Eagle Bridge at his Mt. Nebo Gallery (it’s worth the visit). Another famous resident was, Susan B. Anthony, who as a child, lived in the tiny Hamlet of Battenville along the Battenkill River (a prominent trout fishing stream).
Many small communities dot the county landscape, such as Granville, home of the Slate Valley Museum; Salem, where you will find a number of old covered bridges, Steininger’s, worth the drive from anywhere for lunch and fine hand-made chocolates, the Gardenworks Farm, which features farm fresh foods, and country craft, art and gift items; The Villages of Cambridge and Greenwich feature interesting shopping and dining options, unique communities such as New Skete, and beautiful side drives just to appreciate the rural country landscapes.

Fall is a great time to get out and drive the back-country roads of rural Washington County, to appreciate spectacular scenery and views.

Next, we head south from Lake George on either I-87 or Rt 9 to the City of Glens Falls, home to the Hyde Collection Museum, the World Awareness Children’s Museum, The Chapman local history museum, a number of arts centers, and some tasty eateries such as 132 Glen Street Bistro, Bistro Tallulah – a fav, Raul’s Mexican Grill and Rene’s – also favs, plus the Davidson Bros.and Coopers Cave Brew Pubs and Restaurants.

The Saturday morning Glens Falls Farmers Market, is a great place to pick up locally sourced goods.

Further south on either Rt 9 or I-87, we have Saratoga Springs, another destination location like Lake George, but a much different style. While Lake George can be very touristy (not that there is anything wrong with that), Saratoga is more of an upscale type of venue, noted for it’s horse’s and horse racing, spas and mineral springs, entertainment venues such as SPAC, a multitude of dining options, and an active nightlife scene that is popular with locals and vacationers alike.

SPAC is a fantastic open air concert venue.

For the history buff, our area played a major part in early American history with many historical sites to visit. We were the great battleground for 2 centuries of battle with The French and Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. The book, “Conquered into Liberty” by Eliot A. Cohen, tells the history of war along “The Great Warpath”, which prominently features how Lake George, Lake Champlain and especially Fort Ticonderoga played a major part in us becoming American, not British or French. You can tour forts recreated on the remains of actual fort sites in Lake George Village with Fort William Henry, and up north on Lake Champlain you have Fort Ticonderoga, plus the Crown Point State Historic Site, which features actual ruins of the French Fort, St. Frederic, and the largest Fort built by the British in North America, His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point. To the south down along the Hudson River, we have the Saratoga National Historical Park, which played a prominent part in turning the Revolutionary War against the British, in favor of the American Rebels. In Fort Edward on the Hudson River, there is a small museum/visitors center at the Rogers Island Visitors Center that showcases artifacts and the story of Captain Robert Rogers, who wrote his “Rogers Rules of Ranging” in 1757 for his British Irregular Forces on the Island, and this handbook is still currently taught in training and used by the US Army Rangers and Special Operations Forces fighting around the world.

Recent Hot Air Balloon Rides and Weather Update into Weekend

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

We have definitely been getting decent summer weather lately in the Lake George – Saratoga Springs area, especially this week, the flying conditions are ideal. Last Friday, I flew Pritish from Fishkill and Dev from Blacksburg, VA on a beautiful summer morning.

Pritish and Dev getting ready for their balloon ride over beautiful, rural Washington County.

Tuesday was another beautiful day for a hot air balloon ride. I had on-board, Marcia and Walter from the Rutland, VT area.

Walter and Marcia on the Tuesday evening flight, a beautiful summer evening in the Lake George, Saratoga Springs region.

The weather forecast for hot air balloon rides is great right through Saturday, and I have space available the next few mornings. So, if you would like to fly in a hot air balloon in our beautiful valley between the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont, either give me a call at 518-793-6342 or contact me through my web site, The CPC precipitation outlook forecast map is hinting that we potentially turn wetter for the later half of July, so take advantage of this week’s weather if you can.


Balloon Ride Flying Weather Update for Weekend and into next Week

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

The weather forecast for the weekend is so-so for doing balloon rides, but next week, it looks beautiful right through the end of the week. Today, Saturday, isn’t looking good at all for flying, marginal at best. Sunday, maybe in the morning if the winds stay down, and the afternoon probably will be a bit windy due to high pressure being far to the west.The HPC 3-7 day forecast maps, show multiple high pressure centers in the flow for the week, that should offer some great flying conditions for a good part of the week, and some spectacular summer weather for folks who want to vacation in the Lake George – Saratoga Springs area. So, if you’ve been waiting for good weather to take your hot air balloon ride with us, now is the time, and I have plenty of space available at this time. Either call my office at 518-793-6342, or contact me through my web site,

Recent Doings

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Wifey and I escaped for a couple of days mid week to visit with my sis and her hubby down in Middlebury CT. Bro-in-law, “The Cap’t, recently took delivery of a new boat that we got a chance to check-out on what turned out to be a beautiful Wednesday to go for a sail on Long Island Sound.

The boat, the boat, the boat!


Snacks and refreshments on the quarterdeck before heading out for a sail on Long Island Sound.


Wifey piloting the "5 Cs" out on The Sound.

The weekend before, wifey and I attended the 35th Jazz Festival at Saratoga for the second year in a row. The Saratoga Jazz Fest originally was The Newport Jazz Festival Saratoga back in 1978. The featured performer the day we went was Chris Botti.

Arriving on SPAC grounds for the Saratoga Jazz Fest around noon on Saturday.


The Amphitheater lawn became a sea of people and coolers on a very hot afternoon.


Chris Botti during his 7:30 PM set. We had good seats inside the Amphitheater.


Another crowd pic.


Esperanza Spalding and her "Radio Music Society" at the 5:50 PM set.

The show started at noon with Mario Abney Group; then at 1:20, Christian McBride Inside Straight – a great group; at 2:40, Michel Camilo “Mano a Mano” with Giovanni Hidalgo and Charles Flores – another good group; then at 4:10, the Mingus Big Band, playing some great standards and music of Charles Mingus; at 5:50, Esperanza Spalding “Radio Music Society”; 7:30 Chris Botti, a great performer; and the evening finished with Maceo Parker at 9:15 (actually closer to 10 start). Having played for the funk master, “Mr James Brown”, I was eager to hear that sound, which much to my chagrin was a bit too loud for my ears, so, we departed after the 3rd song around 10:30. It was a full day of good music and fun.




Recent Hot Air Balloon Rides and Weather Update into early next Week

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Folks visiting the area for the 4th of July Holiday Week, are enjoying some beautiful summer-like weather, making for maximum enjoyment of all there is to do in the Lake George – Saratoga Springs region. We were out doing our balloon rides on Tuesday, the 3rd, with some folks visiting our area.

On Tuesday morning, I had Artem and Olga who came up from NYC, and Theolyn, who came up from Orlando FL to fly with us, and also attend the weekend Jazz Fest at Saratoga.


On the late afternoon flight, I had Mary and Stephen who are visiting Lake George from Buffalo, and Chris, a local from Gansevoort, enjoying his gift flight with us.

The weather forecast for the Lake George – Saratoga Springs area is really good for the next week. If you have been thinking of coming on up, it’s a great time to enjoy our beautiful Adirondack Region.