In the late 1970s my family lived in Saranac Lake, NY. My Dad was in construction and we moved where the work was, so perhaps it was the upcoming 1980 Winter Olympics that drove us North, because shortly after that, we moved again. Our time in Saranac was brief, but the memories are lasting:
- We lived high up on a hill, on the backside of Mt. Pisgah where I learned to ski.
- I was a tomboy and with my best friend Sean, who lived two houses down, we played cops and robbers, hiked up to the mica trail and dug for gems, explored caves, rode bikes, built snow forts…
- We went swimming at Lake Colby – where I cut my foot open on a broken piece of glass in the deep-end of the swimming area.
- We went sledding on backyard bobsled runs – ours was short, but it had a big curved wall at the end (a mini “Shady,” like the one at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg bobsled run). The fun ended when my brother and I, sledding in tandem, went up and over the wall and my brother cracked his head open on the concrete stairs. Travis down the road had the best sled run in his backyard – I gave it no thought at the time, but his parents must have spent countless hours carving out and hosing down that icy chute that wound its way down through the woods.
- We went canoeing, camping, hiking and fishing.
- In our backyard, my Dad rigged a fabulous rope swing in a huge maple tree and we could swing so high… high as the third story attic… that you could almost see the rollerskating rink down at the bottom of Cedar Rd.
Rollerskating was popular when I was a kid and remember going often. I did not realize just how popular the sport still is until I went skating this past weekend with my mom and nieces. The music has changed (not once did I hear Queen’s We will Rock You) but the magic remains – the place was packed. I wasn’t sure I would remember how to roll, but after a few wobbly moments, the rhythm of the skates came rushing right back to me.