A Visit to Plattsburgh

by Sal Larsen
August 20, 2011

Docked at Plattsburgh
Docked at Plattsburgh

We arrived in Plattsburgh on Thursday, August 18th, and tied up on the North side of town at the Wilcox Dock.  It is a fine landing, sandy with big shade trees and stretches of marshland coming all the way down to the shore.  A bit further south down the lake is a busy marina, and beyond that is the historic section of Plattsburgh. There are some gorgeous buildings throughout the city, and many interesting shops. We were particularly pleased to find a bike shop which was able to provide Ship, our acting mate, with a new tire for his bike.

I was sent out to find fresh vegetables, and was delighted to discover the farmer’s market in what appeared to be the old railway station. There was an abundance of beautiful local produce, as well as many local crafts. The vendors were great about answering my questions, and the organic lettuce and tomatoes have been wonderful additions to our meals.

Wilcox dock proved to be an active place, used by a wide variety of folks – we saw plenty of visitors in RV’s come for the day, folks on personal watercraft as well as in sailboats, power boats, and rowboats – it is always nice to watch a kid being taught how to fish. There were quite a few successful fishermen right on shore as well, and the ducks woke us at “the quack of dawn”.

Foxes on the shore
Foxes playing on the shore near Wilcox dock

I was surprised and thrilled to see a pair of foxes cavorting on the shoreline, not far from where we were tied up. They leapt and frolicked, dashing in and out of the reeds, as if they were putting on a show especially for us.

This, I believe, is the best part of touring with the boat.  The interplay of nature and people really underscores what a priceless treasure this lake we share is. Standing on the deck of the schooner, the workhorse of shipping in days gone by, and seeing all the resources the lake provides today, I am grateful to be a part of this bonding of past and future. The journey this year is titled “Farm, Forest and Fishery Tour,” and all of those elements are joined together here in Plattsburgh. The organic farms and managed forests, the fish restocking and management programs – these are some of the elements that will help preserve the lake for those kids that are enjoying Plattsburgh’s waterfront today – and for their children as well.

Sal Larsen
A graduate of Weslyan University, Sal has been a member of the museum for many years.  This is her second year as a volunteer aboard the Lois.