In mid-July, we made good on our promise to scurry back to Cooperstown, NY, just 3 and ½ hours from NYC. It’s a fantastic long weekend destination, especially if you’re a kayaker, opera fan, nature lover, history buff, or all of the above. (See our rave from last summer here—it contains lots of links so you can plan your own trip.)
On our must-do list this time: 1) Attend the Glimmerglass Festival productions of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Camelot by Lerner and Loewe—still on through August 24, so hurry! 2) Circumnavigate serenely picturesque Lake Otsego, aka “Glimmerglass” 3) Check out the local museums and the local brew 4) Bring bug spray.
We succeeded at all of the above, despite Jean’s screwing up our camping reservations and a CHECK ENGINE light we’ve been ignoring for awhile. We even made some exciting new discoveries…
…like, “Glimmerglass” doesn’t always live up to the name! A steady 25-knot wind on Day One made paddling a real chore (we’re here to relax, right?) so we beached it and flopped down with the Times…until it blew away.
SIGH. So much for our big “circumnav!” After a couple hours of kayak-surfing and picking sand from our teeth, we got to thinking, “What else can we do today?” Great thing about Cooperstown, there are lots of choices.
Next Eureka Moment: The Farmers’ Museum is way more than a petting zoo where you feed the baby animals. Here, you can literally step back in time to an 1840s village and stroll through the creamery, apothecary, printing office, hops house, general store, etc. “Experience rural life nearly 200 years ago,” as the brochure says. And you get to feed the baby animals.
But these weren’t the only animals around…
The Empire State Carousel opened at The Farmers’ Museum in 2006 and represents voluntary artistic contributions by over 1,000 New Yorkers.
Okay, okay. You can ride…but afterwards, scroll down because there’s one more thing to see.
Meet blacksmith Bob Manker and his 1740s-style Scottish pistol. That he made. (With Paul Spaulding, Robert Cerny and Travis Edgington).
In fact, they not only made the Scottish pistol—they forged the tools to make the pistol! Right here in the blacksmiths shop, using methods accurate to the 18th century. Yep, it works.
You can read more about the project here and here. (And see other bloggers’ posts about masterpieces here.)