Jun 22, 2015

Visiting Clayton, New York

Once again the value of revisiting a place was driven home.  It had been years since we had been to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton and the museum has expanded so it was as if we had never visited.   

Our main purpose for visiting Clayton was to check out the new hotel which we heard was the best in the 1000 Islands.  The 1000 Island Harbor Hotel has a wonderful location on the waterfront right in town.  Our room had a balcony from which we would watch the sunset each night.  The days were often
cloudy with some sprinkles but come sunset time the horizon was ablaze with color. We also enjoyed watching the ships pass by.  It was especially fun because we had a book called “Know Your Ships” so we could look up each ship to find out if it was a “salty” or a “laker” plus its home port and many other interesting facts about the vessel. (The book can be purchased at the Antique Boat Museum.) 

The first evening we hade a five-star dinner with a view of the river. Other nights we ate on the patio.  Each night we relaxed around their fire pits – great place to watch the sunset if one’s room doesn’t have a sunset view. The hotel is wonderful and they are open year round.  In the winter they have an ice bar which sounds awesome.  I wish we were going to be around to see it. This is definitely a place we want to return to.  It is a great place to celebrate that special occasion. 

On our way to Clayton we stopped at the Coyote Moon Winery.  Besides wine they had wine slushies and wine-infused jams and sauces. They also have a store in town with seating on the river which is an easy walk from the Harbor Hotel.  Both places have music at various times. 

We spent most of one afternoon in the Antique Boat Museum.   I loved their “Canoes to Go” display featuring portable boats.  We were able to take apart the folding canoe but had to ask for the cape boat to be explained.  It was a cape that when taken off and inflated became a canoe! The “Quest for Speed” has its own building which wasn’t open during our last visit.  There were speed boats, of course, and a video of some races.  I learned that the “World’s Fastest Bandleader” was Guy Lombardo. Lombardo
helped popularize the sport and, as a driver, won over a dozen Gold Cup victories between 1946 and 1953.  Another building is home to the “Oar Else” exhibit where I was in for another surprise.  On the wall there were illustrations from Essomarine advertisements by Dr. Seuss.  The characters are instantly recognized as Seussian. 
The highpoint of a visit to the Antique Boat Museum is a fun and informative ride in “Miss TI” a beautiful, gleaming Hacker-Craft triple-cockpit runabout that wends its way around the islands. Visitors can row a St. Lawrence Skiff for free. It seems today that if someone doesn’t have a boat or kayak they know someone who does. At one time boating was