An Adirondack Tradition... That was this week's blog theme. There are so many in this area, it was hard to pinpoint exactly which way to head. I could talk about feeding bear at the dump - remember those days? Or how about tubing the Schroon on a hot summer day? Climbing Mt. Severance for the first time, and crossing through the under-highway tunnels? Skiing at the Golf Course? Ohhhhh the choices... This was going to be a challenge.

Luckily, I always love a good challenge, and I especially love when there's a little contest involved. So, for today's Schroon Lake Region readers, I offer the following: I am highlighting 5 of what I'd like to refer to as Adirondack one-stop-shops. (You know, those awesome places you don't find in more urban areas, the shops where you can grab a sandwich, shirt, and bait all in one location. Or maybe coffee, gas, and a souvenier t-shirt.) To me, these are the iconic Adirondack places I still love to visit, the businesses where the owners are often on hand to chat while you munch a homemade cider donut and refill your propane tank.

Your job is to match the 10 images with their rightful store. Share your answers in the comment section below, and we'll see if you're right - I'll publish the answers after we send out next week's blogs. Bonus points if you share your favorite out-of-the-box find at any of the stores.

Please note, there are no actual prizes involved, but I offer you bragging rights and the knowledge that you know your local Adirondack store trivia. Not to mention you may learn a few cool new (old) facts!

The Adirondack Stores In Question...

A) Located on Main Street in downtown Schroon Lake, The Towne Store has been offering locals and visitors a variety of general store items since 1881. We can only imagine how their stock has evolved over the years, but we know whatever they are doing, they certainly know how to keep their patrons happy. Personally, as a child it was one of my favorite places to spend a rainy summer afternoon. As an avid reader, I always loved picking out a new Bobbsey Twin book, and as an added treat, they always had a new selction of Archie Comics. Awesome!

These days, they have expanded and have a nice collection of Art in the Attic. Definitely worth checking out the next time you're on the drag.

B) Gokey's Outlet Store located off of Northway I-87 Exit 29, check out their picture, you really can't miss their old-school compound. Grab a hot cup of coffee while you browse their thousands upon thousands (according to their website 50,000 - wow!) items at low, low prices. I have been known to walk in here and literally lose the rest of my party*. From dollar store type items to tools and hardware, gifts and glassware to an amazing collection of antiques, there really is something to catch everyone's fancy.

*We stopped in for a quick minute last November to grab a few new tarps - they have a HUGE selection. Just as we were making our final selections and heading to the checkout, I happened upon a room in the back that I had never before entered. I finally wandered out dazed and convinced that I needed 3 pairs of antique skis and a few collectible signs. Thank goodness for my support staff, and the fact that we brought the Jeep and it was already fairly packed. But oh, I'll be back!

NOTE: Gokey's is open April through November - check the link above to find out dates and times. Don't go heading out in search of a new pickaxe or switchblade today - although they do have a great collection.

C) Okay, located a bit further away from our other selections on the southern end of Schroon Lake, the Adirondack General Store deserves a bit of recognition (and not just because of its super apropos name). We happened upon this store as we were leaving our last snowshoe adventure at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville - you can read more about the fun we had there, here.

With everything from baked treats to meals made-to-order, we had fun just checking out their vast selection of goods. The new owners were on premise and happily gave us a bit of background on this store which has been in service for many generations and through many different manifestations of itself. It was originally created for the logging community and there was even a hotel attached. Very, very cool.

D) The Mt. Severance Country Store is my go-to gas stop everytime we're in the area. And, yeah, while the gas is convenient or whatnot, it's the deli that catches my attention at this favorite stop. I could go on and on about their baked goods... actually I already have - check it out in this blog where I rundown my absolute must-have from this country store.

From ice to ice cream, this is a fun stop for the whole family. Get out, stretch your legs, maybe play a round of mini-golf. You're in Schroon Lake, time slows down and the Adrondack Mountain vibe explodes around you.

E) If you've ever taken Exit 29, you've surely been thrown back to childhood as a picture of Yogi Bear greets you, beckoning you to come and stay at the campground for awhile. As a matter of fact, when I talk to people about a family-fun place to stay in the area, invariably the Adirondack Jellystone - Paradise Pines Camping Resort is mentioned. And, of course, they have a Camp Store just filled to the brim with all your picnic basket needs (sorry I couldn't resist).

I mean, come on, is there anyone from a camping-type-of-family that hasn't stayed with Yogi at some point or other? This place totally throws me back in time. I don't remember much of the cartoon specifics, but mention picnic basket and it's the first picture that always jumps into my head. I also just read they offer Tuck In with a Bear !?! One of the Rangers and a Bear will deliver milk and cookies to your site and read you a bedtime story - I suppose I'll have to bring 5-year-old Oliver along to avoid too many questions?

They Have/Sell/Make What!?

Okay, here you go - I've thrown in a couple of freebies, just to make you feel good. Check out the pics and let me know where you'll find the product / object in question. (Hint: just to make things more interesting, there's not a standard number of pics highlighted for each business, I felt like mixing it up.)

1. Crickets and larvae. Yuck, yuck, yuck. But as a kid I would have been fascinated with these interesting products. Does anyone actually buy them?? Wait, let me rephrase, does anyone actually buy these to seriously eat?

2) Cold outside? Come on in for some fireside shopping. Looks cozy doesn't it? I assure you, it was.

3) Yup, that is actually a train running around the ceiling. What, you've never seen a train in the rafters?

4) You want fire? We've got fire. And, flyswatters. And, toilet paper...

5) A friendly couple providing live music while waiting for lunch. (Although Eric Bright is coincidentally a well-known local guitar maker, the one he is playing lives on premise for any/all to try their hand at while browsing.)

6) From kid's toys to ear muffs, this stop is going to take a while...

7) My coworker, Kerry, sings the praises of these donuts. They are on my must-try list next time I'm in town.

8) "Bear" with me, there are only a few more pics to come! But I will happily take one of those shirts!

9) Art, necklaces, sunglasses, you name it - they've got it. You need it.

10) Okay, this was a freebie - but it's a slingshot! What little boy doesn't want one of these!?

The Times They Are A'Changin'...

This was, by far, the coolest thing we found on this expedition.

Let's get a closer look...

What beautiful handwriting. It's so hard to imagine this it totally real, not something recreated for a movie or somesuch.

I was taken aback a bit to be able to look through this archive of shopping history. I mean, to think how different times were in 1887 and yet here is Fred McKinestry's shopping spree documented for any to see. I was not expecting this gem, but it totally made my day. Now, where can I find 13 dozen eggs for under $3!?

Want to get a closer look at our highlighted stores? Of course you do! You may even discover a few others that will become favorites. Stay for a few days, dine at one of our delicious eateries, enjoy our great outdoors. The Schroon Lake Region, easy to get to, close to everything - we're just waiting for you to come explore!