Monday, July 28, 2014

Skaneateles Mailboat Tour

Last week, on probably the best day of the whole Summer (thus far), my two traveling buddies (BFF's) and I took a bus tour from our town to one of the most pristine of the Finger Lakes - Skaneateles Lake. Here we are on the bus headed for Skaneateles.


Me - in case you can't see picture caption: I just wanted ONE chin, so I cropped the others off.
The town of Skaneateles is 78 miles from Rochester and is about an hour and a half bus ride.   The weather was blindingly sunny, not a cloud in the sky and quite warm (90 ish). But the bus was air cooled and the lake breezes and boat ride also provided cooling breezes. The lake is as clear as glass. It's an extremely healthy lake, according to the guide. 300 plus feet deep. You can practically "feel" the eons of time it took for water, erosion, temperature fluctuations, climate, ice ages, etc. to dig this beautiful lake out of the huge rock formations that are its boundaries.

Our cruise was on a Mailboat which delivers and collects the mail for the lake residents. It's easier to deliver mail by boat than to attempt to drive or walk around the lake, scaling the cliffs and dirt roads on terra firma  and miles of wooden stairs the residents have built to get from mountain side to where their cottages are situated at lake level.

It's also quite an adventure for both the mail delivery personnel and the lake residents. The residents hang their mailboxes off their boat docks and reaching out toward the water. The boat captain actually stops that craft about two feet from the end of the dock. He never crashed into one single dock while I was with him. A young "gopher" mail boy with large orange bags of mail wiggles way up onto the bow and then leans waaaay over to hand the mail to the resident standing at the end of their dock. Most of the time, this is residents. Children love to do this and everyone's pet does as well. Reason being that the mail "gopher" has a treat of a tootsie roll for the kiddies and a dog biscuit for the pups - plus mail. And sometimes, the residents have mail to post, handing that over to the "gopher" to process.

A few of the lake residents ready to meet the mail boat

One of the stops for mail delivery was at a day camp. The camp counselors came to the dock to collect the mail. A few tiny campers also sneaked in to this picture. Sorry I wasn't able to get a picture of this - but the beautiful young counselors standing along the dock at camp did the can-can just like the Radio City Rockettes as a mailboat greeting. Here they are after their grueling routine.

Sailing Lessons

The Mailboat

The interior of the boat was lined both sides with tables and four chairs at each one. Lined along both sides with windows. The did serve iced tea, soda pop and water plus small snacks.  The mail cruise took approximately 3 hours. These are some of the wonderful lake houses.

Some of the beautiful residences along the lakefront.

My Favorite

This next one, which looks a lot like the White House has a very interesting history and if you're interested, I've provided a link.

Now off the lunch at the  and then a bit of shopping at the wonderful shops and boutiques of downtown Skaneateles. There were 3 lunch choices. Me and the two "comari" all had the same thing: First course: green salad. Second Course: Chicken French, which was totally delicious. A thin paillard of sautéed chicken in a lemon and wine sauce over a bed of wild rice and shoestring vegetables. Third Course: a decadent chocolate cake with frosting and whipped cream.

And to top it all off - a bit of "retail therapy"

This is a two story antique shop. All of it was as crowded as this picture. I did purchase a little tchotchke.

While waiting for our bus to take us back home, we sat in this beautiful beachfront park.

Altogether, a beautiful day, enjoyed by one and all. It was a  Covered Wagon Tours. They took care of everything, throughway tolls, gratuities, lunch, they did the driving and parking. I can't wait for the next one.


  1. Rita you always hit the best stops. Love those lake house - just beautiful. Hee, hee on those crowns. Looks like you had a fun group to hang out with too.

  2. It looks like you all had a wonderful time! I don't think I can pronounce Skaneateles properly. The housing and the food are enchanting. I read a book to my youngest about a town that has mail delivery by boat. How neat to see a town that really does this.

    Love the tiaras!

  3. I've always wanted to live on the water. But, alas, I remain an inland girl! :)

  4. Those are gorgeous homes. I've seen some mail delivery by boat here in the Puget Sound region as well, but how cool is that to go on it. I love the song lyrics with your first photo, so appropriate.

  5. How amazing is that place! I wanna go there!!

  6. What a wonderful trip! I love it that you're all wearing tiaras. I never heard of a mail boat. What a neat experience to see all the residents come to the dock to get their mail.