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Friday, July 31, 2020

Fun with Elaine

  Marie and I spent all day today with my friend Elaine. We did a lot of the sort of chasing of memories that I did a few days ago. First stop was our old waterfall friend, Taughannock. Highest free fall waterfall east of the Rockies at 215 feet. Taughannock Falls We did some more driving around town. This is the library where I got my first library card at age 4. I had to prove to them that I could read before they would issue it. Challenge met. I got my card. Interlaken Public Library Then we went to see an osprey nest. Mom was on the nest. osprey She did some flying around while we were there. osprey And dad was about a quarter mile away. osprey Then we drove past a house Elaine used to live in and some other places near there, including this hill. Butcher Hill. It's about a mile long. The pastor at our church when we were in junior high was great with youth. This hill is not plowed in winter, and he took the whole youth group out there and put lanterns along the edges of the hill. We would sled, toboggan, etc down the entire mile and then walk back up. You could manage 4 or 5 rides in an evening if you were quick. There was a bonfire at the top with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Great times. Butcher Hill Finally we ended with a short walk on the same trail Marie and I hiked yesterday. Here I am with Elaine. hiking Then we went for ice cream! It was a long, social day. I'm hitting the sack.
See Interloken and Interlaken

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Interloken and Interlaken

  Hiking and then visiting. So they both have to go on today. First, we finished hiking the Interloken Trail. Total of 7 miles more to complete the north end. Interloken Trail Every once in a while where the forest had been opened up to create fields and pastures there was a nice view across Seneca Lake view across Seneca Lake Most of the trail was wooded and green Interloken Trail I have some other neat details to show you, but they will have to wait for now because this post is going to be picture-heavy anyway. We ate lunch on the banks of Teeter Pond, and just after we ate got caught in a brief downpour. After the storm this was the view. Teeter Pond Then we went back to Interlaken, my home town. After cleaning up, another friend, Sharon, came to visit with us and with Dick and Darla who are hosting us for a few more days. This is Darla and Dick. friends Sharon and Dick were in the same class, but I was 3 years ahead of them. There is certainly a sense of place when you grow up in a small town. We all had most of the same teachers, and we all attended school in the building I showed you a couple of days ago. friends It was a fun evening. Here is Sharon and me. Her career was as a librarian, and of course you know I'm a book person, so we seem to have a lot in common. friends Here are the five of us together. Poor Darla and Marie have to listen to all these stories and jokes of people they don't know, but the stories are funny, and some of them just resonate because of shared human experiences. We've all cared for aging parents and friends. Some have had health issues of their own. It was a fun evening. friends Tomorrow- more visiting, but there will be some pretty scenery to show you too, I think.
See Interloken Trail South

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Interloken Trail South

 
Today we hiked an 8-mile loop going south from the Blueberry Patch Campground to the junction of the Interloken Trail with the main Finger Lakes Trail. Then we returned on the same trail till the Burnt Hill Loop split off and returned us to our starting point via a slightly different route.

Interloken Trail

When I was a kid, a lot of this was public land, but it was the Hector Land Use Area. Now it is the Finger Lakes National Forest.

I think these mushrooms are past their prime, but still pretty.

orange mushrooms

We saw this tiny, tiny toad. It was less than 1/2 inch long.

tiny toad

Just a short way from the junction is the Dunham Lean-to where I have camped twice previously. So we went there to have a snack before turning around.

Dunham Leanto

The trail goes through a pasture- they only ask hikers to close the gates. The cows were curious, as cows will be.

cows

The bull thistles were in full bloom.

bull thistle

This view is of the west side of Seneca Lake. A storm was brewing, and we got to the car just before the rain arrived!

view across Seneca Lake

Felt good to be walking again! Tomorrow we hope to do the north end of this branch trail.

See Very Miscellaneous Fun

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Very Miscellaneous Fun

 
I guess the big event of the day is that we went with Richard and Darla to Connie's Diner in Waterloo.

Connie's Diner

The menu is impressive, but Marie and I were interested in the "Cold Plate," which is a huge, huge platter of cold salads. You can see mine in the foreground. I ate it for lunch and dinner, and there is still more left. Really good food.

salad plate

One of the highlights for me was seeing a railroad maintenance vehicle at work. The machine sucks up the ballast, levels the rails, puts the ballast back, tamps it, and regrades the berm, all in one pass. And... this machine was probably made in Ludington! There are only a couple of places in the world where they are made. I had a chance to tour the plant a few years ago, but didn't blog about it because no pictures were allowed.

railroad maintenance vehicle

On the drive back "home," we followed the shore of Seneca Lake, the other big Finger Lake.

Seneca Lake

And this was another highlight- a green walking stick on Marie's tire. Yes, we made sure he moved before driving the car. I've never seen more than one or two of them at a time, but apparently they can defoliate entire areas because they eat leaves voraciously. I still think they are cool.

walking stick insect

Tomorrow, we walk!

See The Lake that I Love

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Lake that I Love

 
Cayuga Lake. My lake. This is home. 40 miles long, two miles wide. The big blocky building is the Miliken Power Plant (named for a former Michigan governor), now decommissioned. You could see this from my home.

Cayuga Lake

We did go swimming. It was so hot that this activity was almost a requirement rather than recreational. Actually, we went back to Sheldrake. Even though it is posted, all the locals still swim there. The sign is mostly because of the bad current off the point. We stayed well inside that. In my opinion all beaches should be small smooth flat stones like the Finger Lakes beaches, not sand. We picked up some pretty rocks, and I found one fossil, a crinoid. If I'd hunted longer there were possibilities of finding horn coral, brachiopods, and even trilobytes.

swimming in Cayuga Lake

And, I promised we'd get ice cream which we did. I had Sleeper Awake (coffee and chocolate), and Marie had Boomberry (raspberry ice cream with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries). Definitely yummy, and it helped with the cooling.

ice cream

This is the school I attended from kindergarten to 12th grade. It's still in use as an elementary school, although the district is consolidated. It was built in 1924. My kindergarten room was on the first floor on the left. But the use patterns changed when an addition was built, so that was also my high school English room!

Interlaken Central School

And Dick finished the second of my trailer metalwork projects. The propane tank holder is now removed, and the spare tire is mounted on the hitch. Hooray!

spare tire mount on trailer hitch

Tomorrow more playtime. I promise there will be hiking eventually, but not quite yet.

See Memory Lane

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Memory Lane

 
We are in my hometown. I'm not sure that I actually mentioned that before. It's sad and weird and good to be here. The day began with going to church where I grew up. The good thing about that is that because of the virus, they are using the big sanctuary where there is enough room for people to keep appropriate distances. The church celebrated its 200th anniversary this summer.

Interlaken Baptist Church

We toured the entire town (which takes about 5 minutes), and also drove past the house (outside of town) I grew up in. It was built by my grandfather. I was really happy to see that it's being taken care of well. A lot of houses aren't. They are old and historic, and otherwise money pits.

craftsman bungalow

We also drove down to Sheldrake Point on Cayuga Lake. This is where I learned to swim. Swimming not allowed there now, but we went for a little wade. A very hot day, and tomorrow is supposed to be worse.

Sheldrake Point

We chilled, visited with Dick and Darla, and contemplated the places we want to hike. But we're not going to start that tomorrow in 90 degrees. I think swimming and ice cream might be on the agenda!

See Western NY and a Table

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Western New York and a Table

 
I have to say that Western New York geography speaks to me like nowhere else. It's home. You should see some better pictures over the next few days. This was the best I could do out of the windshield.

western New york hills

I arrived at my friend Dick's house, and within 30 minutes, he had cut,

cutting a metal rod

welded,

welding a metal rod

and cleaned up the trailer table hinge rod. The table is installed with the fixture I wanted! The trailer is set up and ready to be home for the next little while.

grinding metal

Marie has arrived, and we are transitioning to hiking mode. Dick and Darla fed us BLTs for dinner. Yum. Time for sleep soon!

See On the Road

Friday, July 24, 2020

On the Road

 
Ready to roll!

fiberglass trailer

Mostly I saw a lot of this.

interstate highway

Sandusky Bay was inviting

Sandusky  Bay

The ostrich was hungry, but he wouldn't let me camp there.

ostrich in a petting zoo

The two best pictures I was unable to capture in the camera.

I saw an egret standing in the edge of the marsh by Sandusky Bay.

The best was sunset on Lake Erie. The water was a shimmery, iridescent, silver-blue. The sky was a clear solid pink above it. Silhouetted on the water was a freighter going in one direction and a power boat going the other. But you can't slam on the brakes on the interstate and stop for a picture!

It's the great American Road Trip, right? I'm sleeping at a truck stop. That's fine. I just need a place to park, not an experience. Those will begin tomorrow.

See 2020 Interior Tour
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