Entries to Win Afghan

Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! jhyshark@gmail.com Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Fort Ticonderoga

Today I chose to do a tour of Fort Ticonderoga. I hadn't been there since I was a child, and I really wanted to see it. The location was important in Colonial and Revolutionary times. Whoever controlled Lake Champlain and the waterway that basically connects the St. Lawrence River with the Hudson River controlled that whol part of the country. You can see the cannon mounted to face Lake Champlain.
fort ticonderoga

Some of the fort is original, and some is reconstructed. This is the inner courtyard.
fort ticonderoga

We watched a musket firing demonstration, with explanation of how the soldiers were organized so that they didn't shoot each other.
musket firing

This man was demonstrating how the guns were cleaned after firing.
cleaning a musket

This is a morter. They were highly decorated, and the designs mean something, but I didn't have time to read all of what that was about. Apparently most of the artillery used was made in the Caribbean.
revolutionary war morter

This is believed to be the oldest American military uniform in existence. It was made in 1772.
Colonial era uniform

Finally for today, here are two horsemen who were patroling the grounds.s
Colonial horsemen

Gotta scoot to dinner. We did another fun thing too, but I'll have to share another time.

See Meade and Beckham

Friday, September 29, 2023

Meade and Beckham

We chose a short hike today because I needed to be back at the lodge in time for the workshops. We went up a trail that goes to Meade and Beckham Mountains. These are small, and they are east of the NCT route. I don't think I could identify where the trail fits into the view at all. But this is the vista from Meade.
Meade mountain view

From Beckham the view is to the south, and the body of water is Lake George, one of the larger lakes of the area.
Beckham mountain view

One amazing thing about this hike is that these two mountains are privately owned. Yes, you read that right. The owner keeps this trail open, and he is out there checking on it almost every day. We actually ran into him.

I attended two excellent workshops, one on the NCT mapping program, and one on some of the history of the Adirondack region. Then I led a workshop on tips for hiking the trail in the Adirondacks.

Now it's time to get ready for dinner. Nonstop fun!

See Moxham Mountain

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Moxham Mountain

Marie and I signed up for the Moxham Mountain hike. The primary reason was because I wanted to see something that was new to me. It turned out to be a wonderful choice.

In the bus, on the way (picture taken through window), we had this view of the entire mountain. We were getting ready to hike from right to left up to the little hump, down into the saddle and then to to top of the hump with the sheer face.
Moxham Mt

Even part way up, we began to have nice views.
Adirondack view

Part way up the little saddle, we could see the cliffs of the south side of Moxham. Yes, we are hiking to the top.
Moxham Mt

The trail got rockier, with a lot of our walking on ridges and rock outcrops.
hiking up Moxham Mountain

Finally, we were at the top and were rewarded with this spectacular view! The existing North Country Trail is on the front ridge on the opposite side, with the Hudson River in the bottom of the valley.
view from Moxham Mt

Here is the lodge at the camp where the Celebration is being held. We have tents or bunkhouses for sleeping.
Forest Lake Camp

Last night we heard a talk by the Deputy Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club. It was very informative, and they are welcoming the NCT to the Adirondacks. Believe me, our trail would not be here without that acceptance.

See On the Way

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

On the Way to the Celebration

We spent last night and this morning with long time friends Paul and Shirley.

This is a scenic lookout not far from where Paul lives. You know I love to place things in the landscape. I've marked Kenjamuk mountain in this range. The NCT follows the Kenjamuk trail on the far side of that peak, down in the valley where I've tried to tuck an arrow.
Kenjamuk Mt

We have arrived and I'm blogging early because I have power in the dining hall and Wi-Fi. I'll try to keep it up while here, but we are at a camp and things are more primitive than some conferences. It's all good, but will make blogging a challenge.

See The Mystery of the Blue Dot Solved

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Mystery of THE Blue Dot- Solved

You may not remember it from the blog post a year and a half ago, but if you've had to listen to my stories from the big hike, you know that a favorite has been of the trail that ended at the blue dot in the woods... followed by a mile of bushwhacking and then more bushwhacking the next morning when I lost the trail again. (see link below)

Both those mysteries were solved today. Voila- the blue dot.
hiker by a trail sign

My goal today was to hike in from the north, instead of the south, to see if I could find where the trail was supposed to be, in both places. The adventure was successful, and the trail was not anywhere near where I had expected it to be. As you can see, we found THE blue dot. The trail markers for this trail are blue disks like this, but there was only one that was mounted on a horizontal board, and we found it coming in from the other direction. We also found the car at the end of the day. Always a plus.

We crossed Bear Creek on rocks- a typical Adirondack stream crossing.
Adirondack stream crossing

Bear Lake itself was looking beautiful, getting ready for fall.
Bear Lake Adirondacks

The colors are really starting to pop, and there are lots of reds.
fall color

Most of the trail we followed today was very narrow and faint, but this section was looking appealing.

By far, the best find of the day (well, other than the trail itself), is thie huge yellow toad. I don't think I've ever seen one this color before.
yellow toad

The weather was about as perfect as it can get.

North Country Trail, McKeever TH to Gull Lake TH parking on Bear Creek Road. 6.1 miles.

Tonight we are with my friend Paul. It's been so much fun to hear from other trail friends who are making their ways to the Celebration. Rome, Ithaca, Canestota, one hiking in Vermont.
See Bear Lake Trail Adventure

Monday, September 25, 2023

Bits and Pieces

Today, Marie and I did our last jigsaw puzzle for a while. This one is called Morning Stop, and it was a lot of fun. Also 300 pieces, and it took 1 hr and 15 min. Tomorrow we head for the Adirondacks!

jigsaw puzzle

I'm going to fill in with a few odds and ends from the week here that I wanted to show you, but they didn't make the cut on their own day.

This is part of Ellen's fairy garden. She has a big round space in her yard filled with white gravel and fairy scenes.
fairy garden

The Rondout Harbor, where we saw the Trinidad, also has a maritime museum. We'll save that for another trip since it won't sail away. One of their displays is the steam tugboat, Mathilda. This was built in Quebec in 1898 and is one of the few surviving steam tugboats, although it is no longer in the water.

We got a big kick out of it for reasons other than historical. The name is spelled the same as our friend, Mathilda, with an h.
tugboat mathilda

Two more shots of the Trinidad. I love the high stern with the windows in the captain's cabin. The captain always occupied the stern because in sailing vessels the wind comes from behind, so all the bad smells are carried forward.
trinidad ship stern

The recreated ship sails under the current Spanish flag.
spanish flag

Finally, I can't resist sharing this shark sign.
shark sign

I also edited today, and we did errands and visited Selma again. It's been a great week here. We don't have to say goodbye yet, but the focus will change.

See Food for Thoughts

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Food for Thoughts

When I'm with Marie, I always go to church with her. She is Catholic and I am Protestant. This is a problem for some people. We've joked about each branch of the church condemning the other. I'm not here to start arguments about what people believe, but I am going to tell you how I increasingly react to services of the many varieties.

Here is the church we attended this morning.
Catholic church

catholic church

As modern churches become more and more utilitarian, I am drawn to the beauty and ornate character of many of the older churches. I find myself feeling more worshipful in an artistic atmosphere. True, God will accept our worship offered from a concrete block building or a dirt basement in hiding from repressive authorities, but the harmony of the decor helps set a tone for me. After all, the first tabernacle was decreed to be ornamented in various ways as an offering of the talents of the artists.

Also, I appreciate how much of the service is readings from Scripture. Frequent reading of the guidebook is sure to help one find the right path. The sermon (homily) is always short- fittingly for most attention spans- and the Nicene Creed is accepted by almost all flavors of Christians.

I nearly always come from these services (mass) calmed, and usually with some thought from the homily to ponder.

Later in the afternoon, we went to another Veteran's dinner. This one had a place set for the Missing Man, to honor either those who died or MIA/POWs. Ed really likes socializing with other Veterans. We all enjoy getting together with people who share common experiences. Marie and I will soon be heading for the trail Celebration, my annual socializing with my own "tribe."
missing man table

My final thought isn't too deep. Marie and I did another 300-piece puzzle. This one took 1 hr 20 minutes. It might have been a little harder, or I might not have counted the time to get the pieces out of the box and right side up last night. This one is Purrfectly Adorable.
jigsaw puzzle

Who knows why jigsaw puzzles are so satisfying? They have been around since the 1700s when maps were cut into country shapes to use as educational tools. In the late 1800s they became more recreational in nature, and lots of people like them, including me, as you well know. They are supposed to help you keep your brain functioning well!

I also found a block of time to do some editing. It rained all day, so there was no outside activity.

See Catnip High

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Catnip High

At the vendor event, Marie bought catnip toys for the two kitties. Kimmy pretty much went for an LSD trip, and got a citation for operating under the influence.
cat with catnip

Toby is very shy. He took his and hid it immediately. He wouldn't come out of the shadows for a picture. Mostly he contented himself with sniffing Kimmy's cheeks where she had rubbed hers.
tabby cat

Marie and I decided to do an easy and quick jigsaw puzzle after dinner. 300 pieces, 1 hour 10 minutes. Not flat out racing, but not fooling around.
jigsaw puzzle

The vendor event? Well, it was advertised as having 70 vendors. There were 26. Almost no one came. I broke even which is better than I expected when I realized how slow it was going to be. Some days are like that. We sampled perogis and a cookie bar.

See Calm Day

Friday, September 22, 2023

Calm Day

Marie and Ed went to Albany for a medical appointment in the morning, and I stayed here and did editing.

Later we went to visit Selma. Marie really keeps tabs on her and her needs, as well as just stopping in a few times a week to see her. She's really spry for 94 and with her nice new walker with a seat, she likes to go outside and sit in the sun for a while.

Her memory is failing some, but she's still good at carrying on a conversation "in the moment." We got her to tell us some things about her growing up years, which was interesting. I am inspired by her all the time. She doesn't see much at all any more, and her hearing is bad too, but she rarely complains. So far, she always knows who I am, and I'm only here a couple of times a year at best. I hope my personal "training" to accentuate the positive will hold true if I make it to 94, and I will be able to focus on the good things that happen. Being in a "home" will never be on my list of desires, but its where a lot of us will eventually end up.

Tomorrow, I have a vendor event in Albany.

See Having a Blast with Ellen