Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Speaking of Books

I keep meaning to list some of my other favorite books. These are culled from a list of 181 books that I have read in the past 5 years - kept in a spreadsheet on my computer of course. Within each section they are listed in the order I read them.
Hosseini, Khaled - The Kite Runner
Hosseini, Khaled - A Thousand Spendid Suns
Cross, Donna Woolfolk - Pope Joan
Gimenez, Mark - The Color of Law
Adiga, Aravind - The White Tiger
Grisham, John - The Appeal
Haddam, Jane - Hardscrabble Road
Adamson, Gil - The Outlander
Schwartz, John Burnham - The Commoner
Larsson, Stieg - all 3 Millenium books
Gruen, Sara - Water for Elephants
Morton, Kate - The Forgotten Garden
Quindlen, Anna - Every Last One
Stockett, Kathryn - The Help
De Rosnay, Tatiana - Sarah's Key
Ford, Jamie - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Kingsolver, Barbara - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Mortenson, Greg & Relin, David Oliver - Three Cups of Tea
Schneider, Paul - Brutal Journey
Johnson, Steven - The Ghost Map
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher - The Life of Martha Ballard
Roberts, Cokie - Founding Mothers
Winchester, Simon - Krakatoa
Royte, Elizabeth - The Tapir's Morning Bath
Goodwin, Doris Kearns - Team of Rivals
Chang, Leslie T - Factory Girls
Forsyth, Adrian; Miyata, Ken - Tropical Nature
Boorstin, Daniel - The Americans: The Colonial Experience
Hackett Fischer, David - Albion's Seed
Pepperberg, Irene - Alex & Me
Horwitz, Tony - A Voyage Long and Strange
Meacham, Jon - American Lion
Conant, Jennet - Tuxedo Park
Conant, Jennet - 109 East Palace
Hessler, Peter - Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
Johnson, Steven - The Invention of Air
Standage, Tom - A History of the World in Six Glasses
Phillips. Jonathan - Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades
Bryson, Bill - At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Kimball, Kristin - Dirty Life
Campbell, David G - A Land of Ghosts: The Braided Lives of People and the Forest in Far Western Amazonia
Mukherjee, Siddhartha - The Emperor of All Maladies - A Biography of Cancer

Wonderful, Amazing Book

I just finished reading "The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee, by far one of the very best books I have ever read. He is an amazing writer. I've always enjoyed reading about medical history and have a background in biology but I think anyone would enjoy it, especially if they have any personal experience with cancer which I imagine everyone does these days.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paddling Round Lake

Yet another beautiful, still day. And another group paddle, this time on Round Lake.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Paddling Indian Lake

Another beautiful day. The usual group paddled an 11 mile loop on Indian Lake. The water was beautifully still. We even paddled by a waterfall that comes in on the west side.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My foxgloves are beautiful again this year. The weather has been perfect and all the plants are showing their appreciation. After all that rain the sun has been shining for days.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Paddling South Creek to Second Pond

We had a nice one-way paddle today from South Creek to Second Pond. We lunched on Bluff Island as usual.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Biking to Hitchins Pond

Today we and Jim and Cindy drove to Horseshoe Lake, turned left at the end of the road and continued to the gate. Then we unloaded the bikes, amid swarms of mosquitoes and deer flies, and rode the ~3 miles to Low's Upper Dam (shown in red on the map).The bog along the way was full of pitcher plants in bloom. We walked down to Hitchins Pond,which we had to ourselves, then rode back the way we came. The ride was nice (if you ignored the deer flies) but a little difficult with our hybrid bikes. I got bogged down in the sand a couple of times and it was quite bumpy in places. But still a nice excursion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We had a wonderful flight today in Jim's plane. We got a very different perspective on lots of the places we've paddled and had great views of the high peaks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paddling the North Branch of the Moose River

We had a great paddle today. Twelve of us put in the North Branch of the Moose River at the upper right corner of this map, which only shows a portion of the river,and paddled down the meandering river to Mountainman Outfitters in Old Forge for a total of about 12 miles. We encountered one downed tree we had to carry around and there is a 1/4 mile carry around some rapids towards the end of the trip. We had lunch at the North Street bridge over the river, conveniently placed about half way down. The water was high and the current brisk, which made for an easy paddle. If we want to paddle the Middle Branch of the river sometime (needed for the Paddle Pursuit) we would put in at Mountainman and continue downstream for about 4 miles to a dam, then turn around and paddle back. We'd want to do that after the water recedes a bit more. Right now I wouldn't want to paddle against that current.

After our paddle some of us joined Marilyn for dinner at the Old Mill restaurant to help celebrate her birthday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Floodwood/Rollins Paddle

Eight of us paddled the Floodwood-Rollins loop today. The weather was perfect - about 70 degrees and light winds. The bugs weren't too bad. Not too many black flies, but plenty of mosquitos on the Copperas to Whey portage. But they didn't bother us when we were out on the water.

When we got home, we tackled the downed tree by the road. We cut some up but have lots more to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Storm Damage

We had really violent winds yesterday, followed by lots of rain. We lost a couple big trees. This one went over roots and all.Thank goodness it didn't fall on the house. There is another big one up by the road that broke. Guess we have some more firewood to chop.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lake Placid Stroll

Today was another nice day and we wanted to be outside but not in the bugs. And we needed to do some grocery shopping. So we drove to Lake Placid and did the 3 mile walk around Mirror Lake. It rained on us a bit, but we sheltered under some trees until it passed. We wandered into some shops and then drove to Price Chopper and did our food shopping.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Paddling Little Tupper Lake

Today's wind forecast was "light and variable" and it was supposed to be partly sunny with temps around 70 degrees. Perfect weather for paddling Little Tupper Lake. It isn't often that you see Little Tupper this calm.And this time we were determined to get into Rock Pond. We were able to get past what is normally a huge beaver dam, because the water was somewhat high and the beavers haven't had a chance to rebuild it yet this year. So we made it to the portage around some rapids. The short walk was lined with beautiful lady slipper orchids and lots of bunchberry (Cornus canadensis). We didn't go as far into Rock Pond as we would have liked because we had a long paddle back and were taking very few breaks due to the bugs - more on that later. Here is the view going back into Little Tupper from Rock Pond. About those bugs - what we didn't take into account was that light winds meant the bugs wouldn't be blown away, and the black flies were awful. I wore a headnet much of the time and I don't like it because it restricts my vision too much. To keep away from most of the bugs we had to paddle in the middle of the lake instead of exploring the shoreline and didn't see any point in going to the island on Rock Pond because we didn't want to get out and be bug bait. We were pretty tired by the time we got back from the 13.5 mile paddle. It would have been better if we had been able to stop and rest more. Definitely a tradeoff - more bugs but fewer beaver dams. I think we'll choose to deal with the beaver dams next time we go. Plus, the pickerel weed is not nearly ready to bloom yet, and the brook to Rock Pond is beautiful when they are flowering.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Beautiful Day

It is another nice day, but too windy for boating. So we have added another activity to our busy schedule - biking. We brought our bikes to camp this season and today was just my second ride. We drove to Bloomingdale and parked at the southern end of Oregon Plains Road just north of the crossroads. Then we rode the 5 miles to the end and back again. It was fairly hilly so it was plenty of exercise.We enjoyed it so much we talked about doing the whole loop sometime from Gabriels, to Bloomingdale, up Oregon Plains Road to the Gabriels-Onchiota Road, and back to Gabriels, for a total of about 16 miles. But we need to get a bit better in shape first.

Then this evening we and Jim and Cindy went to Hemlock Hall for their chicken and biscuits dinner. Yum. And it was just the 4 of us in the whole place, which was kind of strange, but nice and quiet and we had a good time.