Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Holidays

We drove to NJ for Christmas.  And while there, we learned that the closing for our new house has been moved off once again - now it won't be finished until mid-February.  So we will be "commuting" between NY and NJ for several more weeks.  Sigh.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quilt #28

This one is for the guest room in the new house.  This is just the top.  I'll wait until I get to NJ and rent time on a long-arm to quilt it.
This is a closeup of just a few of the blocks.  Each quilt is a learning experience.  In this case I discovered that fabric for a stack-n-whack can be too busy and have too many colors, but I used all the blocks anyway.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

On Our Way to Camp

We had an uneventful flight from Ft Myers to Newark this morning.  We were very lucky.  Most of the flights yesterday were canceled due to a big snowstorm along the east coast.  We picked up our car from the airport hotel and drove to Albany, which had at least a foot of snow.  We are staying here overnight and will do some Christmas shopping tomorrow then drive to camp, where the high tomorrow is forecast to be 2 degrees.  Brrrr….

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Day

We rented bikes from the resort this morning and had a nice ride along some of the many bike paths.  More beach walking this afternoon.  Headed back to NJ tomorrow.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Paddling the Commodore Creek Trail

We  had a great paddle through the mangroves this morning.  The winds were fairly high, so getting across the bay in the floating bathtubs the rental place calls kayaks was interesting.  But once we got into the mangroves it was beautiful.  We saw several yellow-crowned night herons.
And a couple little blue herons, plus others it was too difficult to photograph.
Then when we got back to Casa Ybel, there was a pileated woodpecker in the palm tree above our car; quite a different setting from when we see them at camp.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


A Walk on the Beach

Today is quite gray and cooler, but still good for a walk on the beach.  There were a couple snowy egrets on the beach and a double-crested cormorant.

 And we always enjoy the plantings around the resort, especially the hibiscus.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another Day in Paradise

We drove through Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge today and saw the usual collection of birds.
Late afternoon we took the boat trip from Tarpon Bay Explorers.  We saw lots of birds coming to roost for the night, including pelicans on many of the channel markers.
We headed back to shore during a beautiful sunset.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

To Sanibel, Florida (and away from the snow and cold)

We left camp yesterday morning and drove through snow and ice to Newark, NJ.
We stayed overnight at the Marriott airport hotel.  This morning we headed to the airport through a snowstorm and waited for our flight to take off.  We were only a couple hours late, which wasn't so bad considering the weather.  At least the flight wasn't canceled.  Here we are being de-iced on the runway.
We landed in Fort Myers in beautiful sunshine with temperature about 80 degrees.  A definite improvement.
Sunset on the beach, with many more to come.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Merry Christmas

We have nothing Christmasy here so I decided we needed something to put us in the mood.  So I designed and sewed this hanging.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a very nice dinner at The View restaurant at Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid.  This was our second year of going out for Thanksgiving, a tradition we hope to continue.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back from New Jersey

We drove south last Monday and spent a busy week doing house stuff.  Tuesday we were in PA and went through the 100+ year old house our daughter is hoping to buy.  Then we stayed with our other daughter in NJ and shopped for things for the house.  I think we have finally decided on appliances and on a color for the bedroom walls.  The latter involved opening the storage unit and looking at the colors alongside the quilt that goes on the bed.  And we think we finally found a color for the shades in that room also.  We had the nice lady at the post office put our new address in the database so we will be able to forward mail to it when the time comes.  We stopped at the marvelous Monroe Township library.  I can tell we will be spending a lot of time there.  Too bad the roads aren't wide enough for bike riding; it is only 3 miles away.  We found some lights we liked at the lighting store.  Etc.  And then on Friday, we had our initial house walk-through.  Not all the electrical was done and none of the plumbing because they arranged the walk-through for us to coincide with our driving south with the Volt, which we had to take out of the North Country before we get too much snow.  But everything seems fine.  There were a couple of surprises, though.  I hadn't realized that there is no door between  the uninsulated storage over the garage and the mechanical room.  We are checking to be sure the interior walls of the mechanical room will be well-insulated.  And the air conditioner condensers are in the middle of the back wall of the house instead of under the bedroom windows.  That is a better placement, but it meant we had to redo the landscape plan and patio.  So we met with the landscaper on Saturday and are awaiting the new drawing.  We drove back home yesterday and are now trying to get used to the cold.  It was minus 1.5 degrees when we woke up this morning.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lunch and a Hike

We had lunch today at the St Regis Cafe at Paul Smiths.  Then we had a very nice hike around Black Pond off Keese Mills Road.  We'll have to see if the cafe is open for a Wednesday evening buffet before we move back to NJ.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hiking to the Hudson River

We joined a group from the Adirondack Mountain Club on a 5-mile round trip hike from North Woods Club Road in Minerva to the Hudson River, opposite the blue ledge cliffs.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

House Progress

But it won't be finished until sometime in January.  Sigh.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


It is supposed to be 55 degrees in New Jersey today.  Sigh.


It is 18 degrees outside.  Sure wish we were in New Jersey.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Paddling Floodwood to Polliwog

Today we led one of our favorite paddles, from Floodwood Pond to Polliwog, where we had spotted a car.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quilt #27

I keep accumulating Adirondack prints.  So I decided it was time to use some of them in a quilt to keep on the sofa.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Neither Rain, Nor Snow ............

Well, at least it wasn't snowing.  About 20 of us braved the rain today and paddled the Bog River from the lower dam into Hitchins Pond for our traditional Columbus Day picnic.  That is, most of us paddled.  There were a few hikers and one intrepid bicyclist.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Essex Chain Reflections

My last post was getting too long to add these, but I can't resist posting some more photos I took on the Essex Chain.  The reflections in the still water were too neat to pass up.

Paddling the Essex Chain of Lakes

We were so pleased when Jim and Cindy invited us to go along on an explore of the newly opened Essex Chain of Lakes.  The state recently took over the land and opened it to the public on October 1st.  There were already 3 full pages of sign-ins when we got there just 11 days after opening and a ranger we met said there had been a regular parade of folks driving in to paddle.

To get there, drive into Newcomb on 28N and turn right onto Pine Tree Road.  Then turn right onto Goodnow Flow Road and follow it down to the flow.  Make a right onto Woody's Road and follow the signs to Deer Pond Access.  The drive from 28N is about 10 miles.  Goodnow Flow Road is paved as is part of Woody's Road but the last several miles of the drive are reminiscent of the rocky road to Lake Lila.  I don't recommend doing Lila and the Essex Chain the same week, as we did.  It was a bit too much driving on rough roads.
Once you get to the parking lot, you still have 3/4 of a mile to go to get onto Third Lake.  The red lines on the following map mark the carries.  It is 1/4 mile from the car to Deer Pond, and another 1/2 mile from Deer Pond to Third Lake.  Fortunately, most of the carrying is on dirt roads.  But the immediate access to the lakes is steep and the put-ins are single file.
After all the work to get there, you'll want to spend the day, and it is definitely worth it.
It was cloudy when we started out but as in the last few days, there was absolutely no wind.  This was our first view of Third Lake.
We headed up Third Lake and down the creek toward Fourth.
We were surprised to find a nice picnic table for lunch on the northwest shore of Fourth Lake.
Then we proceeded up the lake toward the culvert into Fifth Lake.
Then onto Fifth Lake and the channel into Sixth.  The channel is full of mud islands but we managed to maneuver around them.  I was so busy navigating I didn't take any photos in the channel.

Then onto Sixth Lake, or is it Seventh?  Different maps call it different things.  On the map above it is called Sixth.
Then we retraced our route and continued down Third Lake into Second and the end of the line.  This impressive 3-4 feet high beaver dam at the end of Second Lake, toward First, is what holds in enough water to allow you to paddle among the lakes.  We can't imagine what the area would be like without it.

We didn't have time to walk down to First Lake, though it is possible to carry your boat around and paddle First Lake as well.  We'll have to do that next time.  Instead, we headed back through Second Lake

and back into Third under blue skies for a total paddling distance of about 8 miles.

2013 Paddling Summary

Bog River to Hitchins Pond
Browns Tract
Dead Creek
Essex Chain of Lakes
Floodwood to Polliwog
Hoel, Turtle, Slang Ponds
Jessup River
Lake Kushaqua
Lake Lila
Little Tupper
Long Pond
Lower Osgood
Massawepie Lake
Middle Saranac Lake to Weller Pond
Rainbow Lake
Raquette Flow
Raquette River from Crusher to Moody
Six Carries
South Inlet to Raquette Lake
Tupper Lake to Bridge Brook Pond

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hiking from Forest Home Road to Lower Saranac

We joined an ADK hike on a mostly unmarked trail from a small pull out on the south side of Forest Home Road to the north shore of Lower Saranac Lake.  It was advertised to be 2 miles in each direction, but we added on quite a bit more looking for the trail in places.  With all the leaves down, it was not nearly as obvious as it had been when the leaders attempted it previously.  But it was a nice walk through the woods and we got to eat lunch on some big rocks on the shore of the lake.  This was our first "hike" this season because my knee has been acting up.  So I was very happy to be able to do it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paddling Lake Lila

We had a wonderful paddle today.  We drove the ~6 mile rough road into the parking lot for Lake Lila and carried the boats 1/3 mile to the shore.  But all the effort was really worth it.  It was a gorgeous fall day without a breath of wind.  This is the view from the shore before we started out.
The paddlers.
The view from our lunch stop.
Moose tracks - we stopped at one of the beaches where a moose had walked by sometime in the last couple of days.  My booted foot gives an idea of the size of the track.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Home from Oregon

I got home yesterday from a trip to Oregon to help with the final steps to move out of Dad's house.  The closing was completed a couple of days ago.  It was a successful but tiring trip.  There were some highlights, like a beautiful sunrise at breakfast.
Plus, I finally got to Fabric Depot in Portland and bought fabric for 3 projects.  And of course I got to visit with Dad and my brothers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

An Aborted Paddle - and Its Replacement

Today we were supposed to put our boats into Raquette Lake, paddle the Marion River, Utowana, Eagle and Blue Mountain lakes.  Then, after hanging out on the beach for a while, have dinner at Hemlock Hall.  That plan was changed the minute we saw the white caps on Blue Mountain Lake.  The temps in the low 40's didn't help.  So some folks went to the Adirondack Museum for a while.  But a group of us still wanted to paddle somewhere, so we put in off Route 28 and paddled up the South Inlet that flows into Raquette Lake.  We paddled up to the pretty rapids
and had lunch in a nice protected spot.  Then paddled back to the cars for a round trip distance of just over 4 miles.  It is a paddle I've wanted to do, but couldn't see driving all the way there for such a short one.  So this worked out nicely.  Then we hung out with friends in Indian Lake, finally ending up for dinner at Hemlock Hall.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More House Progress

We stopped by the lot again and saw that we now have a back wall to the great room.  Just look at the space for all those windows.
We also now have trusses to hold up the roof.