Friday, August 18, 2017


I have joined a neat quilting group here in the north country.  One of their talented members taught a class using a Toni Whitney pattern.  They did one last year that I elected not to do.  This year I decided I should try one, even though it is not really my thing.  It is basically paint by numbers, except using fabric, but it is good to know the technique.  Maybe I'll create my own pattern someday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Paddling the Lower Osgood

We put in at Meacham Lake to paddle up the Lower Osgood River.  It was a beautiful day with fall-like temperatures.  Even though there were other boats at the put-in, we had the river to ourselves most of the time.

The cardinal flowers were in abundance.

We had not been on the river for a while and were very surprised to come upon downed trees completely blocking the river, just past the house and dock.  We didn't even make it to Mud Pond.

We managed to climb up the bank where others had clearly taken out to carry around the blockage.  But this is what we found on the other side, a mucky mess that we didn't want to walk through.

We elected to turn around instead, so we paddled a total of 8 miles.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Biking the Bloomingdale Bog Trail

We had an "interesting" adventure/bike ride today.  We had not been on the Bloomingdale Bog trail for several years so didn't remember clearly what the trail was like.  But people talk about biking on it, so we decided to give it a try.  We started at the Route 86 end.  The trail was good for a while, but we eventually came to a place where it was completely flooded, not too surprising given the weather we have been having.  We walked our bikes through the water - better to just get wet feet than to risk falling in off a bike sliding in the mud.  And those sneakers needed to be washed anyway.  Then some more mud, which we walked around as much as we could.  But then the tree roots!  No way to ride over them, especially with my hybrid bike.  More walking.  Then the trail improved markedly and it was a smooth ride to the other end, about 3 1/2 miles one way.  Then back over the trail again to the beginning.  The ride took us two hours and we were wiped out by the end.  Lunch at Left Bank Cafe was a nice reward.  I doubt we will ride that trail again.  But it is a nice walk and the blueberries along the way were yummy.  We were bothered by mosquitoes whenever we stopped, but that may just be a result of this very wet year.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Crusher to Moody

Just the two of us had a nice 8-mile paddle on the Raquette River from the Crusher to the state boat launch at Moody.  Since we have two cars here, we can do two-ended paddles by ourselves.  With the iffy weather, it is hard to plan ahead for a group paddle.  Today was very nice with light winds and temperature in the upper 70's.  And we mostly had the river to ourselves. 
I love the reflections on the still water.

We stopped for lunch at the spot we stopped at last time, not too far downstream from the museum.

The while water lilies are finally in bloom.  I think the high water drowned lots of them.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hike to Trombley Landing

The weather turned out to be much better than expected today, so we decided to hike down to Trombley Landing, something we had not done for several years.  We were surprised to find the trail very grown over and realized there is no longer a sign at the parking area.  We wonder if it is no longer a maintained trail.  It was also very wet given the amount of rain we have had.  In places the trail had turned into a stream.  But about half way along it turned into the trail I remember with balsam firs lining it.

We found the lean-to full of a group of scouts and their leaders.  The river is very full.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lake Placid Sinfonietta

We have been really enjoying the Sinfonietta concerts again this year.  I elected not to post about each one since there are six in six weeks.  Some of the highlights have been the pianist Joyce Yang playing Liszt and Chopin and the group Cherish the Ladies.  Two more concerts to go.

New Jersey

After a busy weekend taking down the quilt show, we drove to New Jersey on Monday to see the family and get NJ peaches, which were yummy as always.  We spent Friday at the beach at Point Pleasant.

We drove back to camp yesterday and were very happy for the cooler temperatures, even though the rains have not let up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Paddling the North Branch of the Saranac River

Five of us had a great paddle today.  We put in from the Kushaqua-Mud Pond Road in Onchiota and headed up the North Branch of the Saranac River.  It keeps raining so the water was quite high.  We just had to get out twice to pull over beaver dams.  We were able to "skooch" across the others.  We got further upstream than we ever have before.  We were very surprised to find this new dock, which was a great place to stop for lunch on the way back downstream.

We walked up the path behind it and found this sign.

It says to drop off your canoe here, then move your car to the North Branch parking area.  We didn't see such a place, until we explored in the car after the paddle.  The marked parking lot is on Kushaqua-Mud Pond Road north of the put-in, and 0.8 mile from the dock!  There was plenty of room to park cars right by the sign.  Somehow, I doubt that people really move their cars.  It also doesn't seem worth it to put a boat in at this dock.  We only paddled about 3 miles upstream from our cars, so it doesn't seem necessary to shorten the paddle further.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stitchin' B's

We have spent the last 1 1/2 days assembling quilt racks

and hanging quilts for the Stitchin' B's quilt camp and show.

It is quite an operation involving lots of really nice folks.  I'm enjoying getting to know this group of talented quilters in the North Country.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Waterfalls Along the West Branch of the Ausable River

We had hoped to hike along the Ausable River while the water was really high, but it has not rained for 5 days!!!! so there was much less water than we expected.  But we still enjoyed the views.  We started at Wilmington Notch campground, hiking down the steep slope to the falls.

Then we walked upstream for a bit.

We then drove a little further along to the "flume" where we again walked along the river.

We watched trout jumping up this falls, though they didn't make it very far.

We turned around at the bottom of the flume.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Staining the Deck

I've created a new "Deck Staining" label so I can look back and see when we did it.  We looked at the weather forecast on Tuesday and discovered it was not supposed to rain for several days.  So instead of heading out on the water, we scraped, sanded, and put two coats on the deck and the back porch and stairs.  It should be good for at least a couple of years.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Orchids at the VIC

It actually wasn't raining today so we went to the Visitor's Interpretive Center (VIC) to see the orchids.  The Boreas trail leads to a boardwalk through the bog and lots of neat orchids.

Rose Pogonia

Calopogon, which is my favorite.

White Fringed Orchis

And of course there were lots of pitcher plants blooming.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Paddling the Flow

I paddled down to the end of the lake today to go to the post office.  Then I circumnavigated the lake looking for loons.  We do the annual loon survey on Saturday, so this was a preview.  Unfortunately, I only saw one loon.  It was a beautiful, calm day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Six Carries Paddle

I did the six carries paddle with the group today.  Since I didn't have anyone to help carry my boat, it was quite a slog that I don't think I'll do again.  The first carry is over 1/2 mile long and there are two others that are at least 1/4 mile.  Some of the "lakes" in between are so small it seems like mostly carries interspersed with short paddles.  I would have liked to pause for photos - the rose pagonia orchids are blooming - but since I am slow on the carries I pushed along on the paddling portions.  After the carries there are three larger lakes but wind can be a problem on them.  This time the winds were at our back so that was good.  We were afraid rain would force us to shorten the trip but the weather was surprisingly good.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hiking Stone Valley

We had a wonderful hike in Stone Valley today.  The weather was perfect and the Raquette River was amazing.  We have had so much rain the river was really full.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Paddling the Saranac River - Sort of

Well, we were paddling, though in a tandem canoe not our own boats, and we were on the Saranac River starting from Pine Street in Saranac Lake and heading downstream, but it was part of the river clean-up organized by a couple of the local paddling outfitters.  We spent several hours on the river and cleaned up lots of stuff.  We thought we would be wading and using the canoe mostly as a garbage repository, but we have had so much rain the water was much too high for that.  So we paddled along the shore and picked up what we could, including two tires, one shoe, lots of bottles, and lots and lots of styrofoam.  Others picked up chairs, dock pieces, a mattress, etc.  The outfitters treated us to a barbecue afterwards.  It was a good day, in part because we actually didn't get rained on while we were on the river.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Paddling the North Branch of the Moose River

We had a wonderful paddle today.  The weather was perfect, not too hot or too windy, but windy enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay, most of the time.  We put in at the bridge off Rondaxe Road and paddled 12 miles down the river to Mountain Man in Old Forge.

The water was high and swift making it a very easy paddle.  We stopped for lunch where North Road crosses the river.  A couple miles further we did the 1/4 mile portage around Indian Rapids.  While waiting for the drivers to shuttle back to the beginning so we could start the paddle we found a number of cedar waxwings stripping berries off a bush.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Deer Fly Season

It seems to be earlier each year.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Paddle from South Creek to Second Pond

We did one of our favorite paddles today, putting in again at South Creek, paddling across Middle Saranac, down the river and through the Upper Lock, and across the western end of Lower Saranac to the take out on Second Pond.  We learned that the Lower Lock is still under construction.
We had lunch at campsite 46 on Lower Saranac, not far from where the river flows in.  It was a beautiful day and not too many bugs.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mirror Lake

We walked the 3 miles around Mirror Lake this morning.  It is a great place to go if you want to stretch your legs away from the bugs.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Paddling to Weller Pond

Another beautiful day and a paddle to Weller Pond with our friends.  The bugs didn't bother us too much on yesterday's wildflower walk.  We weren't sure what to expect on the paddle.  None bothered me as I paddled down South Creek.

But swarms of black flies caught me as I got out onto the lake, which was strange.

Once we got out to the middle of the lake, they finally dispersed.  No wind is great for paddling, but not so good for keeping the bugs away.  We were sure they would be bad when we stopped for lunch on Tock Island.  Be we had no problem at all, even with no wind.

The clouds started building while we were at lunch and got thicker as we paddled back to the car.  The black flies were so bad out on the lake that I resorted to a headnet, which I rarely wear.  I had lots of insecticide on so they weren't biting, but I couldn't stand their bouncing off my face.

Once I was home I discovered bites on my legs and back that had been covered.  I had forgotten how well the flies make their way under clothing.

Despite the insects, it was a beautiful paddle.  But I won't be looking to do more than one a week until after bug season.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


After a couple of rainy days when we first arrived at camp, we finally got some sunshine today and went to Hayes Brook Trail to see the lady slippers.  They were wonderful as always.  The rains have really brought out the wildflowers this year.

After we got home I discovered 5 lady slippers in the area to the left of our deck.  I need to explore to see if I can find more.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Catching Up

We went to our 50th college reunion over Memorial Day weekend.  Then we had our final chorus concert last evening.  Tomorrow, we head for camp for the summer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

More Princeton Activities

We have had a busy few days in Princeton.  Thursday the 18th we attended another excellent 55PLUS lecture, got some lunch, then attended a Westminster at Nassau concert with oboe, viola, and piano.  Sunday we were in town again for Princeton Pro Musica's concert of Orff's "Carmina Burana."  Monday evening I went to my weekly line dancing class.  Then last night was a marvelous free concert by members of the Princeton music faculty plus some NJSO musicians.  It was a wind quintet plus piano and they played

  • Mozart - Quintet in E-flat major for piano, clarinet, English horn, bassoon and oboe.
  • Louise Farrenc - Sectour in C Minor, which added flute to the above group of instruments 
  • Irving Fine - Partita for Wind Quintet
  • Francis Poulenc - Sextuor for Piano and Wind Quintet

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


We have never seen as many trillium as are in bloom now.   Our woods are full of painted trillium.

We have some red trillium as well, but not nearly as many as are now in bloom along the trail up Goodman Mountain.  A friend told us about them so we stopped there on our drive back to New Jersey today.  
There are apparently also lots of dutchman's breeches and trout lilies in bloom near the summit.  We'll have to be sure we get up there next spring.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Paddling Long Pond

We were supposed to drive back to New Jersey today, but the weather was beautiful and Monday's high winds caused the paddle on Long Pond to be put off 'til today.  Plus it was rainy all weekend so we felt we needed more nice days at camp.  We had another great paddle.  The black flies were about but not biting much and we chose a windy spot for lunch so they didn't bother us too much.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Paddling from Axton Landing to the Crusher

We drove to camp yesterday and joined the ADK paddle today on the Raquette River.  The weather was perfect with temps near 60 and lots of sunshine.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

NYC to see Kevin Kline

Today we took the train to New York to see Kevin Kline in "Present Laughter" by Noel Coward.  It was great fun.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Another Great Day in Princeton

I've been so busy I don't have time to blog about what I'm doing, which I guess is a good thing.
This morning we went to another of the 55Plus lectures in Princeton.  The speaker was W. Steven Barnett from Rutgers.  His topic was "Does Public Preschool Education do More Harm than Good."
It doesn't, especially when it is done well, which it turns out is the case in some parts of New Jersey.

Since our favorite deli in Kingston is no longer open, we went searching for someplace else for lunch.  I had heard about the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market in Kingston and wanted to check it out.  What a great find.  We spent an hour there exploring the different vendors, having lunch, then lots of shopping.  We got fantastic smoked pork chops and lunch meat from the butcher, goodies from the bakery, salads from another stand, etc.  We'll have to be sure to go back next winter for the monthly pig roast - last Saturday of the month in January through October.  I'm sure it will be delicious.

Then we walked the towpath south from Kingston.  It was a very nice day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bach's Mass in B Minor

Back to Princeton for another concert, this time at McCarter and performed by Gaechinger Cantorey of Stuttgart.  They played on period instruments, which had to be retuned frequently, but were really nice to hear.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bela Fleck Concert

We saw a great concert last evening in Princeton, featuring Bela Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn.  They played a variety of banjos - who knew there were so many - and she sang and even danced.  It was a fun evening.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trip to Oregon

S and I just returned from a rather harrowing trip to visit Dad in Oregon.  Her cooler containing all her food was dumped, apparently deliberately by TSA, on the trip out so we had to scout for things she could eat.  Then there was one annoyance after another that added to the stress of the trip.  And the weather was bad, but it did manage to clear for a bit on Sunday morning.  So we escaped for a quick trip to the coast.  We started at Yaquina Head and were surprised to discover it does not open until 10 AM on weekends; but earlier during the week, which doesn't make any sense.  Since we had to get back to check out of our hotel, we climbed over the barrier and took a quick walk toward the lighthouse and down to the rocky beach.  Then we headed south to Seal Rock which has no gate.  It was really neat and we wished we had more time to explore.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Munich Philharmonic in Concert

Another great concert at NJPAC:

  • Don Juan by Richard Strauss
  • Piano Concerto for the Left Hand by Maurice Ravel with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard - this was my favorite piece
  • Symphony No. 3 by Beethoven

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

End of Vacation

We left Savannah Monday morning and drove 8 hours back to Harrisonburg, VA.  Yesterday we drove to Burkholders Fabrics in Lancaster County, PA where we shopped for fabrics for about 2 1/2 hours.  Then to the motel in Lancaster.  This morning we went to the AQS quilt show, then more fabric shopping before heading home.  Our schedule was determined by the fact that we had to be home in time for chorus rehearsal tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Savannah, Georgia

Our guided trip ended after breakfast this morning.  We said our goodbyes and drove to Savannah for the day.  We took a trolley ride to get an overview of the city, including seeing neat buildings

went to the art gallery, then headed for our bed and breakfast on Jones Street.
The Eliza Thompson house is very nice.

It has a neat courtyard with a fountain and lots of bronze statues.

I especially like the little boy with his ice cream cone.

Tomorrow we drive back to Harrisonburg, VA on our way to Pennsylvania.