Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to the Barn

The Bayliner has circled back to the storage shed for the winter. Although Dave did get it running again, there is still an unsettling ticking noise from the engine. We're running out of time to delve any further into the problem, so we'll start fresh in the spring. We're looking forward to getting Full Circle reliable enough to take it for overnight jaunts to Lake Champlain's Valcour Island and to the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Gotta love the tow vehicle though!


Good Advice #1...

Don't forget to chock your trailer wheels. After unhooking the tongue of the trailer, the Bayliner rolled back off the planks it was on, stopped only by the back wall of the shed.

Good Advice #2...

If someone yells "LOOK OUT!", duck and run. When Dave saw the boat trailer rolling, that's what he yelled, and I had a wicked flashback. The last time he said that while working on a boat, was when we had our Caliber 28 sailboat. It was having its mast removed in preparation for being transported from Florida to Lake Champlain, and I was on deck guiding the mast up from the boat itself. Apparently the mast wasn't positioned properly as the crane raised it, and the added weight flipped the mast upside down. Both the crane driver and Dave yelled those famous words, "LOOK OUT!" I had no idea what was happening, but running and ducking saved my life. I missed being beheaded by mere inches. That happened way back in 1987, but when Dave yelled as the Bayliner started rolling (I was walking away from the boat at the time) it all came back to me. Wow, another full circle event. Better yet, maybe we should rename the boat Deja Vu!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

High Again?

Gee, we seem to get high quite often lately. This time I opted not to partake and left the 'fun' to Dave.

He had to replace some stripped and leaking screws on our slippery, steep man-cave garage roof in Ticonderoga. I'll pass, thank you!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


We defiantly defied the mosquitoes on our annual fall 'rite of passage' hike on Mt. Defiance. It was worth it though, because the view of both Lake George and Lake Champlain is fantastic. It was one of those crisp clear days, which we have had few of lately, so it made us really appreciate the weather and our surroundings.

As we sat there at the pinnacle of this land between the lakes (which is what Ticonderoga means), the water was shimmering in the sun and we could see how Lake George is actually higher than Lake Champlain.

Lake George:

Lake Champlain:

It was extremely peaceful and serene. Birds were flitting around in the trees and calling to each other. We got a close up view of a turkey vulture as it almost came face to face with us. Then we were treated with two eagles soaring in the updrafts. Suddenly a small flock of geese flew in formation overhead, but diverted quickly when they got a glimpse of the eagles. I could just imagine the leader yelling, "Everyone go right, go right NOW!" They just about ran into each other when the head goose turned, but then fell back into formation and continued their migration south. It certainly made us think about how we will soon be heading that way also.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Better Late Than Never

It has been over two years, but we finally made it back to our favorite place on Lake Champlain, Valcour Island. It was a spur of the moment decision when we woke to find clear blue skies and not a breath of wind. We just couldn't resist driving from Ticonderoga to the Peru launch ramp, just south of Plattsburgh, and kayaking over to the island. Champlain is a lake of many moods, and it isn't too often that it is flat calm, especially at this time of year.

One of the things that is so special about Valcour is that it has many pretty coves and bays that are all just a little different. You can almost always find protection somewhere around the island in any wind direction. We pulled the kayak up on the rocks in the North Bluff Point anchorage.

Once anchored, or in our case beached, there are all sorts of walking and hiking trails that go around the island and also crisscross through it. We had a great hike visiting several different coves and went up to the Bluff Point Lighthouse.

Looking west to New York from the lighthouse.

South Bluff Point anchorage with the Adirondack Mountains in the distance. The water level in the lake is still quite high.

View from Smuggler's Harbor on the east side of the island looking towards the Green Mountains of Vermont. There are many fossils among the rocks here.

Sloop Cove overlook, still on the island's east side.

Butterfly Bay, back on the northwest side with Plattsburgh in the distance.

Usually the trails are impeccably maintained, but Tropical Storm Irene recently blew down quite a few trees along the pathways. Although challenging at times, we managed to climb over, crawl under, or divert around the debris.

The trails are diverse and meander through fields, marshes, and woods. We even saw deer prints going down to the water.

It certainly was a gorgeous fall day and we are so glad we caught Lake Champlain in such a good mood!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off-Road Adventures

The Pink Ladies still rule the trails! Sara and I had to amuse our fans by showing off our helmet pigtails.

Meanwhile Dave has given up 4 wheelin' for 8 wheeling!

Andy and Stacy provided the burgers and dogs, plus Awesome Andy provided us with a fantastic private concert of many of our favorite classic rock songs.

We all gave a definite thumbs up to this 'Rally in the Woods'.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mt. Greylock

Time to get high again! Not as high as Whiteface Mt., but the views are still spectacular.

This time we took our motorcycle to the mountain's summit in Massachusetts. It's a great afternoon ride covering three states, NY, VT, and MA.

At the top there is a war memorial that adds to the ambiance. If you click on the pictures you should be able read about it.

Throughout the mountainside there is a myriad of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail. It's a long walk to the the end in either direction!

There is even an emergency shelter for hikers if the weather turns stormy, complete with fireplaces and wood, with benches to sleep on.

In the distance you can see all the gigantic windmill generators near Jiminy Peak Ski Resort (try cicking on the picture to see them better).

The trip back down the mountain on the bike is especially fun. Dave usually turns the engine off so we just glide along silently downhill. Check out the reflection on his helmet.

Fall is definitely here and we are getting into our favorite season for motorcycle riding, both on and off the road.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So many things are going on and so many ideas come to mind to blog about, that I thought I'd ramble on about several, all in one post.

The waters are receding from the floods up here, with lots of damage left in its wake. I cannot help to wonder how many boats are stuck in the Erie Canal system for the winter, since most of the locks are closed.

Even after Irene we had another 5 days of rain from Lee, causing more flooding. Here is some of the mud left behind.

However, in the 'calm between the storms', I had two days of glassy calm kayaking which was a real treat.

Roger's Rock, also known as Roger's Slide, even had climbers heading to the top.

It's not always fun and games for us though. Here in Glenville, our cellar has become wetter and mustier than ever. I finally found the culprit(s). Water is seeping in the concrete block walls. There has been an enclosed room that we called the museum, where some antiques, family heirloom pictures, photo albums, Dave's mother's bottle collection, and her huge collection of National Geographic magazines were stored. Needless to say all of the magazines and most photos had to be thrown away. The mold was on everything including an old rug that was on the floor from Dave's grandmother's house. Even the paneled walls had to be taken down (masks and gloves worn). This is our first step in ridding a problem that has always plagued this house. Step two will be gutters to help keep the water away from the foundation and drying the cellar out. In the scope of things, this is nothing. We're just so glad we aren't shoveling out Mohawk River mud like my aunt, uncle, and cousins are.

Two days before Irene made a visit to the Northeast, the center span of the new Champlain Bridge was floated to the site, raised up, and put into place. We didn't get to see it in person, but several times during the day we could see the progress on D.O.T.'s website.

The Bayliner's engine problem has been diagnosed as a rocker arm falling off, bending the push rod. Parts have arrived and all we have to do is find time and weather to install them.

Meanwhile, Hercules the Ford 555 backhoe is all apart down to the engine block. Many MANY parts are arriving, including a crank. One of the cylinders is scored and needs to have a sleeve installed so the engine is at a repair shop getting this done.

It is almost time for our goldfish to go to their winter home, living in an aquarium at our friend James' house. He'll need a bigger fish tank this year, since these little orange devils have replicated (usually the fish eggs are eaten by the others before they even develop). I counted 11 tenacious little fish plus the 9 original ones. Yikes! Anyone want to start a pond of their own?

One of the burned out neighboring houses up in Ticonderoga was finally demolished last month. This provided a great morning's worth of entertainment.

Last but not least, I am going to remove the Legend freight boat experience from the right sidebar of the blog. From what we have read online, last winter the shipping company ran into some problems and didn't pay their bills, causing the boat to be seized by U.S. Marshalls. After going to court and paying the bills and fines, the boat was released. However, we have no idea if the Legend does the trip anymore. Last we heard, all items being shipped to Green Turtle Cay (no passengers) go to Marsh Harbour first, usually on the Duke of Topsail, then get loaded on to the Legacy (sistership of the Legend) and taken to Green Turtle Cay. One more step in getting supplies delivered, meaning more time and I'm sure more money involved. Another reason why they say "Abaco's not for sissies."

Instead of the Legend, I will put links to my Rideau Canal posts on the sidebar until we get back to the Bahamas.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finally Some Good News

New Horizon lives on! We just got an email from the boatyard saying that the only damage they can see is that the small windshield in the flybridge has broken and is missing. They also sent pictures of the outside of the boat that showed that all our other 'toys' (kayak, windsurfer) are still on board. Our dinghy and skiff are sitting pretty with their canvas covers on, so it looks like our 'floating marina' will be present this winter. Even our solar panel is still attached to the davit on the back of the boat, and hopefully the batteries continue to be charged. As an added bonus, the inside of the boat is dry with no water intrusion. After seeing the flooding and damage at Green Turtle Cay, we have no idea how everything survived so well. We must be doing something right when we prepare our boats for summer storage.

We are so relieved and thankful, and really appreciate how well Abaco Yacht Services takes care of our boats...and us!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What Next?

I always thought that living in upstate New York was always the safest place to live, especially as far as natural disasters are concerned. The past few weeks certainly have proven me wrong. First we felt the earthquake, as small as it was. Then we experienced the wrath of Irene, followed by the horrendous flooding nearby us.
Yesterday it was a tornado that touched down in a neighboring town! Click HERE for a YouTube video of the storm and tornado. We were home at the time and knew a bad storm was coming from the intensity of the thunder. When I looked at the radar on my computer, I discovered a tornado WARNING for Glenville where we live. It was one of those moments when you can't believe what you are seeing, but yep, there it was, "the tornado will be near Glenville at 5:50PM". I yelled for Dave, who was outside watching the approaching storm, grabbed my cellphone, purse, asthma meds, and computer (I could actually get wifi in the basement LOL), and flew down the cellar stairs. Dave opted for standing at the back window eying the sky, with the cellar door open, commenting "if there is a tornado I am going to be really pissed off!" I knew that we would be safe because our house is concrete, but the aftermath could be devastating. The wind really picked up from several different directions as one of those dark, flat bottomed clouds passed by. Then the sky got lighter and the rain eased, so thankfully we were in the clear. This morning I learned that the tornado began in Amsterdam, about 10 miles away, and travelled west for 7 miles, into West Glenville. If you do the math, that means it was approximately 3 miles from us...way too close for comfort! It was only an F1, but still did tons of damage. We were lucky and Someone must have been looking out for us once again.