Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paddling Pink

Having Pink in Daytona has been great! On my first trip out in the Halifax River I saw tons of different water birds and even several dolphins frolicking in the distance. WooHoo! I'm so glad to be paddling again....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Falling Leaves To Palm Trees

Although we had a great fall and the colors were gorgeous, the cold weather set in and we have headed south. We are now in Daytona for the next few weeks until we head to Abaco. This year we drove the van and have Dave's bicycle and my pink kayak with us, so we will have lots to do while we are here.

Dave's last ortho appointment went very well and the doctor was pleased with his progress. She said he could even waterski if if he felt he could. His femur is mostly healed on the inside but on the outside there are still gaps. I'm sure that's why he still limps with the bone roughness irritating his muscles and tendons. The bone is doing 50% of the work and the rod is doing the other 50% of the work. Unless he has pain in the future, all his hardware will remain and not be taken out. Now it's time to go out and have some fun and ride around on his Helix motorcycle and build up his strength!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Death of a Junkyard

Dave is my guest commentator today. Who would be more qualified to talk about junk?
Recently I had the privilege of joining my friends Kevin, Walt and Jimmy for a tour of the demise of a large local automotive wrecking yard. This is where all vehicles come to die. The death throes of a vehicle are amazing to think about. This particular yard was 50 acres with 3-4,000 cars. It was being completely cleared to make room for a new purpose of the property. Vehicle age varied from the 1940's to the present. It was bittersweet watching the property being transformed and the cars getting scrapped. Junkyards are being lost to progress and rising property taxes. Here is a photo journal of some of the highlights of my day in the junkyard.
After the vehicles are stripped of their saleable parts, they are handled with an articulated loader with forks. This S-10 pick-up is only moments away from being crushed for scrap metal.
 The crusher is a massive, but portable, diesel powered hydraulic press. It is movable to different yards.

Three to four vehicles are compressed to a package this high, then netted to prevent parts from flying off as it goes down the road on a tractor trailer.

Van bodies always hold treasure as they are an economical way of keeping parts out of the elements.

School buses are especially popular due their large interiors. This Reo is from the late 1940's.

This yard had an amazing collection of every kind of car you have ever seen. Here is an AMC Gremlin. You could claim the vehicles by spray painting them with your name and number.

Deeper into the woods, the older the vehicles got. Here is a '57 Chevy four door wagon.

Massive fins were everywhere. These belonging to a 1959 Cadillac Sedan Deville.

Do you remember the V-8 powered Maverick Grabber?

Here is a Ford Pinto Runabout that is sinking into the dirt. The cars went on as far you could see.

It was especially cool seeing vintage imports. Here is a Hillman from about  1960.
 More fins. A 1960 Plymouth Valiant shows its Continental trunk, flanked by 1960 Chevys.

Here is a late 50's Chrysler Saratoga, probably with a Hemi, holding down a 1960 Ford.

There were trails between the cars that were just wide enough to access them.
Here is another collection of buses just brimming with parts.
 A huge excavator had a full time job just making the vehicles accessible to the forklift/loader.
Here is another one of the crusher presses on wheels. This scarp metal will go to a processing plant and be sold on world markets, usually China and the Far East.
There is probably over a year's work for the crew. When it's all said and done, the landscape will be unrecognizable from its former glory. It will all be a memory....and I was there.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Today we went to watch a motorcycle trials competition. Dave has participated in observed trials riding before at the same place, but this year for obvious reasons, we were just spectators (click here for the post on his experience). We could only walk to the closest two courses, but they were the ones that experts had to complete, so it was a great experience.

The official observer watches the riders on each course to count any mistakes made, such as putting your feet down or leaning on rocks and trees. He indicates with his hand in the air and putting up how many fingers when mistakes, called dabs, are made. Then he records that number on the rider's score card, which are later tallied up and the winners announced.

 Riders can also walk the course to familiarize themselves with the obstacles and come up with a plan of action.
These bikes are really light and need no seat because you never sit down. An engine skid plate helps because we heard lots of scaping when they were going over the rocks.
Each class has a different route they must take through each of the 8 courses (done 4 times!). This was an expert rider and jumped his bike from the ground up to the top of this rock. Amazing!
 Oops! I think he has had his share of dabs from the count on the officials hand.

Challenging and the closed fist indicates no dabs!

This rock was almost vertical and sharp enough to catch some air. We saw one rider land on his front wheel here and ended up crashing. He got up and continued on the course.

It takes lots of concentration and girls are great at it!
 This was our favorite feat of the day....he flew over the whole obstacle!
Even though Dave has started riding his motorcycles again, he certainly wasn't up to participating. Next year though, he will return to try his hand (& wrist & leg) at this event. Hopefully during next summer he will even build his own trials course to practice on, here in our woods. We have the obstacles ready to go and our Ford 555 Hercules is up for the job. Now we just need Dave to be recovered and have the stamina to construct it!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mile After Mile

Last weekend we went to the famous Warrensburg townwide garage sale. What once must have started out as the locals bringing out their unused items to sell, has involved into a huge event with thousands of people attending. Mile after mile of not only private sales, but now also vendors of new and used wares, vintage items and antiques, and just plain "stuff" lined up and down the main road and side streets. Plus tons of food everywhere too! We only covered about a third of the town and didn't want to overdo it with Dave's leg making him sore and tired.


When we left and headed south on the Northway I-87 at about noon, we were amazed to see that the northbound traffic for the exit was backed up at least 3 miles! I wonder if some of those people even made it in time before the vendors closed down for the day. We sure were glad to be going the opposite direction.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Rain, Rain Go Away..."

"...Please come again another day." A day when we aren't trying to see the gorgeous leaves this fall! We met our friends Heinz and Jacqueline up in Lake Placid for some window shopping and leaf peeping yesterday. Unfortunately it was drizzly and chilly, but despite the weather, we even went up the Whiteface Mountain gondola ride. The colors were definitely at their peak, but I bet they would have been spectacular if there was sun on them.


Signage at the summit:
Near where we got off the gondola at the top, there was a ski patrol and communications building being built. This is how the materials get up the mountain...

Then it really started raining and there was nowhere to hide out of the wetness, so we didn't stay long and headed back down.

It's quite a steep journey!
Back at the base station, Dave and Jacky pose by our gondola.
It may have been a gray day but it certainly didn't dampen our spirits. What a fun time with great friends. Thank you so much Jacqueline and Heinz!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ti to Ti

Last weekend when we were with Sue and Len, we went from Ti to see the Ti....the steamship Ticonderoga that is. It was a crisp fall day to visit the Shelburne Museum in Vermont and we all took tons of photos to remember the day.

The Ticonderoga is a side paddle wheel ship that plied the waters of Lake Champlain until it was transported slowly across land to it's finally resting place on the museum grounds during the winter of 1955. It was dragged almost two miles on temporary rails taking approximately two months. This 220 ft. long and 59 ft. wide ship has been refurbished and is spectacular inside and out.
The side paddle wheel
The horizontal walking beam that transfers the power from the engine to the paddle wheel.
The engineers control station.
 The dining room.
 The galley.
 There are steam driven generators that produce 110 volts of DC power. These gauges were made in Schenectady.
The boilers. 
 Creepy inside the boilers. Dave called it 'Hell'.
 Crew's quarters just forward of the engine room. Must have been hot!
 Dave and I explore the forward freight deck where it could transport up to 28 vehicles. Not only did the Ti used to take freight, but also would transport up to 1000 passengers!
The rest of the museum was fantastic too, and many of the displays were thanks to  Electra Havemeyer Webb and her eclectic collections. This is the same woman who had the Ticonderoga brought to the museum grounds.
There were buildings devoted to horse drawn vehicles.

Whole buildings were transferred here also, including the schoolhouse and the Colchester Reef Lighthouse.
There was a railroad display complete with locomotive that was also built in Schenectady.
The hunting lodge
Dave checks out the jail....and prisoner Sue.
The double wide covered bridge.
 Besides these carousel animals, this long building had a huge display of miniatures of an entire parade of circus acts (on the left side of the photo) and at the end it had the circus in progress under the tent.
Another favorite of ours was the general store, including the pharmacy.

 It took the whole day to explore this awesome museum and I'm sure we'll find even more when we go back next time!
I even had my Ticonderoga shirt on!