Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The First 24 Hours

It's been a busy 24 hours since we arrived in Alexandria Bay, also know as Alex Bay or even A-Bay.

The toys are in the water and we have a dock space at our motel, Otter Creek Inn. 

After arriving, we heard a commotion in the distance and I looked up to see what I thought were geese, but ended up being a huge convoy (or should that be flock?) of 30 army helicopters, flying in formation. The weird thing is that as we were heading west on the Thruway there were several large convoys of army vehicles heading east. It sure made us wonder what was happening...
After a fun re-introduction to the area, both on water and land yesterday, it was time to launch the kayaks this morning. As soon as we hit the water we heard 5 loud freighter horn blasts which means danger, or in this case probably, "get out of my way!" There aren't too many places in this country or the world where the pleasure craft and commercial traffic are in such tight quarters, and so close to land.

"Pretty in pink", in front of this gorgeous house that we have always admired. Nice gargoyle on the railing too.
This afternoon we spent time lazing on Moxie Beach and swimming in the brisk St. Lawrence River. The current still flies through the 'choke points' but it sure is clear and refreshing. Moxie has no problem powering though the 5 knot current here.

We even made it through the rift between Canada and the U.S. borders.

We've seen many dinghy planters, but none like this one that was actually still floating out front of an island house.

Perhaps we should name our next boat this...
I think the photo above says it all and..."tomorrow's another day!"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Double Kayak Paddling

We have spent lots of time this past week kayaking several Adirondack lakes...Lake Champlain, Schroon Lake, Brant Lake, and a few different spots on Lake George. It's been great making up for lost time from earlier this season. Yesterday we were at Putnam Pond with Jim and Sharon, who are camping there for several days (this is my favorite place to hear the call of the loons). 

Now we're headed for our annual pilgrimage to the Thousand Islands. Although the antique boat show and auction aren't until this weekend, we're taking advantage of the 90 degree summer weather and taking Moxie to explore the St. Lawrence River. Our single kayaks, Pink and Romine are also loaded up in the van and set for new adventures (this way we won't be fighting against each other when one of us wants to go one way and the other wants to paddle in a different direction ;-) ). My camera is ready, so stay tuned for some exciting posts!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Field Fresh Find

You've heard of barn fresh finds? Earlier this season we were involved in a field fresh find at a farm that was inherited by a great guy named Will.

As he was trying to clean up the fields to get them ready to plant, he found several different old pieces of 'machinery' that must have been left right where they had broken down. Dave saw this potato planter on a Craig's List ad, and we took Lynda, John and the big trailer out to investigate. It's a good thing we had help because it had to be dragged up onto the trailer.

Another find was this old well pump, but we opted not to remove this.

We did add this chassis to our collection.

Will showed us a plow, but it was so heavily entangled in growth, that he said that he would clear it better after the growing season and have us come back for it. He also thinks there is more iron in the back fields that he hasn't even gotten to, so he will keep us in mind since we love having these items outlining our property. We'll see what he comes up with this fall!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Peddle Power

Dave and I went to the annual vintage bicycle show at Howe Caverns today. The turnout wasn't as good as last year, but there were still about 85 show bikes, plus lots of parts vendors. Some of the classes were muscle bikes, vintage, custom, and even rat bikes. There was even a Shelby Flyer like mine, only in the boys edition, which was selling for $395. Mine is much nicer!

Enjoy these photos from the show....

Custom made bike that was a raffle prize.


 A Mattel Bronco styled after a motorcycle. Even the frame looks like the exhaust pipes.

Muscle bikes.

The 90 degree weather might have kept some of the people away, but then again if we wanted to cool off, we could have gone down in the caverns where it is 52 degrees! Maybe next time...

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Ticonderoga certainly is steeped in history, especially the fort. Part of the fort's vast property is Mt. Defiance and its spectacular views. We used to be able to go up there whenever we wanted to, but this year there is a fee to do so. Dave went to Ft. Ticonderoga to get a token to go up with guests and discovered that we were eligible to become ambassadors to the fort. We signed up and can now go to the fort, King's Garden, and Mt. Defiance for free. What a perfect opportunity to learn more and experience all the fort has to offer. We took a cool afternoon and made our first visit as an introduction. I have wanted to see the King's Garden and it was gorgeous.

When the Pell Family started restoring the fort, they used the 'Pavilion' overlooking Lake Champlain as their summer home. Eventually it became a hotel, but it's now abandoned. Hopefully it will some day be restored.

One of the outbuildings.

This gazebo would be perfect for a wedding.

 Dave discovered this antique step for getting into horse drawn wagons. 

Mrs. Pell developed these beautiful gardens within brick walls. Every flower is labeled with what it is, which was really helpful. I took so many flower photos, but won't bore you with them all. It really is worth a trip to see them and all the work it takes to maintain the garden. Click HERE to read a bit of the history.

There is also a greenhouse and a vegetable garden.

The entrance gates were very ornate and brought over from Europe. Originally they were at the entrance to the fort, but after a delivery truck ran into them, they were moved to the garden entrance to help preserve them.

We ventured on to the fort and arrived just in time for a musket demonstration which was very interesting.

It is amazing how many cannons there are! 

Making a meal on the earthen stove and oven.

The fife and drum corp mustered under the flag (with Mt. Defiance in the background) and marched by us, which was a perfect way to end our initiation as ambassadors! There is so much more to see next time we visit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


When the wind is blowing and we can't get out on the water, it's time to go daytrippin' to Vermont. First stop was at our favorite restaurant in Vergennes...3 Squares Cafe. We have no idea what most the trendy items are on the menu, but the food sure is good...and the desserts are decadent (our favorite is the Heaven On Earth bars). Sitting outside makes us feel like we are in another country (restaurant is in the background).

When our stomachs were full, it was time to hike Allen's Head Trail in Shelburne to burn off all those calories. It was still a bit muddy from all the rain, and we were glad to see that a bridge had been built across the little creek we used to have to jump across.

This is the hardest part o the trail, especially with all the 'rollers'...small rocks that roll when you step on them. Making it to the top wasn't too bad, but I really didn't want to turn around and look down. Luckily on the way back, there is a way to bypass this section. I've been known to slide down the hill on my butt, just so I don't fall.

At the pinnacle, Dave looked out over the anchorage at the end of Shelburne Bay, Lake Champlain. I would rather be photographer than go to the edge of the cliff. My family sure understands that feeling!

The weather started to deteriorate as another cold front approached (we went from 86 degrees that day wearing shorts and hiking boots, to 68 degrees the next day and back to coats). Time to head back to NY and more adventures...