Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Time Warp

We woke up recently to the troops walking by our house in Ticonderoga! Good thing I follow the fort's Facebook page and had just read that the staff and volunteers were doing a reenactment, or else I really would have wondered what was going on. They rowed a couple of boats on Lake George and then landed and walked the approximately 5 miles down The Portage and to the fort on Lake Champlain.

They did 'cheat' a little, unlike the days of old, and their boats were trailered by truck from Lake George. Originally they had to carry their boats from one lake to the other, hence the street name "The Portage!"

Monday, July 24, 2017

Annual Hudson River Cruise

Dave and I took the Sea Fox skiff down the Hudson River last week. It was a perfect day for cruising from Catskill to Kingston. We saw many barges being towed, and in fact one tugboat was pushing 6 barges tied up together. Then we saw the barge below. If anyone knows or can even guess what this is, please let me know!

Esopus and Roundout Creek Lighthouses:

Bridges across the Roundout Creek in Kingston...I can picture a train derailing and plunging into the water:

Roundout Wooden Boat School:

Old PT Boats just sitting and waiting for revival:

Many old wooden barge skeletons are strewn along the shore. We wondered how many were below us that we couldn't see. This used to be quite an important port.

Tugs line the shore too, waiting for repairs.

Lots of barges waiting to be hauled out for restoring. It was the busiest we have ever seen it.

The whole Roundout Creek is so interesting, but the end by the falls is the prettiest.

We're already looking forward to going back next summer!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Horizon

Or as Dave calls it...a dry horizon. Meet Gulliver (as in Gulliver's Travels), a 1994 Dodge Pleasure Way camper van.

Although we have been wondering where we're going to stay in Daytona, now that my mother's house has been sold, this was a spontaneous decision when we were in the 1000 Islands. We saw it for sale on the side of the road and thought about all the new adventures we could have. Plus no more motels (aka bedbugs) and reservations. We can stay at so many different campsites along the St. Lawrence when we go there. Then in the fall when we head south, we can stay within walking distance of Mom's assisted care facility for a week or so before flying to Hope Town. We have a bathroom, fridge, stove, microwave oven,and double bed in the back. Plus a/c, heat, a generator, a great stereo system (cassettes lol!), and a trailer hitch for towing. Our kayaks can fit inside too.

A true miniature land yacht that we are ready to explore a new horizon with!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Start Your Chainsaws!

During yet another chilly windy day, we headed to the Woodsmen's Days at Tupper Lake. They didn't have as many events as they did last time we went, but it was still fun to see so many talented wood carving artists in one place. Below are a few examples of their finished crafts:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

St. Lawrence Current

Yesterday was a gorgeous day to go kayaking from Grass Point State Park. I wouldn't want to launch a boat here though, because the water is so high that part of the docks are underwater.

The workers were trying to load up this trailer full of campfire wood onto a barge, which was quite challenging.

We struggled to go up current, but stuck close to shore where it wasn't so noticeable. Then on the way back we sure went flying with the current, eddies, and whirlpools, past the lighthouse and Dave's wreck that he wants to snorkel on. Taking photos was rather challenging too, since we were going so fast, it was difficult to maneuver and stay in one place long enough to get the phone camera out and snap the shots. All we could do was laugh as we flew by (sometimes backwards 😉).

Today we went out in Foxie the Sea Fox skiff, launching from Keewaydin State Park (there are so many beautiful state parks and campgrounds along the river). With the high water, there is a 5 mph, no wake zone, 600 ft. from shore, enforced throughout the 1000 Islands. Everyone is hoping it will help keep damage and erosion down from boat wakes. This makes the going slow for quite a bit of the time, but then we get to really see the houses along the shore at trawler speed. We went over to the Canadian side by Ivy Lea and through all the little islands where the current is at least 3-4 knots. It is a spectacular area, and we even had an excellent loon encounter. A pair of loons were feeding and diving for fish as a brand new little fuzzy baby was nearby. They weren't afraid of us at all as we quietly watched them for a few minutes. Unfortunately my photos did not come out well, but what an experience.

We hated leaving and heading home today. The weather was so nice and we want to explore more, but we will be back at the beginning of August.

Monday, July 3, 2017

High Waters

We arrived in the 1000 Islands just in time for a freighter to go by!

The river is still very high and the rain from the past several days hasn't helped (we could see flooding along the Thruway, especially around Utica). This is the public dock in Alexandria Bay.

They had to build new access ramps on top of the old stationary dock that leads to floating docks. Some of the planks from the old dock have washed away with the high water and we think the blue barrels are to help hold it down. They also alert boaters that the dock is underwater and not to try to tie up. This limits the amount of boats it can accomodate which will be an issue during events like the poker run. However, it is better than nothing and it's all about adapting during this trying time in the area. Boating may be challenging with debris, unmarked rocks that are normally exposed, and current from dumping water out of the river towards Montreal. I'll let you know soon after we get out on the water.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Walk Along The Waterfront

It was another one of those cool and cloudy days, so we drove over to Burlington Vermont. They have a spectacular waterfront area, and while Dave took a bicycle ride, I did some walking.

I even came upon on a small wedding that was just finishing...happy bride!

There's also a fairly new skateboard park, and what fun to watch everyone doing tricks and maneuvers.

The Coast Guard Station is in a perfect spot and they are at the ready to go anywhere on Lake Champlain. Notice the "Dragon Boats" in the foreground. Rowing races are held during the summer.

Kids sailing camp was underway. The Burlington Sailing Center will soon be moving to their new facility that is being built. The kids and instructors had a hard time getting away from the dock with no wind. We should have brought our kayaks up, but it was 'supposed' to be windy! It figures...

The sailboats are set on their moorings for the summer. What a great spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks. However we won't be here, we will be up in the Thousand Islands viewing both Clayton and Alexandria's Bay's displays.

More from the St. Lawrence...stay tuned!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Greetings From...

Vermont and New York at the same time! To celebrate the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer, we walked across the windy Lake Champlain bridge. Hopefully the summer solstice will be the start of drier and calmer weather.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Steam and Gas

Steamy conditions with 90 degree temps and 70% humidity didn't keep us away from the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Gallupville Gas-Up. It was bigger than ever before, including some army vehicles. Below are just a few of the tractors and equipment we saw (featuring our friend Lisa on her Farm All!):

Next year we may have to bring some of our fun vehicles up to display and drive around. We have enough that we could just about have our own gas-up in our backyard! 😉

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Brrrr! He's Crazy!

We had a couple of gorgeous days on Lake George this past week. Moxie is running perfect and we cruised down to Hewlitt's Landing. Dave used the excuse that he had to dive and secure the anchor when we stopped for lunch, but I think it was more that he couldn't resist jumping in the now 64 degree water...twice, and survived to to tell about it! He wasn't in very long though.

Day number two started out with a one way kayak trip down the LaChute River. Once again I told myself not to bother to bring my camera since we've done this trip so often. Wrong. We saw muskrats, tons of birds, turtles, and more. With all our rain, the river was flowing nicely, and the weeds weren't bad yet, so we could get close to shore once we were in Lake Champlain under Fort Ticonderoga.

That same afternoon, we decided that we would tempt the weather gods and launched the Sea Doo for a blast around the north end of the lake. As the storm clouds built, we headed back to the launch ramp and arrived just as the 20 knot north wind started blowing. We beat the odds!

We headed south to home and discovered that tragedy had hit our fish pond. We thought the goldfish were hiding in the rocks, so Dave removed them and found one dead fish stuck in there and none of the other eight. We drained the pond and down in the bottom were three small fish from last year. Now we have cleaned and refilled it and have a screen on top. We think it might have been a heron since there was no sign of any fish. One gulp per fish and they were gone. Several years back I found a heron at the pond and we put the screen on, but lately I guess we became complacent. We feel guilty and will start looking to replace the 'fleet of fish'. That's our next quest.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Let Summer Begin

Yay! We finally made it out on the water...not in it (water temp was 57 degrees), but at least we were on it in Moxie. This time of year is still so quiet and we barely saw any other boats at all. Come the 4th of July, this will will all change until Labor Day, when we can take back the lake. For now we'll advantage of the serenity.

In our travels, we found a few new large camps being built. We also saw these turtles basking in the sun on the rocks and we idled by them quietly so they weren't disturbed. We all needed a bit of sun after the wet, cold spring.

We came upon this weather/data station moored off of Anthony's Nose, across from Roger's Rock. We have seen them in the southern end of the lake, but this is the first year one has been stationed in the north end. It is all part of the Jefferson Project which monitors the conditions of the lake, all to help keep the water the most pristine in the country.

What a perfect day to rediscover Lake George. After all the rain, we had a clear blue sky and no wind. "Serenity now, insanity later!"

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rainy Days & Mondays...

...always get me down. We are running out of projects to do with all this wet and chilly weather. Dave and Jim have perfected the "twirly gig" invention though. It has been stabilized with turnbuckles from a sailboat rig that allow the tension to be adjusted (living in a boatyard during the winter definitely has its advantages). Now it will be the hit of the the shows he takes it to.

So I guess rainy days and Mondays don't make Dave down, they make him 'up'!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Where Have We Been?!?!

Yes, we are still alive and well, but waiting for the spring to arrive to do fun things besides yard work, has been slow in coming. Since we tend to travel a lot, we no longer have internet service and need to rely on our shrinking mobile data, or good old McDonald's free WiFi, which is where I am posting from today. During the summer you will probably find there will be less posting, but most likely longer posts. So where HAVE we been in between all the rain? See below for some examples...

We took a day trip up to the Thousand Islands to witness the rising waters and flooding that we read about:

It was hard to tell in Clayton, which boats were already launched and which were still on dry land.
 Business as usual even though the cars were in the water!

 The stationary public docks in Alexandria Bay are underwater so floating docks were brought in.

 The tour boats were so high that these posts were built so they have something to rub against and not go ON the dock.
 We saw sandbags in several places and this tour boat had to have floating docks brought in too.

During one of the only two 90 degree days we have had so far, we took the Thunderbird to Burlington, VT. I walked while Dave rode his fold up bicycle that fits in the trunk:

We met up with Sue and Len in Quechee Gorge, Vermont, which is about halfway for them in NH and us in Ticonderoga, to meet for lunch.

We got more than we bargained for when visiting the Waterford locks where the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers converge.

Flooding has been an issue here before, so this apartment house has been raised and moved so the foundations can be repaired and brought up higher.

This was a huge barge being welded, along with its push tug at the seawall.

So now we wait for better boating weather. Meanwhile, at least all my flowering bushes are blooming and look gorgeous!

Stay tuned for more!