Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Vacation Memories

 The McMahon Boys gathered for a day, unintentionally spending it in a bar.  Really.  A planned trip to a Sabres game didn't work out, I'm placing the blame for that and most of our culture's problems on the ticket agencies that are buying all the tickets and holding them hostage.
  The last time I went to a Sabres game it was at the Aud.  The bar we went to had some of the Blue Seats from the lower level of the Aud, and the screen in front of us had the players life-size so we were OK.  The Sabres lost in a shoot out, don't know when that started or what can be done about it.  Las Vegas, yes, they have a hockey team, came out ahead in this shoot out.
  The female contingent met us after Jen's wedding shower, haven't been to one of those in a few years either.  Each of them, and a few nieces, had a camera so we did our best to look in each direction.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Vacation Memories

  Rather than use this vacation day for a spring ski, I'm strolling down memory lane of the past winter's skiing.  Took a trip to Highland Forest near Fabius with Armin one Sunday morning to get a taste of groomed trails and witness the dumping of clinging snow that transformed the forest.

  Closer to home I went out in Caroline with Connie and Andy to the Super Secret Pond and admire the new heron nests.  There used to be ten or more nests there but for some reason they have fallen and not replaced.  Steve put a brace and platform on one trunk and within a few days a nest was under construction.  One reason I always held for the abandonment of the rookery was that the tall trunks with sturdy branches to nest on had decayed and fallen.  A nest a few feet above waterline showed that wasn't it.  Glad they're back.
  A local ski club has installed a bench on the trails at Hammond Hill in memory of Tob, a skier who passed last year and is indirectly responsible for me skiing and living in Ithaca.  He and fellow family members would travel from Ithaca to Westfield to sweep their categories in the Chautauqua Overland Ski Marathon, my introduction to skiing.  Made me wonder what was in the snow in Ithaca.

Vacation Memories

  During my February break there wasn't any skiing to be had in the region, so my canceled trip to the Adirondacks turned into one to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.  The trip included a swing through Rochester and then along the Lake Ontario shore heading west for someplace new to me.  I've now circumnavigated the lake, mostly by bike and this section was nice enough to return on bike sometime.
  Stayed in the US at Niagara Falls, and even with the closest observation points closed due to ice I'm baffled why so many say you have to go to Canada for the best views.  Explored some of the area downriver from the falls and hoped to go down into Devil's Hole but the steps were too icy.  Still had a good view of the ice jam in the river from above.
  The Buffalo portion included a stop at Helene and Pat's new house, Will and Henry are also claiming ownership, at least on their individual rooms.  That I stayed at Janet's says nothing about the new place, it's sweet.  It was the first time back to Janet's since our mom died.


Vacation Memories

  Gail got in a last swim for a bit on a warm day, February 20.  Winter was setting in for real you know.
  Really, she had hip surgery the next day, just a clean-up, not a replacement this time.  But an incision is an incision, or in this case a cluster of small ones, so no swimming for a few weeks.  The Dog Therapy did its charm and I'm happy to say she's back in the pool and lake.  And she's happy to be there.
  It's spring you know.
  In the interim, Bean still needed to get out for his walks, as I do for a different purpose.  One day we stayed out long enough to see the bare ground covered with a couple inches of snow.  He was in need of a haircut at the time so his eyebrows got a quick coating of snow too.
  I often see where Bean will take me, it usually ends up being places he goes with Gail.  One day it was the Commons and he insisted Gail gives him a sharpie to "mark" his territory in a way other than the usual.  I gave him the sharpie.

Vacation Memories

  Skiing season is over in Six Mile Creek, but it was pretty good and I spent most of my skiing hours and trail work there.  The top picture is from a storm in March that didn't deliver the goods when it came to being able to ski, but it gave the woods a special look for a few days.
  Another storm came with a fog that shrouded the meadow and forest in secrecy.  A trail has passed a large Black Birch for all the years I've skied here, but I never realized it was a birch because it was too big for my conception of the species.  Red Oaks continue to fall in a particular spot, this lifetime trail-blocker is one of five or six that have come down in the past few years.
  On the bottom is a waterfall of a feeder stream where some fellas have decided they have building privileges.  I spent two days dismantling and sending the rocks and logs over the waterfalls.  This is from the second one when I marveled at how much had already been washed away from the first day.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Posts Trickling In

Password troubles again, why is it so hard to remember if it's abcd1234 or 1234abcd?
Two more pictures from earlier this winter.  Above, my last visit to Ezra's Tunnel, which is now gated off due to the last action by the Natural Areas Commission before it was absorbed/reorganized into new commissions for the city.  I had this to say about the city accepting Cornell's offer to install the gate.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Lot Like Winter

It's been a nice winter so far, except for a couple thaws.  But one of the thaws got the creeks flowing and was followed by some ice and snow.  I took a bunch of pictures of Six Mile, Cascadilla and Fall Creeks but then forgot my new password so couldn't post anything.
All's right again and I'll post a bunch of the pictures soon.  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Nice Place To Sit

  While in Westfield we got a chance to check out the bench in Moore Park dedicated to our dad.  It's across the street from where his drugstore was, and is next to a bench dedicated to his partner at the store, Don.  Miss them both.

Happily Married

  Congratulations go out to John and Melissa for their wedding in November.  It was a wonderful occasion on a beautiful day, and we welcome Melissa to the family.  It may have been the only wedding to feature an add for full body wash, but maybe not with the prevalence of streaming music off the internet for ceremonies.

  It certainly was the first wedding officiated by Jim, now licensed by NY State.  It was also the first time Jenny and Jason got to see their dad get married.

Friends Weekend

  Dave and Laura organized, and did a damn fine job.  As always, if Howard has to pass Cuba, NY, he stops at Cuba Cheese and picks up a ten-pound block of sharp cheddar.

  Gail got into the lake both mornings while there, but not for long and not alone.  I went in once too.  Notice the icicles on the bushes in the top photo.  We also got a nice hike in at one of the Finger Lakes Land Trust's preserves overlooking Canadaigua Lake.

Friends Weekend

  The Westfield Friends group got together on Canadaigua Lake.  It's been going strong for 30 years, and I joined them 25 years ago.  More astounding is that Gail made a return trip, her first since 2003.  Sadly, it was the first trip without our great friend Karen Walker died last winter.  We missed her but were glad her partner, Brad, still joined us.


  A former student and now graduate, Ting, returned to Ithaca with her brother, Xiao, to try to get him enrolled at IHS.  That's proving more difficult than expected, but she just like she proved by graduating, she's persistent and the fight isn't over yet.  We got to spend some time together and visit some of the better spots in the area.

  They came over for dinner and we learned the neighbors were having a pumpkin carving party so they got to carve their first pumpkin.  Every once in awhile Gail and I get to experience the joys of parenthood.  We were so proud of them when they carved the best pumpkin.

Adirondack Color

  I took the scenic route home from Pharaoh to catch some more color.  Route 8 didn't disappoint once I crossed the Hudson River.  A stop in Piseco for a quick trip up Panther Mountain was a real treat.

Return to Pharaoh Lake

  In October I joined a few of the boys for a trip to Pharaoh Lake.  I hadn't been on a fall trip since my first time there in 2000, choosing instead to go for the winter trip since then.  It was a nice weekend and we got to see some decent fall color, but mostly it was just perfect weather, the lake was smooth as glass the whole time.
  One of my desires has always been to climb Treadway Mountain at the northeast end of the lake and I finally did it, making a 15-mile trek that rewarded me with stunning views of Pharaoh Lake and Mountain.  I retired my shoes after this hike and nursed a blister for two weeks afterwards.  They've been up enough mountains.

Lake Swimming

  Gail has kicked her swimming obsession to a new level by adding open water swimming.  She's been joining some friends who swim regularly in the lake, and it culminated in a weekend of events in Seneca Lake that included several different lengths of swims.  Gail did a two-mile swim, the crazy people did the 10-mile, then swam along with her to keep her company on hers.
  I went out on Cayuga Lake one day to accompany them for a training run.

Laid to Rest

  In September the family gathered in Westfield again to bury our mom's ashes.  As with anything involving the McMahons there was a fair amount of humor.  I took this photo so I could claim the accountants in the family were saving a few bucks by scrimping on the urn.
  That's not really what this is about.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

North Country Vacation

  Gail and I decided on a local trip by bike this summer, one that would take us along Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence Seaway and 1000 Islands, and then turn south and pass through the High Peaks of the Adirondacks where we could do some hiking too.  On paper, or the google map I created, it was 420 miles, though that didn’t figure in side trips, getting lost and spontaneous changes to the itinerary.  We ended up riding 500 miles.

  Ha ha, bet you thought I meant bicycles when I wrote “bike.”  The quad was a great way to go.

  As we’ve done before, we started by taking a TCAT bus out of Ithaca to make the first day a little shorter with less climbing.  The bus was almost a half hour late due to a flat tire which we took as a bad omen, but we didn’t get any flats on the whole trip.  We had a great time, saw some really interesting sites, saw old friends and made new ones.  Each of us had a close call with a collision, Gail almost collided with a lawnmower and I had a van turn right when I was going straight.  No harm ensued and we made it home happy and enriched by the experience once again.