Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Five Years Ago This Month

I spent many days in the fall of 2016 training for a Grand Canyon adventure with three friends over New Years. My training goal was to be able to hike down and up the 232 steps at Devil's Millhopper State Park near our Gainesville home 10 times in a row to build the leg strength I figured I'd need. It worked. It took several weeks to build up to the ten times in a row, but I did it.

Heading Back Up

Over New Years week 2017, four of us who were members of the board of directors on American Pilgrims on the Camino hiked the Grand Canyon. What an adventure. We stayed on the South Rim on New Years Day.
On the Rim, Getting Psyched!

Nice Rim Accommodations

The View

We ventured down the South Kaiban trail the next day in the snow, with crampons strapped to our hiking boots to gripe the snow and, after a couple miles, the sucking mud. We trusted our trekking poles from the Camino to help us keep weight off our knees on the descent. Beautiful!!


The Colorado Rive, At the Bottom

First View of the River From the Trail

Too Much Beauty to Take It In

Snowy at the top

Hello Canyon!

We Were Not Alone

We stayed in a CCC-built cabin for 4, with the world's tiniest toilet room (if you did not stand straight up from the seat you bumped the door open with your head), at Phantom Ranch for a day at the bottom, sleeping in bunk beds (thankfully I was the oldest and thus assigned a bottom bunk). When we arrived, no one's legs were strong enough to climb to the top bunk so we collapsed, in resounding laughter after Yosmar and Cheryl tried to climb to the top bunks, two-by-two in the bottom bunks for a be-kind-to-our-muscles rest. We spent a day enjoying Phantom Ranch before the climb back to the rim.


The River Ran Through the Ranch

The Dining Hall -- Great Steaks!

Peg, Cheryl, Yosmar, Cindy

The Ranch as We Approached

Tiny Toilet Room - Much Better than an Outhouse

Tight fit for Two Bunks - Cozy

The Ranch and Cabins

Sunset. Or Was that Sunrise on Day 3?

At dawn the day 3, wearing our head lamps, we started up the Bright Angel Trail. We used every minute of daylight and arrived at dark, cold and super tired. But we did it and it was awesome!

Time to Start

Not Too Muddy or Steep at First

Not Cold Down Here



Up and Up in the Mud

See the Trail Waaaay Down There Where We Were at Start of the Day

Too Dark for Pics When We Got Closer to the Top Than This

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Childhood Haunts, Lexington, and Home Again

We pulled out of the Stone House on Friday morning, two weeks after our arrival. It was a whirlwind of a visit.

Heading off on blue highways, we drove through the hills, through Carthage, around the south side of Watertown, through Adams, and across Route 104 to Rochester. We drove through Durand Eastman Park, where I did most of my practice driving in Driver's Ed when I was 17. I could feel the power of learning that it is better to accelerate slightly on curves rather than braking on them.

We cruised Rock Beach Road, into White City, past Tone Terrace here I lived until I was in 7th grade.
In the summers, my Gage cousins, Walt, Rich, and Mike often came with Aunt Dorthea to spend a day at the lake with me, Marty, Pat, Kathy and our mom. We could walk down Tone Terrace, which was our post office address but was only a foot path . . . no cars allowed . . . cut through some yards, and be on the Lake Ontario shore in minutes.

It was not an official beach. It was our beach. We jumped off water-logged tree trunks, dug in the sand, and jumped the waves.

Lake Ontario is very high water this year again. I suspect our beach was not there any more. But a little farther along, I drove down Bateau Terrace to a city park on a piece of land that used to belong to my parents. Looking down the grassy slope to the beach, it looked a lot like what I remember of our beach a few block east.

Best of all, there were kids jumping the waves and playing with water-logged giant chunks of wood. Moms were watching and letting them take all those thrilling risks. Sweet!

We drove past the house I lived in while in high school and it looks great.
We crossed passed the Seneca Park Zoo (which was pretty much in our back yard), the Genesee River, and Kodak, to the cemetery to check out the family area and see if I needed to have the stone cleaned.
The day ended with a gorgeous drive through the hills and valleys of New York into Pennsylvania for the night, and a drive up Pickle Hill to the house we built in 1973.

Saturday we arrived in Lexington for an afternoon and evening with Meg and Steve.

Eleven+ hours after we left them in the morning, we were home in Gainesville. The amazing good news at home was that just about two weeks after leaving, we returned to a renovation project that is 90% complete. Bravo Robert Battaglia and Graetz Renovation!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Yoga, Walks, Art, Family and Friends

It is so nice to have a yoga class in Star Lake. I went both Tuesdays that we were in town and enjoyed both classes. Thanks to Pam Testone, Annette Craig, and the Wellness Foundation for making it happen.

Each day we were able to walk around the lake with Stela, training for our fall Camino walk while enjoying the abundance of wild flowers and gardens in bloom. Well, Stela wasn't in training. She will spend our Camino in Lexington with Steve and Meg.

As the week progressed, we read and did some watercolor sketches.

We watched the rain fall and the loons swim by. We bought a few things at Adirondack Rustics, which we love to visit.

Wednesday, we had a nice lunch with Cousin Charlene in Ogdensburg. It was a pretty drive over through the Amish farm country, Colton, Canton, Heuvelton, and Edwards. Charlene ordered us up a huge feast from the local Italian restaurant and her caregivers picked it up for us. She was in fine fiddle, counting all the caregiver assignments on the white board, bragging about how well they make coffee and Spruce Street House, and talking about her birthday trip home to Watertown, where she grew up, next week for her 76th birthday. She will stay at a hotel, visit her old haunts, and meet up with an old friend from her family's church there. Last year when we visited she was in a lot of pain. We were very happy that she was more comfortable this visit and that we could chat more.

Jim and Sue Conner came by for lunch on Thursday. they are Gainesville friends with whom our lives have multiple intersections. they summer in Rochester, where Sue and I both grew up. Jim went to Eckerd College, as did Meg (Several years after Jim's time there.) We are all cheese fans and nature lovers. They had been on a road trip through Maine, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They returned through the Adirondacks to Rochester and we were luck-for-us right along their route. It was a great visit with multiple tomato sandwiches made with home grown tomatoes that Pam and James, and Kit left for us. We topped off the sandwiches with scones left from the Class of '61 and Friends party.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Copper Rock Falls Hike

Pam and James spent Monday fishing, kayaking, and rafting.

Kit, Russ, and I took a lovely drive along the River Road from Newton Falls to the Windfall. Russ found his first geocache. We hiked at Copper Rock Falls on the Tooley Pond Road, after which we walked around the lake. That may have been too much. I sure was happy for the Star Lake yoga class this morning to stretch out the walking and hiking muscles.

We all got back together for dinner at our camp last night, since Pam, James, and Kit all needed to head out this morning.