Thursday, July 28, 2011

Geocaching and More July 28, 2011

I met up with Leslie at her house this morning and with her at the wheel, we set off for a day of geocaching.

Our first stop was in the "town" (not the village) of Otego, go find a geocache. Leslie found this one. Then we drove a back route over to Otego. Leslie referred to it as "driving the Otsdawa" which means driving along the Otsdawa Creek. We saw an old one room schoolhouse that I plan to stop and see sometime soon. We stopped at an old cemetery that I had noticed on a previous daytrip a month or so ago. I think maybe someday I will hide a geocache here:

In Otego, we went to a park to find a multi cache hidden by team nitro. We were not successful finding the first part, even though it seemed like we had the exact location. If we DID have the right location, then the cache has been removed.

After that it was on to Wells Bridge. While Leslie went out on the footbridge to find MIDDLE OF THE SUSQUEHANNA, I took pictures of a building that has interested me.

It appears to have been a general store at one time, and then in its next life an antique shop, but it is closed now.

I went down the bridge, where Leslie was still looking. I gave her a few hints to help her find it, since I could see that she was uneasy being out on the bridge (it is a see-through bridge). She found it and signed the log. We then located the site of a travel bug hotel along the other side of the river, but there were construction workers taking a lunch break right near the location, so we decided not to look today.

Back in the Village of Wells Bridge, we checked out a small park to see if it might be a good place to hide a geocache. We decided it wasn't. Then it was on to Mt. Upton. Along the way we saw another old country cemetery and stopped for a few minuts. I think I might hide a geocache at this cemetery someday. We took a back route over to Mt. Upton, and found the site of FA RT8. FA stands for fishing access. We drove right by it and then when we saw a bar/restaurant, we decided to stop and see if we could have lunch before finding that geocache.

We tried the doors and a guy came out and told us that they do not serve lunch. I have a feeling it is the kind of place Leslie would NOT have liked, so its probably a good thing. It used to be THE ROCK INN, but now it is a biker bar called ROCKIN' ROADHOUSE.

We returned to the fishing access and quickly found FA R8.
Then we drove into the village of Mt. Upton. We had lunch at the convenience store because the small restaurant on the other side of the street was not open. (again, they do not serve lunch). I had a sub and Leslie had a chicken sandwich. Then we walked over to the little park where Leslie found LADY UPTON RIDES AGAIN. I was pretty sure that the cache was NOT in this park, but at the location of LADY UPTONS monument, but I was wrong. Leslie found it and we signed the log.

Then we found another geocache in a nearby park: WILD WHEELS. Leslie found this one just as I was about to suggest that we quit and come back another time.

We headed back to Oneonta. I asked Leslie to stop at my house so I could check phone messages. She found a neat back route to take instead of the way I would have gone. We drove through the MAPLE GROVE area. I think I saw a vacant small country church, and hope to go back someday and check it out and take a picture.

Back in Oneonta, I ran a few errands. It was a great day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trip to Lockport: July 18-22, 2011

My Dad had various complications following his surgery and ended up in ICU at Roswell. Things were pretty touch and go over the weekend of July 16 and 17, and at one point they gave him a 50/50 chance. Sunday night, I was prepared to drive to Lockport, but my sisters both said to wait until Monday.

So, I left early Monday morning and drove to Buffalo. I stopped at a farm stand in the apple region and bought a piece of pie which turned out to be my lunch. I arrived at Roswell early in the afternoon. I met my two sisters there, my brother Mike had gone to Washington, D.C. for a work related conference, but he decided to return and was on his way back.

Dad was in a "medically induced coma" which means just what it sounds like. He was hooked up to all sorts of machines. What a horrible sight. But we knew that the reason for this was so that his body and mind could get some badly needed rest. I think the agitation he was displaying had something to do with the doctors decision that this was the best thing to do. Dr. Guru expressed his belief that this would work.

Gail, Peggy and I spent some time with Dad. Mike called to tell us that he and Janey and the boys would spend the night in Pennsylvania and he would return to New York on Tuesday. Gail, Peggy and I had supper at the ANCHOR BAR, the place where Buffalo chicken wings were created. We tried both the medium wings and the spicy barbecue wings. Then we went back to the hospital to see Dad one more time. Peggy drove my car back to Lockport and we stopped at Anderson's for a frozen custard.

The next morning (Tuesday) Peggy went to work. The plans were for me to meet Peggy at her workplace and we would drive to Buffalo together. Since, visiting hours don't start until eleven a.m., I took the opportunity to go to the historical society to find a geocache and then went to the ERIE CANAL DISCOVERY CENTER, which is in the same building where I used to go roller skating when I was a teen Originally, it was a church. When I was a teen we called it THE HAMILTON HOUSE, and I think it may have been owned by the Presbyterian Church at that time. Also, the LOCKPORT BARGERS, a camping club that my parents belonged to used to meet here.

After that, I went to the First Presbyterian Church, right across the street, in order to do a self guided tour of the Tiffany Stained Glass windows.

Since I was baptized, went to Wednesday afternoon church school, was confirmed and married in this church, it was like a trip down memory lane. Everything looks pretty much the same. Then I went to REID'S for lunch. REID's was one of my favorite places when I was a kid. I had a "white hot" (something you can't get in this part of the state) and a small chocolate milkshake.

I met up with Peggy and I drove part way so that she could eat her lunch (Taco Bell). Gail arrived later on that afternoon. Mike arrived also.

It was pretty awful seeing Dad hooked up to all those machines with all those hoses and tubes. The four of us went out to supper at the Colter Bay Grill, and we ate outside. I had a burger and sweet potato fries. Peggy and I stopped for ice cream at a different place on the way back to Lockport.

The plan for Wednesday morning was for Mike to pick me up around ten thirty a.m. so I
decided to go out for breakfast. I went to Tom's Diner on Main Street. It is a fifties style diner. Here are a few pictures.

I ordered the BIG BREAKFAST and it was too big, I took some of it home with me. I went to the library to look for a geocache but was unsuccessful. I noticed that a sign in front of the Palace Theatre said the Box Office was open, so I thought maybe I could at least go in and see the lobby. I have not been inside the Palace since the late sixties. I lucked out and was able to go inside and look around. There was a play rehearsal taking place on the stage, so I stayed out of the theatre area, but took some pictures of the lobby, the box office, some displays in the area behind the theatre and of the concession stand, stairway to the balcony, etc Here are some pictures. This is on the wall, along with some other information and memorabilia in the area to the right of the concession stand: This is the box office in the lobby:
This is a view from the outside.

Mike picked me up and we went to Roswell. I think this was the day we had to wait quite a while before they would let us in ICU. They were working with Dad and it seemed to take forever, but finally we were let in. We were told that Dad was starting to come out of the sedation. We talked to him, and it was clear that he could hear us because he nodded a bit or shook his head to say no. I read a couple of devotionals to him. Peggy and Gail arrived and we took turns going in to spend time with Dad. I told him about having chicken wings at THE ANCHOR and he made a little face. That evening, Mike left early and Gail, Peggy and I had supper at FAT BOB's SMOKEHOUSE. I had the sloppy joe and Peggy had a chicken sandwich and we shared.

Thursday morning, I washed the throw rugs in Dad's bathroom and hung them out to dry and did a couple more small cleaning jobs. Then, I went to the small museum down by the locks. I was sorry I went because it was SO hot that I needed to take another shower before Mike picked me up. Mike and I were thrilled to see Dad. He was obviously more awake and aware and could carry on a conversation of sorts. I skipped lunch because I wanted to spend as much time with Dad as possible, but I did pick up a scone in the lobby. Gail and Peggy arrived a couple of hours later and we all took turns going in to visit with Dad. I was really happy when I went in one time and he already had his eyes open when we arrived. Gail and Mike left early and Peggy and I went out for supper at the PEARL STREET BREWERY. Up at the top is an old time picture of the place. It still looks the same. Its a really neat place. We shared potato pancakes, a steak salad and a fish dish. Everything was delicious! We returned to Roswell to see Dad one more time before leaving for Lockport. I said my goodbyes to Dad since I would be leaving for home first thing in the morning. Peggy didn't really want to stop for ice cream again! BUT, she did take me to see the SUMMIT STREET HOUSE, which was featured on a tv show about ghost hunting. I took a few pictures.

Friday morning, I headed out of Lockport about 8:15 a.m. I chose a different route, involving going north a bit so I could drive through Gasport, where my Dad worked much of my childhood: at Drum Oil Company. I found the location, but it appears that the building has been torn down and replaced with something different OR possibly it has just changed a lot. I got back on the main route and I found the NEW
and improved Drum Oil Company, featuring an old gas pump! Here is a pic.
I drove through the outskirts of Middleport and spotted Darrel's Restaurant where Dad and Peggy go on Friday nights for creamed codfish. I drove through Middleport's
downtown. I recall my mother taking me to a eye doctors appointment in Middleport when I was a kid. I stopped to take a picture of an old church made into a shop in the hamlet of Millville. I would like to drive through Millville again someday, it looks like an interesting hamlet and I saw a couple of interesting buildings that I would like to get pictures of.
I decided to take 98S to Batavia and get on the Thruway. Once on the thruway, I stopped at a visitors center to get a new map, and was told that a section of the thruway ahead was closed. So, I got off north of Shortsville and drove south to get on 5 and 20 in Canandaigua and head west. As far as I know, I had never been in Shortsville before. I drove down the main street and saw this old Blacksmith Shop.
In Canandaigua, I stopped for lunch at a TOM WAHL'S. I had a burger and their version of fried dough (Waldough).

I drove on 20 through Geneva and Waterloo and then Seneca Falls. Just beyond Seneca Falls, traffic slowed to a crawl and I spent about 45 minutes inching along. I had decided to drive down the east side of Seneca Lake, but it was not to be. At that intersection all traffic was diverted northerly. I drove through the Montezuma Wildlife area, and after that I had NO idea where I was going. I saw these two murals.

There were other things I would have liked to take picturs of, but it was getting late. It took me MUCH longer to get home than I planned and I must have driven fifty or sixty miles extra. I arrived home at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emmons Pond Bog ADVENTURE

I had vowed to stay home and get caught up on housework today, but when Connie called at eight a.m. and said it would be a perfect day to go to "the bog", my determination wavered and I gave in...........

We met up at Home Depot and transferred my stuff to her new van. We had a bit of trouble finding THE BOG, but we finally arrived.

We followed the trail in to the "sign in box". We both signed in.
We took the short path behind the sign in box. At the end, there is an "earthcache", so I took a picture of my GPS to prove I was there. Several years ago, an eagle scout built a boardwalk around the bog, but that was destroyed by flooding a few years ago. In the area behind the sign in box, I noticed a very old, deteriorating stone wall:
I particularly like this picture of the dead trees standing in the bog.

We backtracked to the sign in box and started down the "long path". I am not sure how far we walked, but Connie got tired and after resting a bit, we turned back. The bog is truly a beautiful place and I took MANY pictures, here are a few more:

We were the only ones on the trail today. After going to Home Depot to pick up my minivan,we went to ALFRESCO's for a slice of pizza. We took our pizza to Neahwa Park where we had a picnic lunch. While there, we watched as some workers opened up the portable stage.

It turned out to be a great day!

Mini Geocaching Adventure: July 13, 2011

The temps were comfortable and I had a couple of free hours in the afternoon so I decided to pack myself a lunch go over to Milford to complete the 5D multicache and to find a new one. I emailed Leslie and asked her if she wanted me to pick her up. She called me at FSA and said yes. I picked her up ant we headed out to Milford.

We went to the park first for the multi, but there was a group of people using the pavilion (where the final part of the geocache is hidden). We waited a bit, but it looked like some of the group was staying, so we went back to the bowling alley where the new one was hidden.

Our GPS's took us from one place to another, but Leslie finally spotted it, and then I found it.

We returned to Wilbur Park and she tookd the steps at one end of the pavilion and I tried the other end. She was right, and she found it after a few minutes (gloves and my walking stick helped). It was a pretty good size. We signed the log and each
left an item.

It was short outing, but satisfying since we finally completed the five parter.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Betty & Wilbur Davis State Park (town of Westford, New York)

Leslie and I decided to do some geocaching today. Our first stop was Wilber Park in Milford, New York where we are working on a five part multi cache. However, when we arrived, there were signs saying the park was reserved until one p.m. for a local childrens recreation program.

We decided to go to BETTY AND WILBUR DAVIS STATE PARK to find a newly hidden geocache (The Magic Treehouse). This was my first time in this park, atthough I have driven by it at least once).

Our first stop was at the Park Office, where a ranger gave us a trail map and told us a bit about the park. He knew about the geocache.
We chatted with him a few minutes (and used the clean restroom) and then located the parking area for ANDY'S TRAIL. It was a pretty short walk, with some kind of steep areas, to the area where we found the site of THE MAGIC TREEHOUSE.

Indeed there IS a treehouse (actually it is for hunters to use in hunting season). We saw this right near the treehouse, and momentarily thought it might be the geocache. I took this picture of a small creek from the trail.

We looked all around and Leslie climbed up to ladder to see if the geocache was hidden IN
the treehouse itself, but we had no luck, and left empty handed.

We drove a different route back to Milford, and I stopped to take a picture of this old cemetery in an empty church's side yard. It is the WESTFIELD BAPTIST CHURCHYARD CEMETERY.

We stopped at the Milford Corner Store
and bought subs and took them to Wilber Park where we had a picnic lunch before setting out to look for The 5D Multi-Cache. We had previously found part one and two, and Leslie found part three the other day. I quickly found part 3 (including a bunch of earwigs who seemed to be nesting in the spot). Leslie found Part 4, and then we set out to find Part 5.

We spent quite a bit of time without any luck. We didn't have the hint with us, which was unfortunate. Now that I have read it, I think I know where we SHOULD have looked. Maybe next time...............

It was a great day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 4-8, 2011 Trip to Lockport

JULY 4, 2011 (Monday) I headed out this morning to go to Lockport to be there for my Dad's surgery the next day. I had decided to take a different route, so that I might be able to see some areas of the state that I had not been to before. I headed east a bit and took I-88 to Bainbridge, and then headed west on 41, towards Whitney Point.

In Coventry, I was hoping to see the old one room schoolhouse that has been made into a museum, but I didn't. I took one picture of a building which formerly housed a milk processing plant.
Now the building houses a company that transports milk.
I drove through Greene, but did not stop, since I had been there recently. I had been to Triangle (the next town) recently, also, but I had not noticed an interesting building that had a window display upstairs. Here is a pic:
In that large upstairs window there is a decorated Christmas tree and a mannequin standing next to it.

In Lisle, I took a few pics. I really like this old building with the very large flag:

In Richford, New York, I saw a building that must have been a store in a former life. Here is a picture.
Richford is the birthplace of John D. Rockefeller, but I did not look for the historical marker for that.

There is a geocache hidden in a cemetery in Brooktondale, but I did not find it because I was leery of climbing either up or down the hill to the stump I thought it was in. BUT, I did find a cute little store:

Their website says the store opened up recently, but perhaps it was used as a store in "the olden days".

Slatersville Springs, a hamlet in the Town of Caroline is an interesting place, a place I would love to spend more time in someday. I located the springs, there used to be a geocache hidden here, which is how I found the information about the springs.
I was only intending to turn around, but I saw this very interesting fountain. Here is a pic of the fountain: which is pretty much behind the Caroline Town Hall.

The Caroline Town Hall was a schoolhouse in its former life:

On County Road 4 in Schuyler County, I noticed a restored blacksmith shop, here is a pic: It is in a small hamlet called Logan.

In Valois, I quickly found a geocache in the Valois Cemetery. Valois is another town that I would like to have time to explore someday.

When I headed up 414, I passed several wineries. It was close to noon, and I was getting hungry so I stopped at Wagner Winery and Brewery.
The restaurant turned out to be much fancier than I thought it might be, and I thought it would take too long if I ordered a full lunch. So, I ordered a bowl of onion soup, which was served up promptly. It was good!

The towns of Lodi and Ovid were interesting. Lodi has a downtown that is almost like a semi ghost town, there are so many empty storefronts.
In Ovid I found a geocache at a large convenience store but I could not really look for one behind the firehouse (OVID 911) because there were teenagers hanging around and watching me.

Further north, I had the feeling I was in an Amish/Mennonite area and it turns out I was. I stopped at a roadside stand and a negro Mennonite woman came out and sold me some jam.

In Waterloo, I saw something I had never seen before: a very large memorial to men who died in the Civil War. I stopped and took several pictures.

About this time, I realized that my drive was taking WAY longer than I planned, so I aborted my original driving itinery and drove north and got on the thruway. I hate thruway driving, but it is the fastest way to get where you want to go. I took the thruway to Batavia and then got off.

I saw this huge birds nest (eagle?)
in the area of the Alabama swamps and then I noticed the Town of Lockport Historians Building in an old one room schoolhouse at the end of Chestnut Ridge.

I think I arrived in Lockport around five p.m. Dad was fasting, so Peggy and I went out to supper at PANERA'S BREAD. It was a really good meal of sandwich and salad. Peggy and I walked down to the school around ten p.m. to view the annual fireworks display. We ran into Mike and his ladyfriend (Janie). The fireworks display was very good and actually VERY long. Unfortunately, the neighbors on Phelps Street were setting fireworks off and partying long into the night.

Tuesday: July 5, 2011: Dad had to be at Roswell at six a.m., so we left Lockport at five a.m. It was a torturously long day............the surgery was eight or nine hours. FINALLY, Dr. Guru came out and told us that it went well, and that he thinks the cancer has not spread outside of the bladder, which was removed. After that, we waited an hour and a half or longer until we were allowed to see him for a few minutes in ICU. He indicated that he could hear us, but we told him not to talk. At one point, he gave the A-OK sign. That night Peggy, Mike and I had supper at the ANCHOR BAR, the place where chicken wings were invented. It was a great meal.

Roswell Park Cancer Center is an amazing place. Here are a few pictures I took there. This is the front entrance.
While we were waiting (nine hours or so) for Dad's surgery to be completed, this woman came around with a rolling table full of craft supplies. She gave me some "boondoggle" supplies (I remember doing this in summer camp when I was a kid) and she showed me how to get started. I had a heck of a time, but finally got it started and worked on it quite a bit, but didn't get very far! It was a good diversion, though.

One of the nicest things at Roswell was the grand piano in the lobby/mezzanine. Most of the day someone was playing piano or cello or like in this picture: a duet

It was very pleasant and soothing.

 That evening Mike, Peggy and I went out for supper at THE ANCHOR BAR...the place where Buffalo chicken wings were discovered

It was a great meal. I had a Reuben (well, they really do not know what a REAL Rueben is, but it was fine). We shared an order of the mild chicken wings and they were very good. After supper, Peggy and I made one last stop in ICU to see Dad. He tried to talk to us, but we told him not to, but he gave us the A-OK sign, which was very encouraging. Peggy and I didn't get back to Lockport until around ten p.m. I was sooooo worn out, that when Peggy asked me for a hug before going upstairs to her apartment, I told her I was too tired to get up! I slept great that night.

July 6th, 2011 (Tuesday) : Peggy needed to make a hospital visit to an elderly lady who is dying of cancer in Millard Filmore Hospital. I had lunch at LaPorts (half order of chicken and biscuits) and met up with her at her church (where she works). We went to Millard Filmore first. By the time Peggy and I got to Roswell, Dad had been moved to the seventh floor, to a semi-private room. His throat was scratchy due to the tube down his nose, so he did a lot of communicating by gesture and writing. Peg and I spent most of the day, and Gail and Mike were there, also. That night, Peggy and I went out to eat at FAT BOB'S SMOKEHOUSE, a small restaurant that she had found earlier in the day when she went for a walk.

It was great! After supper, we went back to Dad's room to say goodnight to him. This was the one and only night that he had to be in a semi-private room. He was very unhappy with his roommate and we requested a private room.

July 7th, 2011. I did some cleaning and laundry in Dad's apartment this morning before meeting up with Peggy at her church. We went to Roswell, and arrived about the time Gail and her husband Bob were leaving. Dad had been moved to his new private room. By this time, he is able to do some walking around the hallway, with help from nursing staff. He tried to take some liquids by mouth, but was having a very hard time with that. I read a few pages out of a mens devotional and DAILY BREAD to him, he seems to enjoy that. I can't remember the name of the restaurant Peggy and I ate at, it was basically a bar that specializes in making their own beer (many varieties). We ate outside right on the sidewalk, and it was a nice relaxing meal. I had a MONTE CRISTO sandwich and she had a wrap. We went back to Roswell to say goodnight to Dad before going back to Lockport. Since I had to leave the next morning, Dad and I said our goodbyes.

July 8th, 2011: I left a few minutes after eight a.m. and headed home. I drove out the transit, stopping in East Amherst to find a geocache. It was quick and easy, but the best part of it was seeing this ghost sign behind a couple of dumpsters close to the cache.
Then I got on the thruway and got off at Exit 47 and drove south to pick up 5 and 20. In Leroy, I found a geocache. I went through Caledonia, Avon, East Avon and Lima. It was too early for lunch at Tom Wahl's when I passed through Avon. Darn!!! In Lima I went into the old American Hotel.

It was still too early for lunch. I saw an interesting old fire station. No stops in Bloomfield or Canandaigua, but I stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet in Geneva. It was good!

My plans were to pick up the exact same route that I took to GET to Lockport at this point. However, I went down East Lake Road (east of Seneca Lake) thinking it would get me where I wanted to go, but it didn't. The road ended. So I drove back and got on 96A and drove south to 96. In the village of Romulus, I stopped to go in and take a picture of this store, which looks like it used to be a gas station. I went inside with a five dollar bill, thinking I might find something to purchase BUT most of the shelves were empty.
They offer milk, soda, bread and lots of snack items, probably more than that, it was just a bit unsettling to see so many empty shelves.

After that, I didn't see much to take pictures of for a while. In Ithaca, I needed to find a rest room, and while looking, I saw an area that appears to be very historic, but I will have to save that for another time. Just this side of Bainbridge, I saw this empty church.
I was thinking it might be the church that the conservative church group that runs PINE RIDGE GROCERY in Bainbridge has.

I arrived home around 5:30 p.m. It was a long, but enjoyable day. It was good to get home.

My complete set of pics from this trip can be seen here: