Saturday, November 26, 2011

Geocaching, Urban Exploring, Amish and MORE!!!! 11/26/2011

My sister, my youngest daughter and I took a daytrip to the area of Palatine Bridge and Stone Arabia (Montgomery County) New York for some geocaching, and to see if we could find the Amish area. We hoped to have some opportunities for urban exploring, too. I made some turkey sandwiches and packed a few other goodies and drinks and we headed out around ten a.m.

After a few errands in Oneonta, I turned on my GPS and headed out on 88. It was about an hours drive, and I saw a few places I would have liked to stop, but decided to stick to the plan and get to the intended area as soon as possible. NOTE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: we drove through a small village or hamlet not too far from Cherry Valley which had an interesting looking old store. I think it was SPROUT BROOK.

Our first top was at THE PALATINE CHEESE FACTORY in Nelliston.
It was a bit of a disappointment because while they had a lot of samples available to try, we saw a woman double dipping her toothpick over and over again, and did not feel like subjecting ourselves to her germs. From there, we went to the WILLOW TREE SHOPPE, which was interesting. I purchased a postcard and Christa purchased a couple of used books. In front of this shop, there is a neat hot dog stand. The chef is really a Santa Claus!

Our next stop was to look for a geocache at an old, still used drive in theatre. We did not have any luck, but we looked around the area for a bit. Then we looked for another geocache near the Palatine Bridge, but again we did not have any luck. We stopped to take pictures of a huge, falling apart building.
The signs posted in front and back of the building indicate that it was recently condemned. After that we went the location of McDONALDS CEMETERY. Christa found this geocache, It looks like she enjoyed her first geocache! We never located the cemetery.

Then we decided it was time to look for the Amish area. On the way to Stone Arabia, we stopped to see two interesting churches. This one is the old reformed church. I do not think they hold services here anymore.
We located an in home quilt shop, which was very nice. I purchased a small jar of jam. Then we located a one room Amish schoolhouse. We were very surprised to find it unlocked, and we went inside and looked around briefly, being careful not to disturb anything. We stopped to take a picture of a tiny church
and met its owner, an African American Messianic Jewish woman(named Denise) who was very friendly. She said occasionally services are held in the tiny church. She sells farm products, but not on the sabbath. (which for her was today)

We also found the BURNT CHURCH BELL.....which is a waymark, behind a church. We stopped at a tiny dairy stand (non-Amish) and a farmstore (non-Amish). Then we headed back to Palatine Bridge, where this adventure started several hours ago and stopped to see a very old building that appeared abandoned. Indeed it was, and the doors were wide open and we went in and looked around a little bit, using flashlights. I think in its most recent life, this building must have been an inn/bar/restaurant. When we walked out the front door to leave, we were confronted by a man who lives nearby who wanted to know if we had an appointment to meet with the realtor.

After that we headed for home, arriving very tired! It was a great day. I want to go back to explore the Amish area again in good weather (when the small Amish farmstands are open).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lockport November 17-21, 2011

Early afternoon on November 17th, I headed to Lockport in my "new" Pacifica. I arrived in Lockport just in time to join my sister at her churches annual THANKSGIVING DINNER. It was a great meal, complete with all the traditional Thanksgiving foods and a lot more! I left right after I finished my meal so that I could visit with Dad at Briody's before it go too late. Then I went to Dad's apartment where I got settled in for the long weekend.

Friday morning, I went to Tom's Diner for an early breakfast. I had FLAT STANLEY with me. My plans were to take him to a couple of picturesque spots on and near the locks, but it was so cold and windy, that Stanley had to settle for looking at the locks from a window at the rear of Tom's.
I spent all morning with Dad, and then went to his place and fixed myself a light lunch and then returned to Briody's. Dad was awake so I spent the afternoon with him. I took about an hour break late in the afternoon and went to find two geocaches. That night Peggy and I went to MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL out on the transit. MOE'S is a kind of do it yourself Mexican place. You choose your taco or burrito or whatever, and then you decide what kind of fillings you want on it. Peg and I had THE HOMEWRECKER Burrito and it was huge and delicious.
They offer a free salsa bar and unlimited chips. We stopped at Andersons for a frozen custard on the way back to Lockport.

Saturday, when I went into Briodys, Dad did not seem to be doing well. He spoke about feeling as if he had developed asthma and said something was different in his throat. He spent quite a bit of time cleaning his mouth out with swabs. My brother Mike came out, at my request, after Dad asked for him a couple of times. As soon as Mike arrived, Dad perked up and seemed to feel fine! Go figure! My nephews Marty and Andrew arrived and we all visited in "the great room". Peggy and I had tentatively planned to go out geocaching a bit in the afternoon, but that did not work out. But she and I did go out to supper at a bar type restaurant on the transit. I don't recall the name, but the food was pretty good.

I skipped church on Sunday because it was my last day in Lockport. I spent the morning with Dad. He went to the exercise group. After church, Peg and I met up at Briody's. Dad settled in for an afternoon nap and Peggy and I went to PIZZA KITCHEN and I bought us pizza for lunch which we had at 17. After lunch, we both took naps. I got up early and went back out to Briody's. Peggy met me there at 4:15 p.m. and we took Dad for a walk. Then she treated us to supper at TACO BELL. After that we drove to Lewiston to see a Festival of Lights at a Catholic shrine.
It was VERY nice. I bought a couple of postcards. It was while at the festival that I realized I did not have a memory card in my camera. I was able to take a couple of pictures and store them in my camera.

Early Sunday morning, I packed up my car and headed across the state. I snacked my way across the state: pizza, donuts, french fries, a cookie. I stopped in Canastota and found one geocache. I had looked before, and then realized where it was, so it only took me a couple of minutes.

I arrived home around 2:15, hoping to find Christa here, but she had not arrived yet. Ryan dropped her off around 4:15.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back Roads Adventure

I went to Westford to spend some time with my friend, Judy. She wanted to go out to lunch and I agreed. She suggested a newly reopened restaurant in Richmondville, so we headed out Route 7, however, we never found the place we were looking for so we hopped on 88 and headed back to Worcester where we ate at Ardy's which is one of our favorite places.

After that I suggested we look for an old schoolhouse that I recently heard about, and Judy agreed. However, it appeared that the road leading to it (the road my GPS took me to, anyways) was closed for repairs. Judy said that it was probably damage from the recent flooding which caused the closing. So we just kept driving and ended up in South Valley. Judy wanted to show me the South Valley Womens Club which is in a former church.

She said that most months they offer a free will meal on one Saturday afternoon a month. Also, I noticed this storefront and this monument.

So, Judy and I did not make it to the schoolhouse, but after I dropped her off, I decided to see if I could find it. I did find it, but there is nothing about the private dwelling that resembles a former schoolhouse, so I didn't take a picture.

I took a couple of pictures in Westville, and on the way back to Oneonta, I found a really small, very old, very uncared for cemetery.
I took a few pictures and hid a geocache. When I got home, I looked in my cemetery map and found out that it is the Platt Hollow Cemetery.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Geocaching Event and FLAT STANLEY!!!

Monet37 hosted a gathering of geocachers at the Neptune Diner in Oneonta to celebrate 11-11-11. The event started at 11:11 a.m. today. It was a lot of fun. Each geocacher donated eleven matching pieces of swag,
and we all took turns picking out eleven pieces to take home. There were a few door prizes. It was fun to be able to match up some faces with nicknames. Monet was in charge of keeping things rolling:

El Fartero was unable to be there due to his job, but the rest of his family came and they gave out information about a new geocache he just hid. Luckless won "first to find rights" to the geocache. dnnsgps, both halves of artfully bare and Luckless and I decided to go together to get it. dnnsgps and a couple of other geocachers arrived first
and found it before Luckless and I arrived.

After finding el fartero's geocache, I took FLAT STANLEY around Oneonta and took his (or her) picture at some interesting spots.

I also stopped at the GREEN TOAD bookstore and picked up the book I ordered for Dad.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bloomville Adventure

Luckless and I met up at her house mid morning and headed towards Bloomville to find some geocaches. Our first stop was at a cache called ROOM WITH A VIEW. Luckless found it rather quickly, but the terrain spooked me a bit, so I didn't even locate it on my own. The view really was nice from this spot way out in the middle of nowhere.

We arrived in Bloomville and I noticed a very interesting old building which must have been a former creamery, so I took several pictures

and then we went to the site of NANO,NANO, IT ALL STARTS HERE. Even with a very good clue, we were unable to find this nano (a very tiny geocache). So, we headed to another one called HUMMER HAVEN. Again, Luckless located this one, but I was able to located it on my own after she backed away. This is a very interesting spot along the trail, but I wish we had seen the hummingbirds nest that is somewhere close to the cache. After that, we found the Bloomville General Store so that we could use their restroom.
We decided to purchase a sub and split it. This store is not much to look at from the front, but is very interesting inside. I took some pictures.

After that, it was time to find BLOOMVILLE WALK, which was not too far away from NANO, NANO. On the way to it, we saw the remains of a turntable for the former railroad that ran through Bloomville years ago.
Once again, Luckless was the lucky one, but there was no way that I would have tried to climb up that rocky bank. After that, we went to find OSPREY,YOU SPRAY, CAN YOU FIND THE CACHE TODAY? I really should have found this one because I looked right at it, but eventually Luckless DID find it. Then we went on to look for X-TRA TASTY WATER. Finally!!! I found this one, right across the road from a natural spring.

On the way back to Oneonta, we stopped to look for X-AHEAD. I had tried for this one before without success and was pretty much convinced that we would not find it today, but Leslie found it, and she managed to get it down from a very high hiding place, we signed it, and she replaced it.

It was a good day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pennsylvania Dutch Adventure: October 7,8 and 9th, 2011

My sister and I had a week long trip (in September) planned to the Catskills and Pennsylvania Dutch Country, but we cancelled it when my Dad had complications following his July 5th surgery.

We really wanted to see the play JOSEPH at the SIGHT AND SOUND MILLENIUM THEATRE, so while I was in Lockport for the month of October, on the spur of the moment, we planned a very short trip to Lancaster County October 7th, 8th and 9th.

Friday morning the 7th, we visited Dad at Briody's and then headed south. We pretty much drove straight there, barely stopping to eat the picnic lunch I had packed. I think we arrived at our lodging (Motel 6 in Gordonville) around four p.m.
We took our stuff in and headed out.

Our first stop was at a small farmstand. A young Amish boy was running it. He was so cute. When he found out that Peggy and I are from close to Niagara Falls, he had a million questions. I finally offered to send him a picture of the falls. Then we headed to Intercourse, PA. Once there, we did some geocaching (not all successful) and located the new STOLTSFUS MEATS store, which had moved. We found the INTERCOURSE CANNING COMPANY closed. As it was getting dark, we started to look for a place to eat and found THE BIRD IN HAND FAMILY RESTAURANT. This place is very good! This is a photo of my FIRST plate of food.

The next morning, we headed out early for Intercourse, PA. We parked near KITCHEN KETTLE, but I was not interested in those shops, so Peg and I split up and agreed to meet in a half hour. I decided to use my time to go to two small museums:
and a quilt museum. I enjoyed both of them. I met up with Peggy after a half hour and we went to STOLTZFUS MEATS and THE INTERCOURSE CANNING COMPANY. I made purchases at both places. On the way out of Intercourse, we noticed a small flea market, so we stopped. Some of the vendors were Amish, and I bought a couple of items.

Then we headed to Leola, via back roads. On the way we saw a sign CRAFTS SOLD HERE, so we drove down the long driveway and located the small shop of an Amish man. He mades things out of wood and has them for sale. Peggy and I both purchased a small item or two, and he gave us permission to take pictures of his farm. Here are a couple: the shop is on the right hand side in this picture
inside the shop

inside the barn

and then we headed towards LEOLA. LEOLA is the real reason I go to PA Dutch Country. There is this wonderful farmstand right across the road from the HAYLOFT CANDLE SHOP. Once again I purchased two cases of relishes and a few other items. This year they had something new, they were barbequing chicken and selling chicken dinners in front of the farmstand. Peggy and I decided to buy some chicken and have lunch there.
It was really good. The goats were cute, too!
After lunch we headed back to our lodging so we could freshen up for the play, which
was at 4:15. On the way we stopped at another Amish farmstand
and I bought a few items.

Back at our hotel, we freshened up and headed to the theatre. We allowed some extra time on the way there to do some geocaching, and we found two out of the three we looked for. At both of those sites we met up with other geocachers. This particular site is at Hershey Farms, right next door to the theatre:
AMOS used to be in front of Zinn's Diner. I guess the diner closed and he was moved to Hershey Farms.

The play JOSEPH was absolutely wonderful. Since we ordered our tickets very late (a day or so before) our seats were in the last row, in the balcony, but they turned out to be fine.

After the play it was time to decide where to have supper. I suggested MILLERS SEVEN SWEETS AND SEVEN SOURS, and we headed there, but when we got there, we were told it would be something line an hour and a half wait. NO WAY. I called HERSHEY FARMS (which was back at the location of the theatre) and was told that if we arrived before eight p.m. we could be seated. We arrived in time and were given a table within a few minutes. However, we were a bit disappointed. We had eaten there before, but they had changed things, the atmosphere was not nearly as homey. And the price was ridiculously high. But the food was good.

The next morning we decided to do a bit of geocaching in Strasburg before heading north towards New York. We were successful in finding some Strasburg geocaches and we also found a neat old cemetery alongside a church on the Main Street in Strasburg.

Altogether we found eleven geocaches in Pennsylvania Dutch Country which is pretty darn good considering we were so busy doing other things during our brief time there.

On the way back to NY, we stopped at a lookout point and I took this picture which shows some PENNSYLVANIA COLOR.
We had an uneventful drive back to Lockport. We stopped for a picnic lunch at a park someplace in Pennsylvania.

Back in New York, as we got close to Lockport, I noticed that we would pass an interesting site I noticed while geocaching a couple of months ago. I pointed it out to Peggy and she was off and running. This site is in Corfu or Darien Lake and apparently someone started to build a miniature golf business but never completed it. Peggy was just about to open the back door of the "castle" when she noticed somoene inside. Apparently, the first floor of the castle is rented out. The young woman was very friendly and not at all put out by our "urban explorations". Here are a few pictures:

It was a short, exhausting trip, but we had a lot of fun. Best of all, I have enough
Amish relishes to last me at least a year! The rest of my pictures of this great weekend can be seen here: