Friday, March 26, 2010

Geocaching and Exploring on March 26, 2010

illars: Abandoned in Guilford Center, NY
Originally uploaded by JuneNY

Leslie and I set off around ten a.m. this morning (after scraping snow off of my car) for some geocaching and exploring.

We drove to Mt Upton first and attempted to find LADY UPTON RIDES AGAIN geocache. We found part one easily enough, but we could not understand the hints and clues that were included in it. Those hints were supposed to help us figure out the coordinates of the second and final part of the cache, but they didn't. We went to the VALERO and I asked if anyone knew about the monument to Lady Upton. Lady Upton was a famous racehorse that apparently was born and died in Mt. Upton. One of the customers gave me directions to find it. It was close by and we found it quickly, but without knowing the necessary coordinates, we had little hope of finding the geocache. We saw an old building nearby that appears to have been a train depot in a former life and is now a museum.  This picture is of Lady Upton's grave in Mt. Upton.
We headed towards Guilford, and looked around. We saw the building that used to house a mom and pop type store, the first Guilford doctors house, an interesting church and an octagon house. We saw a young bald eagle soaring overhead while driving out of Guilford.
While driving back to Mt Upton, we went through the small hamlet of Guilford Center and stopped to see an abandoned restaurant/hotel. The Pillars was formerly known as Angel's Inn because it had a huge angel on the roof.
Then we headed back towards Mt. Upton. We managed to miss our turn and drove somewhat out of our way, but we made it. Once back in Mt. Upton, we stopped to take pictures of another empty store and of the local historical association which was closed. That building seems to have been a baggage storage room for a train depot.
We went back to the cache site to look at the clues again, to see if we copied something wrong, and I noticed some huge old buildings on the other side of the creek. We found a way to get close to them, and I took some pictures.  We saw these abandoned buildings in Mt. Upton and stopped, but Leslie refused to get out of the car, but I got out and walked closer to them.
We headed towards Gilbertsville and stopped to have lunch at the country store there. Then we went to the old cemetery where I have a cache hidden. Leslie found it. It was damp and dirty inside, so I replaced it with a new cache (the one Leslie gave me for this past Christmas.)
It was a great day: geocaching, exploring, urban exploration, picture taking and lunch out! My kinda outing!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I met up with Connie this morning at ten thirty a.m. at Price Chopper in Oneonta. It was a gorgeous spring day, but a bit chilly when we started out.

We drove to the end of the dirt road that leads to the Charlotte Creek Fishing Access area and walked in. We started down the path from the area where the fishermen part, but we were not able to continue because the pathway was flooded. We hiked around that area, and saw some old trees.

Then we went to the Oneonta Watershed area, which is adjacent to the area we were in. There is a very nice trail, which we took. It is short. On the way back we bushwhacked a bit to see the actual water. I took some pictures of an old stone wall, an huge old metal barrel, a white birch and also a picture looking down through the hemlocks to the watershed itself.

We had lunch at Gersters Family Market, and then Connie showed me the buildings behind the Farmhouse Restaurant which used to be part of the Emmons Farm years ago. Some of the buildings have been made into rental units. I took a bunch of pictures, the one I like best is the one of the fire bell.

Then we went to the Lettis Auction House and looked around, and then we called it a day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stamford, New York

Yesterday I had my hair done and my hairdresser Linda and I decided to meet in Stamford, New York for lunch today. Its a pretty long drive (probably 40 miles for me) so I decided to combine a visit to an art gallery in an old hotel and some general exploring with our lunch date.

I headed out around ten a.m. and did a couple of short errands and then headed out Route 23. I stopped to take a couple of snapshots of the diner in Davenport Center for my DINERS, DRIVE-INS and DIVES group on flickr and then continued on 23. I stopped in Harpersfield to take a couple of pictures and then headed on to Stamford. My Harpersfield pictures can be seen here:

I found the CYR CENTER easily its former life it was the REXMERE HOTEL, which opened in l898 and closed in l955 or so. I had seen the building from the outside before, but never been in it. The art gallery gave me a perfect reason to go inside. I glanced at the art gallery and then explored the first floor. I asked permission to go upstairs, but that was denied. No matter, I could get a good feel for how the Rexmere must have looked from the stained glass over the doorways, the fireplace, the bathrooms and stairways. I took a lot of pictures, both inside and out. They can be seen here:

After that I spent some time driving around, and I saw a couple of huge old buildings that must have been hotels years ago, or perhaps they were rooming houses. The second picture down is of the huge old building that is just above and down the street from the Ming Moon. I also checked out the Delaware Inn, which is being renovated. I had seen it a couple of years ago while on my way to West Point with my sister and my Dad.

I met up with Linda a couple of minutes after one p.m. and we had a great lunch at the Ming Moon. The place does not have much atmosphere, but the prices, food and service are very good.

After Linda and I parted, I headed towards home. I stopped near Fergusonville to find a geocache that had previously eluded me, and to take a picture of Buttermilk Falls (thats the picture at the top).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Adventures in One Day!

Oneonta Landmark
Originally uploaded by JuneNY

It was a beautiful and fairly warm spring day today. This morning Leslie and I met up in Oneonta to try to find four new geocaches. The theme of the four seemed to be "alternative cache containers". We found three out of the four which is pretty good for us. The one we did not find is hidden somewhere on or in the Knight in front of Popek's. We think we actually did touch it, but we had some concerns about fooling around with it too much, since the statue is old and rusty. We found the other three fairly easily. One of them was in a HUGE culvert. Finding it was easy, but getting it down was a challenge and returning it was even more of a challengem but we managed to do it. It was a fun couple of hours. Of course, its always fun when you are successful!

Later on in the day, I met up with Carol in Morris and we headed over towards Gilbertsville. We had toured some historical houses one night in December, 2009. Since it was dark, it was pretty hard to see the outside of the houses. We wanted to get a look at them in daylight. We didn't have any problems finding them since I still had the printed material with the addresses. Then we spent some time on "The Gilbert Block". There are several shops that are very interesting. The Country Store still has the original counter and shelving behind it. At first the clerk was a bit irritated that we were sightseeing rather than shopping, but he loosened up after a minute or two and gladly showed us around and told us what he knows about the history of the place. Before leaving, I purchased a fresh tomato ($1.50!!!). The quilt shop next door is interesting and full of beautiful quilts and antiques. The owner was happy to answer any of our questions. We also went into the post office (the original wood facade is still there) and the hardware store. The picture way up at the top is of the Country Store (on the left) and the Quilt Shop from the front.

I took a few pictures of the MAJORS INN. I hope sometime I can go inside, when they are having some sort of event there.

The fish dinner at Christ Episcopal Church was outstanding! I don't think I ever had such fresh tasting fish, and it was only lightly breaded, not the thick breading you usually get when you order fried fish. One of the workers told us that the fish indeed was truly fresh, it had never been frozen. What a difference!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oxford Adventure with Terry

Hoppie's: Oxford, New York
Originally uploaded by JuneNY

Carol asked me to go to her daughter in laws art show in Oxford. It was today. When it turned out that Carol could not get off of work early so that we could go early and explore Oxford together, I asked Terry if she was interested, and she was.

I picked Terry up at two p.m. in Morris and we headed over towards Oxford. Unfortunately, my STREET FINDER decided today was a good time to act up, so we wasted some time finding our way.

Along the way, we went through South New Berlin. I decided to stop and take a picture of Toby's, a junk shop right on the main drag. Carol, Terry and I had stopped there last fall when we went to a church supper there, but I did not have my camera with me at that time. Toby had told us that he would be moving to a new place soon. Well, the old place is still there, nothing has changed (except maybe it is in worse condition now) and a new guy was running it. Terry saw a beautiful cut glass dish and said she wanted it. She got it for one dollar! I think it is worth a LOT more than that.

We headed on towards Oxford, well we hoped we were going in the right direction, my navigation system seemed to have some really strange ideas about turning in the wrong direction, so we ignored it. My mapquest cut off the last part of the route, so we were on our own. We wasted a few minutes driving around Norwich, but then we saw a sign for Oxford, so we knew we were heading in the right direction.

We made it to Oxford and got a parking spot right in front of the art gallery (Six on the Square). Off we went to explore. First we went to the Clachan Coffee House . The 1914 building is built from a former horse-drawn lunch wagon, which was carted to road, railroad and canal work sites. They serve coffee, tea, other drinks and snack items. The owner showed us some old photographs of the place.

Then we stopped in the drug store to see if we could find some postcards. We found some, and we heard the cashier talking to another customer about SKY BARS...........a treat from my childhood. Terry and I each bought one.
Then we went geocaching. There is a cache hidden on the bridge on Main Street. Terry found it and she was excited to find her first geocache all by herself.

We walked around the square a bit and I took some pictures of interesting buildings. A little after four, we went into Hoppie's which sure is a cool place.It is made up to look like a 1950's soda fountain, complete with an old jukebox. Terry and I split a "Dagwood" sandwich. Its a good thing we split it because I could barely finish my half. Terry played some songs on the jukebox, and I took some pictures.

It was five p.m. by then so we went to the art gallery and met Jill Kraft, Carol's daughter in law. We looked at her work and talked with her a bit. I took a bunch of pictures. Carol was supposed to meet us at five but she was late. We waited until she got there at 5:30, talked a few minutes and the headed back home.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 Adventure

The Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York closed several months ago due to financial reasons. I saw in the newspaper that this weekend they were allowing the general public to come in (at no charge) to see the exhibits before they are moved. I asked my friend Terry if she wanted to go and she said yes. We decided to make a day of it. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day and some of the time I didn't even wear a jacket.

We met up at the SOCCER HALL OF FAME at ten a.m. I bought several small items for my grandkids in the gift shop since they were all fifty percent off. Then we toured the museum. My camera was acting up. I was not sure if it was the camera or the batteries. I kept switching batteries with little success but I was able to get several pictures.

After that we went to DOLLAR GENERAL and I bought some new batteries and found out that it was a battery problem, nothing wrong with my camera.

We headed out to Fly Creek, New York to try a restaurant that neither one of us had ever been to before: Heckman's Harmony House Cafe. It has been opened a couple of years, I think. We took back roads to get there.

While going through Mt. Vision, I decided to take a few pictures of an old empty store that I have passed by many times. While in Hartwick, I stopped to take pictures of another old store that closed up not too long ago.

We found the Harmony House Cafe to have a delightful rustic atmosphere. I was happy to see a picture on display that showed the building to be a general store in a former life.

Before leaving Fly Creek we drove around a bit. I noticed a ghost sign and stopped to take a picture. Then I noticed that right next door to the sign, there was a interesting building that looked like it might have been a shop in a past life, so I took a picture.

We headed back to Oneonta, stopping for about a half an hour to
go to Wood Bull Antiques in Milford, New York. This is a wonderful, huge antique place in a huge barn, right on the main road. I had been there once many years ago. It hasn't changed much over the years.

Before going back to the Soccer Hall of Fame, we stopped at McDonalds for a shamrock shake. Once back at the Hall of Fame, I took a couple more pictures of the outside.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gerster Family Market

It was such a nice day. Connie and I wanted to get outside and take a walk. We met up at Price Chopper and then went to the Charlotte Creek Fishing Access. That road was not plowed out, so we parked at the outside end of it, and walked in the residential area just outside it.

Then Connie wanted to show me a modular house that has been open and on display for a while. Indeed the house was totally open with a huge OPEN sign out in front. We walked through it and discussed the pros and cons of the layout.

Right across the street, there is a huge convenience store. It had a GRAND OPENING sign in front of it. I know I have driven by it many times, but I don't think I ever stopped. We decided to check it out. We found that it is HUGE with a very nice lunch section. We decided to stay and have a snack.

I noticed this sign outside and decided I had to take a picture for Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera gave out before I could take a picture of the outside. But, Connie and I liked the place so much that we decided we need to go again soon.

I stopped by the FIESTA to get some money Christa owes me and while there I ordered seafood paella to take out. It was expensive, but absolutely delicious!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mystic Forest/Hamden New York Adventure: June 19th, 2009

I picked Leslie up and we headed out to the small town of Hamden, beyond Delhi, New York. I had never been to Hamden, but my friend Connie had become acquainted with the owners of the Lucky Dog Farm Store, when she attended an earth day event. She and I talked about going out to Hamden together but she was never available when I suggested it to her, so I decided to ask Leslie.
We had found some information about a couple of very interesting sounding geocaches hidden at West Branch Nature Preserve located between Walton and Delhi on Route 10. We found the area easily enough, it was past The Lucky Dog on our right hand side and there is a small parking area. We had just starting walking the trail when we disturbed a family of wild turkeys. We found START YOUR JOURNEY HERE. There is an absolutely incredible HUGE old tree right near to this geocache. Attached to this entry is a picture of that tree.

Then we continued UPhill to look for the Mystic Forest. My asthma kicked in and I was only able to walk slow, so Leslie got to the cache first. The Mystic Forest indeed is something to experience. Its hard to explain. I will try to get a picture on a day when my asthma is not acting up. We signed the log and headed back down to the parking area.

We went to the Lucky Dog next. It is in a circa 1870 classic general store building. We looked at the merchandise before going to the rear of the store for lunch at the Lucky Dog Cafe. The dining area has several very old porcelain topped kitchen tables, like the one in my house when I was a young child. We had soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. The food was very good.

The HAMDEN INN is across the road from The Lucky Dog. It appeared to be closed, but hopefully I can return and have lunch there someday.

We then headed back towards Oneonta, stopping to see the eagles nest that is on some protected property. Without binoculars, I could just make it out. On the way back to Oneonta, we looked for possible places to hide future geocaches. We may go back to an interesting old cemetery we saw on the road between Delhi and Oneonta. All in all, it was a short trip, but interesting and fun, and it included a nice lunch!