NYC! Top Parks and Places to See

David and I were supposed to go to NYC for my birthday two weeks ago, but we got snowed into Denver with the cancellation of 800 flights 24 hours before the snow even started. Oh well, what was going to be beautiful 75 degree weekend in NYC a few weeks ago turned into a rainy, damp overcast weekend visit for the Derby Weekend. Continue reading “NYC! Top Parks and Places to See”


A Tribute to 9/11

Worth watching every minute of this video on 9/11. I never thought about evacuating off the island of Manhattan, especially when all roads were cut off and public transportation shutdown. This is the first time I’d seen this type of media coverage on the tragedy.

Visiting NYC in September!

Visiting NYC

Visiting NYC is always entertaining. It’s probably my favorite city in the world, and I like to go every year if I can. Well I suppose I can. I just have to make time for it.  Everyone has 24 hours in a day and can choose how to spend it.  Traveling is important to me as it makes me happy, so I make time for it.

The US Open enticed my mom and I to venture to NYC this weekend. I went to the US Open last year and enjoyed it so much I wanted my mom to go since she is such a big tennis fan. We arrived on Tuesday via uneventful flights (YAY!), though she had a much better taxi driver than I did! Continue reading “Visiting NYC in September!”

Day 40 – New York’s Hudson River Valley Part 2

Hudson River Valley, New York (yesterday)

Before I left the house today and enjoyed the headline and picture in the local paper, I walked down to the house where the float was being finished off.  The wheel turned, the scarecrow’s arms moved just as if it was full of straw, and the float was loaded onto the trailer ready to participate in the parade.  Being Saturday, I thought getting off the Island would be easier than getting on across all the bridges on Friday afternoon, but the traffic was horrific.  I think I shared the road with more cars in the last 12 hours than in the last 40 days of my trip.

I made two stops today.  First I went to Tarrytown which is home to several estates, Philipsburg Manor (portrayed in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), Lyndhurst (“a baronial Gothic Revival home”), and Sunnyside (Washington Irving’s home).  In the spirit of Halloween events were being held at several of the homes.  Philipsburg Manor operates as a haunted house at night…that would have been fun to attend!

I chose to visit Washington Irving’s home.  Washington Irving was the first famous, American author who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.  The events of the day at Sunnyside included a magic show, a story-telling time, a spooky walk, scarecrow-making and more.  I toured Irving’s home which he purchased in 1835.  He spent the next several years remodeling the small stone cottage by adding a variety of romantic architecture features to the building including a Spanish tower, an Italian Piazza, and Dutch-stepped gables.

After my visit to Sunnyside, I took the dogs to Manitoga, the home and designed landscape of Russel Wright.  In 1930’s through the 1950’s, Wright was one of the best known designers of home furnishings in America.  He sounds like someone my mom would know.  Wright purchased an 80 acre parcel of land in 1942 that had been damaged by logging and quarrying.  Over the next 30 years, Wright restored the land making the area full of trails to look completely natural.

After our walk through the woods, we headed back to the Walmart where we stayed a few days ago after I stopped for a healthy dinner at Cracker Barrel. ETB

Day 39 – New York’s Hudson River Valley

Hudson River Valley, New York (2 days ago)

I started the day out touring West Point.  My grandfather briefly attended here until it was determined he had cheated on the vision test by memorizing the eye chart, and he got kicked out.  The military requires excellent vision.  West Point is a self-contained community with its own post office, shopping, grocery and the like.  The tour was fantastic.  We first stopped at the chapel where we could get a glimpse of the back of the barracks where the cadets enjoy fun events in the courtyard as well as walking off their demerits.  Obviously, with very little free time, walking off demerits for five hours at a time is not the most enjoyable for them.  If the cadets rack up over 100 demerits, they join the century club of which two of our presidents were members, Grant and Eisenhower.

The chapel, technically a cathedral, but called a chapel in the military, is home to the largest pipe organ in a religious building in the world.  The pipes all range in size anywhere between a pencil and over 30 feet.  Inside the chapel, the hymnals are placed in measured alignment and flags from different times of the United States hang overhead.  In addition, a row, marked with a candle always sits empty no matter how many church goers are in attendance as it honors those missing in action.

After visiting the chapel, we stopped at the most photographed place at West Point, the point with the view of the Hudson River.  Next to this point, a statue inscribed with civil war leaders’ names stands in the middle of a ring of  granite balls sided by canons inscribed with the names of the significant civil war battles.  Another ring of cannons surrounding the monument are buried downward into the ground as a symbol to never fight among ourselves again as graduates of West Point were fighting each other in the war.

One item at West Point that I have never seen was solar power trash compacting trash cans…our government dollars at work?!?  I had to take a picture of it just because I was so surprised by it.  For anyone interested in weaponry, the museum at the visitor’s center is worth a visit…full of all sorts of spears, knifes, guns, all the way up to cases for atomic bombs and small tanks.

After my tour of West Point, the dogs and I took a walk at Bear Mountain State Park along with what seemed like a Japanese photography class.  We walked around a lake and up the Appalachian Trail about half way to the summit to which we had previously driven.  Fall foliage surrounded the sometimes steep, rocky trail, while geese floated peacefully in the lake.  Soon I headed toward Long Island.

My cousin Danny and his wife Allison hooked me up for an evening at their house in Long Island.  I met Liam here, an Irish Merchant Ship Captain who just got his European Flying License.  He is looking to meet the US FAA regulations as well.  He went into the City for the night while Danny, Allison, and I went to an Irish Pub in the neighborhood to watch the Rangers beat the Yankees! That was fun in a New York Bar.  After the Rangers win, we stopped to check on their daughter Claire’s Sophomore class float they were working on for homecoming tomorrow.  The theme was Wizard of Oz and the float was great.  I’m curious to know if they won. ETB

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Day 17 – Adirondack Adventure Part 2

Yesterday’s post – Upstate NY

Today I woke up to rain in Ames. I was so exhausted, I could have slept two more hours and what was the rush in leaving given the weather. I had to get my oil changed (required every 5K miles or I lose my warranty), and I’ve wanted to go to Lake Placid my entire life, so I wanted to give myself some time there. Linda’s friend Staci suggested that I go to Millennium Express Lube in Amsterdam, so Linda led the way. It was so nice of her to direct me, as I probably would have never found it. I was expecting to post Day 16 while waiting to get my oil changed, but when I asked how long it would take, they said 10 minutes…WOW! Mike worked on VANilla. They changed the oil, checked all the fluids, and even let me keep my mutts in the car despite the no pets sign! They were awesome and sent me on my way in record time.

I planned on driving North from Lake George to Lake Placid with a few stops in between. A high school classmate, Alison, who was one of the smartest girls in our grade and who is still extremely active with the school was curious to know how I liked Lake George as she had enjoyed a wonderful vacation with her family there. Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate much on Lake George. The best explanation I can give of Lake George is by the photograph to the right. I barely saw it!! The weather was horrendous all day. At least it gives me an excuse to go back.

There were a few pull offs between Lake George and Fort Ticonderoga, my next visit, so the dogs and I stopped for a brief hike. Reader’s Digest writes, “Deer’s Leap, at the base of steep-sided Tongue Mountain, commands a vista back toward the lake’s (Lake George) southern end”, so I decided to take the Deer Leap Trail. It was going to be too long for us to finish, but just getting out for a walk would be nice. I zipped on my rain jacket and off we went. The trail was similar to a damp creek bed, mostly slick rocks canopied by a variety of trees. I was only able to get one picture before my battery went dead in the camera.

I briefly stopped at Fort Ticonderoga, mostly for the splendid views of “the Vermont shore and the distant peaks of the Green Mountain”. The clouds still hadn’t lifted, thus the Green Mountains and Vermont shore were not in view. Fort Ticonderoga was originally constructed by the French in 1755. It was later captured by the British and so named. During the Revolutionary War in 1775, the fort was taken by the Americans. The attack was led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. The victory was short-lived as the British regained control in 1777. It was one scenic view after the next from Fort Ticonderoga to Lake Placid. Speaking of forts, I forgot to mention last week for my soccer friends, if you decide to visit Fort Niagara, bring a soccer ball – it’s in a park with 20+ soccer fields that from a distance look better than Richland!  And for those of you who enjoy history, there has been a historic marker on average every 10 miles since Niagara Falls – you could take days stopping at all of them.

I pulled off countless times to take photos out the car window…still nasty weather. This part of the drive, despite the weather, was definitely my favorite of the last two days in the finger lake region. The road wound through a deep gorge with ponds, a river, and forest lining the edges. The fall colors and high cliffs were dominating.

At last I arrived at Lake Placid. One of the biggest horse shows in the hunter/jumper industry is here in Lake Placid every summer.

show grounds with ski jumps

I always wanted to ride in it, but logistically, it was not one that we would have ever attended as we spent the summers in Oklahoma, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky. I always imagined what it was like, and I was hoping I’d be able to find the show grounds. Surprisingly, the show grounds were on the main road as I drove in, right across from the Olympic Ski Jump! I stopped in the ski jump area because you could buy a ticket to go to the top, but as I thought, the inclement weather clouded the views (no pun intended). The show grounds, while they weren’t exactly how I pictured them were awesome none the less. I have determined that I am going to come back to the Adirondacks with a better plan in a few years: 1. Stay in or near Lake Placid at a place that provides canoes as this lake region logically caters to boaters, 2. Watch the horse show, 3. Buy an Adirondack Park map so I know the location and length of the trails, 4. Visit neighboring communities – Saranac Lake, White Face Mountain, Keene, and 5. Visit more of the Olympic Center.

At the Olympic Center, I saw the rink where “The Miracle on Ice” occurred, with the USA winning the hockey game. I get chills when I watch movies or documentaries on that. I love the Olympics and admire all the Olympians who train so hard to have a chance once every four years…such dedicated athletes. Obviously a lot of it has changed with professionals being able to participate in most events, but it is still an accomplishment.

I tried stopping at High Falls Gorge just outside Lake Placid before searching for a campground, but they closed at 4:30…I was a few minutes too late. I have to say, it’s a little bit of a pet peeve to me when the most scenic areas get so commercialized with a grand entrance and a fee to walk along a river and see a waterfall, and it’s off limits two hours before sunset! I think that may be why I enjoyed Missouri so much. The springs were so beautiful and you could hike to any of them until dark.

As luck would have it, my campsite was around the bend from High Falls Gorge and by walking down the side of the mountain, Scout, Petey, and I saw some magnificent falls. We also got drenched, but we had hardly been out of VANilla all day! The view of the falls was from a slick rock ledge that made me sick to my stomach and slightly dizzy every time I looked down. Despite having skydived and bungy jumped, I’m not that fond of ledges…I’m afraid I’ll accidentally fall. Holding on to two dogs that are not exactly sure footed didn’t help matters. Regardless, the power of the water was tremendous and the trees growing on the rock ledges were amazing to me. Waterfalls = mesmerizing! The rest of the night we spent drying out. ETB

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Day 16 – Adirondack Adventure

This is yesterday’s post…I am posting without pictures because my connection is really slow and I’m camping without electricity tonight, so my computer is about to go dead.  Check back tomorrow though, because there is some good scenery!

The Adirondacks – New York

Today I started from a campsite near Lake Saranac.  I couldn’t tell you the name.  It was dark and late when I pulled in and early in the morning when I left.  The attendant wasn’t even there.  I had to call, tell them I used a site, and give my credit card over the phone on my way to Lake Saranac.  Driving around Adironadack Park was a learning experience.  First and foremost Lake Saranac is the town name, while the lake is called Upper, Middle or Lower Saranac Lake.  Second, the well known lakes like this one are typically surrounded by all private property.  There are some public spots here and there to launch boats, but there aren’t many public access hiking trails.  The hiking trails are near the campgrounds or near smaller lakes and ponds in the area.  The signage in the area is very restricted.  All the street signs, private driveway signs, boat launch signs, trail signs, even for sale signs are brown and yellow.  Additionally, many of the private areas are called “camps” and as with all the scenic drives I’ve been on the roads wind through forests and hills.  Needless to say, if and when I was able to decipher a trail sign, I was either past it or had an annoyed driver behind me…tourists!!

One of my mother and Bart’s favorite placse to go is The Point on Upper Saranac Lake.  I first drove to Lake Saranac, thinking I’d see the lake, and quickly learned – not so, thus I thought I would stop by The Point to get a glimpse as the roads were lined with a forest of colorful trees blocking any views of the lake.  I wound up a four mile driveway to the top of the mountain to find the gate closed.  Well, at least I saw the sign and tiny part of the lake.  It was on the way to my next stop, Tupper Lake, so it wasn’t a big deal, except that after all the rain over the last few days, I was ready for a hike, preferably around water.

I stopped two more times before reaching Tupper Lake:  Follensby Pond and Fish Creek Pond Campgrounds.  Follensby Pond, according to Reader’s Digest, “was the setting for the 1858 Philosophers Camp where writer Ralph Waldo Emerson and several other scholars came to enjoy the woods and exchange ideas.”  The area where I stopped really only had room for a boat launch, so I’m not sure where a camp would be, but I got a few nice pictures out of it.  My next stop was Fish Creek Pond Campgrounds…poor Robert.  At this point I was 0-3 to go on a hike, so before I paid a day use fee to sit by a lake, I peppered Robert with 100 questions!  He was so nice.  He confirmed what I had figured out, that most the trails weren’t by the big lakes and that there was one trail at the campground that was 4 miles long – too long for the mutts, but we could go part way and turn around.  He suggested instead that I go to Rollins Pond Campground, farther back in the Fish Creek Pond complex, and just walk around there because it was closed to campers…so that’s what we did.  Before I drove up there, though, Gerald and Nancy (I think were their names, from Michigan) waved me down.  They wanted to know all about VANilla.  John at JDB Imports may be getting another customer.  Scout, Petey, and I were ready for our hike so we strolled half way around Rollins Pond and turned back the way we came as I didn’t have a map to be able to see if it would make a whole loop.

As I kept driving south, views of lakes were more plentiful…some came right up to the road.  I also started seeing signs to trailheads.  I stopped at one trailhead, all of the trails a bit long, but met another couple from New York who suggested Buttermilk Falls just past Long Lake.  If there wasn’t a car pulled off the side of the road, I would have never noticed the “parking lot” for Buttermilk Falls.  It was a short walk down to the river where I met Bill.  He was retired military who worked in electronics on planes.  He was in Vietnam and Desert Storm.  One of his hobbies is photography.  He was down by the river’s edge after carefully stepping over several boulders with his wooden tripod.  I’m surprised he even heard me walk up, as it took a shout to hear over the river’s roar…perhaps it was the faint jingle of my dogs’ tags.  Bill was nice enough to walk below the falls with me and take a picture of me and my pups.  He also suggested that I take a tour of Great Camp Sagamore, built by William West Durant in 1897 and later sold to Alfred Vanderbilt.

Great Camp Sagamore is only one of four camps with the designation “Great” in the Adirondacks and is located near Raquette Lake.  Three of the four were built by Durant.  The designation was given based on architecture in the natural habitat, the lake, and a variety of other characteristics.  Durant built the camp for his family and supervised every detail.  The first building at the camp was a blacksmith shop.  All the iron work hinges, hooks, handles, chandeliers for the camp were made at the blacksmith shop as were the horseshoes for the horses used to haul materials in.  The upper camp also included a chicken coop, barn, ice house, and housing for the workers.  The lower camp had different buildings for dining, sleeping, playing, and even had its own bowling alley so that guests were forced to walk outside on occasion…that was the point of escaping New York City…to enjoy nature.  In fact, it took 36 hours for guests to arrive from New York City by train, stagecoach, steamship, and carriage.  Durant had to sell the camp because he was going bankrupt from lawsuits and perhaps from being a perfectionist as he ordered the fireplace be rebuilt as one stone was showing chisel marks which wasn’t natural.

When the Vanderbilts owned the camp, the railroad extended to just a few miles from the camp, thus their guests were much more refreshed upon arrival.  Also, the Vanderbilt’s expanded the camp so that they could entertain more guests.  In addition to adding more dining space and guest cabins, they added another workers’ quarters in the upper camp, which was, of course, out of sight from their guests, but that was on a road that took J.P. Morgan’s guests to his camp.  The quarters were a Swiss style chalet like the main building, and it was strategically located to block the working  view of the farm as J.P. Morgan’s guests passed by, yet looked nice enough to cause J.P. Morgan’s guests to hope one day they would be invited to the Vanderbilt’s.  The philosophy being:  if they treated their workers that well, just think how they would treat their guests.

I finished the day by driving through the Fulton Chain Lake with numbers for their names, Old Forge, and ending up in Ames, NY at a family friend’s second house.  We’ve known John and Linda in Dallas for as long as I can remember.  They bought a house up here in New York in 2002 and a year later bought the house next to theirs so they can spend the summers in cooler weather with their kids and grandkids.  I got a house entirely to myself.  It was so great…a hot shower, washer/dryer, a bed, and a kitchen loaded with breakfast foods!  Even better, Linda took me to a wonderful dinner at The Rose & Kettle in Cherry Valley.  I savored a giant crab cake and dried cherry and walnut salad with a glass of

Thought this was clever!

cabernet.  It was fantastic.  For all you Democrats out there, I’m told it is one of Hillary Clinton’s favorite restaurants.  It was definitely a nice change from PB&J.  Linda wouldn’t let me take a picture of her for the blog, but I did get a picture of the house.  Thank you John and Linda for a wonderful evening!

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Day 15 – Sights along the Seaway Trail Part 3…

I got a late start this morning as I was up too late working on google maps that didn’t work…bummer!  I’ll try to figure something


else out. Southwick Beach State Park has a “No Dogs Allowed” beach on Lake Ontario, so that settled that.  There were a couple of trails that led to the adjacent Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, but given it had rained for the last 18 hours straight from a sprinkle to a downpour, I decided to try my luck in Sackets Harbor.

Sackets Harbor was used as a naval base from 1808 until the 1940’s.  During the War of 1812, the British tried to capture it, but failed.  Scout, Petey, and I walked around the battle field during one of the only sunny moments of the day (in hindsight I should have enjoyed it more) and then drove a few blocks to see Madison Barracks where Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in the 1830’s.  Currently, it is operated as an apartment building; a single bedroom starts at $780/month.

The point of most interest to me today was Cape Vincent.  Cape Vincent can be found at the junction of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and is home to the 1827 Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  It was closed and it started to sprinkle; another brief visit.

I continued on toward the Thousand Islands region.  What a beautiful area.  The view from the 100-foot-high Thousands Islands International Bridge was breathtaking.  It was definitely worth the $2.50 just to cross it and come back!  I wish I could have stopped at the top of its steep arch.  The Thousand Islands region has closer to 1,800 islands than 1,000 and they come in all sizes.  Some have only a few trees, while others are home to mansions and even castles.  I had planned to take a boat tour to

1 of 1000 islands

Heart Island to visit the Boldt Castle, a replica of the Rhine, but 2 ½ hours on a boat in the rain didn’t seem very inviting and the castle tour, I found out, was to take a minimum of half a day.  I guess I’ll just have to go visit the Rhine.  I think it would have been interesting to see just because it was built by George Boldt, the proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York at which I’ve stayed.  I also tried visiting the Cornwall Brothers Store which

according to Reader’s Digest displays a plethora of Americana, as I thought my mom would like that, but all I found was a museum that was closed.  I have learned that most of the historic places on the Seaway Trail are only open from Wednesday to Sunday, so if you are ever planning a visit exclude Monday and Tuesday unless you are going to the beach!

The Seaway Trail continues on to Ogdensburg and is blessed with some of the most magnificent scenery I have ever seen.  Inlets of the river snaked like canals through glistening, golden wheat fields damp from the morning rain while being surrounded by vibrant reds and oranges of the turning leaves.  I was so taken by one spot, I began to pull off the side of the road in the drizzle just to take a photo.  Many others must have felt the same way as it was the only part of the highway that had signs posted every 10 yards, “No Parking Anytime”.  Given the rain, the curvy road, and the fact that I’m carrying a 38 special (for my safety) in a “No Tolerance for Guns State”, I decided to comply with the street signs.

Shortly after I obeyed the law, which now I regret, the Emergency Alert System sounded on the radio warning of severe thunderstorms with 60 mph winds.  EAS claimed the storm system did not contain much lightning, thus do not wait until you hear thunder.   Take cover immediately.  The warning was for eastern Jefferson County.  The only problem with this is I wasn’t sure of exactly what county I was in.  I thought, do I need to drive faster to out run the storm or slow down so I don’t drive right into it?  I drove in drizzle to Ogdensburg and found out the storm was just behind me.  I bought a ticket to the Frederic Remington Art Museum, I wasn’t there for 30 minutes before the monsoon hit.  I thought it would be interesting to go to the museum as my dad has always been a fan of the bronzes.  The museum is located in the mansion once owned by Remington’s widow.  The collection includes, but is not limited to bronzes, water colors, oil paintings, and items owned and used by Remington.  While there were several amazing pieces, I only have so much space to allot to each part of my blog, so I’ve chosen to highlight one piece that I saw, The Bronco Buster.  According to the museum’s pamphlet, The Bronco Buster was the first of Remington’s Bronzes.  Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co., NY used a sand cast bronze to produce 64 of this subject beginning in 1895.  Thereafter, Remington used the Roman Bronze Work, NY that employed the wax casting process, which he preferred because of the detail it retained from the clay model to the bronze and because he could make changes with each cast.

The widow’s home is connected to another historic home by way of a gallery, thus corporate or private functions may be held there.  As I was planning to leave, the storm grew even stronger, thus Ray (I presume one of the museum’s curators) walked me through the passage way (generally off limits unless there is a function) to the other house to get me closer to my car and gave me a tour until there was a break in the storm.  The woodwork, decorative paint and the fireplaces in both of the houses were fantastic.

When the downpour slowed to a drizzle for about 30 seconds, I made a dash to VANilla.  I opted to skip the walking tour that describes the Battle of Ogdensburg during the War of 1812, but did do a “drive by” of the 1809 Customs House.  Originally a French fort, it is the oldest federal government building still in use in the United States of America.  Judging from all the Border Patrol Tahoes parked outside the building, I presume the Border Patrol offices are inside.

While VANilla’s wipers were at full speed, VANilla’s speedometer read well below the speed limit.  I crept along the Seaway Trail and exited at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock.  As luck would have it, I passed through the tunnel below the lock just as a ship passed overhead.  Reader’s Digest suggests that it is “an unnerving experience”, and it sort of was!  But the drive over the 100-foot arched bridge was a little unnerving too.  Scout, Petey, and I hung out in the overlook area along with a handful of other cars and watched the ship maneuver into the lock, lower 42 feet, and exit in 7 minutes.  During this time, it stopped raining!!  Cheryl and Jim got out of their car and so did I.  Cheryl and Jim are on a two week trip from Indianapolis.  They had come from Niagara Falls and were on their way to Boston while spending a few nights around the Lake Placid area. They said they were planning on going to Arizona in March – who knows I may run into them again.  I met the same guy from San Francisco in Cusco, Peru over Labor Day in 2009 and then again on a 20 seat plane in the middle of the Serengeti this Labor Day weekend.

As we watched the ship drop, I took a picture toward the southwest of sunny skies and picture toward the northeast of the black clouds.  Hmmm…what should I do…I was headed southeast to Lake Saranac.  While it was nice to finally see the sun, I decided after a short drive through Robert Moses State Park, where I saw three different flocks of turkeys, several geese, the Moses Saunders Power Dam, and a cool bridge. I would try to camp somewhere near Lake Saranac in the Adirondack Park.   The foliage along this part of the drive was really showing fall colors…there were more reds, oranges, and yellows, than there were greens.  While I was enjoying the color, I was also noticing I was in the middle of nowhere, without cell service, and no campsites in view.  I was beginning to wonder if I had made the right decision.  In my experience in the Ozarks, there were campsite signs everywhere; here they were limited…I found one! ETB

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Day 14 – Sights along the Seaway Trail Continued…

I awoke with no bear sightings…so the evening was a success.  I stopped by the lighthouse at the campgrounds once more, but the lady who runs it wasn’t there at 9:30 am, so I just marked it off as another virtual cache, but didn’t get to take the tour.  I met Arnie and Judy at the campgrounds the night before.  They were red hats and helped with pointing out the different hookups, so I talked to Brown's Racethem before heading to Rochester.  Believe it or not, there is a 100-foot waterfall in the middle of town.  High Falls, on the Genesee River, can be found in Brown’s Race Historic District, and lucky for me was another earth cache.  During the early 1800s the river supplied power to several mills and factories in the area, and Rochester became known as the Flour City.  After the decline of mills, Rochester became known as the Flower City.

Brown’s Race, a power canal, was constructed in 1815 and can still be seen today in the Historic District.  The Triphammercanal; 1,221 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 5 ½ feet deep; diverted water away from the falls and spillways and funneled the water from the race through the mills.  Next to the canal was the Triphammer Building built as a forge in 1816 and operated as a tool factory.  A large hammer (the triphammer) was raised by waterpower and dropped to forge wrought-iron tools.  Later the building was used to build fire engines and in 1860 it was purchased by Junius Judson, inventor of the steam governor used in locomotives and ships, who added a water turbine.

The building burned in 1977.  Workers who were clearing the rubble uncovered a basement room with the water wheel and the water wheelshaft to the water turbine.  The remains provide the layers of Rochester’s history.  Before I left the Historic District, two interns interviewed me about the banks and the new banking laws…haha.  They wanted to know if I was happy with how I was treated the last time I opened a checking account, how the bank communicates with me, if the communication is relevant, and who I thought would benefit the least with the new regulations.  Hmmm…I wonder.

Eastman kodakRochester is also home to Eastman Kodak.  Eastman Kodak’s office building is walking distance from the falls, and George Eastman’s 50-room Colonial Revival Mansion is only a few miles away in the East Avenue Historic District.  It now houses the International Museum of susan b anthonyPhotography and Film.  I stopped by, but as with most museums, it was closed on Monday.  I bet it is fantastic.  I also made a quick trip to the Susan B. Anthony House, as I’ve always liked the dollar coin, and expectantly settled for a picture of the house as it was closed too.

I maneuvered the downtown area back to the Seaway Trail that was peppered with apple and pear orchards, sodus bay lighthousefields of wild flowers, and crops with backdrops of lake views or green forests sprinkled with red, yellow, and orange from the changing leaves.  Thirty miles later I arrived at Sodus Bay Lighthouse.  According to Reader’s Digest, “It is said that slaves escaping via the Underground Railroad longed to see the Sodus Light, the last way station on their 1,000 mile trek” before they sailed across to Canada.  Currently, it includes a maritime museum, and it was closed as well!  At least I saved some money on all the entrance fees I guess.

I ended the day early at Southwick Beach State Park.  I saw two more deer, so my count is up to 13.  It has been raining since noon, so the dogs and I have been hanging out in the car.  I needed to get a few bills paid, emails sent, and review my upcoming trips, so it was good time to pull in for the night. ETB

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