Ok, I don't get paid to travel and visit friends and explore.
Technically it isn't a real job. But I do work at it. I get online, I find places, I plan my route and set the dates. Then I try to make reservations.
Sometimes I can't get into a campground on the dates I want. So I have to figure out a plan B. And then sometimes plans change and I cancel those reservations. It's all part of the JOB.
I remember working at a paid job and working on a project for days, even weeks, and then the project gets canceled or changes directions and all my work was essentially flushed down the drain.
I learned I can agonize over it, or just shrug my shoulders and move on. It's ok, it all pays the same. Or in my case, it all works out for the best. At least it seems that way.
Where Am I?
Right this minute I am in the recreation room at Paul Smith College in Paul Smith, New York.
I am not far from Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Park.
According to the website:
"At 6 million acres, it is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States. The state of New York owns approximately 2.6 million acres, while the remaining 3.4 million acres are devoted to forestry, agriculture and open space recreation."
It is interesting to have so much nature interspersed with towns and private lands.
It would be easy to get lost. My directional compass is always making mistakes here. Fortunately, Steve has come to the area a lot and knows his way around. Cell service is very spotty so getting help from Googlemaps is not an option in many areas.
Before I tell you the awesome stuff we have done in the Adirondacs, let me tell you about a couple of things I have done since I last wrote to you. I hope you have been having some wonderful awe-inspiring moments too this month.
Final Days in the Finger Lakes
Last I wrote to you I was still camping at Watkins Glen at the bottom of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.
I did go to the Corning and Rockwell Museums in Corning, NY. Museum walking is hard on my back. I didn't read all the signs or see everything. I was impressed with the Corning Glass Museum.
I am going to tell you about the most impressive peice I saw at the Corning Museum.
An artist had blown glass according to the history of the population growth of various cities in the world. Ancient cities like Rome had very long tails of slow growth and a few times when the population declined. There was a chart on the wall explaining the time-line and the citites represented in the glass.
What was interesting was the huge sprout of growth in almost all the cities around the time of World War II.
Leaving Watkins Glen
I packed up my camper and departed Watkins Glen three nights early. Christie and Mark had offered for me to come plug in at their blueberry farm and go with them to some music at a brewery. And I was anxious to get back to Steve. We were missing each other.
Steve had told me he was shopping for a life jacket for me. We had plans while I was visiting New York to use his light-weight, one-person canoes for some paddling adventures.
One evening he sent me this picture. "You will look great in this," he texted.
I had never seen a life jacket like this. Yay, he got purple... but what is that, a cross between a boostier and a lifejacket???
I laughed and texted him back, "you are so funny!"
I shared the picture with Debra and she laughed too (See, it wasn't just me.) Debra and I giggled over the strategic placement of the zippers.
I puzzeled... "Where did he get that? A porn site for outdoorsy folks?" We laughed some more.
I had two stops I wanted to make on my way to Christie and Mark's home. I had been told not to miss Taughannock Falls State Park, and I wanted to visit the National Women's Rights Museum in Seneca Falls.
I hiked about four miles at Taughannock Falls. It was a nice loop around the falls.
I enjoyed the trail around the rim of the gorge. I didn't walk into the gorge because I ran out of time!
I walked by the State Park campground and decided that some day I would return to stay a few days with Steve. The bottom of the gorge empties into a finger lake and there is a nice park there. It is a place to kayak, swim, and hike.
Seneca Falls was at the top of that finger lake. George, (my deceased husband of 41 years) Jeremy (our son), my Mom and I had stopped at the museum on our way to Maine back in the 1990's or early 2000's. We didn't have much time to linger then. I only remembered the fountain which is a long stone wall with etchings in it and a smooth sheet of water flowing over it.
This is where the first women's rights convention was held. They came up with a statement of purpose and that is one of the things etched into the fountain wall, along with the women and men that signed it. The statement reminds us of the conditions for women back in the 1800's and early 1900's. They couldn't own property, a married woman had no rights to her children in the case of a divorse or any money that she earned. And of course, women could not vote.
A Wonderful Two Days with Christie and Mark.
Steve's Place Near Glens Falls, New York
I went to Anytime Fitness. Only my car sent me to the Anytime in Saratoga Springs instead of the closer one in Glens Falls. It was a nice drive and still a good workout.
And it turned out a good choice since I had a package to send to my granddaughter. She had just started college in Georgia.
Back last spring I was going to meet up with her near Atlanta. But then the transmission on my truck died and the opportunity was lost. I had a package of stuff I was going to give her at that time... my wedding ring for one. I have been carrying it around in Big Blue ever since thinking we would get together, but it hasn't happened. I decided now was the time to just send it to her along with a check to help pay a little toward her schooling.
The UPS store was right around the corner from the gym! Yay!
I drove to find the trail that Steve showed me on the map. Once on the bike I rode just a couple blocks until I found a restaurant where I could have breakfast. A place with the name, Poopies!
My veggie omlette and potatoes were super greasy. Just like you might expect from a little historic local restaurant. Steve said that Poopies is world famous. I know when I left at noon there were people waiting for my table. I saw that the meat sandwiches were piled high with a generous portion of meat.
I rode my bike toward the river to find the Feeder Canal Trail. I ended up riding to the wrong side of the river and did a short trail over there, which was nice. Then I got on the Canal Trail.
I think it was that night that Steve took me to the Strand Theater to listen to a Bonjovi Tribute band, Raise Your Hands.
Neither of us are big Bonjovi fans, but it was an opportunity to support this restored theater. Steve had told me so much about it.
What was really fun about the performance was the audience. They were soooo into it, as if this band were the real Bonjovi. They screamed and hooted, swayed, and sang along.
Steve's home is in walking distance to a State Park. I was able to walk right from Steve's house into the park.
At one point on the path there were hundreds of tiny frogs. Can you find the little guy in this picture?
Steve has these really light canoes that are made in New York specifically for portaging or as Steve says it is called in New York, "carrying". "It isn't a portage, it is a carry," he tells me. That is what the locals call it.
Paddling, Pedaling and Camping in the Adirondacks
The campground is near Tupper Lake, NY. We have had a good time camping in Steve's trailer without water or electric hookups. I am amazed at the luxury we can experience without being hooked up. We have a bigger fridge, lights, and running water.... hot water, and a kitchen sink and stove!
When I am in Steve's trailer it is like being in a mansion compared to my little LILAC.
We are in an area where there are many many lakes. Many are connected, some are separated by a bit of land requiring a carry.
Steve was checking the weather to find the best days when we could go without much worry of storms and rain.
I will tell you all about it, but not today. I have to go shopping for a new journal. My old one is full to the last page.
Next time I write I will tell you about our kayak camp trip in a rustic site. It was real, real rustic... well, it did have a box to sit on with a hole in it as our wilderness porta-potty.
Until next time, as they say on the Moth podcast, have a story worthy week.