Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vote for Pumpkins

Of all the political signs on this corner in Jay, the pumpkin sign seems to be the most accessible candidate out of this crop.
No hidden agenda here folks, just two miles up the road you'll find them!

I'll add that they're pretty straight forward with what they'll do for you and they're not even going to add tax! Just serve yourself and put your money in the box.
I've got to say, this candidate is everywhere! Just the week before we elected to take home our first non-traditional white pumpkin from Lake Placid.
When the pumpkin is up for re-election next year, they'll have my vote again!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gargoyles in Costume

The Gargoyles seem to have cleaned off the cobwebs from last year and have decided to go green and re-use their costumes.

Lance has dressed up as a clown again, but has added a ghost by his side and a pumpkin for company.

John is a mime again, but this time with a devil's pitchfork and a dinosaur on his wing.
I can't forget to point out the wigged pumpkin hanging out this year.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gargoyle News!

After following the Gargoyle activity on 9N in Upper Jay for over a year now, I often wondered if the humans they guarded even knew about their fan base. I created different scenarios about the people that lived in the yellow house at the end of the driveway and every time I received an "Anonymous" comment about the Gargoyles, I wondered if it was the owners. The closest I ever got was when I was running this summer and they pulled out of the driveway and I actually got to wave to them!

Checking my email this morning, I noticed some new comments on my old gargoyle posts and was thrilled to find out they were from the owners! Apparently one of their friends told them about my blog and they were rewarded with a year's worth of my crazy picture taking and blog posts of Lefty and Righty Gargoyle.

As it turns out, the Gargoyles do have names, "I, Righty am John and my buddy Lefty is Lance. They are the names of passed away fathers that are dearly missed, so we protect the family now!"

Now that the mystery is gone, I wonder what I'll think about now on my commute to work?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center

Every time I drove down Springfield Road in Wilmington, I always wondered about the DEC sign for anglers and the smaller sign for the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center. We finally drove down to check it out and I am so glad we did.

The refuge includes a one mile hiking trail that also serves as a public fishing access. This is a beautiful trail that winds along the West Branch of the Ausable River. You can take the trail to the Rehab Center or you can just go down the driveway to see all the animals. The first time we went, we walked down the driveway and thought we were intruding on someone's home until we saw all the enclosures and were greeted by Wendy and Steve taking the wolves for a walk.

The wolves presence helps keep predators away from the various hawks, owls, and falcons in the other cages. On the outside of the cages are descriptions of the animals. The wolves and birds of prey that have been rescued here have beautiful views of Whiteface and the river valley.

If you are lucky to be there when Wendy and Steve are tending to the enclosures, they will educate you on the wildlife. Steve was kind enough to take one of the Great Horned Owls out to talk to us about this amazing bird's hearing and strength.

Some of the animals can recover from the injuries that brought them here and when ready are released back into the wild. If some have permanent injuries they are used in educational demonstrations where you can see them up close.
I highly recommend a visit to see the Wildlife Rehab Center. Visiting is free, however they do accept donations.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Running

As a teenager, I was on the cross country team. That meant I was supposed to start training in the summer so I'd be in shape in time for fall. That was the theory. With young muscles and the naivety that went with my adolescence, I skipped the hot summer running and was able to get by on a bit of talent rather than any kind of training.

That just doesn't seem to work anymore. Unlike in high school, I ran this summer. I plugged away at running miles on the road and off. I signed myself up for the Dunkin Donuts Cape Cod Marathon at the end of October thinking that getting the last few weeks of training in the fall would be much easier than in the heat of summer. As it turns out, even after a decade and a half, I still lack motivation. With only an hour of lightness available to me after I get out of work combined with cooler temperatures, rain and snow, a new television season and a comfy couch, getting out on the road has been difficult. After being sick all of last week, I got no running in and so it left me with still one last long run to get in before I could taper.

This taper couldn't come at a better time. My body craves rest. I also crave chicken pot pie, candy corn and apple cider. I want all things fall. I love fall. Crisp air, a rainbow of foliage on the mountain sides, and the smell. Maybe the last long run wouldn't be so bad.

Sure enough, once I got my butt off the couch and my stinky shoes hit the pavement, I came alive. The occasional car passed me, but mostly it was me and autumn. Having complained about the hills all summer long, they began to reward me with beautiful views and stronger muscles.
The chill in the air allowed me to go faster than I had all summer long in the heat and humidity. I tried catching leaves that fell above me for good luck. I took in the sounds and smells of running through colorful leaves.

So it happened on a beautiful fall day, the lovely Ausable River Valley helped me get my running mojo back!

Noon Mark Diner

Our good friends Amy and Chris were in town from Nevada and although they had little time to spend with us, we were still able to get together a couple times. Amy desperately wanted to go on a blogging adventure, so we planned to have dinner with them at the Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley. I usually go to the Noon Mark for breakfast or pie, but they gave us a dinner time slot, so I told them we could go as long as we ate some of their famous pie after our meal.
The Noon Mark is also known to have a "Mountain of Home Cooking." We all checked over the menu and the nutritionist in the group, Amy, was excited to see they have partnered with Keene Fitness across the road and highlights some healthful options and gives you tips on how to maintain good health. Of course, she opted out of ordering one of those and went for the French Onion Soup and a Hot Turkey Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.
Chris tried to order the Asian Salad, but they were out of mandarin oranges so he went with the Spinach Salad with Chicken. His selection was one of the Keene Fitness choices, however he ordered a side of onion rings to create a harmony between nutritional eating habits and fried goodness.
Like Chris, I was not able to have my first choice, Banana Pancakes. Apparently, there was no more banana batter left and so I ordered Blueberry Pancakes. I found this strange because there were a couple bananas sitting on the shelf across from us.
I thought maybe they could take plain pancake batter and cut in the bananas, but maybe they were saving them for topping a banana cream pie. I was a little sad that they were so low on produce, but Chris (always positive) thought, "maybe our choices are so successful here, that is why they are out of it." Even without the mandarin oranges and lack of bananas we were still satisfied with our second choice.

My blueberry pancakes came and they were delicious, I also really like that they use real maple syrup and the fact that you can order breakfast here all day!
Drew, not worried about fruit or vegetables, ordered up some typical diner food, a bacon cheeseburger and a thick vanilla milkshake. He got his first choice and gobbled it right up.

After waiting a bit for our check and being full from our meal, we didn't even order any pie. Turns out, Amy doesn't even like pie, and they didn't even take one for the drive down to Albany. Shocking! Looks like I'll just have to go back and sample some pie another time.