Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mystery Spot #8

It is time for the monthly installment of "Can you guess this location?" Where is this waterfall and which branch of the Ausable River does its waters enter?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Disc Golf at Whiteface

I had never played Disc Golf until this morning.  This is the first summer that Whiteface has offered the activity and we weren't going to let summer disappear until we tried it out.  Disc Golf is very similar to regular golf, except you play with a small frisbee and you have to throw it towards a basket.  
The course at Whiteface is on the lower bottom of the mountain and zig zags under four different lifts.  We found there to be many obstacles just like in a real game of golf.  Coming up on the third tee, we noticed a truck parked directly in our line of play. 
The basket was just behind the truck to the left of the trees.  The vehicle gave us no problem, but the enemy turned out to be the tree.  The disc went up, but didn't want to come down.I went back inside and our friendly ticket seller, Ronnie, gave us another disc to use.  When I returned to the site of the incident, I couldn't find Drew anywhere.  I called his name and he said, "I'm up here!"  It was at this point, I realized why ORDA has their Disc Golf "athletes" sign waivers before playing.  After getting a second disc for him to toss, I spotted the lost one in the tree next to where he was.  As an ex-arborist, he climbed that one and was able to shake the disc down to the ground.  Good thing ski patrol wasn't around to take away his season pass!

We were all set to start playing again.  He had a good throw that landed over near Bear Lift. When he went to give his next toss, we discovered that it was not resting peacefully at the base of the lift, but in the depths of it!  So, Drew lowered himself down to retrieve it and tossed it out.  
Could this be considered a sand trap?

After the fourth basket, we stopped keeping score.  With my consistent 25 foot launches, I was missing par every time and Drew was just having bad luck.

We only had one incident with a water obstacle when I threw it past the half pipe and it landed in a small stream.  

We were playing really well on Number 7, until some downhill mountain bikers ran over our discs!  

Even with all the obstacles, Drew and I had a lot of fun playing Disc Golf.  How could you not enjoy yourself in a setting like this?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Depressed Gargoyles

Dear Gargoyles of Upper Jay,

I have reason to think you might be depressed.  It has been three months since I have witnessed your participation in activities that you normally enjoy.  Not since the middle of May have you gone fishing. I realize it has been a rainy summer and perhaps it has gotten you down.  I thought when you put your fishing equipment away in June and left just your hat on that maybe you were getting ready for some gardening.  Two months have gone by and you continue to nap in the shade.  Sometimes with depression, you feel lifeless and apathetic and all you want to do is sleep.  Hypersomnia can be a sign of depression.

Apparently, it is normal to feel down at times, but when this has been going on for months there is reason to be concerned.  Many of your fans have been asking me what might be wrong with you.  Back in April, when Easter came and went and you did nothing to celebrate the Easter bunny, readers of my blog thought maybe you weren't religious.  I reminded them how excited you were for Christmas.  When you're depressed, hobbies and other activities just don't interest you anymore.  Does any of this ring a bell with you my favorite gargoyles?

I would really like to be there for you if you need help or want to talk.  With help and support you can get better.  I thought at first your owners might be on an extended vacation, but on two occasions I have seen them pulling out of the driveway.  I also saw that dog friend of yours two mornings in a row. 

There are many people out there that deeply care for you and would like to see your moods improve.  If you think you need me to help kick start your activity level again, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I would even consider adoption.  As my friend pointed out, if Angelina and Madonna can adopt children around the world, why can't I adopt Gargoyles that need help too?


Along the Ausable Blog Lady

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trolley Tour

I have mentioned my fascination with public transportation before when I took the Mountain Valley Shuttle back in December.  The Lake Placid XPrss Green Trolley service is also great for seeing the area and even better than the shuttle for people watching and you can jump on and off whenever there is a designated stop.  The stops are clearly marked along the route with estimated times of arrival posted on the sign. 

After having dinner with the ladies, one mentioned we take a joy ride on the Trolley since it is free.  According to our stop across from High Peaks Resort, we had about an eleven minute wait until I spotted one going the opposite direction and so I sprinted up the sidewalk to catch the trolley.
(I apologize for the quality of pictures.  
This was a spontaneous adventure and only had my camera phone.)

At first I was a little skeptical of how much fun this would be because it's the height of summer tourist season and thought we would be packed in like sardines, but when we hopped on board, there were tons of seats available.  I was also surprised to see more locals sitting there than tourists, there was even one passenger with groceries from Price Chopper, and then I realized how convenient the Lake Placid Xpress is for everyone.

We giggled for the first few miles and laughed when we saw my car parked at their hotel.  
At that point, I could have gotten off and driven us back to the other car that was parked at the opposite end of Main Street.  However, that would have meant missing the train station parking lot, the tour of the nursing home, and the most exciting stop at the ski jumps where a girl in the parking lot came down the hill on a luge with wheels!

When we saw the stop for Ben and Jerry's we quickly got off and learned that one member of our group had enough at that point because the odors from the people seated behind her were a little offensive.  I guess that's the down side to public transportation.  Good thing the ladies had their own wheels to bring them to Tupper Lake for Art on Park the next day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mac's Ice Cream Parlor and Diner

Hot.  Soft Serve Coconut.  Mac's.  Keeseville. Must Go!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Putt-N-Play at the North Pole

We asked our friends to join us at Putt-N-Play at the North Pole Campground in Wilmington the other night.  This was a course I had never played on and was excited to try out.  We hadn't played mini golf with them since they were childless and I figured my chances of winning a game of mini golf against a couple of distracted parents with two kids would be pretty good.  

Cecilia had a good start, as did I when I only took two strokes on the first hole and then had a hole in one on the second!  Being only 3, she got distracted after a few holes and was more interested in the play part of "Putt-N-Play".  

We quickly discovered that there would be no need to keep score and became the team that held everyone up.  Fortunately, we are childless and find nights like this entertaining since we aren't the ones having to chase a toddler around the miniature golf course while they climb onto the obstacles.

Cecilia really liked the Castle hole just like any other 3 year old princess would.  

For most of the night Henry just sat peacefully in his stroller with a green golf ball, until he started screeching to be let out to play the retro hole.  

I really enjoyed this course and it reminded me of one my parents would take me to in Potsdam that has since been demolished for a Walmart.  Luckily this one has been spared by a bulldozer and remains a nice little slice of Americana.  At Putt-N-Play, you get the charm of a miniature golf course that probably hasn't changed in 30 years for only $4.50 where they allow you to drink a cold beverage as you play with sticky gripped clubs.  Happy Golfing!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hanging On A Cliff

A rock climber I am not, but today I got to play the part for a friend.  Emilie, too modest to say so, is a rock climbing goddess in these neck of the woods and also a guide.  She has been guiding for years, but is taking an exam this weekend to bring her up a notch in the guiding world.   Lately, she has been taking her husband and owner of Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides out to practice the skills she will be tested on.  However, he is off guiding in France, so I told her I'd be her "dummy."

She needed to lower me over a rock wall and practice her "knot pass."  I'm not sure what that means, but I was game.  Hanging sixty feet in the air, I waited.  
This exercise didn't take too long since she needs to accomplish this in less than five minutes. She did it in four.  After she was through, she lowered me down and I untied myself from the harness and walked back up to her.  

The next task was going to take much longer because there were a few things she had to practice before she would do her "Rescue Mission" on me.  She lowered me again on a 5.9 climb that is appropriately named, "Live, Free or Die."  Emilie worked on her knots, lifted and lowered me three meters and patiently I waited dangling over the cliff. 
(Mom, please don't pay attention to the lack of helmet)

Hanging there I contemplated many things.  For instance, the peregrine we heard in the distance...I wondered if it was going to swoop down and poke me in the eye.  I thought about having to go to the bathroom since my harness was a little too large for me, shifting around and wreaking havoc on my innards.  I was thinking about why she would have to rescue me in the first place, probably because I would be dehydrated and have low blood sugar which would cause me to faint, turning me into a true dangling dummy.

Alas, Emilie came to my rescue!  
She passed the trial exam with flying colors today, completing the "Rescue Mission" ten minutes before the 45 minute cut off.  Way to go Emilie!  I hope your skills this weekend are just as good as they were today, except for the whipping me in the face with the rope part. ;)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oozeball Tournament

Finally, the second weekend in August arrived for me to discover what the Oozeball Tournament in Upper Jay is all about.  I had dropped by before work yesterday morning when things were just getting started and from a distance it looked like a bunch of sunburned men playing volleyball in water.  I was sitting at work contemplating all this and knew I needed to return.  After all, the sign said "Come Join the Fun!"

I walked up to a few young ladies to get the lowdown and immediately they offered me a beer. I was glad I waited until after work for the scoop on oozeball since it became apparent that an icy cold beverage is a necessity at this tournament.  The ladies were there to watch their husbands compete against other oozeball teams for a chance to win a t-shirt and trophy.
The water didn't really seem ooze-like to me, it was just some water on top of a sand pit.  I happened to look up what ye old Merriam-Webster would say, ooze: a soft deposit (as of mud, slime, or shells) on the bottom of a body of water.  I really thought it would be more slimy or muddy than it was.  Perhaps the longer the tournament is played, the more ooze-like it gets.  At one point I actually heard a mother tell her son who was playing in the sideline waters, to stop drinking the ooze water!  That statement jolted me into realizing this wasn' t just water they were playing in, but indeed it was very ooze-like.

Finally after living on this earth for 30 plus years, I was able to watch my first Oozeball Tournament with some fried bread dough and a free can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.  
Life is good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cat Days of Summer

Our cats have been out all day long.  I just went to the field behind our house and I couldn't find them anywhere.  Can't say I blame them with a playground in the backyard like this. 

 Ahhhh, the cat days of summer!