Oswego – Tugboat and Great Lakes Barge

I went to Oswego to go swimming one last time, and just happened upon a tugboat getting ready to pull a Great Lakes barge out of the harbor, and then push it to Rochester, NY.  It was partly full of powdered cement after having emptied some at Oswego, and was from Canada.  Here’s the tugboat, Evans McNeil, blowing its horn:

And here it is starting to pull the barge. That tugboat has a diesel engine the size of a train engine!

It continues to pull it, getting it turned into a position so it can start pushing it:

And now it’s pushing it out from the harbor into Lake Ontario:

And about to enter the lake:

On its way to Rochester:
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This reminds me of the book “The Little Engine That Could.” This is the little tug that could.

Letchworth State Park

On Labor Day my Mom and I went to Letchworth State Park. It was cloudy and rainy all day, but we still had a great time. I didn’t get photos of everything we saw, but that’s okay. The middle falls was beautiful:
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We went into the museum, hoping the rain would stop.  It didn’t, but we saw some cool things in the museum.

I saw a copy of this amazing painting by Thomas Cole, of the Portage Falls and Hornby Lodge, 1841:
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And a pencil sketch by Thomas Cole of Hornby Lodge, 1841:
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I love Thomas Cole’s work, so I was happy!

Back outside, the mist was beautiful. Mind, we went from very hot temperatures over the weekend to in the 60’s F.
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For this next photo, my camera was flashing it’s red box as if to say “what is it you want me to focus on here?”
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I love this rock face:
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We needed to go back to Inspiration Point to see the falls from up high. We had a heard a train horn, but I didn’t know we would see the train on the Portage Bridge – one very scary bridge for a railroad engineer! You can see a previous post here on a train crossing over the bridge.

Here’s a close-up from far away:
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Not so close now:
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We stopped at the Gardeau overlook and tried to find the old sycamore, and talked about Mary Jemison:
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If I ever think I’m having a bad day, I’ll imagine being Mary Jemison, on the day she lost her entire family. Suddenly the day won’t be so brutal.

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Even though it was raining, it was still relaxing and refreshing to be at Letchworth.

2011 New York State Fair

Okay, we went to the NY State Fair this year.  I was exhausted, so I didn’t really enjoy myself like I could have, but we went through the carriage museum and saw lots of cool, old carriages:
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and milk delivery vehicles:
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and of course, sleighs, for winter:
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There was a corner in this building dedicated to Deacon Doubleday, a radio personality, from when I was really young and before (I remember my Mom listening to him while making our breakfast every morning):
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The annual butter sculpture is never a disappointment:
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A Strates Shows trailer at the midway:
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A steam engine:
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And a tractor somewhat like the first one my Dad had, I think:
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Here’s my Dad and my younger brother on the tractor in 1967. I’m digging the glacier carved hills in the background. This was our view while I was growing up. I wish I still had this view!
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Wait, here’s another photo I just found. I think it is the same tractor. This photo is from 1966. My Dad talking to his sister, with my Grandpa. I’m in the background running on the porch.
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Back to the fair. I didn’t see anything more. Well, I did, but I didn’t take photos. Here’s a fuzzy end to the day:
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I didn’t get to do half of what I wanted to do because there were just so many people there!  There is always next year.

A Great Lake Sunset

I love one of the Great Lakes that we have here in NY State.  When I get to missing it, I drive to it, no matter where I am.  The other nite I had the chance to drive to Oswego for dinner at Rudy’s (yummy fish); then visit a great book store called The River’s End bookstore, and then up to Fort Ontario to view the lake.

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View from Rudy’s looking towards the nuclear power plant at The Port of Oswego.

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It was a beautiful evening, not humid, just right.

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Soon I won’t be able to watch the sunset over the lake, but for now, I’ll take it.

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Once at Fort Ontario, we had to walk down a set of old, unused railroad tracks to get to our final destination to watch the sun set.

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The water was beautiful.

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The sun on the rock and the water splashing on the rock was pleasant.

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Wave action from a boat passing by.  I took video of this so I can listen to it in the middle of winter.

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The sun shining on the shore is beautiful.

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People were out enjoying the evening.

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Even though I don’t like the sun to go down, I love watching it, especially when it hits the horizon, then you really can tell how fast it is moving.

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The dude sets real fast.

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The last little bit of it.

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The boats start heading in.

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The lighthouse starts flashing, even though I didn’t capture it flashing here.

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And we head home, too.

Sonnenberg Gardens on Mother’s Day

We have been going to Sonnenberg Gardens since the 80’s, and we are really happy that the state took it over and are restoring it.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, for a switch, (Mother’s Day is usually cold and rainy) so we had an enjoyable day. The first thing we saw, were geese and their goslings. Like we need more geese, but the goslings are so cute!
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Turtles soaking up the sun after this l-o-n-g, c-o-l-d winter:
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A frog as green as the slime he is floating with:
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Cactus:
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Orchids:
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Trees:
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Repair work in progress:
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Repair work completed:
I was so excited they’ve fixed the collanade that bisects the old fashioned garden!
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The mansion now is wheelchair accessible:
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There were vintage fashions on display throughout the mansion:
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And displays of stereoscopic cards and other old photographs:
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And, of course, some flowers:
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New York State Fair

We went to the New York State Fair on Sep 5th, and had a great time, for the most part!  The first thing I had to do was to see the sand sculpture in the Center of Progress Building:

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The Beatles! This was amazing!

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Next, we had to go to the Women’s Building to see the organ from Syracuse’s Keith’s Theatre, which was torn down and the organ was saved. Somebody was playing it, so we sat for a while and listened to him!

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All of the pipes are hidden, unfortunately! I would love to see them!

Then we went to the Horticulture Building, which was a HUGE disappointment. I haven’t been to the fair in years, and the Hort building used to be all about veggies, fruits, flowers, honey and maple syrup. Now there is way too much commercialism.

Then we went to the Railroad museum where we saw several old cars, engines and a caboose:

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Old Amtrak engine with a panograph! Cool!

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James Strate left this car here in Syracuse!

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We then went to the Dairy Building to see the butter sculpture:

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Then we walked all of the way to the other end of the fairgrounds to see the tractor pull:

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Lotsa smoke, cough cough!

And then to see the James Strate train used today – I like the older car better!
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Side of the semi truck cab:
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Then we went to the midway:
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Got something to eat at P-Z-O’s:
P-Z-O's - now only available at the State Fair!

Saw a horse show in the Colliseum which was boring – it was just a bunch of people posting. Then we saw some baby pigs – don’t you love their little black rumps?
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Saw many other things but didn’t take pics of everything. There’s so much to see. I can’t wait ’til next year – where I may have to go twice!

The Thousand Islands – Saturday

Saturday we got up extra early (why?) got ready and headed for a breakfast buffet (mmmm, breakfast, my favorite meal), which pretty much held us all day long.  We then headed down to Clayton, stopping first at this marine store, where there were various sizes of anchors that had been rescued from the bottom of the river. Here’s some of the smaller ones:

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We then headed to the Antique Boat Museum and the Antique Boat Regatta.
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It was quite windy, as you can see from the water!

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I love the old wooden boats.

We were hoping to go through ‘La Duchesse,’ but it was closed for the Regatta weekend.
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This houseboat was built for George Boldt for living, housing guests, and entertaining.

We then took a nap here, because somebody was grumpy from not sleeping good on the ground (hmmmm, yes, it was me):

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Then we went to Corbin’s River Heritage store, which was so cool! The walls were filled with old photos that could be bought. And there were tons of books, of which I bought a couple.

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Then it was time to get ready for our three hour dinner cruise. Note to anyone wanting to take a dinner cruise – make reservations – that way you get a table by yourself and in a prime location!

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It’s so cool to see so many islands, and the huge houses that people build on them. Don’t sleep walk, you may end up in the river!

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As we were eating we passed under The Thousand Islands bridge:
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After we finished eating, we sat in the bow and enjoyed the fresh evening air:
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And by the time we got back, it was late, so we went straight to the ground and I slept like a log.

The Thousand Islands – Friday Night

We went to The Thousand Islands on the New York State side this past weekend for a much needed two day vacation (I actually need a week long vacation, which will hopefully come next year), where the earth was my bed for two nights, which I haven’t done since I was a kid, and after getting used to how to arrange my body parts so I could sleep the first night, I slept like a log the second night.  Except I got rudely woken up by rain and getting dry clothes off the line so I didn’t have to cart around a bunch of wet clothes.

Anyways, on Friday night after we arrived, we went snorkeling / swimming across part of the St. Lawrence River to this island, of which I could figure out the name and I will, I just don’t have the map on me right now.

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View from our campsite to the island.

Once we reached the island we saw a freighter go by – awesomely close, and I wish I had the camera on the float. We got back just before dark.

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Sunset view from our campsite.

We had a great view of The Thousand Island bridge from our campsite – I just needed to bring a tripod for the night shots I took!

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The Thousand Island bridge – really blurry, but the only photo I have of it!

We then went into Alexandria Bay, where Bill Johnstons Pirates Days was being held, and the streets were teaming with (drunk) people.

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Yes, I need to work on my night shots.

After we found a parking place just inside of town, we walked down to Scenic View Park, window shopping along the way (stores stay open late and open early – very convenient!). This was my first view of Boldt Castle.
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More to come on the castle in another post!

We then went back and fell directly to sleep on the ground underneath a sky full of stars. It was great seeing stars!

Do you know how many islands are in The Thousand Islands?

First Week in August

I’ve never really been a big fan of August.  Too many family members have died in August. And the minute it hits, my eyes start itching, the air feels yucky, and the worst part is, I didn’t know how cold it was to swim in the evening in August.   I thought September would be the month I wouldn’t be able to swim anymore, who knew August was it?  Unless it really warms up.  So now I have to find another form of exercise.  But I love swimming so much – wah!  And swimming in the pool at the Y is just *not* going to be the same.  Which reminds me, I need to go to Dicks and get a swim cap and goggles so the chlorine doesn’t kill my eyes and hair.

Anyway, we went up to Sylvan Beach for the car show again, and it is getting boring because we’re seeing the same cars every week, so we’ll give it a rest this week, unless Oneida Lake is still very warm and I need to go swimming there.

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This is a sweet Ford Fairlane that we haven’t seen before.

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Don’t you love the simplicity and largeness of the interior, and that bench seat, good for smooching at the drive-in.

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Love the T-Bird insignia on the sweet, light blue T-Bird I showed you last week.

Afterwards, we went looking for the old bathhouse that was converted into something that we had to figure out, and we finally found it!

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The bathhouse was cut in two and made into the Laff House. So of course we had to take the ride, and laughed our butts off because it was so hokey. But as a kid, I’m sure it’s scary as all get out. Or not.

I don’t care, I love the amusement park:
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It reminds me of Suburban Park in Manlius, where my Mom used to take us every summer until it was closed.

We saw the tugboat Urger which I guess is an educational tugboat.
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I wonder what those horns sound like. Nobody was around to “educate” us! But I guess it used to be a steam-powered tug in it’s day.

The tug was sitting in the canal:
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Saw a big, puffy cloud:
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And blazing, hot, sunset:
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Saturday evening we tried to go swimming and froze our buns off – well not froze, but I was shivering even though I was moving. So Sunday we went to the Polish Festival, got sauerkraut and potato pierogies (yummy!), and ate them at the Inner Harbor,

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where we saw a dredge:
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And behind where we sat to eat are these things in the cement:
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An apple,  LaFayette, where I grew up, is known as apple country

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The Weighlock Building in downtown Syracuse.

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Canal Boat

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Salt Evaporation Vats; Syracuse was known as “The Salt City.”

One of the few buildings for boat repair still stands here:
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I took a much needed nap on my new sleeping bag (nice and comfy) and when I woke up, the sky looked like this:
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And this week, I have to get the camera batteries all charged up, cuz we’re going someplace I’ve never been to before!! I’m so excited!

Camillus Erie Canal Park

This past weekend the Camillus Erie Canal Park had a Grand Celebration to dedicate the restored Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, but since I work on the weekend, we couldn’t make it out there until Sunday after work, after all of the festivities were done.  It doesn’t matter, because I don’t really enjoy crowds, anyway!  And by the time we got there (after eating Luigi’s  pizza, mmmmm), the sun was in that perfect place in the sky to shed an orange glow on everything.

Here’s a replica of the Sims’ canal store, now known as Sims’ Museum, which wasn’t open. I do want to go back when it is open, soon!

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Sims’ Museum

A long bed of iris along the canal bank were all so beautiful!
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This is an old lock:
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As we were examining the lock, Midnight, the resident kitty, came over to greet us, and then to perch himself underneath one of the bottom valves of the lock:
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Buoy Boat 159 is on display here:
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This is a replica of a Lock House:
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We then went a mile down the canal to Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct:
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If you click on this Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct link, you can see progress pictures of the restoration:
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This looks great!
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The aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek:
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Of course, we had to walk down to the little waterfall of Nine Mile Creek:
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Assuming that this is the old wood which was taken out and replaced with the brand new wood:
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There is a steam engine exhibit that we need to come back and see sometime, soon, too! This is one of the steam engines outside of the exhibit area:
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The back wheels are taller than me!

I took this shot of the sign for the hours, so we can visit when the museum is open:
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And the last thing I noticed was this wildlife refuge sign!
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I always love to see areas for wildlife!

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