Accelerate Summer Basketball League

Eric’s summer basketball league at the Accelerate Sports Complex concluded with a two point loss in the finals to Rome Select.  The team went 9-0 during the regular season with large win margins.  They won their quarter finals 82-21 and semi-final game 66-25.  Eric scored 15 points in the semi-final game by shooting 5 for 5 from behind the 3 point line for a career night.  They faced Rome Select in the finals where they trailed though out the game and lost 48-46.  It was a fine season and Eric improved as a basketball player.

2016-08-16 Accelerate Semi & Finals

Playoff Bracket

Volley Llamas

Our Wednesday night volleyball team, the Volley Llamas, finished the regular season solidly in 3rd place out of 10 teams.  We ended up behind 1st place Dig Pink, 2nd place Scappers and ahead of 4th place Finndale Farms. Below are Eric, Kathryn, Josh, Billie Jo, Jim, Ryan, Margaret; with Tim occupying the entire front row.


40th Anniversary

1976-08-06 j&K Wedding

Eight Strokes A Side

You might remember a Tennessee Ernie Ford hit song called “Sixteen Tons” with the chorus “You load sixteen tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store”.

Skip, Steve and I went canoe camping at Stillwater Reservoir and up the Red Horse Trail to Salmon, Witchhopple and Clear Ponds. Usually time spent paddling results in a “Skip Song” and this was no exception.

(With apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford and “16 Tons”….. )

Well let me tell you the story of our camping trip; me and Steve but this tale’s about Skip.
We canoed across Stillwater Reservoir; it’s a place we all have paddled before.

Well, Skip he is a paddling man, he paddles just as fast and hard as he can.
He knows all kinds of paddling strokes, Skip is one paddling bloke.

Eight strokes a side and then you switch, Skip is a paddling son of bitch.
Eight strokes a side and then he calls hup, you better pull hard if you want to keep up…..

Skip can paddle the stern if you want him to steer, but if he paddles the bow you better stay clear.
His paddle starts flashing in the sun, ‘cause Skip is a paddling son of a gun.

Eight strokes a side and then you switch, Skip is a paddling son of bitch.
Eight strokes a side and then he calls hup, you better pull hard if you want to keep up…..

We got up early before the wind starts to blow, it makes the big waves that are dangerous you know.
Paddle an hour, then paddle some more, I hope we all make it safely to shore.

Eight strokes a side and then you switch, Skip is a paddling son of bitch.
Eight strokes a side and then he calls hup, you better pull hard if you want to keep up…..

Skip’s paddling fast and his boat leaves a wake, it goes a little faster with each stroke that he takes.
I’m paddling out and what do I see, Skip and his boat go flying by me.

Eight strokes a side and then you switch, Skip is a paddling son of bitch.
Eight strokes a side and then he calls hup, you better pull hard if you want to keep up…..

Stillwater Reservoir and The Red Horse Trail

Stillwater MapSteve, Skip and I planned a 5 day pond hopping trip up the Red Horse Trail north of Stillwater Reservoir.  We arrived at Stillwater Reservoir at 10:30am as boats and families were coming off the reservoir.  With the end of the weekend and the pending rainy forecast there were lots of available campsites.  We were hoping for site #4 so we could also check out Peak Mtn Pond, however, the sign-out board at the boat launch indicated that site #4 was taken and signed out through Sunday evening.  As we were contemplating alternative plans a parting camper recommended site #11 which he had just vacated.  We paddled to site #11, checked it out and set up our tents.  No sooner than we set up our tents, blew up our sleeping pads and shook out our sleeping bags than Skip declared “I see a bear, and I am not kidding”.  A medium sized black bear was headed to our camp.  I walked towards the bear yelling and clapping my hands loudly.  The bear walked away slowly, pausing when I stopped advancing, keeping a distance of roughly 50 feet.  We convened to discuss our options and decided to move camp.  As we were packing up our tents and gear the bear came back.  Skip sounded his air horn which caused the bear to move away slightly, but not run or vacate the camp site.  We packed up and paddled our canoes across the reservoir ending up at site #30 – Picnic Point.


Stillwater Reservoir campsite map

For dinner Steve cooked hamburgers and we drank cold beer.  It rained Sunday night.  We turned in early and the next morning we proceeded to Trout Pond and campsite #15.  We set up our rain tarp just in time to avoid a major thunderstorm.  I cooked chicken soup for dinner; it came out too salty as I added too many favor packets.  We turned in early as it rained all night long.

Red Horse Trail Loop

Tuesday morning we cached our heavy items and traveled with just our canoes, backpacks and fishing gear to the Red Horse trailhead.  Skip had the heaviest backpack, but grabbed his Kevlar Sundowner and headed north up the 1 mile portage from Trout Pond to Salmon Lake.  I made it about 1/3 the on the trail but couldn’t get my solo canoe to balance on the top of my backpack.  Steve helped me carry it the rest of the way to the Salmon Lake put in.  We crossed Salmon Lake to the northern extremity  looking for a take out.  The take out was obscured by a 4′ high beaver dam.  We managed a take out shore side and bushwhacked to the Red Horse Trail leading to Witchhopple Lake.  We took drinks and a little trail mix and hiked the 1 mile trail to Witchhopple Lake.  From Witchhopple Lake it was a 1.5 mile trail to Clear Lake.  There were four new bridges on the trail from Witchhopple which averted some of the water crossing described in the trail guides.  Clear Lake displayed a large burnt out hole where someone’s fire smouldered in the pine duff and tree roots.

Clear Lake Ground Fire

We hiked back to Salmon Lake just prior to dinner time.  Steve went out fishing before dinner and caught several trophy caliber small mouth bass.  For dinner I made Rice-a-Roni with dehydrated peppers/onions/tomatoes and hamburger.  The meal was good, but more time was needed for the hamburger to fully re-hydrate.  After dinner Steve and I went fishing and each caught some more fish, but noting trophy sized.

Wednesday we packed out gear and portaged back to Stillwater Reservoir.  This time I made some adjustments to my pack and balancing the canoe that enabled me to portage my solo the entire trail.  Steve packed out Skip’s Sundowner.  We recovered our cache and re-located to campsite #19 on Burnt Lake.  The campsite was located on a high ridge where it received a nice breeze and respite from the heat.

Thursday morning we agreed to arise early and paddle across Stillwater before the winds and waves arose.  I awoke early, started coffee and we packed up and were paddling by 7:30am.  The managed to return to the boat launch by 9am just as the wind and waves began to pick up.

Battle at the Bell 3v3 Tournament

Eric, Shane and Manny formed a team to compete in the Battle of the Bell 3v3 Tournament.  We started at Pulaski Park at noon, hung around a couple hours while the girls games got underway and then got rained out.  The games were transferred to Beekman Gym and the boys matches began about 3:30pm amid hot humid conditions and wet slippery floors. The boys started slow and it seemed like a blowout was in the making as the Westmoreland Swim team aggressively drove the lane for layups.  After being slapped alongside the head they rallied, losing by 3 points.  The 2nd game they defeated a much heralded Utica D-Squad by making their outside shots and taking advantage of size mismatches inside.  The 3rd game vs Rome Select followed a similar strategy by making shots and posting up Dale and Drew when possible. The 4th game vs Pushovers got a little chippy as Shane got pushed a few times and retaliated by shoving the player to the floor.  An initial ejection got down graded and the game got cleaned up and  continued as the boys squeezed out another win.  Finally they ran out of energy and lost to swim team again and were eliminated from the tournament.  A good showing and fun basketball.

2016-07-09 Battle of the Bell 3v3

Eric Unloading Hay

This summer Eric has been unloading hay for our neighboring farmer (s) Wesley and Richie. Eric wasn’t sure he wanted to do it initially, but has enjoyed the money.  He bought a smart(er) phone and a set of head phones and cached the rest in the bank for future wishes. He can ride his bike the one mile to/from the farm.  He normally works 3:30 – 7:30 unloading hay wagons.  They do hay the old fashion way – small square bales and run up an elevator into the hay mow.  There is another teen age boy working with him.  Eric had wanted a membership to gym but this is better as he is getting stronger and getting paid!

Picnic at Thacher State Park

While Eric was spending an overnight at camp with his buddy Jack; Kathryn and I took Barb and Joe out for a picnic at Thacher State Park.  Impressive view, perfect weather and a nice relaxed environment to hand around and chat.

2016-07-03 Thacher State Park

Headwaters of the Hudson

Skip, Jim and Matt put in where County 76 crosses the Hudson.  We paddle downstream, battled a stiff breeze blowing north across Sanford Lake.  We encountered very shallow conditions and would probably be unable to complete our trip if there was 1″ less of water flowing.  Upon reaching the confluence of the Opalescent River we went upstream.  The Opalescent was the clearest looking water I have encountered in the Adirondacks.  The stream was shallow, twisty and lined by large sand and gravel bars that are even visible on Google maps.  We only paddled (and poled) a short distance upstream before turning back due to the shallow conditions. Turning back down stream we quickly reached the road crossing identified by the Opalescent Game Club where we left our take out vehicle.  We decided to continue downriver and were impressed by the prettiest stretch of the Hudson River.  Finally, the Hudson came close enough to County 25 that we decided to exit up a steep bank and bushwhack the canoes back to the road. Matt and I extracted canoes and gear while Skip began the trek back to our take-out vehicle.

2016-06-30 Hudson River Collage

Opalescent-map  Upper Hudson Map

Basketball Hall of Fame

Eric invited his buddy Manny to join his end-of-school-year weekend; visiting RambleWild Ropes Course and the Basketball Hall of Fame.  The boys read through the circle of champions, compared their height, wingspan and vertical leap versus NBA players.  They participated in a virtual reality game, dunked on short baskets and shot from the ground floor court.

2016-06-26 Basketball Hall of Fame

The last time we visited the HOF was October 2006 and Eric was 3.  I told Eric we should visit again when he is 23.