I probably spent more time tending to the garden this year than in any year past – largely due to the ‘work from home’ that was imposed. So I had time to saunter outdoors and check on the garden. This year I planted Spinach which did fairly well in early summer, but bolted with mid-summer’s heat. I tried re-planting twice – hoping for a late season crop, but one planting came up sparse and the other not at all. Drought could have been a factor. I tried Swiss Chard for the 1st time, and it produced all season long. Other than limited use for salad greens, the Swiss Chard wasn’t a big hit with the family.
I planted lots of broccoli; some as plants started in doors and a 2nd row just planted in the dirt. Both came on about the same time and are still producing mid-September. I tried Eggplant again and was rewarded with 3-4 eggplants. I also planted watermelon for the 1st time and mid-September we have about a half dozen watermelons; completely round and about the size of a soccer ball.
When we went to get seed potatoes from Agway this past spring, they were sold out of everything except Adirondack Blue potatoes. They have yielded large purple colored potatoes roughly the size of a sweet potato. I also made miscellaneous plantings of pumpkin, and acorn squash.
This year I started a number of Roma tomatoes indoors and we have been drowning in Romas. I also planted a Heritage cherry tomato, a Heritage (Seaman) tomato and Early Girl tomatoes. The Roma tomatoes are good for sauces and Kathryn canned 50 jars of tomatoes – proclaiming “we won’t get scurvy”.
In addition to the 50+ cans of tomatoes, she canned 26 jars of pears, 44 cans of peaches, and 18 jars of cherries. We picked and froze strawberries and blue berries.
A considerable amount of time this week has been devoted to watch-dogging the puppy – now named Tripp. He knows his name, will come when called and is learning NO. He is not yet housebroken so we spend as much time as possible outside. Cullen has been great with him with only a few retaliatory actions.
We drove to Virginia to pick up Kathryn’s “yet-to-be-named” puppy. Friday we drove south to Gettysburg. Traffic around Harrisburg was horrendous and that, coupled with a down pour add another 90 minutes onto a 5 1/2 hour drive. We were determined to avoid that situation on our return. Saturday we drove 4 hours to Wake VA. We met with the breeder and observed the puppies parents and siblings. Since VA was a quarantine state we loaded up and drove back to Gettysburg. Sunday morning we were on the road at 4:30 am for the 5.5 hour return trip home. At this time Sunday morning roads were devoid of traffic and we had an uneventful trip home.
Mark Hay joined us at a local disc golf course for an evening of instruction, play and socializing. The weather couldn’t have been better as the evening cooled down. Kathryn has been taken by the sport of disc golf and has improved her technique and skills greatly. She is planning to participate in upcoming clinics and tournaments.
Today Kathryn and I got up early, completed our runs and got to Irvada’s Blueberry Lane at 0800. We picked 16 lbs of blueberries in about 90 minutes. The 16 lbs translated into 42 cups which Kathryn cleaned, bagged and stored in the freezer.
Afterwards we got the lawn mowed and I cut up another tree trunk from the ash trees dropped by National Grid in anticipation of Emerald Ash Borer disease. Over the course of the past week we have cut most of the wood from 5 ash trees and one maple tree. All that is left at this point are the two largest trunks, which will take some special handling and a lot of splitting.
Steve, Skip and I ventured out for a 3 day 2 night canoe camping trip on the Raquette River. The Raquette River, sometimes spelled Racquette, originates at Raquette Lake; and is the third longest river (146 miles) entirely in the state of New York. The river is a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking. It passes through many natural and man-made lakes to its final destination at Akwesasne on the Saint Lawrence River. Historically, the river was a part of the “Highway of the Adirondacks”, by which it was possible to travel hundreds of miles by canoe with short stretches of portage connecting various waterways. This route is still followed by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a 740-mile canoe trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent in Maine. It is also the basis of the route of the Adirondack Canoe Classic, a three-day, 90-mile canoe race from Old Forge to Saranac Lake.
From the put-in at Axton Landing we proceeded north (left) upstream along the Raquette River. After about 0.5 mile Stony Creek came in on the left. This widening is easy to recognize, a bridge on Coreys Road can be seen just upstream over Stony Creek. The outlet of Stony Creek Ponds provides access to Upper Saranac Lake and routes north. To reach Raquette Falls, pass by Stony Creek and continue upstream. Axton Landing to Raquette Waterfalls is 6.5 miles. Going around the Raquette Falls involves a 1.3 mile portage around Raquette Falls. We dropped our gear off at leanto #7 and paddled our empty canoes to the falls. We hiked the trail along the falls, took the requisite photographs and returned back downstream to our campsite. Along the way we saw an immature eagle perched on a dead tree watching a mother duck and her little ones below and contemplating how to make them a meal. Steve fished his way back catching several nice pike and large mouth bass. Campsite 7 was well used and had habituated chipmunks, red squirrels and mice. The following morning we headed downstream returning to Axton Landing and to the Crusher. From Axton Landing, it is eleven miles to The Crusher launch site. From Axton Landing to The Crusher there are multiple spots where you can pull off for lunch or to take a break. We stayed the night at campsite 14. Leaving early the following morning we paddled two hours downstream past the outlet of Follensby Pond just before the Raquette curves north toward the Crusher. If you can find the outlet, you can work your way upstream to the causeway that marks the north end of Follensby Pond. We saved that adventure for another time.
Kathryn participated in her 1st ever disc golf tournament; the 2020 Warrior Princess Disc Golf Tournament at the Joralemon Park Disc Golf Course (J-Park)in Ravena, NY.
This was a beginner-friendly event and she had a support crew in nephew Mark Hay. She had a great time playing disc golf; not so great score-wise, but it was so much fun, and definitely got her hooked. She wants to play again, right away! Thanks to nephews Mark and Matt for pushing to go to the tournament, and specially to Mark for being my coach/caddy.
Because the pandemic took away volleyball, swimming, going to the gym and travel – all part of Kathryn’s retirement plans – she started running in March. She developed a run through the woods and pastures. Reading the past performances of the 1500m run in the Empire State Senior Games she felt she could compete in that race; there weren’t many participants in the 65+ age bracket and the 9:20 winning time seemed achievable. We measured a mile on the road and 2x a week Kathryn would run 1 mile for time. Today she broke the 9 minute mile goal, with a time of 8 minutes 53 seconds. This time would put her in solid contention in 60+ and 65+ age brackets at the Empire State Senior Games. Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly like they will not hold the ESSG this year.