Archives for June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012 – Work Day

Day Two of our Training Camp with our client, followed by a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant next door to the office.  Then a quick trip to Tractor Supply for oats and horse munchies before collapsing into bed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 – Work Day

Day One of our Training Camp with our client.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – Travel Day to Binghamton, NY

Up with an early alarm, but since we had broken down almost everything yesterday, we were out of the site by about 8:00, stopped for breakfast in Horseheads, and arrived at China Pointe stables just north of Binghampton right on schedule at 10:30, with Alan waiting for us to show us around and get us settled in. Once all that was accomplished, we headed down to the Hampton and got checked in to our suite, which had a full kitchen, so then we headed out to the grocery store to stock up on essentials for the rest of the week. We were still so tired from yesterday’s walk, we ended up taking a nap in the afternoon, and slept for several hours, a much needed deposit in our sleep bank. Then I cooked a nice Delmonico steak and some veggies, we had a nice dinner, and were back in bed by 9:00. Obviously we needed even more sleep because it wasn’t long before we were out again for the night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – Watkins Glen State Park Walk Day

Started out the day with packing up as much as we could, moved the horses off the highline into the stalls so we could break that down, put pretty much everything we could away, left only the satellite dish to be broken down tomorrow morning. Drove down to Watkins Glen, made a few stops for essentials before heading out to the State Park here. Though I grew up 60 miles from here, for some reason I’ve never actually been through the park, so Hubby agreed to go with me. The website said they had a shuttle going between the top and the bottom, so I figured we could catch the shuttle to the top, then walk down, so it wouldn’t over-tax us. Unfortunately, the shuttle wasn’t running today, and in fact, they said it wouldn’t start until this weekend, when the summer season actually began. I keep forgetting that July 4th is the opening of summer here, not Memorial Day like most points south. So we decided to head up the Gorge Trail until we got tired and headed back. Turns out, we took it real slow, and the 800+ steps were spaced out enough where we made good progress without wearing ourselves out. The sights were quite beautiful, it’s easy to see why this became such a tourist attraction. The trail was over a mile long, with very impressive cascades along the way. Once we reached the top, we had a refreshment at the concession stand at the top, then returned to the bottom on the Indian Trail, which was a gentle along the ridge top, until it rejoined the Gorge Trail near the bottom again. We took a short diversion into a cemetary to pay our respects, the oldest born day we found was 1813. It was a lovely afternoon, though we were naturally tired by the time we got back. It was a lot of walking, and I was delighted a surprised that Hubby was up for the entire walk (he’s not much of a hiker). It must have been the frozen custard waffle cone we had before arriving here! Whatever it was, it held us over until we arrived back at the campground at just before 5:00. In our absence, someone new had arrived and set up, we spoke for a bit when I went over to feed the horses. Judy was a retired teacher, and she and her husband horse camp occasionally, but she had a group of women whom she also goes riding with, though they apparently stay in B&B rather than RVs. Then we settled down for the evening, planning on an early night, since we had to get moving early in the morning.

Monday, June 25, 2012 – Catch Up and Wash Day

Lots of rain, thunder and lightning overnight. It’s funny, but up here on the top of Sugar Hill, the thunder seems to just go on forever, echoing from one end of the horizon to the other, and seemingling, back again. It reminded my of growing up in nearby Rochester (NY), it was the same way up there. I can’t explain it, the sound just seems to last longer, reverberate stronger, change tempo and volume during its course, and roll around in a way I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Weird! Anyway, spent the day catching up on my blog and doing laundry, putting up a clothesline on a couple of nearby trees. The camp was empty by last night, no one here this morning, either, as expected. There was a slight chance of rain, but by the time we finished breakfast, it was clearing up, so I decided to risk it. Quite a strong, cool breeze, so I figured the clothes wouldn’t take long to dry, and I was right. A quiet day all around, nice. Tomorrow we’re planning on going over to Watkins Glen State Park and actually be tourists for the day, figure the horses will be safe if we put them in the covered stalls instead of on the highline. I’m a little worried about Hubby’s mare, she doesn’t seem to like this new hay, kind of stalky, may be hard on the old girl. I put her out in the yard to much on grass for much of the day, until I looked up and saw her eating out of Apollo’s hay bag, much to his dismay (he wasn’t about to argue with Mama). I moved her back to her hay, and she munched awhile, then they napped. The first of many days off, we probably won’t be able to ride again until at least next Tuesday or Wednesday. We reservations at Bear Mountain Springs near Walton, NY for the week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012 – Ride to Waterfall near Watkins Glen

 Our original plan was to go back to Monterey Jacks for lunch today, using an alternate trail that’s not on the map but that Cherise and Carol had done (and therefore was on Cherise’s GPS), but because they’re calling for rain Monday and Tuesday, and we don’t want to run ourselves ragged before the job later this week, we decided to try to find the waterfall, which is another trail not on the map, but that all the locals know about. We got some basic directions from the neighbors last night (and still started out wrong because of a misunderstanding about which trail to leave the campground on), but we eventually found the right trail, which was confirmed when we passed our neighbors coming back on the same trail. They confirmed a couple of trail markers for us, and we went on our way. This was a great trail! Lots of straightaways so we got a bunch of canters in, one nice open field where the horses were able to grab some grass along the way, very interesting variety of terrain, and a side trail off the an old settlement cemetary, which the Boy Scouts and cleaned up a few years back, as well as making a list of everyone who had a headstone there. We spent a few minutes there, looking at the names of those brave pioneers from the 1800s, including sadly, many, many children. After paying our respects we moved on. Before long, we arrived at a lovely spot, with a picnic table and a hitching rail, and, of course, the waterfall. There was the remnants of a fire still burning from campers that had apparently been there earlier (Carol confirmed later it was like that when they were there), and someone had left the perfect hotdog/marshmallow toasting stick propped up again the picnic table. Wished I had brought some! We enjoyed a nice snack of trail mix and fruit bars while the horses munched on oats, though honestly, the ride wasn’t long enough to warrant it, but, hey, they can enjoy themselves by pigging out occasionally too! We headed back the way we came, except we corrected the error we made in the beginning. At the last intersection before home, Apollo wanted to go right and Hubby wanted to go left. We headed left, but after a minute I checked the GPS and saw we were heading in the wrong direction, so lo and behold, Apollo was the better navigator today (and many other days, too!). Got back much earlier than we expected, by 2:30, but our neighbors were back and packing up, so we chatted for a few more minutes, I gave Cherise another quick GPS lesson (while copying her map of the day to add to my collection), said our goodbyes, then relaxed the rest of the evening, Hubby watching a England v. Italy soccer game (Italy won, in double overtime 0-0 until the final penalty points round, when England messed up). Another great day. We really love Six Nations/Sugar Hill!!!  And did I mention, it’s FREE?  Thank you NY taxpayers!

Saturday, June 23, 2012 – Rest and ISS Sighting

Took the day off today, except I did some computer work, of course. Finally managed to find a stable in Syracuse (well, nearby Skaneateles, anyway) after much networking and referrals, thank goodness. That’s been weighing on me, but now we’ve got that set, so most of my logistics are done, at least until August, when we have a very busy schedule, too. Hubby watched TV and read and napped in his chair much of the day, good for him. The camp emptied out during the day, everyone riding but us (which is fine, I prefer empty trails to crowded ones any day!), but then I sat around the campfire with the neighbors for a while. Cherise inadvertently erased everything on her GPS (I knew I should hav downloaded everything from her yesterday, instead of just Friday’s trail!), but it did register today’s ride, so I downloaded that, then uploaded yesterday’s ride so she would have that. We’re planning on keeping in touch so I can keep collecting her trails, which will be part of the database I’m putting together (more on this later). Meanwhile, a friend of Carol’s told her that the International Space Station would be passing overhead at tonight, so I checked the NASA site and sure enough, it was taking a 3 minute pass right overhead, from the WNW to the SE, starting at 9:59. We all headed out to the middle of the campground where it was clear, and one of the group went and told the Boy Scouts, who had arrived yesterday and were jousting around all day, except when they went on a hike, and they were all looking up when we did. What a great view! We had almost perfectly clear skies, and since the sun had just set, and the ISS is so high up, it still reflected the sun so it was immensely bright until it curved off to the southeast. Really cool! I used to look for it a lot at home, but I haven’t done so lately, I’m going to have to get back to that, it was really stunning! To think that from their perspective we’re just an invisible dot down below on the face of this huge planet, whizzing by, and down here there are thousands of people watching them pass over at any given moment, all around the globe. Well, that was a highlight, and afterwards, I came back, watched another TV show with Hubby before going to bed, feeling nice and relaxed after a very enjoyable day.

Friday, June 22, 2012 – Another Ride at Six Nations to Monterey Jack’s Restaurant

  We had heard about Monterey Jack’s from Julie and Gregg, whom we had met here last year, so after doing some research to figure out where it was (Google Earth is SO useful!), I planned a ride down there, and we headed out about 11:00. Straight down the Mohawk Trail to the parking area at the trail where the A loop crossed, then turn right on the road, then about half a mile to the intersection, where the restaurant is on the left. You can see the hitching posts before you ge the intersection, and we crossed through the auto shop’s parking area to get there, just to stay off the main road. A nice little hole-in-the-wall, a simple but delicious and affordable menu, we had burgers on the best buns I’ve had in ages! These New Yorkers sure know how to make bread!! Nothing like those tasteless white bread things you get in a package at the store, these were light and fluffly and extraordinarily tasty, just perfect with the Angus beef. No frills, just good eats. Even had a draft amber bock to go along, since that didn’t have anything except water in the calorie-free zone. Figured if I was going to cheat, I might as well cheat with beer! Had a nice chat with the owner, Bob, and a couple of his patrons before heading back about an hour later. Horses had a nice rest, and even though they were in the sun, the front had come in and the temps were much better. The day started out cloudy, but then turned sunny while we were inside, just gorgeous! Headed back up the Mohawk the way we came, as that’s one of our favorite trails anyway, stopping for a drink at the creek at the trailhead, got back about 4:00, just right! Got everyone bedded down, spent some time chatting with some new neighbors that had come in this morning (our other neighbors actually left today, unusual to be leaving on a Friday), even sat around the fire with them (Carol and Cherise) a bit before heading off to bed. Cherise had just gotten a new GPS, identical to mine, but hadn’t done much with it yet. I gave her a quick lesson, downloading her map from their ride today for the database of trails I’m building, and showing her all the cool stuff you can do by putting it on Google Earth. She was grateful, and I promised to help her after their ride tomorrow as well. A very nice day! We have to get them in while we have the chance, the summer’s going to get VERY busy VERY soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012 – Hay and Errand Day

Found some hay on craigslist in nearby Alpine, NY, so Hubby disconnected the truck from the RV and I headed off to get a truckload of hay. Stopped at the printer and picked up my job, which he had actually finished by Tuesday afternoon, and had an interesting conversation about local politics and exhorbitant NY taxes (a common conversation around here) before heading off to the farm. Hay was first cut Timothy, and a lot stalkier than we’re used to, especially after this last batch of soft grass hay with alfalfa that was last year’s second cut, so I’m not sure how the horses will like it. $4 a bale, very green, smelled great, so I’m hoping that will be okay, they’re usually not too fussy. Picked up another container of gas, as we’re on the generators this week, before heading back to the tower. Actually sat around outside for a little while, though it was really hot, it wasn’t too bad under the awning and here at the top of Sugar Hill. Pretty nice breeze kept the temps under 90, though down in town the thermometers were reading 96. A beautiful summer day! People started arriving for the weekend (a couple of rigs had actually come in together last night), but not so much as to feel crowded. Kept the horses on the highline so they’d stay out of trouble, though, just in case.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – Ride Day at Six Nations

Took our first ride today, out Aiken Road to Tuscarora, south to the B Trail, then up on the Mohawk, a fairly short ride just to see the condition of the trails and get the horses stretched out. Some muddy spots, but not as much as last year. The road and some other areas were a bit rocky, as usual for this area, but not so much that it bothered the horses too much, they were glad to get off the highline and get out in the woods! Hubby’s new Boa boots handing the terrain well, but he lost a cap on one, which didn’t surprise. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t have them hinged or something, rather than just screwed on to the boot. My Easyboot Epics have just about worn out, with the toe area on one completely worn through, so I’ve ordered a new pair, this time I’m going to try the Cavallo Simple boot. I’ve always worried the velcro wouldn’t be enough to hold it, but after several conversation with folks in the last couple of weeks, I’ve decided to give them a try. Having them delivered to the hotel where we’ll be staying next week. As effective as the Epics have been, they are truly a pain to take on and off, what with all the hardware and straps that need to be in just the right position. Hubby’s had to have so many repairs in the last couple of years it was almost like buying a new boot anyway. One day he broke the cable, another day the entire lever broke in half, gaiters go very quickly, so he’s using the Boas without the gaiters. So far, so good. I was considering the Boas too, but decided the less hardware the better, so the Cavallos were the best choice, though I did consider the Easyboot Trail. Can’t argue with the longevity of the Epics, though, I’ve had mine almost four years, and heaven knows how many miles. We’ll do an equipment review once we get them settled in. Meanwhile, we had a great ride on the trail, a bit warm here now (from 60’s to 90’s overnight!), but there’s a front scheduled to come in and cool it off by Friday, fingers crossed!