A Couple of Troublemakers - my Dad had a visit from one...

And they're off at Saratoga

Blue Ledge - a favorit fishing spot on the Hudson River in...

Bird's Nest on The Wild Walk in Tupper Lake, NY

A game for the kids to show how difficult it is for...

Part of the game - very realistic

Things have been quiet since our family get-together at Lake George. We have enjoyed not having to schedule everything around doctor’s appointments and have decided it is time to push ourselves a little to be more active. So we got a couple of fitbits and have been doing our best to make at least 10,000 steps a day. It doesn’t happen without a little extra push but we have certainly enjoyed our hikes and Suzie is in seventh heaven getting to dig chipmunks out of every hole in the woods. We try to find hikes which do not involve climbing mountains, and the trails around here mostly say that your dog must be under your control – they do not say they must be on leash.

One of our more challenging hikes was into an area of the Hudson River called Blue Ledge where my grandfather and my Dad went for years to fish. They actually helped make the trail, and used to leave an old boat and a barrel filled with blankets and cooking utensils so they would not have to carry those items in with them each time. It is not a real long hike (about 4.5 miles round trip), and not terribly steep, but is pretty rugged with a lot of tree roots and wet areas to climb over and slog through. I was thrilled to finally get there after hearing about the area since I was a kid.

Most of our other treks are around 3-4 miles and involve moderate degrees of climbing. We would rather do more miles across flatter terrain, but that isn’t always easy in the Adirondacks. We would also rather do loop trails so we don’t have to just return on the same path we went out on. But it has definitely given us something positive to do with our time, which is rather plentiful as we aren’t working and so haven’t made a lot of friends here in the park. Dad is always happy to have us around, and we have done some tubing on the river and visited cousins at their camp on the lake. It still leaves us time to fill and the planning and hiking has kept us busy.

We made a trip to Saratoga to the track and were quite amazed at the costs. Somehow I don’t remember our trips to the race tracks in California as being so expensive. We paid $12 to park, $16 to get into the clubhouse, $24 to get into the restaurant and have a seat for the day, and then there was a minimum of $25 per person for food and drink (which was very easy to meet). Then you get to bet on the races which was the cheapest part of the day. The only race I won anything on was when the horse I was going to bet was scratched, and I didn’t realize it until I was at the window. So I just picked 2 numbers and boxed them for the exacta; they came through for me and I won $80 on my $8 bet. That made up for my other losses; Buzz won $3.60 on his last bet of the day. So we had a great time once we just decided to relax and enjoy it. Maybe if I had worn a feathered hat we would have done better.

Our nephew and his wife Laurie had rented a camp on Sacandaga Lake about 45 minutes away, so we visited them and their 2 girls Megan & Erin while Buzz’s sister was there for the weekend. It was a nice relaxing day and a good chance to spend time and catch up on their busy lives, and then they came to Lake George to join us one evening for a dinner. Being able to see so many family members this summer has been really nice, and makes us realize why we like this area so much.

This past weekend we took my Dad to see The Wild Center, which is an ecology center in Tupper Lake, NY. It has only been open about 5 years and The Wild Walk, an aerial boardwalk, just opened this year and has increased the attendance tremendously. Dad had to navigate it in a wheel chair as he just can’t walk that much anymore, but our nephew Rick and his wife Colleen joined us with their kids Olivia and Will and we all thoroughly enjoyed our day.

So our time here has really flown by. Health wise things are good now. We actually broke down and bought a new car. The old Jeep Grand Cherokee had more than 125000 miles on it, and that does not include the miles it has been towed. It was making some strange noises and I just wanted to be rid of it before it needed a couple thousand dollars of repairs. So we have a new Jeep Cherokee which we hope will get more than 15 miles per gallon, and the red color will look so much better behind Otto.

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