Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cooperstown, July 27-28

Cooperstown, NY is a delightful little village, abet a little busy.  We hit the baseball hall of fame post weekend so there were lots of baseball fans and tourists.  Our group had obtained permission from the Chamber of Commerce to park in one of the Trolley lots.  The parking in town is horrendous so there are several free parking lots located around the outskirts of the downtown area and the Trolley shuttle tourists in to town for a small fee for $2.00 ( hop on and off all day).

We parked in the Yellow Trolley parking lot which turned out to be quite nice.  The lot is located within a few minutes walk to Lake Otsego and the Cooperstown Golf Course and next to the Finemore Art Museum.

I did walk by the Baseball hall of Fame but didn't go through the museum.
 Doubleday Field is named after Abner Doubleday who is thought to have first developed the scheme of baseball in the 1800's.

 The trolley shuttles tourists from the parking lots to downtown.  It is a very convenient and efficient way to see downtown Cooperstown.
 Lake Otsego
 This is part of the Finemore Museum of Art.  It is a reproduction of an Iroquois hut.

 Dug out canoe just laying on the shore of the lake. I think it was part of the museum exhibit.
 This road was just a short distance from the trolley parking. It was a nice place to walk in the early morning and early evening.
 I even saw a fox.  Apparent the fox come into town and hunt small domestic cats and dogs.
 He wasn't that far away and he just kept watch on us as we walked.
I thought this was a cool bronze sculpture near the Doubleday Field.
 Even though Cooperstown was a big tourist area, I was really impressed with this little village.  You can walk almost everywhere in town, and the folks are real friendly.  The town is clean and the old homes are interesting.  We walked into town both mornings before the businesses were open and enjoyed the little village in its early morning quiet state.

The sega of my camera repair continues.  Unfortunately it didn't get sent out in time to arrive at Cooperstown, even though we stayed in extra day.  Joel didn't mind waiting around one more day.  It gave him a chance to fix the satellite dish that has been acting up since we left Jefferson, Ohio and it gave me a chance to catch up on paperwork and blogs.   Anyway, we didn't live Cooperstown until late morning on Thursday (had to wait for the mail) and headed for Rutland, Vermont, our next stop.  The Rutland postal employee was great and agreed to forward my camera it to our stop in upper Vermont where we will be about August 1, in a few days.

It took almost 6 hours to drive approximately 150 miles.  The further north one goes the more windy the roads become.  We took Highway 80 north from Cooperstown  which is very narrow and windy, but beautiful. I could feel the increase in altitude and the decrease in humidity...a good feeling.

We'll be in Rutland just a few days before we head up near Marshfield, Vermont.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watkins Glen Gorge, July 25

Some of the group chose to go to Watkins Glen on Sunday because it was cloudy which made for good photography in the gorge.  All I could think about was Sunday=Crowds, besides the forecast was for partial cloudiness on Monday.

I had seen signs of a rails to trails bike route from Montour Falls to Watkins Glenn State Park, just about 4 miles one way. .. all flat and mostly on hard packed RR bed, so I did a little research and determined it would be feasible to ride the bikes without a lot of effort  to the park.

Joel and I, along with Nancy and Maynard, headed out early on the bikes stopping in Montour Falls to take a picture of the falls that are right in the middle of town (the falls are not called Montour Falls but some other really long Indian name) and then continued along the trail.

 The only down side about the Catherine Valley Trail is that it bumps you out on the highway a little south of the park so you have to ride a short distance on a busy road.

We all arrived at the park just as it was  opening and much to our delight there was free admission for cyclists, and even better, there were no cars in the parking lot. That was an $8.00 savings that could be spent on ice cream later :).  The Watkins Glen Gorge is beautiful with lots of photo ops.  The good thing was that due to our early arrival there was hardly anyone there and we were able to photograph and explore at our leisure. ..especially since there are 892 steps over about 1.5 miles. The day was partially cloudy which also help make for good photos.

Each water fall has a name and I didn't even try to remember them all.  If you like water falls, you are in for a treat.  My little IPhone worked OK,but the pictures are not as sharp as they would be with my other camera.

I got Nancy and Maynard to stop and pose for a minute while Joel headed on up the gorge.

 One of Maynard's typical poses with Nancy going up a short flight of stairs.
 This reminded me of some of the slot canyons in Arizona, only there was water not sand.
 Note the cracks.  They look like they were cut to relieve pressure.  Really interesting stuff.

 Looking down on the gorge and some of the steps.

We spent over two hours going up and just a few minutes coming down.  Then before returning to Montour Falls, we headed over to the marina in Watkins Glen which sets on the picturesque Seneca Lake

We perused the little town on our bikes and headed back to the Moose Lodge around 1:00.  Did you notice the clouds in the picture above the boats?  They moved in a got darker and darker.  Not ten minutes after we got back, it started to thunder and lightening with lots of hail and wind.  Good thing we didn't stop for lunch.  What a good day doing two of my favorite things: biking and hiking.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we leave for Cooperstown, NY for a quick overnight stop.  Cooperstown is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Farmers Museum, and the Fenimore Museum of Art.  This ought to be interesting. I'm not a baseball fan and have seen plenty of museum farm stuff.  I sure hope my camera is waiting for me so we will only have to stay one night.

Corning Museum of Glass, July 23-24

We left Lockport early Friday morning (July 22) and headed for Montour Falls Moose Lodge,  near Watkins Glen, New York. Joel had spent most of Thursday trying to repair the motosat satellite dish and recouping from the previous days adventures.  Some our group went back over to Niagara on Thursday, but it was just too hot to be walking around asphalt.

Montour Falls is a quaint little town, just a few miles from Watkins Glen State Park which is the home of Watkins Glen Gorge and 17 waterfalls.  The Corning Museum of Glass is about twenty miles south in the little village/town of Corning.  Saturday and part of Sunday, we went to the Corning Museum of Glass. The purchase price of ticket includes two days and for a small  additional fee you can upgrade the  ticket to include the Rockwell Museum of Art also housed in Corning. They are both owned by Corning.

The architecture of the museum itself is very interesting.  The museum used to be an old factory and was renovated to house the extensive collection of glass.

The museum traces 35 centuries of glass art, history and technology. There are several galleries  ranging from contemporary to cross cultural.

This is a classic representation of Chihuly.
 These bowls are made from thin strings of glass fibers.

 The picture doesn't do this sculpture justice.  The lights reflecting in the square shapes were really pretty and mesmerizing.
 This is a cut glass replica of the Liberty Bell.  It weights over 30 pounds so it must have been really hard to cut on a lath.
 Another example of modern glass and old stuff used in an unusual manner.
 This is a Peony, and suppose to be a good luck flower.
 This is a cube that was made out of recycled LED glass, the kind that is used in TVs.
 This was a giant mobile which seems to float.
 Can you see the tree?  This artist used premade glassware from various sources  arranged in a tree. There were three trees, but I thought this one was the best.
 This is a glass pressing machine used to make pressed glass.  Pressed glass looks similar to cut glass but pressed glass does not have lead in it like cut glass and the edges are not as sharp and defined as cut glass.  It was common in the late 1800's to early mid 1900's.

This was an exhibit of Carder who worked for Corning designing glassware and other items.  What made this exhibit interesting was all the colors Carder developed and the explanation of what was used to make the colors in the glass.
 Yes, it was an all day excursion and Joel was pretty patient, but he just had to take a break.
 These are glass blinds.  Corning's original start was making glass blinds.  They didn't go over very well so he went on to other projects.

This was one of the exhibits of safety glass.  The windshield on top shows what happens when two guns shots were shot into the windshield.  The bullets did not go through the glass, but the glass sort of absorbs the impact but doesn't shatter.   The second windshield shows safety glass which is laminated to tape which keeps the glass from shattering into sharp shards.   The bottom windshield is from an old car with regular glass.  The demonstration I attended showed how the bullet proof glass would shatter into little piece if hit just the right way, but not break into big pieces.  It all has to do with how the glass is tempered.

This was a demonstration of mirrors and reflections.  It was hard to get a photograph of what was going on.  As you walked toward the glass, it felt like you were walking through several invisible partitions, which is why Joel is reaching out to try and touch the partition. Weird!

We've all heard of corning ware, the white pots you cook in.  Corning ware was as a result of a mistake in over firing glass bowls.  When fired long enough and hot enough, the bowl didn't melt but turned white and became tough enough to with standing baking and cooking.  The bowls below represent the different strengths of the bowls. The glass colored ones (not as tough but similar to Pyrex ) on the bottom  to the white colored ones on top which are Corning Ware.

The hot glass demonstration was one of the better demonstrations on glass blowing I've seen.  A narrator walked you through the whole process, explaining the different names of the different tools and exactly what the artist was doing.  It was very professional and informative.  Glass making has always fascinated me and I never get tired of watching.

The optical fiber demonstration was also very interesting and is the museum newest exhibit. Did you know optical fiber is as thin as a strand of hair and can transmit over a half a million pieces of data at one time? There was a large circle at least five feet in diameter that enclosed solid copper wiring/cable (my photo did not turn out) and one small strand of optical fiber replaces all of the copper wiring in the five foot diameter.  Amazing.

After the demonstrations  we took the shuttle  over to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. The exhibit was nice and the Andy Warhol section on Cowboys and Indians was especially interesting. No, it is not the same Rockwell as Norman Rockwell.

We walked the town of Corning, which has lots of interesting little studios and shops.  A nice place to visit, but it is obvious that Corning is what keeps this town of Corning alive.  Its been really hot so we were happy to get back to the campground and use the AC even though it was the power was a little sporadic.