October 13, 2021

Two New Additions!

I’m interrupting our regular programming (meaning my recounting of our Minnesota and Michigan Trip) to alert you to two new additions to my sidebar.  I apologize for keeping you in suspense about our frightening experience at Lake Bemidji.  That’s up next – I promise!

In my previous post I had mentioned the World’s Largest Boot in Red Wing, Minnesota, and commented on how much we enjoyed unique stops like this.  Man-made oddities like the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle, the Blue Whale of Catoosa and the World’s Largest Highboy represent individual stories of life in America and reflect the details of a particular company’s or region’s history or a family’s special legacy.  I find all of that fascinating.

October 03, 2021

The Twin Cities - Minneapolis and St. Paul (The M&M Trip)

This is another post in the series documenting our trip to the states of Minnesota and Michigan back in the summer of 2015.  Our daughter, Kyra, was 16 and out of school on summer vacation, so she joined us on our two week whirlwind tour of the M&M states.

Here in the northeast, you’ll find mostly privately owned RV parks or campgrounds operated by State Parks Departments.  Camping travelers don’t seem to have the support of city, county and regional governments like they do in other areas of the country.  So I’m always pleasantly surprised to find these gems when I’m on the hunt for a base camp for our explorations or a place to land for an overnight stop as we crisscross the country.

September 23, 2021

The M&M Trip - Minnesota and Michigan

This is the first post in a series documenting a two week trip to the states of Minnesota and Michigan back in the summer of 2015.  Alan had already escaped the workforce, but I was still working full time, so we had to be content with an expedition that would fit within my two weeks of vacation.  Our son Ryan was working full time and had aged out of traveling with us on a regular basis.  Our daughter, Kyra, was 16 and out of school on summer vacation, so she joined us on a whirlwind tour of these two states.

How do you pick a vacation destination?  Do you follow a tradition that has been in your family for generations and go to a beloved cabin in the mountains or cottage by the sea?  Do you have a prioritized list of future vacation spots and just go down the list in order?  Do you base vacations on the location of family members or friends you wish to visit across the country or around the globe?  Do you tape a map to the wall and throw a dart at it?

September 10, 2021

Little Free Libraries

I grew up in a middle class home in a city of about 25,000 people.  My Dad was a machine operator on a railroad; my Mom stayed at home to raise my older brother and me until I started school.  After that, she worked part time in the local school district so that she’d be home when my brother and I were.  There wasn’t much discretionary income left after their paychecks were divvied up to pay the bills, but our lives were rich in all of the ways that mattered.

August 29, 2021

The Colchester Causeway - A Rail Trail with Magnificent Views in Every Direction

When Alan and I were in Burlington, Vermont, nearly three years ago, one of the activities we enjoyed was biking the Burlington Greenway.  The Greenway is the City of Burlington’s portion of the 13.4 mile Island Line Rail Trail.  We began at North Beach Park which, if I remember correctly, is roughly in the middle of the Greenway.  We continued north until the Greenway transitioned into the Colchester Bike Path and Causeway.  At the time, we were just interested in the Burlington Greenway BUT, if I had only plunged a little bit deeper into my research, I would have discovered that the Causeway is actually the highlight of the Island Line Rail Trail.

August 10, 2021

Lake Time!

Yet another housekeeping update (so sorry!):  Anyone who subscribes to posts via email may have received two emails for the most recent post I published.  I had transitioned to FollowIt for email subscriptions, but Feedburner has continued to deliver posts even though Google indicated that it would stop doing that in July.  Now, they say August.  I wish they had just announced a specific date and stuck with it.  Since I don’t want all of you to continue receiving two email notifications for each new post, I deleted my Feedburner option.  You should receive notifications only via FollowIt from now on.  I do empathize with those of you who preferred the format of the Feedburner email notifications.  Truthfully, I much preferred the Feedburner format, too, since it allowed you to read a little bit of the post and decide whether or not you wanted to continue on to the blog for the rest of it.  However, FollowIt’s only options are (1) title only (which is how you received the last post) or (2) the entire article (which is how you should have received this one, assuming I made the correct adjustments).  Even though you may receive the complete text of the post, you’ll still need to click through to view the photos or access other features of the blog.  I know it’s not perfect, but it is what it is.  My apologies to all for the annoyance this transition may have caused.  If you’re not annoyed by this, no worries.  I’m annoyed enough for all of us.  Now, on to the good stuff.  Or, at least, the better than this stuff . . .

Didja miss me?  Our family just recently returned from our annual camping expedition to Northampton Beach Campground on Great Lake Sacandaga in central New York.  I know you’re probably tired of me talking about “the lake” as it’s known in our family but, well, I just can’t help myself.  Not only is the lake, itself, gorgeous, but the campground is full of large and beautifully wooded sites.  Our trip this year, though, was a little bittersweet because it was the first year in the thirteen we’ve been making a pilgrimage to Sacandaga that one of our kids didn’t make it at all.  As a result, I spent quite a bit of time this year reflecting on our experiences at Great Lake Sacandaga and the family memories we’ve collected over the years.  So, this post really is more about matters of the heart, than an actual documentation of our camping trip.  The photos included in the post span several years' worth of visits.

July 14, 2021

Seven Points about Seven Points - Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

A quick housekeeping update:  Subsequent to my transition from Feedburner to Follow.It for your email subscriptions, there was a bit of difficulty with several of your email addresses.  The folks that staff the Help Desk at Follow.It were extremely courteous, professional and, well, helpful.  I believe that the glitch has been corrected, but I’ll be following up with the individuals affected to be sure that new posts are being delivered to their Inboxes.  I would ask all of you who subscribe via email to please pass along any feedback you wish and, of course, let me know if you run into any trouble on your end.  I believe all is well at this point, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Also, please note that, despite my best efforts to determine the reason, John Hinton’s blog, "On the Road of Retirement," is no longer updating.  It stopped updating before I transitioned to Follow.It, so I don’t think I lost him there, and I’ve deleted the blog and added it back but, still, no dice.  Be assured that John is actively writing; he and his wife, Sharon, are in New Mexico as I draft this post.  Last item . . . Although Bob Lowery is no longer publishing new posts on his "Satisfying Retirement" blog, you can still access a wonderful list of mostly retirement-related blogs from his site.   So, even though publication has ceased, I'm leaving "Satisfying Retirement" on my blog roll for your (and my) reading pleasure.  Now, on to today’s post . . .

According to HuntingdonCountyHistory.com, “Raystown Lake is a reservoir in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. It is the largest lake that is entirely within Pennsylvania. The original lake was built by the Simpson family of Huntingdon as a hydroelectric project. The current 8,300-acre Raystown Lake was completed in 1973 by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Raystown is around 200 feet deep in the deepest area near the dam. The lake was created primarily to control floods, provide electricity, and support recreational activities.”

Friends told us about Raystown Lake years and years ago.  They said it was our kind of place.  Unfortunately, it’s just far enough from home that it wasn’t really feasible for a weekend jaunt while we were working.  Since Alan and I escaped from the workforce, we’ve had so many other destinations on our travel list, the lake never quite worked its way into priority status.  That changed this spring when cabin fever reared its ugly head.  I was poking around trying to find the perfect spot for a quick getaway that one of us desperately needed.  (Yeah, okay, that would be me.)  I thought of Raystown Lake and Seven Points Campground, the Army Corps of Engineers facility located directly on the lake.