Thursday, August 11, 2022

Land of the Waving Grass

 In mid-June we decided to venture out a little bit further than our backyard with the new pup and Nana and explore a new area we haven't visited before. This took us to Upstate New York, into the Adirondack Mountains. We found a cute little cabin situated on Great Sacandaga Lake.  The lake is situated about 30 minutes away from Saratoga Springs & Lake George, making it the perfect location for day trips.

The word Sacandaga means "Land of the Waving Grass" in the local native language. 

The lake was established to serve as a reservoir. Produced by damming the Sacandaga River, to control flooding on the Hudson River. The lake has 41.7 square miles of surface area and 46 miles of shoreline. It is 29 miles long and 5 miles wide, at its widest point. Its average depth is 32 feet deep, with a max depth of 70 feet deep. 

 With most of the lake's shoreline being dotted with vacation homes, campsites, or private resorts, we were lucky enough to have private access to the lake with our cabin rental. With a spot to swim & fish. But with such luck, the lake was at its highest point, covering the sandy beachy area, to which we had access. This didn't stop us from jumping off the docks in to the dark, freezing waters of the lake. Some of us more willingly than others. It was a beautiful and peaceful surrounding to swim in.

                                     The docks at our cabin rental at Watersedge Campground.

Great Sacandaga Lake is home to many varieties of fish. Including walleye, northern pike, small mouth bass, rock bass, smelt, rainbow trout, brown trout, yellow perch, land locked salmon, pumpkin seed sunfish, & brown bull head. There are four public access points around the lake, including two state boat launches. Although we didn't get to cast a line during this trip, I would love to be able to come back for a weekend and give it a try. Maybe once the seasons change, we can take the trip and do some ice fishing. 

There is a long history of fishing in this area.  Many wealthy businessmen built their fish camps here in the 1700's. One of the most notable was Sir William Johnson's Fishing camp "Fish House."
Sir William Johnson was one of the largest landowners in America at the time he built his Fish House in 1762 in this area of the Adirondack's. It's said that the Fish House was burnt during the Revolution, many say by Johnson's own son, Sir John Johnson, who remained loyal to the Crown and led a Tory raid in the area. 
Surrounding the ruins of Sir William Johnson's camp, a community was established by some of the wealthiest American's. The streets were filled with large estates, hotels, and were elm lined, unlike many of the other communities in the area. 
But this area was very prone to flooding. So, in 1922 the state regulation board purchased 29,000 acres of land in this area. They razed building, emptied cemeteries and built a dam in Conklingville. 
In 1930 they closed the gates and flooded the area, making Great Sacandaga Lake. Leaving the community and Sir William Johnson's house at the bottom of the lake. 
Today if you drive down Country route 110, near its intersection of country route 109 there is a plaque that indicates that "Fish House" lies 1500 feet Northeast of this marker. 

                                       Marker country route 110, near intersection with route 109

                                                                  Conklingville Dam

If you're interested in learning more history about this area Author Glen Pearsall is an author that focuses on the history of the Adirondack's very well.  He has several novels out about it, but also contribute to the Adirondack Almanack online. 

The deer were plentiful on the property we were on. This little beauty stopped by every morning, with a few friends to say hello. As Pops always said, if only they were that friendly during hunting season. 

The View from our cabin was so beautiful. It was so peaceful and relaxing to sit on the back porch and look out across the lake. 

We were lucky enough to be there for the full moon, and it didn't disappoint. 

In fact, the views all around the lake didn't disappoint. 

We would love to see these views in the fall, when all the foliage is changing. 

Maverick loved all the nature watching off the back porch too. 

Jeanette, Alan & Carol riding around on the golf cart. One of the favorite activities of the week.
We have to get one of these for home.  

We had a great time in Upstate New York. Really enjoyed the solitude and the beauty of our surroundings. We can't wait to head back up there again and enjoy all this area has to offer. 

Family photo before we hit the road. 
Jeanette, Alan, Maverick, Gary, Carol, & Krystina

                                 I think its ok with Maverick, too. He's mastered this road tripping thing. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Memories Matter, Love Never Forgets

 June 21st to most is the Summer Solstice. This day the sun is at its highest point, and we get the most hours of daylight and least hours of darkness of any day of the year. 

In our family, this day is more than the Summer Solstice. It is The Longest Day, the day with the most light, to fight the darkness of Alzheimer's, a very personal disease for our family. 

My Grandma Chesery, my mother's mother, fought and lost a long battle with Alzheimer's. 

In late 2019, my mother was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  As she slowly began to forget a little more each day, Pops stepped in, without hesitation, as her full-time caretaker. Doing all the things she couldn't remember how to do or could no longer do for herself. Always concerned that his JJ was taken care of, up until the day he died.

The Alzheimer's Association uses this day for fundraising through whatever activities you choose, as well as to recognize all the caretakers out there who have the Longest Day every single day. 

This year we celebrated the Longest Day, with Pops in mind, we donned our purple shirts and headed out to the shoreline for some good old-fashioned pizza. We found ourselves at a nice outdoor table in Old Saybrook at a place called the Pizza Palace. If you buy 3 pizzas you get 1 free, so why not get 4 pizzas!

 Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the pizza, we ate it too quickly. But we had a nice selection. One with just sausage, one with eggplant, one with fresh tomatoes & basil, and one with buffalo chicken. All delicious and cheesy. 

Krystina, Carol (Krystina's mom) Nana, Alan & Maverick (who also had purple on that day)

Our front door went purple for the Month of June for Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness month.
This adorable little gnome, that declares Memories Matter, was made by a cute little shop on Etsy, called Victoria's Vanity Shop. He will probably live on our door most of the year, not just in June. 

There are 55 million People globally that are living with some form of dementia. 
More than 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars are spent globally on dementia.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's
More than 11 million family and friends are care givers to someone with Alzheimer's in the U.S, giving 16 billion hours of unpaid care to their loved ones. 
Please join our family in the fight against Alzheimer's so we can find a cure for this awful disease. 

I've taken over Mom's care now. I know I will never be as patient with her as Pops, he was a saint, but I'm trying to make him proud and care for her the way he did. With the help of my loving girlfriend, family and friends I know we will make it through the Longest Days. 
For us, it's all about making the memories with Mom. Because even when she forgets, love never forgets & memories always matter!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Welcome to the Family

 In a blink of an eye, and here we are in mid-July, and I haven't been so good about keeping you all informed of the happenings as well as Pops always was. 

Alot changes in 3 months, especially when you are learning the "new normal" without having the heart of your family. 
I would be lying if I didn't say it hasn't been tough, or a learning curve without Pops around. 
I would also be lying if I didn't say I think about and miss him daily. 
There will always be a piece missing without him here. 

But enough of that, Pops wouldn't want us crying over him, he would want us to continue on and to enjoy life to the fullest, and that's exactly what we are trying to do. 

Part of doing that, has brought a new member to the family. 

On April 29th, we welcomed our newest family member, a 10-week-old Rescue Black Labrador Retriever, who coincidently was born the week Pops passed away, a little divine intervention to bring him to us perhaps. Pops would have loved this little guy!
 Please let us introduce you to our little boy, we named Maverick. (Yes, because we are huge Top Gun Fans!) But it suits him very well!

He quickly stole our hearts and became an immediate part of the family. 

How could you not love that face!

As you can imagine, he has been keeping us pretty busy. But he has adjusted very quickly and has made himself right at home. 

He has been very therapeutic for all of us. Always knowing when one of us just needs that little bit of extra love and attention that day. But he chose his main person very quickly!

Nana & her puppy

With the new Pup, we have been trying to spend a lot of time outside and enjoying the fresh air. 
 A lot of our outings lately have taken us to People's State Forest in Barkhamsted. 

Peoples State Forest runs along the West Branch of the Farmington River.
It's a great place to have a picnic for the day, take a swim in the river & cast out a line.
It's very dog friendly, and Maverick seems to love it just as much as we do. 

Playing in the pine needles

Alan & Maverick after his first swim in the Farmington River

Nana & her Pup on a walk

Family photo in the woods

Krystina, Nana & Alan on a walk

My family, as well as my girlfriend, Krystina's family have spent a lot of time in People's Forest growing up, so it's really nice to be able to make new memories here now, and to reminisce about all the good memories that we have had here over the years.

It's really nice to be able to get away in the woods, not so far from our backyard, and relax for the day. 

If you ever get the chance to come out and enjoy this area, take the opportunity, it is worth it. 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

A little day trip for the soul

 With warmer weather on the horizon, and a new trout season set to open later this week, I promise there will be more fishing posts coming. 

For now, a little reminder to get out by the water to cleanse the soul and connect with nature. 

Yesterday, we took advantage of the nice weather and took a little impromptu road trip with my mom, to get her out in the fresh air. So often, myself and my girlfriend, Krystina, find we are drawn to the shoreline when we need a moment to breath, and just enjoy smelling the fresh salt air. Yesterday was one of those days, and we found ourselves in Newport, Rhode Island. 

Newport is a city found on the Aquidneck Island of Rhode Island. Known for hosting the America's cup, a renowned annual sailing regatta for many years, as well as the Gilded Age mansions lining Bellevue Avenue. You can spend the day exploring many of these mansions, as now most of them are museums or walk along the 3.5-mile walking trail along the shoreline that runs behind these mansions, referred to as the Cliff Walk, to take in the beautiful architecture. 

We started our day off in Newport by making a stop at the Fort Adams State Park. It sits right at the mouth of the Newport Harbor and allows for remarkable views of both Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. You can take a tour of the Fort itself, a former United States Army post, or just walk along the many docks and trails, and watch the sailboats coming in and out of the Harbor. This park also plays home to many Rugby teams, which we caught a glimpse of as we were driving into the park. 

Jeanette & Alan Jr. by Newport Bay

View of Fort Adams from the docks

The Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge across the Bay from Fort Adams State Park

Krystina, Alan Jr & Jeanette at Fort Adam's State Park

Our second stop of the day took us along the beautiful Ocean Avenue. A twelve-mile stretch that
combines spectacular oceanfront homes and amazing water views. On this stretch, you will come across a 15,861-square-foot Louis XIV inspired chateau, named Seafair. Whose resident, as of 2017 is former Tonight Show host Jay Leno and his wife Mavis.  As you would assume, the chateau and the surrounding acreage is spectacular.  Leno has spoken of driving by it one day, doing the same travel as we were doing, and happening upon it. His wife loved the look of it so much, he offered to buy it for her. He walked up to the door and asked if it was for sale. It happened to be, but not yet on the market, so he made an offer to buy everything in the house, including the ketchup in the fridge and the owner accepted. 

Our final stop in Newport was at Brenton Point State Park, which is situated on Ocean Drive. Here you can get sweeping views of Narragansett Bay at its juncture with the Atlantic Ocean. It's a beautiful place for picnicking, and a very popular spot for flying kites on the sprawling lawn overlooking the ocean.  Also, a great spot to explore the little tidal pools, and collect some beautiful seashells to complete our day. 
Krystina & Jeanette at Brenton Point

Jeanette at Brenton Point

Jeanette, Alan Jr. & Krystina at Brenton Point

A great day exploring Newport & taking in the fresh air. 
Pops would have loved the views and enjoyed all the local history we discovered.