Then There Was Four (Snowmobiles)

Bever PondWe’ve managed to make it up north for three absolutely gorgeous weekends. This weekend was no exception. We went riding on Saturday and the sky was an incredibly clear blue without a cloud in sight. We took a ride up Littl Blue Mountain and again the view was better than the last time. White Face Mountain was perfectly visible as well as some other mountains in the same range and beyond.

Broken Down SledAfter a quick snack we headed off to Sevey’s Corner and beyond. Once we crossed route 3 the trails were even better. Freshly groomed with few sleds having been down them. Everything was going great until we were waiting for my uncle Wes and a few other sleds came by and told us we had a broken down sled. We went back a few miles and it wasn’t good. The supports holding his suspension up broke and his snowmobile was literally sitting on the ground. We towed it back to route 3 and my cousin Donald headed back to the truck while Uncle Jerry, Dad and I headed out to finish the days ride. Only four of the five sleds we ran with this season made it out alive.

Looking Back On 2007-08 Snowmobiling Season

Looking back this year we’ve had a fantastic season. We put on over 520 miles in three weekends. All the riding we did was on perfect trails. I’ve never seen better snow conditions than the past two weekends and the days we went out the sky was so blue it was amazing.

Cheney Takes Visa

North Branch of The Grass RiverWe got an earlier start today and were on the trails by 10am. After hearing that Easter dinner would be ready when we got back we had to make sure we put on the miles early and were back in time for the feast. We put on roughly 100 miles again and made it back by 6pm.

First stop today was Camp. Along the way we crossed the North branch of the Grasse River as well as a branch of the Oswegatchie. The scenery was beautiful as were the trails. We certainly hit this trip perfect. In most sections there was several feet of hard packed snow and ice. Step off the hard packed groomed trail though and you were likely to sink up to your waist.

Cheney’s CampIf you need a place to stay out on the trail just stop by Cheney’s Camp. Apparently they take visa or MasterCard so you should be good to go. Fortunately no friends were shot in the face while filming this cabin.

The sleds were running great today and yesterday with the cold weather and hard packed trails. If you punched it you’d lift the skis right off the ground which makes for tricky cornering. We hit 75mph on a few of the straightaways without even pushing it.

Cranberry LakeThe last stop of the day was The Pinecone at the southern end of Cranberry Lake in Wanakena. Once we got on the Setback Trail to Wanakena the trail got pretty rough. You can definitely tell the difference between groomed trails and not. The setback trail was miles of moguls and switchbacks. Eventually it let you out in Wanakena and we were able to take a quick rest at The Pinecone before heading home.

It’s amazing the amount of scenery you can see up here while riding the snowmobiles. It would take you months on skis to see what we’ve seen in two days. That’s easily the best part of riding. You are in remote locations that are often inaccessible any other time of the year. 4-wheelers are not always allowed on the same trails which makes it difficult to cover a lot of the ground. I would love to take a snowmobile trip into remote sections of Canada. Maybe next year we’ll take a week and head up to the big country.

Littl Blue and Horseshoe

View From Little Blue MountainAfter the battle of the skags and a great hearty breakfast by my aunt Pauline we headed out for the day at about 11am. We got lucky lucky with fresh groomed trails and absolutely beautiful snowmobiling conditions. First stop for the day was Littl Blue Mountain which is a short mile or so jaunt up a steep non groomed trail filled with switchbacks. The Scenery was stunningly beautiful from the top. It was such a clear day we could see all the way to White Face Mountain and Big Tupper’s Ski trails.

Horseshoe LakeFor our next stop we headed on to the most southern point in the St Lawrence County Snowmobile trail system, Horseshoe Lake. The last 5-10 miles of the trail to Horseshoe is on state land and the 4 big storms from this year have put their toll on the trail. Unfortunately because it’s on the ‘forever wild’ state land the trees criss crossing the trail can’t be cut until approval is given from the state. This made for a rough few miles getting to Horseshoe but the view is always worth it. The Lake is still frozen and a few people have ventured out on it. We were not among them. We had a quick snack in the blistering cold wind and then headed for home.

Overall we had a great ride today. We covered approximately 100 miles and met about 15 sleds. That’s what its always like up here. Beautiful and practically void of people.

Alaska in 1999

I let everyone know a while ago that my parents took a trip to Alaska last summer. What I didn’t tell you is my dad was already there. Back in 1999 on our way to Mount Rushmore, my father decided to take a little detour and ended up in Alaska. Kind of a long detour, especially since it was a road trip. Good thing it was only the Alaska section of the parking lot for the Mall of America. Does this mean there are 50 Mall of America’s parking sections? Found the photographic proof.

Dad in Alaska

Life In The Country

Sunrise in Marion My parents are off on another adventure. This time they’re in Florida. I wonder if this will become a recurring theme now that my Father is retired? My mother claims that she’s going to work forever just for the health insurance benefits she gets through Wegmans so maybe not. I can’t imagine she’ll hold out quite that long, especially at this pace, though.

I’m happy for them. They’ve worked their whole lives and now get to reap the rewards. I hope they take even more trips so I can see the pictures. Or maybe next time they’ll take us with them? Or maybe we’ll take them with us.

While they’re gone this time we’re watching the house, well not the house really but my 17 year old dog Chewy. She was born in the middle of the Ice Storm of 1991 and is probably the healthiest 17 year old dog you’ll ever see.

I never realized while growing up here but the scenery is quite beautiful. My parents live in Marion Ny in the same house that I grew up in. While I was growing up it was completely surrounded by fields, valleys and farms. now there are 3 houses across the street instead of fields, and they mostly block the view. Even so the colors of the trees on the other side of the valley are always gorgeous and I had forgotten the sunrises were often so amazing. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise Thursday morning. What a wonderful way to start the day.

A big red truck for A big old Canton softy

So my dad finally decided to retire and it’s a good thing too. He’s been bugging all of us with his proclamations of retirement to hunt with his brethren for months now. He got a pretty good early retirement package from EDS and figured he should take it.

I’m happy for him. Retirement is an event that we all plan for (hopefully) and work for our whole life. Unfortunately because of the way our society works very few can actually enjoy it once it arrives. I’m very proud to say that he won’t be one of them. He’s plenty more active than I am and has so many projects going at any point in time that I cant picture him being done with everything he has planned already until into his 90s. Not to mention the zany adventures and crock pot ideas he’ll cook up between now and then.

For those of you who don’t know him, he’s a hunter, from ducks to bears and everything in between (I just recently saw the light in his eye when he told us about the recent spike in the Moose population of New York). He likes the outdoors and has spent probably more than 50% of his life outside. This is at least partly due to being born and raised on his parents homestead in Canton NY. That’s right he’s a good old fashion country boy.

Dad’s 2007 SilveradoHe also likes his toys, and for what I assume is his retirement gift to himself he bought himself a nice big red truck. Not just any truck, a Brand New Chevy Silverado extended cab Z71 4×4 fully loaded. He’s earned it though. Over 30 years dedicated to the same company and same wife. Both are pretty rare these days.

My Dad is a great guy, an excellent father and a patient teacher and has the best years ahead of him.

Congratulations Dad, you deserve it!

Thank you Everyone!

One and a half years of planning, four months of frenzy, a one day celebration and 2 weeks of relaxation… We did it!

Life as a married couple has been good to us so far. We’d just like to say a final thanks to everyone who made our wedding the most beautiful and blissful day a couple could wish for. Not to mention all the fun we had! We couldn’t ask for a better start to a long happy life together.

Special thanks go out to:

The Parents, without your love and support we wouldn’t have been able to do it at all

The Bridal Party Consisting of:

  • Lisa Jordan – Maid of Honor
  • Anthony Ventura – Best Man
  • Lisa Day
  • Miriam Cortez
  • Tess Hey
  • Jennifer Lehr
  • Brian Wilson
  • Charles Rich
  • Michael Heath
  • George Heath Jr

Claire Masten for her touching reading from 1st Corinthians

Elizabeth Fino-Radin from The Starry Strings Quartet for the beautiful violin

Annette Dragon for all the beautiful photography

Whirlin’ Disc DJ for getting everyone on the dance floor

Mike from The Burgundy Basin for making sure everything went smoothly

Phaedra Andalora from Liberty Travel for putting together our Honeymoon

I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a no hit game.

Frontier Field

We saw the Yankees Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Farm Team play the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field tonight. The company my dad works for was having their annual Red Wings outing where everyone gets food, drinks and decent seats at the game. It’s always a good time and this year was no exception. Rachel and I went with my parents and my niece Cassandra. Unfortunately the Red Wings Lost, but don’t worry, we’re going back again tomorrow and they’re sure to win then!

Yankees Farm Team at Rochester Red Wings

Adventure must start with running away from home

On their way

This morning I woke up before dawn to take my parents to the airport for their first trip together ever. I know that sounds strange but you have to understand, They have three only children. They’ve basically been raising kids for the past 40+ years. Every vacation they’ve taken has been either with or for their kids.

In fact my parents are responsible for making me want to travel so much. For at least 10 days every summer(often longer) my parents would ship us off to some location for a family camping trip. We didn’t always go far, sometimes we’d just go to places nearby like Oneida Lake or Letchworth State Park. Other times we’d trek cross country to Mount Rushmore or Yellowstone National Park.

My parents gave up a lot while we were growing up. They’ve had this trip scheduled for almost a year and it wasn’t until 3 days ago I learned that this would be the first vacation they had taken together (alone), or even the first time they’d flown together. It’s funny the way people assume you realize or know things just because its what they consider common knowledge.

Thanks Mom and Dad, I owe you a lot.