This Week in Links

Genesee Valley Hiking Group (GVHG)
Meetup group for the Genesee Valley Hiking Group.

Robert Thurman: Hiking In The Catskills
Weekend Hiking Retreat in the Catskills this summer

FLT/NCT – Mount Washington
A section of the Finger Lakes trail including a different sort of Mount Washington

Area blessed with plentiful places for boating
Great article by the D&C talking about all the great places the Rochester area has to offer when it comes to boating, paddling or otherwise.

Kayaking on Lake George
Information for kayaking on Lake George NY

New York Camping Guide 2010
A guide on camping in New York with lots of information on the State Campgrounds.

Hiking Little Rock City
Some details about Hiking in the Little Rock City NY area.

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Pittsburgh is an Awesome City

Drinking and Star Wars all with a DD? or my wife rules part deux? Awesome.

IMG_1414Rachel and I went to Pittsburgh for Star Wars in Concert a few weeks ago.  Before we went I learned a little about the city because, honestly, I knew nothing.  Pittsburgh is in the middle of the mountains? Why did I not know this?  It’s only 4.5hrs away.  Really? Why have I not been there before? It takes longer to get to Camp sometimes (driving up route 81 across the Tug Hill Plateau in the middle of the winter is no fun), and we go there almost every weekend.  It’s easy to get to also, just take Interstate 90 to Interstate 79 south right into the city.

We stayed at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Place which we highly recommend, partly because of the quality of the accommodations at their price, but mostly because they include a DD.  They have a shuttle which takes you anywhere within a 5 mile radius every hour on the hour.  Our car didn’t move once we got there until we were headed home which was nice.

IMG_1397First thing we did when we got there?  We headed to the only place (I know of) where you can get your drink on inside a Church, the Church Brew Works.  A little silly for Rachel, but they served an excellent dinner too!  Surprisingly enough, on top of the great atmosphere, their beer and their food were amazing!

A few suggestions from our list of favorite spots for when you go to Pittsburgh.  Be sure not to miss the Monongahela Incline, it provides simply stunning views of the city and it’s cheap.  Or you can just drive to the top of Mount Washington, but what fun is that?


IMG_1534Pittsburgh might be the only place in the world where you can see a real live Transformer, or at least a sculpture of a fake transformer named Arch.  Don’t miss that while it’s there.

IMG_1553The ice rink at PPG Place looks like another Rockefeller Center amidst a beautiful crystal (glass) Palace (office complex).  You can rent skates and skate amongst the palace towers around a ginormous Christmas Tree.  Unfortunately we didn’t discover it until a few minutes before the concert or else we would have partaken.

Our favorite part of the trip was (obviously) the reason we were there. Star Wars in Concert was amazing! What an interesting new way to experience the Star Wars story.  Narrated by none other than C-3PO himself (Anthony Daniels) and performed by a live orchestra.  Hearing the Imperial march live along giant HD images of Vader raised the hair on the back of my neck.  Yes, before anyone asks, there were lots of people in costumes around (I sat next to Obi-Wan) but no, we were not among them.  Overall we’d highly recommend the whole Star Wars in Concert experience.


An incredibly enjoyable weekend.  Pittsburgh is an awesome city and we WILL be back.

Wdljyndham Pittsburgh University Place

Mountains out of Mole Hills

While in New Hampshire we took the time to climb a few mountains. No we didn’t strap on our hiking shoes and packs and trek up the mountains but we did make it to the top of both.

To get up Cannon Mountain we took the Gondola. On the way up we didn’t get much of a view because it was snowing! Yup we’ve already seen the first snow of the year. It was a little below freezing at just over 4k feet. We hiked the 1/2 mile trail around the top and even managed to climb the weather tower where the wind blew so bad it hurt. On the way back down the skys opened up and we had great views of Echo Lake.

Gondola Up Cannon Mountain Rachel at the Top of Cannon Mountain View of Echo Lake from Cannon Mountain

Our trek up Mount Washington is less exciting. Well, the trip up is interesting but the hike at the top and the views are night and day from Cannon. To get to the top we took a Cog Train. This isn’t a trip that winds around the mountain speedily going to the top while at the edge of thousand foot cliffs. No, this train goes straight up the mountain at a 37% incline inch by excruciating inch. It’s not only painful but it’s expensive. Oh and you can’t see anything because its so cold (6 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill) that the people in the cabin steam up all the windows, not to mention the cloud cover. All in all a worthless ride, and one I would only recommend in the middle of summer. Even then I’d suggest a drive up instead. It’ll take less time and you’ll have better views. At least now we can say we’ve been to the top of the tallest mountain on the east coast.

Train Returning from the Top of Mt Washington Rachel and I at the Top of Mt Washington