2012 East Coast Trip – Day 19 (Lake Day 9)

I was in so much pain from the gorge walk yesterday that I didn’t go for a walk today.  Instead, I picked blueberries with my mom and my wife.  I used different muscles by squatting for 45 minutes.  We did get 15 pounds of blueberries though.

It was another Thursday, so another visit to my grandma.  This time, rather than driving all the way to grandma’s house and then back to Auburn for lunch, my family stopped at the Fingerlakes Mall and walked around the Bass Pro Shop to compare it to ours.  The store was very nice, though smaller.  We then went to Applebees and met grandma, my parents and my cousin and her daughter.  I hadn’t seen my cousin in 13 years; it was great to see her and meet her daughter.  Her daughter is awesome.  We all had a good time.  When my parents and grandma went off to do the weekly shopping, my family toured downtown Skaneateles.  The place isn’t big, but it’s trendy and there is a lot of cute stuff in the shops.  We bought some stuff at a Christmas store.  I was more interested in the store itself, which was actually a Victorian style house from 1816.  The flooring and exterior details were wonderful.  Eventually, we wound up at grandma’s house… and then went home (with a side trip to Gas and Walmart).  The evening was mostly spent anticipating my brother Kevin’s arrival, along with his son.  They showed up a little after 11PM.

Jeffrey and I wait outside a store while the girls shop in Skaneateles

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2012 East Coast Trip – Day 18 (Lake Day 8)

Today was a very rigorous day for me.  It started with a two mile walk with my dad, something we’ve been doing almost every day.  I hope to keep this trend running when I get back to California.

When I got back, the family wanted to go on a “gorge walk.”  I have never had any interest in doing this walk, even though my family does it a couple of times every time we’re here.  The gorge is maybe 300 yards from my parent’s house.  I had done this walk as a teenager, and at that time, the river running through the gorge was high and the mouth to the gorge was swamp.  There are no sides to this gorge, so you’re basically walking up a river (emphasis on up).  As teens, we stopped once we got to a waist deep river.  It was too hard to navigate after that with all the oncoming water and uneven rocky surface below.  30+ years later, the swamp has been replaced by a barn and a house on higher ground and the river now dumps into the remaining swamp across the street.  Someone has made a path to the entrance of the gorge and even put a bench there.  Since this has been a year of severe drought around here, the river is just a trickle – virtually non-existent.  We were able to walk on dry, loose shale all the way up the gorge.  The gorge was gorgeous, but the walk up was over and under large felled trees and across lose shale avalanches.  The river would usually wash these things away for the most part.  Halfway up the walk, my kids wanted to show us a section they could climb up such that they were overlooking the gorge.  It took them a while to get up the 100 foot cliff wall, meanwhile, Barb and I stood by mosquito infested still water.  The kids got to the top, we took pictures, then Jeff wanted to get a picture of Courtney from the other side of the gorge.  He climbed down, then shuffled up the rock avalanche on the other side.  He got down slowly (slid most of the way, creating a lot of dust), while Courtney descended down the other side.  I was really impressed by their climbing abilities until the kids told me that someone had installed ropes from the mid-point on up, making the entire climb possible.

We trudged along, seemingly forever, until we came to the kid’s stopping point at “the waterfall.”  This 20 foot waterfall was virtually impassable, which is why the kids stop here.  Usually, it’s a waterfall.  This year though, it was merely wet, drippy rock.  Courtney climbed about a third of the way up.