Archive for October, 2008

Indian Falls

October 31, 2008
Indian Falls, Indian Falls, New York.  October 24, 2008.

Indian Falls, Indian Falls, New York. October 24, 2008.

Betsy and I arrived in the Buffalo area late last Friday afternoon.  After visiting with Kelly and Chuck at their home for a while, they took us out for a fish fry.  The restaurant they took us to was the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls, New York.

Indian Falls (the town) gets its name from a waterfall, Indian Falls, on Tonawanda Creek.  Tonawanda is Iroquois for “swift water.”  In 1828 a Seneca baby was born in a log cabin on the bank of Tonawanda Creek at the waterfall.  His Seneca name was Hasanoanda, but he later took the English name Ely Samuel Parker.  He later became the military secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant and drafted the terms for Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865.  Parker later, under President Grant,  became the first American Indian to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Indian Falls is a beautiful little waterfall and the fish fry at the restaurant was absolutely delicious.  What a wonderful way to begin our visit!

To  see more pictures of Indian Falls click HERE.

New Neighbors

October 30, 2008
Bluebirds checking out a new house.  October 29, 2008.

Bluebirds checking out a new house. October 29, 2008.

If you read Betsy’s blog, you know that she has become fascinated with ‘her’ birds.  We now have several feeders and keep them stocked with several different types of bird seed.  Betsy keeps a pair of binoculars near her chair in the living room so she can get a good look at her feathered friends.

Yesterday I was splitting some wood when I noticed bluebirds on the bluebird house in our backyard.  I told Betsy about them so she could keep watch on their activities.  I also got the picture above.

Although there are only two bluebirds in the picture, there were at least three flitting around.  At one point we watched two emerge from the house while the male was on the top.  I wonder if they’re moving in?  If so, I hope they like the neighborhood.

We Had a Wonderful Time

October 29, 2008
Kelly and Chuck Schultz.  October 25, 2008.

Kelly and Chuck Schultz. October 25, 2008.

I’m happy to report that Betsy and I are back home from our quick trip to Buffalo.

We had a great time with daughter Kelly and her husband Chuck.  They were terrific hosts and gave us a guided tour of the area.  We managed to see two waterfalls, an orchard where we got some delicious apples, an Amish store, a berry patch, a lighthouse, Old Fort Niagara, and of course, Niagara Falls.  As you can see, we had quite a tour!

As if that wasn’t enough, they took us to a wonderful fish fry Friday night and a great Italian restaurant in downtown Buffalo on Saturday night.

It was a great trip and we’re already looking forward to our next visit to Buffalo.

Down Memory Lane: Rainbow Falls

October 28, 2008
Rainbow Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  May 6, 2007.

Rainbow Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. May 6, 2007.

One of our favorite day trips is to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The Townsend entrance is only about two hours from here, so we can get there and still have the entire afternoon to hike and visit waterfalls.

One of the most scenic waterfalls in the park is Rainbow Falls.  LeConte Creek free-falls 75 feet over a sandstone outcrop.  The creek is high on Mount LeConte which can mean very little water going over the falls during the summer.  We hiked to Rainbow Falls in May, so there was a fair amount of water going over the falls.

The hike to the falls from the parking area is about 2.7 miles.  Unfortunately  it is mostly uphill.  There were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but we finally did.  And I will admit that Rainbow Falls made the hike worth it.  And at least it was mostly downhill getting back to the car!

To see more of our hike to Rainbow Falls click HERE.

Down Memory Lane: Ocean Isle Beach

October 27, 2008
Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  May, 2007.

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May, 2007.

I lived in Little River, South Carolina, for three years.  Little River is just north of Myrtle Beach near the North Carolina line.

When Betsy and I started going to the beach we first went to a small place in North Myrtle Beach.  We really liked the Cherry Grove Manor, but it closed after the 2006 season in order to make room for a new high-rise condo.

We then discovered the Islander Inn at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  Ocean Isle Beach is only about 12 miles from Little River.  Ocean Isle Beach is a barrier island approximately seven miles long.  The year-round resident population is only about 425, but during the season the population increases to about 25,000!

Ocean Isle Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but the town came up with a beach restoration project that began in 2001.  This year Ocean Isle Beach was named one of America’s Best Restored Beaches.

To see more of our first visit to Ocean Isle Beach click HERE.

Down Memory Lane: Pearsons Falls

October 26, 2008
Pearsons Falls, Saluda, North Carolina.  May 11, 2007.

Pearsons Falls, Saluda, North Carolina. May 11, 2007.

Betsy and I try to get to the beach each year.  We go to the Myrtle Beach area and spend about a week in mid-May.  That way it’s warm enough to enjoy the beach but early enough that there are not an overwhelming number of tourists.

In 2007 we made a stop in the mountains of North Carolina on our way to the beach.  We had been past Saluda several times, but upon learning of a waterfall near Saluda, we decided to stop and visit it.

Pearsons Falls is on Colt Creek and is named for Charles Pearson, who discovered the falls shortly after the Civil War while scouting the Southern Railroad route from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina.  In 1931 the Tryon Garden Club purchased the falls and the surrrounding glen, and they are now open to the public.

Pearsons Falls is a beautiful waterfall which can be reached after an easy hike of about one-third of a mile.  To see more of Pearsons Falls click HERE.

Back Home Again in Indiana

October 25, 2008
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  July, 2002.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. July, 2002.

Another trip that Betsy and I took in 2002 was a trip to my hometown in Indiana.  I lived in the town of Crown Point for six years, but when I was in the first grade my parents moved to a small farm outside of Crown Point.  I lived there until I went off to college.

While in Crown Point I was able to show Betsy the homes in which I lived as well as the schools I attended.  We also went to the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, where I exhibited livestock as a member of 4-H.

I also took Betsy to my alma mater, Manchester College.  Although there are several new buildings on campus, many of the old buildings that I remember are still there.

Since Betsy is such a football fan I had to take her to Notre Dame.  We couldn’t get inside the stadium, but we were able to see much of the campus, including the golden dome.

On our last day in Indiana we went to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and hiked along some of the dunes..  My family used to go to the dunes before they were a national park, and I was glad to see that they were much as I remembered them.

To see more of our Indiana trip click HERE.

Down Memory Lane: A Mountain Vacation

October 24, 2008
The Ogle cabin, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. February, 2002.

The Ogle cabin, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. February, 2002.

Since Betsy and I are traveling now, I thought I would share some of the trips we’ve taken since we’ve been together.

In February, 2002, we took a trip to Betsy’s hometown, Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  She showed me her childhood home and all the places knew as a young girl.

After visiting Big Stone Gap, we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to spend a couple of days in the Smokies.  We thoroughly enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, especially during the off season when there are not as many tourists.  On this trip we did some hiking near the Ogle cabin and visited Ober Gatlinburg where we got to see some skiers.

To see more of our mountain vacation click HERE.

We’re Shuffling Off to Buffalo

October 23, 2008

Betsy and I will be heading to Buffalo, New York, later this morning.  We’re making a quick trip up there to visit my daughter Kelly and her husband Chuck.

Kelly and Chuck moved to the Buffalo area a little over a year ago, and are eager to show us around.  It will be good to see them again.  They actually live in Depew, New York, a suburb south of Buffalo proper.

Betsy and I were in the Buffalo area in 2002 when we went to Niagara Falls.  At that time we stayed on the Canadian side of the border and only drove through the area around Buffalo on our way back home.  So it will be good to see more of that part of New York State.

I’m sure I’ll have much to share when we get back home next week.

We’re Ready for Winter

October 22, 2008
Our woodpile.  October 21, 2008.

Our woodpile. October 21, 2008.

Betsy is looking forward to a harsh winter.  All the old-timey weather signs (especially the heavy mast crop this year) say we’re going to have a harsh winter.  Betsy hopes that means lots of snow, but it could mean just lots of cold weather.

Either way, I guess we’re about as prepared as it’s possible to be.  The picture above shows our wood pile, so hopefully we’ll be able to stay warm regardless of how harsh the winter is.

Actually, we hope that pile will last for two winters, but as I said, it looks as if we’re ready for winter.