Ernie Mills and I began our six day journey to explore the backroads of the Adirondacks and northern Vermont and New Hampshire. Ernie’s shooting photos (They will be amazing) and I’m studying birds and traditional arts.
We began at 5:20 this morning. The drive went quickly — the company was good and the stops were very short. We took S.R. 42 around Columbus to drive through my alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. My 25th college reunion was today and I wanted to be able to say that I was there.
The weather has been amazing. The skies were clear and the air cool and crisp. I really like cool and crisp!
It really began to feel that we were in “The East” east of Cleveland whenLake Erie rose from the horizon. At Erie, PA we were ahead of schedule and decided to visit the waterfront. The air was very brisk and the wind was gusting to 30 knots or more. A few die-hard sailors were out. It was nice to see larger sailboats sailed well. Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry’s Flagship Niagara was tied up and undergoing preparations for winter. Young men and women were on the ropes stripping sails and running rigging, painting and oiling. How wonderful to be around wooden boats!
Another prize was the Friendship sloop tied up nearby. Friendship sloops are a highly specialized gaff rigged fishing sloop indigenous to Friendship, Maine. This boats are very popular small yachts. I grew up with these boats around me and had the opportunity to live aboard and sail one in college. This sweetheart needed some love, but had beautiful lines. I would have been comfortable casting off and tacking across the harbor.
After this brief stop, and a sandwich, we were back on the road headed east. We rolled into Ernie’s parents beautiful home in Manlius, Ny (near Syracuse) in time for dinner. (Incidentally My parents met and married here in 1960.)
Fritz and Mollie are a lively and friendly couple. They made us very comfortable and fed us very well. After dinner we were joined by Ernie’s step-sister Melinda and her children Sophia and Vincent. Sophia is studying education at Colgate College and Vincent is in the seventh grade. Both are very interested in art. I shared my birds and they really enjoyed them.
The best part of this visit was the laughter. Ernie, his father and sister began sharing stories. We howled and howled at the mis-adventures of the family camping trips throughout the mountains of New England from the 1960s through the 1980s. It was a privilege to be part of this warm family.
Fritz and Mollie’s home backs up to the Erie Canal. We came in after dark so I’ve yet to see it. I’m looking forward to a dawn trek in search of waterfowl.
More tomorrow…providing I’ve web access. I may have an opportunity to catch up with a very special college friend. More later.
(BTW- Thanks to Ernie for the shot of me scoping the birds!)