Still time to complete summer checklist
“Summer came and left without a warning.
All at once I looked and you were gone.”
- Richard Marx. “Endless Summer Nights”
Are you old enough to remember the popular song “Endless Summer Nights?”
It certainly seemed like that back in June but now the summer is half over and it will be gone all too soon. Raise your hand if you are one of the people who did not get much of their list of summer activities checked off. I thought so!
But, like that proverbial glass half full, the good news is that we still time left to get a lot of enjoyable activities in. They don’t all have to be lengthy, spectacular or expensive. But if they are, that’s OK too. The important thing is not to let summer slip away and regret or complain about it later.
A lot of us remember summer picnics that used to be more frequent. They didn’t have to be exotic or special events. We just packed the goodies, went someplace and relaxed and had fun. Has your family done that this summer?
Leave the electronics at home, turn off the cell phone and make a point of doing it several times in the next few weeks. The problem isn’t entirely our fault. There are more things competing for our time and many families have second jobs or have to work weekends these days. But plan some relaxing get-aways, even if it is only for a few hours.
Have you spent much time fishing? It’s true that the weather and fishing conditions have been less than ideal this year but even an off day of fishing beats sitting home watching TV or playing electronic games.
It doesn’t have to be a lengthy trip. Nearly every park, lake or major stream in Central New York harbors decent bass fishing. Panfishing can be fun for the kids or the whole family. Treat it that way, then clean and fillet a mess of the panfish for a family supper they will remember.
Trout fishing can be tougher during the day in summer months but maybe your schedule allows you to hit area streams in the early morning or evening. Other streams like Chittenango Creek, Oriskany Creek or larger waters like Mad River, West Branch Fish Creek or West Canada Creek are worth the extra travel time.
Have you visited a State Park this summer? Most provide areas for picnicking, swimming, hiking and other activities. Remember that Senior Citizens get the Golden Passport (free admission) on weekdays and veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan get free admission. Check out several in the next few weeks.
If paddling quiet waters is your type of activity, there are lots of places to launch your canoe or kayak for a pleasant trip. Some sections of the old Erie Canal, most of the Madison County Reservoirs, Prospect Pond, the upper Chenango River, Sangerfield River or Redfield Reservoir are just some of the places to try. The Central Adirondacks are only a little over an hour away and offer lots of scenic and easy places to paddle.
If you are paddling some place that you are not familiar with, be sure to check ahead of time for conditions, ask someone who knows or do a scouting trip. A few years ago there was an ill-fated trip for some local people though the Ohio Gorge that nearly ended in disaster and did result in some serious injury and losses. A different trip down the Chenango River near Norwich last year in locally high water conditions also had an unpleasant ending and the loss of a couple canoes.
If you are looking for something more adventuresome, consider a rafting trip. Whitewater Challengers in Old Forge runs trips on the Middle Branch of the Moose River or the Salmon River that are mainly going through big friendly waves with expert guides doing the navigating. Call 335-1681 for more information.
The River and Rail experience on the Moose River is special. Rent a canoe or kayak or bring your own, make arrangements with Tickners Canoes Outfitters at 369-6286 and paddle for a leisurely four hours down the Moose. Pull out at Tickners Landing and you and your vessel ride the Adirondack Scenic RR back to Old Forge.
Consider a fishing charter. You can put together a group of friends and family for a big game adventure on Lake Ontario catching salmon and trout. Just don’t wait until mid-August to try and book a trip or you will be out of luck. Incidentally it is not too early to make your reservations for salmon fishing on the rivers this fall with a guide. Full or half day trips on the St. Lawrence River help you explore a beautiful region and enjoy some action fishing for bass and pike.
Grab your water bottle, some Bug Guard and your camera and do some hiking. Area trails may provide some interesting sights as well as exercise. For those who want a different venue, there are a wide variety of trails in the Adirondacks for all abilities and distances. Just make a realistic assessment of your own abilities and be prepared for weather changes, emergencies, etc.
There are all the traditional water sports like boating and swimming at different lakes throughout the area. Take your sunscreen and your PFDs and have a relaxing afternoon away from the distractions at home.
There are other points of interest like wineries, historic sites or attractions that can be a day trip or an overnight get-away. Combine this trip with some of the aforementioned activities to make it a full day of fun.
Remember that summer and all it has to offer is one of the main reasons that we live in upstate New York. Don’t waste it. As I have said before, it is doubtful that someday your kids will say “gee, remember the time we mowed the grass together?”
Unique Stone Imaging
We are often looking for ways to record a memorable moment or trophy catch. Reproduction fish mounts are expensive so we save them for something special.
Photos are a nice way to remember or display that great catch, a special moment, or a beautiful scenic vista. One problem might be space to display them all or the fact that we have so many of them that they do not stand out from so many others.
Last winter at an outdoor show we were fortunate to have the magazine booth next to a nice young couple, Dan and Tara Licht, that had a fascinating display. Looking at their work and talking to them made me very interested in their product. Many people are often looking for ways to decorate our homes or offices with items that remind us of family, the outdoors or of personal adventures. One product that is different but striking is Unique Stone Imaging.
Dan Licht uses a chemical product to transfer photos or digital images to Pennsylvania flagstone, which makes an unusual and striking plaque to hang on your wall or set on your desk. The stones come in various sizes and you can purchase some of their pre-made plaques or create your own. Your prints or digital images can be made into a long-lasting, beautiful and unusual display
For example I have a photograph of a bear cub that I won an award with made into a stone image. The quality is amazing and it makes a striking memory of your special moment or place.
They have many wildlife or outdoor scenes available, but you can also provide your own photos or digital images of trophy fish, family portraits, or scenery, etc. for a distinct personalized image. It is then sealed to preserve it. Various sizes are available. Check them out at www.uniquestoneimaging.com or call (814)-260-5632.