New (old) Pop Up Camper

We recently acquired a 2001 Coleman Westlake Popup Camper. Paula and I had been talking planning for a trip to the Grand Canyon next summer and when this camper became available we couldn’t pass it up. So, now that we have the camper we can move ahead with our plans to visit the Grand Canyon! The camper needs some work and we’ll be documenting all that we do to it here on our website, in addition to our planning for our trip across country.

High Adventure Canoe Trip

This past July Alex and I went on a multi-day canoe trip in the Adirondacks with his Boy Scout Troop, Troop 888 of Smithtown. The trip consisted of a 40 mile paddle spread out over 4 days and on day 2 a 1.5 mile canoe portage to get around a waterfall. The trip started on Long Lake in New York, and ended on Tupper Lake and we camped overnight along the way. There were about 6 boys from the troop and myself and one other adult. We all had a great time and the experience was amazing.

Fly Fishing with Nick

This past weekend both I took my son Nick with me to an Orvis Fly Fishing (FF101) class at the Westbury Orvis location. The instructors were fabulous and we spent the next two hours learning the basics of tying knots and how to cast a fly fishing rod. They even took us outside in their back lot and we practiced casting and catching fake fish. It was a lot of fun! Then on Sunday we met up with the Orvis instructors again for their FF201 class and they took us to McDonald Pond at Hempstead Lake State Park. We got to actually cast on the water and try our hand at the skills we learned. I have to say both Nick and I had a great time and I am looking forward to going fishing again soon with him.

Camp Yawgoog 2015

Once again, this past August the Troop went up to Rhode Island to Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Yawgoog. This year it was the Centennial Celebration for Yawgoog. They put together a great week of activities and events for the boys. It was also Nick’s first year going to Yawgoog. He had a great time and really got a lot accomplished while he was there. Alex also was the Senior Patrol Leader this year so he got to run the troop while we were up at Yawgoog. I think he did a great job and everyone seemed to have a good time. Here are some pictures from the week.

Alex’s Command Tent

One Rainy Morning – There was one day really early when a thunderstorm came through the camp. It was over by 8am and the rest of the week was sunny and beautiful.

Meal Time

Waiter Duty

Nap Time

Ashaway Aquatics Center

Saturday Night Show

Nokado Blue Belt Test

Congratulations to Nick for earning his Blue Belt at Nokado in Kings Park. He has been working hard and attending extra classes and its paid off. Mom and I are very proud of you.

Belt Presentation

Nick and Soke “O”

NH White Mountains Hut to Hut Hike

In the end of June Alex, Nick and I went with the Boy Scouts to the White Mountains of NH for a 3 day backpacking trip along the Presidential Range.

Our trip started on Saturday June 26th at the Highland Lodge in Crawford NH. We stayed overnight at the lodge and got an early start on Sunday morning, unfortunately it was raining and would continue to rain for two days. We hiked up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lakes of the Clouds Hut which is near the top of Mt Washington. It was a tough hike up but we were rewarded with a nice stay at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut and a warm welcome by the Hut Croo. We ate a hearty meal that night and slept well in our bunks. The next day we hiked Crawford Path / AT across Mt Monroe, Mt Franklin, Mt Eisenhower, and Mt Pierce to Mizpah Springs Hut where we stayed on our 3rd and final night. By the time we got to Mizpah Springs Hut everyone was ready to relax and we enjoyed good food and good company. The Hut Croo played a game of Jeopardy with everyone that night and all the boys enjoyed the competition.

Finally, we hiked down the Mizpah Cutoff to the Crawford Path and back to the Highland Center Lodge for our return trip home.
Even though the weather was rainy and the clouds kept us from seeing the spectacular views atop Mt Washington I think everyone had a good time. It was hard work but I am proud of everyone who did the hike and their accomplishments.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.
Highland Lodge

Nick Backpacking

Alex Backpacking

Crossing the Ammonoosuc River

Nice View

Lonesome Lake Hut

Happy Hiking Crew

Happy Fathers Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we celebrated it by staying home and relaxing. We went swimming in the pool and hung out on the new deck. Alex put up my camping hammock and I was going to get in and relax a for few minutes but the weather changed and we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm for a little while. I have to say thank you to Paula for the gifts and for working so hard (she actually was out in the rain standing at the grill).

Alex on the other hand enjoyed the hammock while he could.

And 5 minutes later after the rain started.

New Deck

Our old deck had seen better days and was starting to show signs of needing repairs or replacement. So, this spring I decided to strip and rebuild it. I took a week off from work and spent the time removing the old boards and rebuilding the deck. It ended up being a family project and everyone chipped in to help out. It was a lot of hard work and its not completely finished yet but at least it looks better than it did. I can’t wait to be able to spend time outside enjoying it.

The old deck

Stripping the old deck

Building the new Deck

Memorial Day – ALMOST DONE

Pergola

Boy Scouts Spring Camporee

This past weekend was the Spring Camporee for the Benjamin Tallmadge District and our troop was out at Baiting Hollow to participate. This was the second campout for Nick and his buddies who had crossed over in Feb and their first time sleeping in tents as Boy Scouts. The boys all did very well, they set up their own tents and cooked their own meals. We decided as a troop that on Saturday night each patrol had to make a dutch oven meal so it would force them to try something different. I have to say all the meals came out really good and I was impressed with everyone’s recipes. The theme for the Camporee was Zombie Survival and they had all sorts of interesting stations that each troop got to participate in. Some of them included Tomahawk Throwing, BB Shooting, Fire Starting, and other team building exercises like raising a 30 foot tall antenna using only two ropes while not being able to step inside the circle that the antenna was in. The troop also built a ‘coffin racer’ to participate a race at the end of the day on Saturday. Here are some pictures.

The Coffin Racer

The Gateway that the boys created for our campsite

The Zombies attacking Nick at camp.

Our campfire on Friday night

NYC in the Spring

Well spring has sprung here in NYC! As I walked around in Central Park the other day the weather was beautiful and warm. I had to admire all the signs of spring’s return. The flowers were blooming, the buds on the trees were popping and the birds were singing. Here are a few pictures from my walk.