AUGUST--Bozeman, MT, Fargo, ND, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Oostburg/Sheboygan, WI, Pentwater, MI and Sodus Point, NY
Still staying with Carl's sister, Anne, in Bozeman, MT. Both of us are "getting into" hiking in the surrounding mountains. Hiked Middle Cottonwood Trail which is in the Bridger Mountains (north of Bozeman). This trail follows a creek with small cascades of flowing water (in places the creek forms small pools which are great for cooling off). The trail leads up the canyon to a ridge with a beautiful view of the canyon below. The hike is 3 miles with an elevation gain of 450 feet. I did not bring my camera on this hike---bummer. However, Anne used her cell phone to snap a couple pictures but she doesn't know how to download the pictures to a computer! Oh well--if Anne figures out how to send me the pictures I will add them to the website later.
The following pictures were taken during our hike on the Sypes Canyon Trail. This hike is about 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1000 feet. Sypes Canyon is also in the Bridger Mountains. The trail follows a creek-fed canyon through a shady pine forest up a canyon wall via a series of switchbacks to an overlook with great views of Bozeman, the Gallatin Valley and three mountain ranges (Madison, Gallatin and Tobacco Root). We walked beyond the overlook to look for the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail but turned back before finding the junction. One of the picture shows the view from the overlook. The second picture is Carl and Anne resting at the overlook.
The next set of pictures are from our longest hike---Hyalite Creek Trail to Hyalite Lake. The Hyalite Canyon is in the Gallatin Mountain Range south of Bozeman. This hike is over 11 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1900 feet. The trail passes 11 waterfalls in a deep canyon with cliff walls and mountain peaks. Grotto Falls is the first waterfall. I included a picture of the "cairns" that hikers have built in the rockslide area close to Grotto Falls. The end point is an alpine lake in a horseshoe-shaped basin. The last picture in this series is Carl finally getting a snack after hiking four hours up to Hyalite Lake--going down took us about 3.5 hours. This trail is very popular-- the alpine lake is on the cover of our hiking guide book (Anne is holding the guide book in the pictures from Sypes). Anne, Carl and I were so proud of ourselves when we completed this hike.
Our last hike in Montana---up Sypes Canyon where this time we found the junction to the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail which eventually leads to the "M" (hiked the M in July). This hike required us to spot a car at the M before driving over to the parking lot at Sypes Canyon. The guidebook does not have very much information about this trail. Finding the junction was easy....going down the wall between Sypes Canyon and Bridger Canyon was challenging. This part of the trail is steep with lots of small rocks--a mountain goat trail! Anne and I made lots of noise when we walked through the brushes at the bottom of the canyon to alert any bears (it was the perfect spot for a bear or two who like to be left alone). The first picture below shows Carl eating a snack as we started up the Bridger Canyon wall. Once we climbed back up the other side of the canyon, the trail was wide open and mostly downhill!
In addition to hiking, we went to the local Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings and Tuesday nights and Music On Main (Thursday nights). One evening (after our Hyalite Hike), I made "family dinner" for Anne, Jesse (Carl's niece), Elle (Jesse' daughter), Patrick (Jesse' significant other) and Mary (Patrick's Mother). The following picture of Elle and I was taken during the family dinner.
Drove from Bozeman to Fargo stopping only for fuel, food or bathroom breaks (14 hours). Stayed in a hotel for the night. Next morning we stopped at NDSU to check out the campus and visit with Les Backer (former classmate of Carl's) who is currently the Agricultural Engineering Department Head. Enrollment at NDSU has increased significantly since Carl and I were there. The campus is very pretty this time of the year. Strolled through Sudro Hall (pharmacy building) and visited the new alumni center. The following two pictures were taken on campus--me in front of Sudro Hall and Carl in front of the alumni center.
Next stop---Minneapolis/St. Paul to visit Carl's sister, Beth and brother-in-law, Erling. Went to Mall of America and Ikea one day when it was raining---the Mall is excellent for people watching. Saturday we went to the St. Paul Farmers' Market, to the Irish Fest, stopped at a small airport to see the Tuskegee Air Force Exhibit and then to dinner at the home of Mike and Kari Lind (Beth and Erling's daughter and son-in-law). Mike and Kari have two children--Erik and Sonja. Had a good time playing with Eric and Sonja. Sunday we drove down the St. Croix and the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side then stopped at Alexis Bailly Vineyard for wine, cheese and music by "The Brass Messengers". Visited the Minnesota History Center to see the "Minnesota's Greatest Generation Exhibit" (stories of the men and women who grew up during the Depression, came of age during World War II and participated in the post-war boom--creating a legacy that has shaped all of us who have come after) and the St. Paul cathedral. Met up with cruising friends Tom & Rose (SOJOURN) and Donna & Scott (SALTINE) for pizza one evening. Enjoyed walking on the numerous trails around St. Paul and a last minute summer clothes shopping spree at Kohls.
The following pictures were taken at the Farmers' Market and the Irish Fest. The first two of just a few of the many flower arrangements sold at the market. You will see some LARGE Irish Hounds in picture three. Picture four shows some Irish Dancers. The last two pictures were taken during the "collie herding demonstration".
The Tuskegee Airmen were determined young black men who enlisted to become America's first black military airmen, at a time when there were many people who thought that black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism. After the war in Europe ended in 1945, the black airmen returned to the United States and faced continued racism and bigotry despite their outstanding war record. I found out that the Tuskegee Airmen were forced to give up their seats on the train to German POWs on their way home--unbelievable to me. In addition to the Tuskegee Exhibit, there were several other WWII planes on display. Even some German Nazis showed up so I snapped their picture.
Enjoyed time with Carl's great-niece, Sonja, and great-nephew, Erik. Erik received a set of golf clubs for his birthday and we can hardly wait to play golf with his cousin Big Eric!
Below is a picture of Carl, Beth and Erling on the shore of the St. Croix River plus three pictures taken of the band and dancers at Alexis Bailly Vineyard.
Below are six pictures taken at the Greatest Generation Exhibit.
Picked up the following information during the self-guided tour: "The St. Paul Cathedral was the vision of Archbishop John Ireland and architect Emmanuel Louis Masquery.The design is Beaux-Art style inspired by the Renaissance cathedrals in France such as Notre Dame. The exterior is Minnesotan St. Cloud granite with a 120-foot wide copper dome. The interior walls are American Travertine from Mankato, Minnesota, and the interior columns are made of several types of marble. The interior ceiling soars to 175 feet high at the top of the dome. At the base of the dome, stained glass windows let in light, and more several windows pierce the walls." No photography allowed inside so I only have pictures of the exterior.
Below are pictures taken at the pizza party with SOJOURN and SALTINE
From St. Paul we drove to Oostburg, WI to visit sailing friends Jo & Bruce Johnson at their Lake Michigan cottage. Jo and Bruce's cottage is almost directly west from our cottage south of Pentwater! The Johnson's are in the early stages of renovating their cottage. They hope to sell their condo in Milwaukee so they can live full time at the cottage. The old wrap around deck was torn off---the front deck is completed but the large side deck hasn't been replaced yet. The major project for our visit was addition of new skylights on the roof and selection of the color for the metal roof! Carl and I drove down to Port Washington to see the visiting Tall ships. Jo and I drove over to Sheboygan Falls one afternoon for a visit to the Bemis Show Room (bathroom fixtures--primarily toilet seats) and shopping. The best part of the visit for me--the opportunity to sit on a deck chair to read and relax. The most exciting part of the the visit--one large bat flying around our bed one night and again the next night but this time the bat appeared in the living room where it was captured and set free outdoors! The day before the first skylights were to be installed (which is the same day the four of us had reservations for dinner), Bruce found 5 or 6 small bats that were stuck to the roofing material. Bruce worked for at least an hour to set them free--using a small amount of paint thinner to soften the sticky surface of the roofing material, rinsing with lots of fresh water and using a Sprite box to scrape the bats off. Taking time to free the bats was not factored into the work schedule so we were about an hour late for our dinner reservations. Oh well, our dinner over in Kohler was excellent even though we were late. After dinner we had a craving for ice cream so we stopped at a new place (for us)--Cold Stone Creamery where Carl and I shared a specialty dish that tasted just like apple pie with ice cream.
The following 8 pictures were taken during our stay with Jo and Bruce Johnson. Picture one shows the cottage remodel project. Picture two and three document my favorite part of the trip--reading ("The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pies Society" compliments of Laurie Forte) and relaxing on a chaise chair! You can see a couple of the bats in picture four. Picture five is Carl, Bruce and Jo on the patio at Cucina in Kohler. Just a sample of the good food served at Cucina in picture six. Picture seven was taken to try to show how steep the roof was that the guys are working on to install new skylights and picture eight shows the contractor, Bruce and Carl working on the installation.
Instead of driving south through Milwaukee to Chicago and around the south end of Lake Michigan up to Pentwater, we took the SS BADGER (a car ferry) that runs between Manitowoc, WI and Ludington, MI. Boarded the BADGER at 12:30 AM EDT--headed directly to our stateroom where we brushed our teeth, hopped into bed and fell asleep before the car ferry even left the dock. Slept until we heard a knock and a voice calling "Ludington in 20 minutes". Arrived in Ludington at 4:30 AM. Familiar with Staples' EASY button? Well, the SS BADGER was our EASY button for getting home!!
Stayed in our cottage for about a week. Loved using the closet and drawers to store our belongings--living out of a suitcase eventually gets old. While in Michigan we drove down to White Lake to see Al and Laurie Forte's new boat, FINALE! The original plan was to take the boat for a ride but it was just too darn cold so after sitting around the boat--Al, Laurie, Jamie (their daughter), Pam, Brian, Carl and I went out for lunch. The Fortes went back to Grand Rapids; the McLenithans (Pam and Brian) came up to our cottage for pizza and a movie.
The following pictures were taken when we were in Michigan. The first four pictures were taken when Al, Laurie, Pam, Jamie, Brian, Carl and I were sitting on FINALE. The last two pictures were taken in Pentwater.
Our cottage was rented August 29 through September 5 so once again packed our bags and hit the road. Friday night we stayed in Grand Rapids with cruising friends, Kris and Craig (TILT). Cruising friends Pat and Mac (Wind Borne) were also there for dinner. We had not seen Pat and Mac since sharing a mooring ball in December 2007 at Vero Beach. Lots of catching up to do! Below is a picture of Kris, Craig, Pat, Mac and Carl.
Drove from Grand Rapids to Sodus Point, NY to visit cruising friends Doug and Marianne (CLOUDSPLITTER). CLOUDSPLITTER was our buddy boat the first year we went to the Bahamas. About two weeks before we arrived, the boat was sold so Doug and Marianne are boat-less. Had not seen Doug and Marianne for two years so we had lots of catching up to do--Marianne and I enjoyed talking over a very large bottle of wine the night of our arrival just like we did when we cruises the Bahamas together. Doug and Marianne built a beautiful home in an old apple orchard just outside Sodus Point. Went out for dinner in Sodus Point twice. One night we went to Bayside for a gourmet dinner. The second night out we went to a local bar, Captain Jack's, where we ate sandwiches on the deck having to shoo yellow jackets away from our food and drinks.
The four pictures below were taken when we toured the Sodus Point Lighthouse. The grounds around the lighthouse are beautiful. Every Sunday afternoon there is live music on the lawn.
Drove into Rochester to see the sites. Rochester was home to Frederick Douglass who started the abolitionist newspaper, "The North". Douglass was a former slave, an antislavery speaker and writer. The city was also home to Susan B. Anthony another abolitionist, a women's rights leader and responsible for the unpopular Susan B. Anthony dollar which is a coin that is easily mistaken for a quarter. Rochester experienced a period of industrial activity in the post-Civil War years when companies like Eastman Kodak and Bausch & Lomb were established. This boom continued into the early twentieth century, when Rochester became a center of the garment industry. It was home of Bond Clothing Stores, Fashion Park Clothes, Hickey Freeman, and Stein-Bloch & Co.
Took a river/canal tour on the MARY JEMISON. We were the only passengers on the tour--like a private cruise! Picked up a pizza to eat on the top deck of the boat during our cruise. Purchased beers and water on the boat. MARY JEMISON was originally built in Deltaville, Virginia where it was used to haul daily oyster catches purchased from Maryland fishermen to packing houses and markets on the bay. She was later converted to a double decked sightseeing boat and joined the fleet of an Atlantic City restaurateur. In the late 1980s, the boat operated on the Erie Canal in central New York. She started to work on the Erie Harbor Riverwalk and Corn Hill Landing in 2005. Mary Jemison is named to honor "the white woman of the Genesee". Mary Jemison was an Irish-American woman who was taken captive as a child during the French and Indian Wars. Mary had an opportunity to join the white settlers several times but she chose to remain with her adoptive Seneca family. Mary lived for many years along the banks of the Genesee. The MARY JEMISON took us south or upstream on the Upper Genesee River which is an extension of the Erie Canal. Passed by the historic Mount Hope Cemetery where there are more people buried than people who are now living in Rochester! Continued past the University of Rochester to "the Crossing" where the Erie Canal and Genessee River intersect. At the "Crossing" we headed east on the Erie Canal for a short distance then turned around to retrace our route. We saw several great blue herons during the cruise.
Below are four pictures taken during out MARY JEMISON cruise. Included is a picture of one great tasting pizza.
What a month! Traveled from Bozeman, Montana to Sodus Point, New York enjoying the company of family and friends, hiking in mountains and on the prairie and learning more about this beautiful country we live in.
September 9, 2009