It’s another driving day. In the morning I think I’ll probably stop near Albany, NY and drive to Bristol tomorrow morning. And, I know it’s another driving day.
On a hiking app I find a trail about 5 miles away that says it goes past a series of waterfalls. We go.
Today, I want to get east of Buffalo near the Finger Lakes region.
We wake up and take a walk down the road behind the gate. About a half mile there is a deer standing in the road. Standing still and watching us. Sherman’s nose is to the ground has no attention at all on what is in front of him. As we get close the deer walks slowly off the road and turnsto face us. I stop. The deer dips it’s head, like a bow. I bow my head back. She does it again. I do it again. She stomps her front foot. I stomp my foot. She dips her head again. I dip my head. She stomps her foot. I stomp my foot. She changes the angle of her body and cocks her ears a different way. That one I can’t mimic! Then she makes a loud squeaky snort staring right at me. At this, Sherman looks up and sees her. Now, he wants to chase the deer. She runs off the road making her snort and a baby comes out from the brush and follows her as they trot away. I take a picture.
We stop at Harmony Beach in Crane Creek State Park to walk and hopefully run on the beach. I let Sherman go, and he runs into the small plants growing away from the lake. He comes back in 1 minute with a dozen cherry pit sized very spiky stickers. That’s the end of running free. I got the stickers out and then run about a mile up the beach with him and walked back. Onward…
We pass from Ohio to Pennsylvania driving on Penn 5 near Lake Erie. I pass a small State Park sign. Turn around and drive in. Erie Cliffs State Park. Cool. We go for a walk to the cliffs overlooking the lake. Walking along the cliffs, down and up a gully, to a path that goes down to the lake. There is about 3 feet of flat smooth rocks between the shore and water. I wonder if Lake Erie also has tidal effects? The water clearly covers the rocks at times. I am drawn to a rock. The first thing I’ve picked up on the trip. The other item I’ve acquired is a piece of Abalone. At our walk in Northern California by The Big River, a woman stopped by to talk, first with Sherman, and then me. She comes down there to walk or run every morning and said she finds a piece of Abalone a couple times a week. She gave me the one she found that day.
I look at the map and the distance we still have to drive to get to VT. Gotta get driving! We got on I-90 and pick up the speed.
I find a park about an hour from the Finger Lakes and headed there. As we got close, the signs said it was an Amusement Park. Oops! Not on today’s agenda. I look on freecamping.com and find the Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area about 10 miles beyond.
“Located in the northwestern Cattaraugus Highlands portion of the Appalachian Plateau, the Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area (MUA) is a 2,484-acre area comprised of abandoned farmland interspersed with scattered small woodlots that provide a variety of habitat types for many kinds of wildlife.”
We stay in one of the small parking areas overlooking the distant hills.
Eat breakfast with dad. Pack up my remaining things and help him with a couple computer things. Then over to see mom before leaving for Toledo to visit friends.
When we get to mom’s place, she is just finishing breakfast. I sit with her for about half an hour. She is quite attracted to Sherman again. I put him on my lap so she can easily reach him. She pets him awhile and he stands up, leans over and gives her a kiss. She laughs with a silly glee. It’s wonderful!
We drive the 90 minutes to Toledo to visit Jim and Norma. These are friends from Ojai. They’d moved to Chile a couple years ago, but what they hoped to create there didn’t materialize and they moved back to the states. Jim grew up in Toledo and they wound up there.
Norma made a delicious lunch and we traded our stories of what life had wrought during our travels.
Jim is a painter and sculptor. Toledo has a wonderful Museum of Art that’s free. We walk through 2 wonderful exhibits that I’d love to spend more time with.
Decoding Political Ads.
Work by Jaume Plensa.
They take us to a lovely very large park and we walk on trails for half an hour then return home for dinner.
Norma makes an amazing Avocado-Cacao pudding over blueberries with peaches on top. YUM.
Sherman eats dinner after refusing food 3x during the day. I wonder if he has an upset stomach.
We drive east on OH 2 along Lake Erie. I drive into Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge hoping to find a place to stop for the night. I headed toward a road that looked like it went out to Cedar Point. The road was blocked off. I backed in close to the gate and we slept there.
One afternoon I go with him to play sitting volleyball. What a riot! You can hit the ball as many times as necessary to get it over the net. It can bounce off of the ceiling — which changes the angle of the balls trajectory dramatically. And your butt has to remain on your chair.
We have conversation about life, religion, the nature of belief, god, death, traditions, my story of how did I got hooked to buddhism, his of how he got unhooked from christianity.
And my days are filled with packing and packing and packing food.
I make my tentative itinerary with shelter names, mileage, possible cities to ship food. Over 2 days I change the plan a couple of times. choosing to do 7 food drops instead of 4. Choosing to carry less weight for Sherman and I.
I ship the boxes and the framework for the hike is set.
My dad was so generous in allowing me to take over his apartment living room with all this. Food in piles everywhere slowly coming together into day sized piles and then into boxes.
I initially think I’ll leave on Friday. Then Saturday. Then Monday. Then Tuesday. And then finally Wednesday. It took sooooo much longer to do all the details that I imagined.
I had the best time ever with him this week. I promise to return after the hike, when I’m done in New England, before I head in what ever direction I’m heading then.
Sherman sees his first 2 squirrels this morning on our walk since we were in Winnipeg. That we haven’t seen one since we left, and that there seemed to be a squirrel per tree there, makes me think there was a squirrel convention happening in Winnipeg. Some of them are now starting to return home.
Started to get my food packs together for the hike. Made my own trail mix by putting my bags of almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, raisons, cranberries, blueberries, chocolate pieces and a few dried figs and apricots in a Trader Joe’s bag, mix them up, and then put them in Zip Lock Snack bags. 30 in total.
My sister, Sharon, arrives and we go to lunch. After lunch we go to visit mom and take Sherman. She’s very enamored by him. He’s cute. She pets him and he gives her a kiss. He seems to hold her attention longer than many other things.
Back at dad’s Sharon helps be put the oatmeal into bags and then helps put the dog food into bags. There are now filled Trader Joe’s bags. One filled with Oatmeal mixture. One filled with Trail Mix. One filled with dog food mix.
We go to dinner with Paul and BJ again. The conversation swings wide. Children. Pets. Hiking. The retirement home. Food. Moving. Vacations. Death.
After dinner they show the movie Flow in their movie theater. (Sharon doesn’t want to do movie. She leaves for a quiet night in a local motel. )The movie is about the commercialization of water. The corruption. The manipulation to gain corporate control. And the places where people hove gotten control of their water back. Also looks at small scale purification processes that are successful in many countries. A study in how to keep it local.
Very disturbing how the craving for money and power have totally screwed up the water supply in many places and take no responsibility. No surprises there, eh?
Back in his room, dad and I talked about he movie. I shared some other things I am aware of that aren’t in the movie. Not really an uplifting movie…
My dad shuffle boarding!
I’m leaving soon to start the Long Trail — today as I’m updating the blog. Time is running out. So, I’m going to put the relevant photos at the end of the post. I’ll get back to rearranging them at a later date. (I hope.)
Sherman and I walk to the end of Middle St. into the old cemetery. One thing I never remember seeing is that many of the old family plots have the family marker in the center and the graves arranged in a circle. It was very cool. Just felt harmonious and honorable. The roads in the old part also were curved.
The newer graves and all the newer sections are straight roads and graves arranged in a grid. Something happened culturally in this transition. The interest had shifted into what was efficient rather than what felt right.
It’s about a 4 mile round trip. So a good morning hike for us both.
Today I begin the food prep and organization for the Long Trail. We drive into Ann Arbor to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and REI. I buy 6 weeks worth of Cliff Bars, Lara Bars, Oatmeal and additions, individual items to mix for Trail Mix.
We get back about dinner time. We wind up eating with Paul and BJ. Wonderful people, may parents age. Late 80’s. Sharp and spunky.
After dinner, my dad played Bridge downstairs with friends while I unpacked and organized the food into it’s groups. Granola stuff together. Oatmeal stuff together. Bars together. Miscellaneous.