Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Driving Home, From Santa Clara To Hays Brook

I'd had quite a busy and fulfilling visit up to the farm, enjoying the exercise of a hike and my driving tour through Potsdam and Canton, New York. But Tuesday morning dawned and it was time to drive home. I took the usual, fastest route but stopped at the boat launch on the St. Regis River along Route 458. Everything was misty and foggy, a totally new but beautiful way to see the river:

The fog lifted as we continued our way down Route 30 toward Paul Smith's, a sort of combination college and town. The scenery along the way was superb:

Scenes such as this are common throughout the Adirondacks. The park is a natural wonder:

But of course the dogs would appreciate a rest stop and I had a trail head to check out. So I pulled off toward the Hays Brook Equestrian trail and drove right past it to the trail head for the DeBar Wild Forest. The dogs all piled out of the car and we began a short walk on the trail. I took note of the warning against spreading "Rock Snot." Since I wasn't boating, I didn't need to worry:

Clover and Daphne of course ran full speed down the trail until I hollered at them to stop:

I managed to get all the dogs together so that we could enjoy a leisurely stroll in the forest:

Wally took his time, but I'm used to that:

The forest there is lovely and welcoming:

And the "silly sisters" continued to romp and play:

But this was only a brief rest stop and we had to continue on our way. I called the dogs back toward the car:

There were several other cars parked at the trail head. I didn't know if they were hunters or hikers, but we didn't go far enough to encounter anyone. I shot one last photo of Seamus before we all hopped back up into the car and resumed our journey:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finishing The Driving Tour

I was on a driving tour of two towns near the farm and had visited both Potsdam and Canton, New York. I found both to be beautiful towns with bustling commerce, two universities each and lovely old homes. I'd just left Canton and was on my way back to Potsdam when I passed the main campus of Clarkson University. Well, you know I had to turn around and go see for myself:

I found an impressive campus with a mix of old and new buildings:

This, I guessed, was a dorm and it certainly looked more welcoming than the sky scraper towers we had at Ohio State:

There was a whole group of modern brick structures:

I have been told that Clarkson is renown for its engineering program:

I passed one fine old building on my way back to highway and wondered what it might be. But by then I was becoming tired and anxious to get home, so I didn't drive in to take a closer look:

I did, however, stop briefly to photograph this magnificent old church built of Potsdam Red Sandstone. It was Trinity Episcopal, erected in 1835 and with a 110 foot tower. It is located on an island in the Raquette River:

But then I had to get myself back home and, leaving Potsdam, passed once again through big sky farm country:

To my own little farm in the hinterlands:

The dogs were ecstatic to see me and just as ecstatic to see their dog food:

Being November, the sun set early and we settled in for the night. We were to leave for Albany the next morning so bedtime was early:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Canton, New York, The County Seat - Part 3

I'd hiked with the dogs on Monday morning and then began a driving tour of the area around the farm, beginning with Potsdam, New York. I was now in Canton, New York and enjoying its bustling downtown and quiet, old residential streets with large trees:

Many of the houses appeared to be rather old. This one, I suspected, may have been a farm house many years ago before all the neighbors moved in:

The kind of front porch which is ideal for sitting in a rocking chair and greeting your neighbors as they pass by:

Canton seemed to me to have an unusual number of very tall trees. It made the town seem warm and friendly to me, but then I am a tree lover:

Some of the homes looked rather expensive to me:

And some seemed more modest and comfortably affordable:

This house was for sale and I looked it up on the Internet when I got home. It was a three bedroom, two bath home listed at $87,500:

More fine old homes:

St. Lawrence University is also located in Canton and was quite beautiful. It was founded in 1856 by the New England Universalist Church but today is a nondenominational liberal arts institution with an excellent reputation:

I passed quickly through the campus and took only these two photos. Perhaps I'll stop in again some day for a closer look, but I'd had a long day and decided to begin making my way home to the farm:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Canton, New York, The County Seat - Part 2

I was on a driving tour of Canton, New York, just west of my farm. I'd been told of a store which specialized in the handiwork of northern New York artisans and planned to stop there. It was located right on the highway, though I parked around the corner next to a Chinese restaurant:

I had hoped to find lots of things for sale which might make unique and interesting Christmas gifts, though I suspected they'd be pricey. What I did find was what appeared to be a museum specializing in the works of upstate artists. While it was impressive, I saw nothing for sale:

These all appeared to be permanent exhibits, not items for sale:

So I just toured the exhibits and enjoyed it for what it was:

TAUNY, I leaned, stands for Traditional Arts In Upstate New York. Their website is here:

They had some very fine and impressive things. I found it odd to look out their front window and discover a McDonald's.  Alas, they're everywhere! Before I left the TAUNY Center, I asked the woman at the front desk about items for sale. She told me that they'd just undergone an extensive restoration and had just begun bringing in items for sale. My timing was not good. I thanked her and went back out to my car to continue my tour of Canton:

I took a turn onto a side street and discovered this walkway across a beautiful, large river. I also learned that there's a branch of the State University Of New York in Canton as there is in Potsdam. Of course you know that I parked my car and walked across the bridge:

The river, I learned later, was the Grasse River, and it was a beauty:

It led to a wooded area where I saw a few people strolling on that fine November day. I've since discovered that the land on the west side of the river was the SUNY Canton campus:

From the bridge I looked toward downtown Canton, only a few blocks away:

At the other end of the bridge was a blacktopped path through fine old trees. This was University property and was lighted and well kept:

But it was time for me to continue my tour of Canton, so I walked back across the Grasse River to my parked car. I'll post more tomorrow:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Canton, New York, The County Seat - Part 1

I was taking a driving tour of the area just west of my farm. I'd explored the town of Potsdam, about 14 miles from the farm and then decided to drive to Canton, about ten miles to the west of Potsdam. Canton, like Potsdam, is a university town. It's also the county seat. As I entered the town I discovered large, well kept old houses and tall trees:

And many churches, most of them old line denominations. They appeared to be prosperous. This was the Unitarian Universalist church, a real going concern which I've kind of kept an eye on by means of the internet. They recently hosted a Public Radio broadcast and seemed to be a booming congregation. I plan to attend there some day when I retire if the 25 mile drive isn't too much:

This was another example of an elaborate, impressive old church, though I didn't walk over to discover what denomination. It was across a green space which housed a large fountain just being shut down for the winter:

More churches and large houses lined the main road through town:

And more modern buildings also:

Most of the houses I saw were large and impressive, but I thought that might be because I'd so far not left the main highway. The town was certainly beautiful:

As I entered the old style downtown area, I thought it looked very much like nearby Potsdam, which of course would be expected:

Canton had a very old fashioned movie theater:

And rows of shops. As with Potsdam, I was happy to note that the mom and pop stores in the downtown area seemed to be thriving in spite of the burgeoning collections of big box stores on the edges of town:

A fine old home with a carriage house out back:

I turned off the main highway and found more very nice old homes. But I'll post more tomorrow: