Finger Lakes, NY, Sept 2019

Though I planned on taking time off months in advance, I did not decide on my final travel plans until the very last minute. For the first part of my trip I wound up in the Finger Lakes region of New York between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. The area is very laid back and relaxing and the weather for September is just sublime with the temperatures in the the 60s to 70s. I chose to stay at the Inn At Gothic Eves and it is bar none the best bed and breakfast I have ever stayed in. It manages to mix traditional and modern decor which makes it feel very warm and inviting without feeling dated. The breakfasts are creative and out of this world good. There is a small but quaint downtown area of Trumansburg with a few places to eat and drink. In particular Atlas Bowl has a small but very tasty menu and excellent cocktails. I had three of their Autumn Old Fashions and I would have had 5 more if there wasn’t a chance of me getting in trouble from being too drunk. I know, I’m getting old.

I spend most of my day hiking with a little bit of fishing at Robert H. Treman State Park taking in some fantastic waterfalls and working on my shutter speed photography skills. I’ll let you in on a little secret, those skills still need a lot of work. I have to say, the park and trails and superbly well maintained. If one finds themselves here and wanting to do the trails my one recommendation would be to the Rim Trail first and get all the major, repetitive up and down elevation changes out of the way first and then return on the Gorge Trail. The down side is the waterfalls are kind of at your back on the return trip but it’s easier on the legs. I can’t say I caught anything fishing but that’s the beauty of it, you don’t have to catch anything to enjoy it. It became a nice relaxing time after the hike to kick back, nap, and enjoy the sounds of the creek. Next stop, Niagara Falls. A place I have not been to since the late 1970’s when I was a wee lad.

Los Angeles- January 2019

Here’s another one for the “late” file. This was a trip my friend Artie and I had been talking about for a while. A trip to hang out on Sunset Strip at the Rainbow and pay homage to our metal roots as well as Lemmy from Motörhead and then had to the annual NAMM show and check out all the new music gear and listen to numerous bands playing on various stages. Oh and of course get our drink on. I suggested to Artie we should hike out to the old MASH set at Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. For anyone who is a fan of the show or just taking a day hike in general it is well worth the trip if you are in the area. The rusted out vehicles are original from the show having been left there after filming was done. The Mess Hall and sign post were recreations after the fact. That area has seen its share of fires and in actuality one had just came through the November prior to our trip. Despite seeing some areas of fire damage, it did not take away from the beauty of the area. The best part was probably when we discovered the bridge was out on the trail to the site and in trying to cross, I took a bit of a “swim”.

If you are a fan of metal and hard rock, then taking a night to hang out at The Rainbow on Sunset Strip something you should do once. It’s actually a chill bar and with the legality of things in California, a place once can really chill out. Plus there is a statue to honor the man, the myth, the legend, Lemmy. What more can you ask for. We had a blast and after being told “If you are going to stumble around in here, I’m going to have to ask you to leave” we felt it best to get back to the hotel, which I don’t remember.

The final part of trip was the NAMM show in Anaheim. This was a blast. As a guitar player I was in my glory seeing all the displays of new and unique guitars, amps, pedals, etc. Overall, it’s basically a 3 day party. There are gourmet food trucks lined up and down the main street feeding you until your hearts content, numerous stages with bands playing live music throughout the day, and hotel bars open to everyone. While I didn’t happen to meet any famous musicians, I did get to meet Ken Haas of Reverent Guitars, one of my favorite brands.

It was a quick long weekend trip but well worth it.

Harpers Ferry: Homeward Bound

Well, the grand experiment of hiking/camping without using our car to get to and from our destination is complete. We are back home warm and relaxed. It was raining when we packed up camp this morning and it was raining much harder when we started the last leg from the PATCO station back to the home. Feels good to accomplish something you set out to do, feels even better to sleep in ones own bed. The lesson most learned is that we need a bigger tent.