Saturday, June 28, 2008

Biking and Lunch - Mohawk River Bike Path

A long-ish ride today, with heat, humidity, and winds. Details here...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Biking - Galway Lake (SWC)

The skies cleared in time for tonight's SWC bike ride. Details here...

Golf - Whispering Pines

Another day of scattered showers, so no biking, unless the SWC ride this evening stays dry. Saw a late morning break in the action, so headed out for a round of golf. Whispering Pines is an 18-hole par 3 course near home, and I figured I could get it in between showers.

The highlights:

  • 9 greens in regulation
  • 10 pars
  • back nine was only 3 over par
The lowlights:
  • 3 3-putts
  • 3 double bogies
  • missed 2-foot birdie putt
All told, it was a good round, the best so far. Total was a 66 on a par-55 course, and everything I hit was pretty straight. It's time to move up to a 9-hole regulation course, maybe Hillcrest.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Long climb on a windy day, and it put me over 1000 miles for the season. Details here...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Biking - Mohawk River Bike Path

Quick ride along the river today during a brief dry spell. Details here...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hiking - Windham High Peak

At 3524', Windham is one of the 35 Catskill summits higher than 3500 feet. It's about a 1700' climb from the parking lot in 3.3 miles, so not a difficult or steep hike as Catskills go. Holly and I climbed it today, a sunny day in the low 70s, perfect for hiking.

This first view is toward the Blackhead Range to the southeast, about 3 miles away as the crow flies. Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole (L to R) are all over 3900 feet, and are commonly visible from Albany on a clear day, some 30+ miles to the north.

The view from the actual summit is rapidly growing in, but just east of the summit is this wide open view to the north. Downtown Albany is visible from here on a clear day. which today was not. Though sunny and cool, it was also very hazy and humid.

We even got caught in a stray thunderstorm as we were driving home and looking for an ice cream stop, which we found, as always.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Snuck in a morning ride before the promised rains arrived. Details here...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Golf - Clifton Knolls

Clifton Knolls is a 9-hole mostly par 3 course, with one very short par 4. I decided to try this instead of things that would take longer, because the weather was iffy this morning. Things started off well, when I was given the senior rate, "because you have a grey beard." Not sure if that's a good thing or not...

Overall, I was surprised to be able to hit most of my irons very straight, though always a good 20-30 yards shorter than I was expecting. I underclubbed on almost every hole, but at least always stayed in play. Not sure if that shortness is an age thing, an easy swing thing, the age of the golf balls, or what, but it wasn't all bad. For the 9 holes, par 28, I shot a 37, bogey golf, and was rather pleased with myself after all these years.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Golf - Bucket O' Balls

After playing the pitch-and-putt course last week, I thought I learned something, namely that an easy swing would go straight, while a hard swing would be pulled or sliced. I needed to try out this theory with some clubs other than a pitching wedge, so I hit the range one more time, this time with 3, 6, and 9-irons and a 3-wood. Mostly I was hitting off the grass rather than teeing it up, since I also needed to get the feel of playing from the fairway. While the above theory appears to be mostly true, it's also just not that simple. This is golf, after all. But what I did discover this trip is that I'm getting to know what feels right again in terms of grip and stance, and I hit a reasonable percentage of acceptable shots. I feel like I could probably play a fairly open course, without lots of out-of-bounds and woods, and not be totally embarrassed. Whispering Pines (an executive course) or Hillcrest (a wide open field sort of course) come to mind, and I think I'm ready to give one of them a try.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Canoeing - Dunham Reservoir

A warm day today, and we wanted to stay close to home, so we took Holly's canoe to Grafton Lakes State Park, and spent about an hour paddling around Dunham Reservoir. This reservoir is away from the summer madness of the rest of the park, and is a quiet place to paddle with no motors allowed. First paddling of the season.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Biking - Saratoga Spa State Park and Around the Lake

Two rides today, with a potluck lunch in between. Details here...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Biking - SWC Weekly Ride

We did a very hilly 19 miles this evening, followed by the usual beer and pizza. Details here...

Golf - Players Park

With an evening bike ride tonight, I didn't want to do too much today, so decided to try a round of golf, of the pitch-and-putt variety. Players Park has nine par 3s, all under 100 yards, and since this was my first round of any kind in at least 10 years, that seemed like the right place to start. I took 3 clubs - an 8 iron, a pitching wedge, and a putter. And now, what would golf coverage be without the inevitable analysis :-)

I hit the PW from the tee on every hole and used the 8 iron for chipping. Mostly, I hit the PW pretty straight, unless I swung hard, in which case I pulled it. I hit 3/9 greens and had 4/9 pars - not bad. On the down side, I had two 3-putts and two 6s. The first came on the opening hole, where I didn't quite have the touch yet, and the second came on an OB that also involved a lost ball. Overall, I was +1 over bogeys, with a 37, and I can certainly live with that.

With that, I think it's time to try a more demanding par 3 course, like Barney Road or Whispering Pines.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Biking - Indian Ladder Farms

The heat wave is over, and it's time to get back on the road. Had a good lunch at Indian Ladder Farms. Details here...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Biking - Historical Tour

A local town sponsored a ride to several historic sites, with commentary by the town historian. Hot day, but a nice ride. Details here...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trail Maintenance - Adirondacks

Since 1994, Holly and I have adopted a section of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail, under the Adirondack Mountain Club's (ADK) Trail Steward program. That means we walk through the 6-mile section every spring and fall, removing blowdown, cutting back brush, clearing drainages, and reporting any major issues to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. We try to get others to join us by leading this as a Schenectady Chapter ADK trip. Today, we had a crew of 6, which is substantially more than usual. We got a lot of work done on a hot, humid day, spending about 5 hours in the woods in prime Adirondack blackfly season.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Biking - Club Ride

Thursday night Schenectady Wintersports Club ride, with beer and pizza afterwards. Details here...

Geocaching - Wilton Wildlife Preserve

Holly and I got out for a short walk today, seeking a couple of geocaches in the Wilton Wildlife Preserve. Found the first one easily, and headed for a different parking area to try the second, a multi-cache. Temps were in the mid 70s, the humidity was pretty high, and mosquitoes were thick. Finally reached the location of Part 1, couldn't find it, and standing in one place to look for it was getting pretty miserable. Decided to return another time, and go play mini-golf instead. But not before an ice cream float!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Today's ride was a mere formality to push me over 800 miles for the year. Details here...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Biking - Erie Canalway Trail

Once the Mohawk River Bike Path leaves the Capital District, it becomes more properly known as the Erie Canalway Trail. The goal is to have a continuous bikeway from Albany to Buffalo, following the route of the old Erie Canal towpath. Much of it is already in place, but there are still gaps. Today I rode a 25-mile section starting west of the area, stopped for lunch, and biked back to the car. Details here...