It's almost the end of September (can you believe it?). School's been back in session for a couple of weeks here, and routines are starting to return to normal. Well, what's normal for about nine months of the year, anyway. And with school comes homework.
I remember in my elementary and middle school years that sometime in the first few weeks of school I'd get a writing assignment to share what I did over the summer. So, in keeping with tradition, here's what I did this summer.
|Stitched photos showing Curtiss JN-4H taking off at Rhinebeck|
In July we went camping for the weekend with family friends of ours. In addition to amazing food, fun, and campfires (with s'mores!), we also went to the Old Rhinebeck Aeordrome. We toured an amazing collection of static displays of older aircraft and headed off to see one of the two fying shows the Aerodrome puts on each weekend during the summer. We caught the History of Flight show and saw some amazing acts, including some fly-by's by a Faulker Dr. 1 (think Red Baron) and the Sopwith Camel (think Snoopy aka World War I Flying Ace). We also saw the Bleriot X1-an original plane built in 1909. It lifted off the ground, only about half a foot, but, it was incredible!
You can find more of my photos from the show here. They don't really do the planes justice (as I used my phone), but you can see more photos and learn the history of the planes and the aerodrome here.
|Part of the Bobsled Track|
In August, we took our family trip and returned to beautiful Lake George. This year, we headed further north for two days to Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. Of course, we had to partake in the Olympic Experience, so with Olympic Passports in hand, we set out to hit the venues.
First up was the biathlon. Normally contestants in this sport cross-country ski (while carrying a rifle on their back) and then shoot (standing and prone (laying down)). If contestants miss a target, they have to ski a penalty lap which can cost them many positions, as the winner is the one with the best time.
We didn't have to ski, and our rifles were $1800 Russian models that we held on shooting blocks while lying prone on a mat to shoot at the large of 2 targets (grapefruit size as opposed to golf ball size). We shot at the old style mechanical targets, which were set up next to the modern electronic targets that were used in the Nagano Olympics. I managed to hit 8 out of 10 targets (I jerked the rifle twice instead of just squeezing the trigger) and the guys got 9 out of 10. No penalty laps for us, but it was tons of fun!
While in the Olympic Sports Complex, we headed over to the Bobsled runs and took a tour. We rode a bus to the top of the track and then walked our way to the end. I had no idea the walls on the turns were so tall, until we walked through them. You could do a run in the old track on a wheeled cart and taking 4 turns, but we were thinking about maybe going back in the winter sometime and going down in a real sled through 10 turns (IIRC).
|View of Whiteface from Little Whiteface|
Next we went to Whiteface and took the Gondola ride to the top. This picture is looking up at the top of Whiteface from Little Whiteface. We wandered around up here for a bit (saw a Veteran's monument built on a large rock sent over from Italy), then decided to head to the Veteran's Memorial Highway and tackle Whiteface. Except in the time it took us to get there clouds had rolled over the top and it was suggested we return the next day.
So, we headed into town and went to the museum and took a look at the 1932 rink and the 1980 rink (the site of the Miracle on Ice, when the US beat the USSR to make it to the gold medal round.)
The next day, we returned to Lake Placid and made our way up the Veteran's Memorial Highway. It seemed something was conspiring against us reaching the top of Whiteface, as this day the elevator to the top was down. We decided it would be worth going and climbing the last 1000' to get to the top. And it was! Although I had to stop every few feet to breathe (a combination of being out of shape and having asthma) I made it to the top and took in the amazing view.
|Me at the summit of Whiteface|
We made it back down to the castle just before the skies opened up, and enjoyed a quick snack and brew before heading to our last venue. The Olympic Jumping Complex. I've never been downhill skiing. In fact, other than the Alpine ride at Knoebel's and the Gondola ride at Whiteface, the closest I've come to a ski slope was when I went Alpine Sliding at Song Mountain when I was a teenager. So, I was amazed at the sight of the ski jumping tower at Lake Placid.
|Ski Jumping Platforms (120' is on right)|
This picture shows both towers the 90' (IIRC) and the 120'. We took the elevator to the top of the 120' and walked inside to where the skiers would start their run from. Not only do the skiers ski down an extremely steep run, the hillside they are landing on is almost vertical. This gave me a new admiration for the men and women who participate in this sport.
|View looking down the 120' ski jump. The one to the right was being used by young kids practicing their jumps.|
And last but not least, we caught a fireworks show over Lake George. A great end to great trip!
|Gotta love technology that animates your photos!|
So, what did you do this summer?