Catskill Cats

What is another town with street art for a cause? It is Catskill, NY. What did Catskill choose for artists to decorate? Cats or course. This street art event is called Cat’N Around Catskill. These cats will be up for auction soon to raise money for local charities. If you are traveling north to see foliage in September stop by Catskill.

Angel
Lego My Cat
My Fair Kitty
Steampunk Kitty
Cat Toy
Police A Cat-emy
Meals on Wheels- for those outside the US, Meals on Wheels is a charity that delivers meals to elderly and those with mobility issues.
Spring Break
Celtic Kitty
Aztec
Tag You’re It
Kitty Le Pew

There are many more cats on display other than these and even a visiting owl from Coxsackie. If you are interested in any of these cats, or the others in the auction, place a bid. While in Catskill you can stop in the antique shops and eat at the fine local establishments.

Oaxacan Cat

I think they had many talented entries in this event. I do not show all of them in case you would like to discover them on your own.. Which cat was your favourite?

For more information:

Old Trucks

Old trucks never retire…..they just switch to advertising careers.

sharons-iconic-travel-photography-blog.com
Spud Shack truck in Pine Plains, New York
TRC Auto Repair near Highland, New York
Osprey Farm in Berlin, Maryland
Sinepuxent Brewing in Berlin, Maryland
Brimfield Winery truck in Brimfield, Massachusetts

I found these on my travels the past few months. It appears to be a thing to obtain old trucks no matter the condition and use them to advertise a business. I am glad these trucks are still around. It gives character to the place.

As you are traveling through an area see if you can spot one of these beauties. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Postbox Graffiti

I found this postbox on a Manhattan street. It is a positive message from a sidewalk poet, 7 Souls Deep. While you are out and about check your surroundings. Sometimes there are positive messages out there for you to find.

Stay healthy and stay safe! For more information check out 7SoulsDeep Instagram page:

https://www.instagram.com/7soulsdeep/?hl=en

Outdoor Dining in NYC

What are the COVID rules for eating out in NYC? If you want to eat inside a restaurant you need to show proof of vaccination. Otherwise, you can order take out or it appears eat outside. A lot of restaurants in NYC have built outdoor structures to accommodate diners for distancing.

Many have plants to give diners more privacy and to make the space more eye appealing. Many have roofs and or windows.

Some have decorative lighting and heat in colder weather.
Diners are well camouflaged here.
Some like this one have barriers between diners so they can fit more within the structure.
This restaurant made booth seating. They had separate spaces for each table. Each table was within its own room.
This one has a pergola feel.

If you are coming to NYC, be aware of the rules. You can only eat inside if you are fully vaccinated. Come out and support these local restaurants. Many others did not survive the lockdowns.

Artists’ Soapbox Derby

What is one can’t miss event in August in the Hudson Valley? Which event is family friendly and requires a little creative ingenuity? It is the Artist’s Soapbox Derby in Kingston, New York.

Some last minute adjustments
Arriving in style

This event goes on every August in Kingston, NY. An exception was last year because of COVID. The events starts at the ASK Gallery on lower Broadway in downtown Kingston and ends near the end of the street at the bottom of the hill. This year it kicked off around 1:00 with a band marching down the street. When the event was ready, the first cars started down the street one at a time.

Taluah
A very intense driver- The One Week Wooden One
Kingston Kid

The Artists’ Soapbox Derby is not about speed, but creativity. There are many different categories cars are judged on. Besides winning a unique trophy, participants won cash and/or gift certificates to businesses.

Hunter Speedmobile
I think she had an issue with crowd noise on the way down. I know the feeling.
Rock Lobster
Star Wars- Millennium Falcon
Star Wars Millennium Falcon from the back being tailed by a drone.
Lego Cart
A very impressive Ghost Busters Ecto 1. I understand this will be part of the Halloween parade.
Energy – Kingston Kids with a DJ- the last car
This band started the event and provided entertainment leading up to the awards.
Event organisers with awards
Spectators voted for People’s Choice and the organisers voted in the other categories.
Best Kids- Adult in charge of Energy- Kingston Kids
Best Adult Category- Star Wars Millennium Falcon
Ghost Busters won the People’s Choice Award and Best in Show
Rondout Reject Award ROYGBIV
2nd Place Kids- Hunter Speedmobile
Kingston Kid
3rd Place Kids- Rock Lobster
Most Artistic-
Ghost Busters won in two categories.

This event draws a crowd, so if you go next year make sure you arrive early to get a parking space and a good location street-side to view. There are variety of restaurants on the streets around this event in this area of Kingston. The event ends within a stone’s throw to the marinas on the Rondout Creek. The creek empties into the Hudson River. Some people arrive by boat to view this event, and there is a nice walking path next to the creek. In addition, there is a farmer’s market going on during this event behind where the judging took place.

Put this on your calendar for next year. You will not regret it. Are you creative? Build a car to enter into the next event. Stay safe and stay creative!

For more information: https://kingstonartistsoapboxderby.com/about-the-event/. or https://www.facebook.com/KingstonArtistSoapBoxDerby/

Clamming Near Assateague

Another activity you can do while visiting Assateague is to go clamming. You have a lot more available to you if you search for a spot via kayak. That is exactly what we did.

I followed this group to search for clams. We went to a boat ramp area to launch from. It is ten dollars per car to put in your boats at Assateague Island State Boat Ramp. It is actually on the mainland before you cross over the Bridge to Assateague Island. This is one spot to put your kayaks in the water. There is ample parking in the lot. We went before sunset.

A location. with a sandy sea floor seemed best. Some felt around with their feet. Others swam under the water to feel with their hands. Adults mainly used rakes or clamming baskets.

I feel something down in the sand.
The clam retriever goes all in.
Success!
One of the adults who used a rake or clamming basket.
Clamming basket
They had buckets and nets to collect the clams in.
He had a bagful.
No tools required!
Packing up and ready for the return trip.
Nice view of the Verrazano Bridge. Not the one in NYC. This one is in Maryland.

I think the final total for this clamming trip was 130 clams or so. They soaked them in salt water then fresh from what I understand. Then they had a feast a few days later. Get out and enjoy nature and work for your food. It makes you enjoy it all the more.

Assateague Horses

Where can you go to see wild horses and enjoy a beach at the same time? One place is Assateague Island in Maryland. The following pictures were taken early morning at Assateague State Park. This park is next to the Assateague Island National Seashore where there are also wild horses.

Being friendly or true love?
Watching over the new one
The friendly one

Two out of the three mornings I was there I saw horses at sunrise on the beach. They will wander through the campgrounds at the state park and national park. They say to keep a distance away from them as they are wild and can charge. I tried to keep a distance, but the one above kept getting close to me. He was good at posing for pictures.

Go some place different and experience something you have not experienced previously. It will enrich your life.

Ghost Crabbing

What is a ghost crab? A ghost crab is a sand coloured crab that comes out at night. The Atlantic ghost crab lives on beaches that are not crowded along most of the Atlantic coast. A fun activity while visiting Assateague Island is Ghost crabbing.

I followed this group on Assateague Island at the State Park. The beaches at the state park for campers are great places to find the Ghost Crab as they are not crowded during the day. If you are in Assateague head to the beach at night and see if you can catch these quick crustaceans.

When to Find Them

Since ghost crabs burrow in the sand during the day and emerge at night, the best time to try to catch them is after it gets dark. They say the younger ones burrow closer to the ocean while the older ones burrow farther away.

What To Bring

Bring a net as these crabs can scurry quickly. Also bring a flashlight, but a headlamp as this girl is wearing makes it easier to catch them because you then have two hands free.

How to Catch Them

When you shine a flashlight on the ghost crab if freezes momentarily. Then it scurries away. The best time to try to catch them is when they freeze.

Catch and Release

When you are finished, release the crabs. I understand people do not eat these. No ghost crabs were harmed in this activity.

The next morning I saw many remains of ghost crabs next to the water. There are birds that like to catch them and eat them when the sun starts to rise.

Get out and enjoy nature! Expand your knowledge and have fun while you do.

Kayaking in Saratoga

This trip was killing two birds with one stone. I needed to go to this location to get a part for a roof rack. It has been hard to get every part I needed since the start of COVID. I have been hearing there is a worldwide metal shortage and of course many companies do not have all their workers back so production is slow. I went to Mountainman’s Saratoga kayaking location to get the last part and have it installed. I wanted to find a place in the area to kayak after I made that long trek and low and behold there was a kayak launch on the same grounds as Mountainman.

Location

This kayak launch is owned by Kayak Shak. My understanding is they own the property the other neighbouring businesses on the water are on. The address is 251 County Route 67 (or Stafford Bridge Road) Saratoga Springs, NY. You can get there without going the town of Saratoga. The way my GPS sent me was through a rural area. The cost for someone with their own kayak was $10. If you are renting a single kayak or paddle board (SUP) the coast is $25 dollars for three hours. They have another deal for renting for a longer period of time. They do not allow dogs, so leave them at home. This business advertises they have paddle board (SUP) yoga on Saturday mornings.

It is two miles I was told to Saratoga Lake from this boat launch. I believe they said you could paddle up the creek in the opposite direction 5 miles. I decided to go to Saratoga Lake.

On Saratoga Lake despite houses along it the water seems to be very clean. You can see a good distance to the bottom.

I did not take many pictures on my trip out to the lake. The sky got dark and my goal was to get to the next bridge, close to the lake before the storm came through. I made it under the bridge justo in time and hung out there until it was over with some fishermen.

Heading back towards where I started- about 2 miles away.
dHeading back from the lake into Fish Creek. That is the bridge I hid under on my trip out.
A tour boat that must have originated on Saratoga Lake. It came up Fish Creek a little ways then turned back.

There are some marinas in different spots. One marina has a campground with RVs/campers viewable from the water.

Wildlife

Since a lot of the land on one side is marshy and not developed you can observe gulls, geese and Great Blue Herons along the way. As always do not get too close. I have a long lens and crop the photos quite a bit.

There were several Great Blue Herons in the area.
Seagull observing the heron’s fishing technique.
Wearing an ankle bracelet? Was this Canadian Goose being monitored for offences? During COVID he is here illegally. The border is still closed.
Almost back.
Those who rent their boat get to take off from this beach.
If you bring your own you have to paddle to the end of the boats and go around them. Basically you are going under the bridge.
Heading back behind the boats.
Where those who own their boat can take their kayak out of the water.
I have seen Adirondack chairs painted many different solid colours. I like this multi-coloured one. It goes well with the kayak and SUP colours.
Where those who own their own boat pay $10 to launch or those who want to rent go to get their gear for a few hours.
You may need to reserve in advance. They do get a lot of people renting kayaks at this location.
Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisan Pizza.
Gluten free pizza made with cauliflower crust from Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisan Pizza.

After my trip it was dinner time. I decided to look at the menu of the pizza place on the same grounds as the boat launch, Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisian Pizza, and they indeed had gluten free options. Any pizza on their menu can be ordered with a gluten-free (cauliflower) crust. I ordered the Epiphany. This pizza had kalamata olives, fire roasted peppers, red onions, organic rosemary, mozzarella and goat cheese. If you are lactose intolerant you may need to ask if it can be made with just the goat cheese. It was very delicious! Their hours are Tuesday- Saturday 4:30-9. To learn more about this pizza place go to the link for it down at the bottom.

During the week in the afternoon there were not many boats or jets skis out until you got close to the lake. Most of my trip I saw fellow kayakers and those on paddleboards.

I like this location for several reasons. Firstly, what is available on the grounds is convenient. You have a shop that sells paddling supplies, a pizza place, the boat launch, restrooms, and a park. If you have friends who want to go but don’t have their own kayak, they can rent. Also you can go two directions. So it makes for two different trip choices. In addition, the chance to view wildlife is always a plus to me. During the week it is fairly quiet with few motorboats. The short of it is I would return to this location.

Get out and experience nature. Get some exercise along the way. It will help you maintain your health.

Mountainman Outdoor Supply is the largest dealer in paddlesports in New York State from what I understand. https://www.mountainmanoutdoors.com/store-locations.html

To learn more about the wood fired pizza: https://www.harvestandhearth.com

To reserve a kayak or SUP at Kayak Shak: https://www.kayakshak.com/?utm_source=Saratoga.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=microsite&utm_campaign=Saratoga.com