Watertown, NY

February 1st, 2012 | Posted by Steve in Canada | International | Trains | Uncategorized

Actually none of these photos show Watertown, NY, only places near there.  I’ve been here in Watertown since January 22.  The weather has been snow, lake effect snow, & rain.  If none of these its been overcast.  I’ve seen blue skies twice, and only part of the sky for only a short time.

On Saturday, Jan. 28 four of us from work took a driving trip into the Adirondacks & added a brief trip into Canada.  This included Sam & Vicki Shurtleff who are from Texas.  While up here a few years ago Sam found a place not far from Watertown named Shurtleff’s Clearing in the Adirondack Mountains.  We headed there so I could get a few shots of Sam & Vicki next to the sign.  Shurtleff, NY is apparently a very small summer vacation resort of a few cabins.  No one was there that we could find.

Way beyond Shurtleff’s Clearing is Tupper Lake, NY, a much larger resort town.  We stopped there for gas.  I noticed the train station across the street.  I got a shot & turned it into black & white.  I think its pretty good.  I may even print it the next time I find myself at home long enough to do so.

We decided to drive along the St. Lawrence Seaway & go into Canada.  This required backtracking a little.  I had noticed a Boy Scout camp on the way to Tupper Lake.  Heading back I stopped to get a photo of the sign.  Massawepie is owned by the Seneca Waterways Council.  There are a few Scouters on this email list so I include a bit of news.  Seneca Waterways was formed in 2009 from a merger of Otetiana Council (Rochester, NY) & Finger Lakes Council (Geneva, NY).  2 amazing things here.  Rochester & Geneva are 200 miles or more from the camp, and I don’t have a patch from the newly merged council.

From there we drove to Ogdensburg, NY on the St. Lawrence River.  Once there we went left to eventually hit Interstate 81.  There are a few parks along the St. Lawrence.  At one I got out, climbed on a park bench, cranked the lens out to 105mm and shot 9 photos to get this panorama.  It covers over 120 degrees of view.  It shows an area just north of Chippewa Bay where the “1000 Islands” area begins.  Canada is along the far shore of the river.

I had the computer stitch all the photos together.  It eventually gave me a file of over 8.5 gigabytes!  Eventually I got it whittled down to this small JPEG.  The whole process took over 2 hours.  The first stitch at the left is quite obvious, but I left it alone.  This is just an “I’ve been there” kind of photo.

Once we got onto Interstate 81 we headed north the few miles to Canada.  At the last U.S. exit we got off and drove around one of the islands a bit.  Way out on the ice toward another U.S. island was a party!  Vehicles were out there, people were out there including some kids, a small shack was out there, and tire tracks from land led onto the ice.  None of us in the car felt we needed to join them.

From there we got back onto the interstate and headed into Canada.  From the back seat I got this photo of the entry point.  It used to be driving into Canada didn’t require much more than telling the border guard how long you were visiting.  But those were simpler times.  Now you need a passport which gets scanned, a high speed camera shoots a photo of your vehicle, and the guard asks you lots of questions.

As we drove into Canada the weather went from drizzle to outright rain.  We got as far as a McDonalds 12 miles in.  They take U.S. dollars at par, but give you change in Canadian coins.  As of that point it was raining so hard & getting so dark we decided to turn around and head back to our hotel in Watertown.

Quiz Answer.  In the last post I mentioned something may be technically wrong with the ‘Lucy in Disguise’ sign.  As it turns out, that is a matter of timing.  The sign shows the ‘Haight/Ashbury’ street sign from San Francisco, CA.  From the summer of love, 1967 into the 1970s, maybe even later, there was no ‘Haight/Ashbury’ street sign.  Every time it was erected someone tore it down for a souvenir.  Apparently my generation has gotten over that and the street signs now exist peacefully.  Thank you, Frank for this information.


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