Saturday, May 21, 2005

Trip to the Boat Ramp on the Chemung River

Husband RJ was gone to visit The Folks and Number One Daughter Em checked in for rummage sale items. I was left with a whiny Granddog, who barely allowed me to prepare for our Riverblogging. However, I was soon covered with hiking stuff and looking suitably ridiculous, and off we went.

We parked at the very end of Winsor Avenue in a shady spot on Grove Street. We learned that this was totally unnecessary, because now there is public access at the bottom of Grove. One can legally drive right up to the river's edge. We have a beautiful boat ramp! If only I had a boat, specifically a canoe, since I learned to canoe as a teenager in Central Massachusetts.

To the River, Ellie!! And down we went. Of course, Granddog sloshed right in. The water is clean and clear, and relatively free of litter. Except of course for the dead river rat. Yup. A river rat. Looks like a muskrat, only no flat leathery tail. This does not qualify as litter. It is natural, after all. Ellie was enchanted, but I did not allow her near the thing. She likes to roll in carcasses, but I don't enjoy bathing her.

The drainage creeks are very badly littered with tires, grocery carts and whatever, but the riverfront itself is still quite nice. No "obligatory" blight photo today, due to space considerations. Instead we met a young fisherman and his older buddy. I didn't want to disturb them too long, but we learned about the local fishing fare and its suitablity as food. The older fellow told me he uses cornmeal to prepare bullheads, saying simply that they are good. I believe him.

I am continually amazed and grateful when I compare our waterfront to those I've visited in other cities. Accessibility is our biggest asset. One can walk the riverfront (in the dry season) from the Walnut Street Bridge all the way out to Fitch's Bridge in West Elmira. The Canoe excursion was from the Bath area. And there are many wonderful hiking and biking trails throughout this area. Add to that Swimming, hiking and camping at Park Station in Erin, a touchable waterfall at Havana Glen, kiddy rides at Harris Hill, the Fun Park on the Corning Road, and even the Elmira Drive-in Theater on Route 352. There is no dearth of activities to enjoy on the cheap here. Summer can be an endless round of inexpensive play. Nothing to do? Ridiculous!

Saturday was a community event day. We had Echo Taps from Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, all the way to the Bath National Cemetery. A peaceful, but festive mood characterized those waiting for the Taps. We chatted with our bugler, from Pine City, I think. No notes, as she wisely informed me that her mother directed her not to give her name. (By the way, our young fisher's mentor also declined identification.) How sad that our children cannot enjoy a brief moment of recognition. Some monster may be waiting for just that tidbit. I am sickened that these two young people could be endangered by my blog. God help us all.

But it's been a glorious Saturday and (except for our Echo Taps Bugler) I present in no particular order the best of my photoblogging:

pb
Little Pond

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