Slice of Heaven

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Hello Everyone,

As I write this Iím sitting in a little meadow, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, breathing in rain-cleansed, fresh air, massaged by gentle breezes, just enjoying life. Iím currently at my brother Timís place outside of Ithaca, NY. He and his girlfriend, Janell, have 160 acres of mountains and meadows, covered with forests of hard wood. Itís truly beautiful! Theyíve built themselves a nice little home (actually, not so little - itís almost as big in square footage as my house) here - from scratch - and are making a go of living close to the land; their dream. It is so peaceful, relaxing and refreshing up here. Iím almost reluctant to leave tomorrow.

The beach was nice. The day I arrived, Tuesday, it was mostly sunny and I just sat in my chair all afternoon enjoying the sun and the sounds of the ocean, reading my book. Most relaxing. It was just pissing rain on the drive from Va. To Del. so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and it was all cleared up. That night though the rain arrived and the following day (Wednesday) was cloudy with intermittent showers throughout. Not a problem though as I just kicked back on the open-air deck and read and napped all day. Tough life. Had to do a few hours of work while there - they just canít get by without me (isnít that right Fred?) - but even that didnít detract from the enjoyable time I had, at the beach, visiting with my parents.

Thursday, about noon, I finally got everything all packed up and took off for New York, up through Delaware, skirting Philadelphia, up through eastern Pa. (through the Poconos), into NY via Binghampton (Dan, Liza?), and finally to Truxton, NY outside of Cortland. The drive was very pleasant. Through Delaware I passed field after field of corn, beans, melons, and who knows what else? The Delmarva Peninsula is a very productive farming region and that was very evident as I drove to and from my parentís beach house. The drought theyíre having this summer here that you may have heard about was evident though as there were many fields of stunted, brown and or dying corn. Speaking of corn, the best-tasting, sweetest corn in the world is grown here. Itís called Silver Queen and it beats the you know what out of anything Iíve ever had in Ca. I think maybe Iíll see if I can plant and grow some in my garden next year

The drive through Pennsylvania was nice; very green and scenic once you get up into the mountains. I had never been through there so I enjoyed it even more. It reminded me a lot of West Virginia, which makes sense as part of the area was/is known for coal mining; as is West Virginia. The part of New York Iím in is in the Finger Lakes area, which are the remnants of the glaciers that came through here eons ago, and it is very beautiful. I fully understand why Tim and Janell love it up here so much. Later today weíre going to go for a hike to see more of their land and to check out some of the nearby scenic features. Canít wait! A very few of the trees up here are putting on their fall colors and Iíve already gotten some great (I hope) shots with my new camera - the beginning of many, many great, scenic shots I hope to capture on this journey of mine.

Tomorrow, the plan is to leave and I think take a more scenic route skirting the top of the Finger Lakes, along US Rt. 20, and head to Niagara Falls (which Iíve never seen), then cut across Canada to Michigan, where I hope to venture up to the Upper Peninsula to maybe Sault Ste. Marie to view the locks between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. From there I may take a more leisurely course through the Upper Peninsula, across Wisconsin (a new state), then into Minnesota as I work my way towards Glacier NP. I havenít really planned things out that much - just kind of playing it all by ear and whimsy. For sure Iím going to see Niagara/Horseshoe Falls. After that itís just kind of inclinations (except for Glacier of course).

Hope all is right in your allís worlds - Iím not complaining - and Iíll ďwriteĒ more when I get a chance. Iíd love to hear from you all if you get a chance. While Iím thoroughly enjoying my trip I do miss my friends. Everyone take care!

So far Iím at 3300 miles! Many, many more to go before I return.