Michigan and Selkirk Cottage 2006 Trip Log
Robert & Barbara's August - September 2006 Trip East
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Barb & I attended Danielle's wedding in Dexter MI and the reception at her and Pat's house in Pinkney. There we saw Renee and Dan & family and Kevin and Donavon from California. Setting out from Pinkney around 10 pm we drove as far as London ON by 12:30 am.
We crossed the border at Niagara Falls via the Rainbow Bridge and were held up at the U.S. immigration check point
when I said I had been born in Ontario. Because I had no proof that I was a U.S. citizen we were referred to immigration
staff in the 2nd floor area of a nearby building, where we waited for half an hour until my name was called by a man to
whom both our driver's licenses had been taken. He took notes on the history of my move to the U.S. in 1949, etc. Barbara
had brought up from the car the envelope with originals of various documents that I had included with my application for
a certificate of citizenship several months earlier. I showed the man my various diplomas, etc., and he asked me "what's
this" with regard to each one. Finally he took my father's death certificate and had us sit down again while he
disappeared in the office area on the other side of the counter. When he came back he said that he was convinced that I was
a U.S. citizen and stamped the slip of paper we needed for our car to be released. He said he couldn't say what a different
official might say the next time I tried to enter the U.S., and said I should carry with me the letter acknowledging
receipt of my application for the certificate of citizenship. We continued on to the Selkirk cottage.
We got some sunshine and took the 2 canoes (me in the little yellow one, Margot, Tavery and Barb in the big one) across
the river to play in the sand and take a dip in Lake Ontario. I collected a couple of large rocks and a piece of driftwood
to make a sand castle with a bridge over a channel from the lake to small shoreside pool. Nearby members of another family
were taking turns sliding across the pool on a small board toy. Then I was approached by a gray haired lady who asked if
I was "a guest of the Damons". She said "this is private property". In surprise I responded "it is?" and she clarified
"to the high water mark". She indicated we could stay if we were in the water. I said "so you don't want people
playing in the sand?" and she said "its a liability issue". She went on to accost the other group, and we all left. The
others soon returned to slide in the shoreside pool some more, apparently after their grandmother assured them it was
public property. I resumed digging near the breakwater for a bit, then joined the other 3 in my group. Tavery asked me
to build her a sand castle, so I made one next to her custom made Barbara filled pool before going for
a quick dip.
After returning to the house we had supper and celebrated Tavery's 4th birthday.
A rainy night was followed by a gray day, but it cleared up in late afternoon. I took Tavery for a walk around the
lighthouse, we met a large puppy being walked by a couple who knew Tavery, we played hide and seek in the grassy area
near the lighthouse, we visited the little store (managing to depart before any of the many things being felt by little
hands got broken), visited the plastic squirrel on the neighbor's tree that we had seen the day before, and were met by
Barb who had set out to find us in time for supper.
Margot, Barb and Tavery went to the state fair while I finished taking photos from the scans of Betty's album for the
Endnotes for her book. After lunch, I hiked up the shore of Lake Ontario (north) to the boardwalk to the observation
platform for the Deer Creek Marsh habitat restoration project (funded by the EPA & state of NY). From the observation
platform I followed the mostly paved trail to the trailhead parking area. The road to it has private property on one
side and state wildlife management area on the other. I walked up the road to its junction with the road to Rainbow Shores and took a sharp left at
the sign pointing to Rainbow Shores Hotel. (As you come down that road toward the hotel you would take the unmarked
narrow road to the left at that sign to get to the trailhead.) I walked to the hotel and along the bluff edge on its
lakeshore side until reaching old wooden steps down to the shore. Then I headed back south along the shore, retracing
my steps once I passed the boardwalk over the sand dunes area. Near the south edge of the lakeshore trailer park I cut
through it to the path that connects to the road past the Selkirk house rather than continuing along the shore the way I
had come, the bright early evening sun off the water being a bit much. I had started out at 2:50 pm and returned a little
after 5 pm.
I went in to the Pulaski Library with Margot and Tavery and read a little to Tavery while waiting to get an Internet
connected computer. At one point Tavery disappeared, trailing her mother. I wasn't sure she had caught up to her, and
started looking for her. Eventually I found of them talking to an officer in the police station (a room off the hall in
the same building).
A computer became free and I got to check my email. I let Betty know we would not be returning via Ontario and seeing
Jennifer (and cc'd Jennifer, in case she checked her email).
A little after 4 pm Barbara picked me up at the library to take me to Syracuse for our supper appointment with Susan and
Marty Miller. Susan was waiting outside the house when we arrived. We went directly to the Old Country Buffet near their
house and I ate far too much. It was around 9 pm when we said our final goodbyes in the parking lot. Starting up the Toyota
I found the headlights did not work. Fortunately I found the high beams still worked, and we drove home to the cottage
using them. Some approaching drivers on the final narrow 2 lane road were especially annoyed. Margot's friend Curt the
carpenter was there and still up when we got home, but everyone else was in bed.
In the wee hours heartburn and stomach ache reminded me that I had eaten far too much the evening before.
Bill made cornbread for breakfast, and Margot made scrambled eggs.
After breakfast I got to work on the car while Barbara, Tavery and Margot went to Grandpa Bob's animal farm. Barb took a
bunch of pictures of Tavery and the animals, etc., with my digital camera. I read up on fuse locations in the Toyota and
checked the headlight fuses. They were ok. Curt lent me some tools and tackled getting the cover off of a box in the fuse
box that had something to do with the headlights. I got it out and it turned out not be be a fuse. Next we checked the
low beam bulb on the right. It was burned out. I drove in to Pulaski and stopped at Ace Hardware. They had two of the
9006 halogen bulbs I needed. I bought one and installed it on the right. That low beam now worked, so I went back in to
the store and bought the other one (telling the cashier that I liked the first one so much I decided to buy another). I
drove back to the cottage with that one. Installing it required removing the car battery. The bulb on the left was also
burned out. When it was replaced both low beams worked.
In the afternoon Barb and I drove to the Deer Creek Marsh trailhead I had walked to on Wednesday. We decided the walk to
the shore from there (via the boardwalk near the observation platform) was a distance of 2 blocks or less, an easy walk
for Tavery and probably also possible for Bill if he wanted to visit the shore with Tavery and Margot. Next we tried the
trail as it continued parallel to the shoreline north of the observation platform. We found that it soon narrowed and had
poison ivy encroaching from both sides, not a suitable trail for Tavery.
On the drive back to the cottage we checked out two other trails into the wildlife management area containing the marsh,
one that went down to Deer Creek from near highway 3, and another that headed through woods from (unmarked) Kelly Road.
Near the latter trail we could see long straight ridges of stones perhaps 2 feet high from when the land was farmed years ago,
before the trees grew back.
This was our last full day at Selkirk. We had enormous slices of cantalope for breakfast, with cornbread and syrup. Curt went out
for breakfast. Barbara said the rest of us eating cantalope (around the inside table) would not be a problem for her, but
by the time Margot finished hers she was feeling allergy effects.
I finished sweeping/clearing debris from the horizontal parts of the rubber membrance surfaced porch roof just as it
started to sprinkle. Soon a steady rain was falling. It continued off and on the rest of the day and evening. After supper
there was a knock on the door bringing an invitation to a wedding dance a few houses down the road. All but Bill went
over to the riverbank tent event with umbrellas in the pouring rain. Tavery wanted to dance every dance. As meltdown
approached Margot tried to give her to me to take home, planning to stay and dance with Curt, but Tavery would not hear
of it. Barbara had gone back to the cottage to take Bill some pastry 20 minutes or so earlier, planning to return. I said
I would go and see if she was coming back, but before she could set out Margot appeared with Tavery and Barbara
proceeded to get her ready for bed and read to her while Margot headed back to the party. (She took our green flashlight,
which got left at the party.)
Tavery climbed into bed with Barb again this morning, then came around to my bed to snuggle with me after Barb got up.
(We had the 2 single beds pushed next to each other.) She again tried to use a plastic mattress lifting handle as a
stirup to climb up, and broke it off.
We had elderberry pancakes for breakfast, and then started off on our return trip. We got as far as South Bend IN, where we spent the night
in a Motel 6. There was excitement in the parking lot as we arrived - 4 police cars and a woman in handcuffs. Charge for
the night was a relatively reasonable $46.36 for the 2 of us.
We got through Chicago before Labor Day traffic got heavy. With our new I-Pass we zipped through the toll plazas. (It also
worked in the toll plazas in other states that had EZ-Pass.) We arrived home in early afternoon. Margot called to say
that our flashlight had been recovered from the house that had the Saturday night wedding party and that she had mailed
it to us. She had no word on our red and white umbrella, which apparently got borrowed by someone at the same party.