National Park Service – 100th anniversary, and more for Summer 2016 – Just Sayin’

The National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with events from 2015 through 2016.  You may have not been aware of this celebratory anniversary, which is actually on August 25, 2016.

Here is one on-line article which extols some free admission days to NPS parks which normally have an admission fee.

What else has 100 year anniversary in 2016?

>> Well, for those of you with ties to the City of Rochester, NY, you may find the following of interest.   2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the city annexing the Village of Charlotte from the Town of Greece. Charlotte was a populous center in the Town of Greece, and was in fact a village within the Town of Greece prior to being annexed into the City of Rochester.

“Back in the day”, cities in NYS had powers of annexation granted to them by the NYS legislature in order to encourage economic growth in NYS.  (Fast forward to today, such powers and impetus ceased to exist decades ago.)  In fact, the City of Rochester over time annexed several parcels of towns surrounding it, and annexation could make for some odd lying property boundaries and associated quirks.

On point of annexation of the Village of Charlotte, the City of Rochester had over time coveted Charlotte as having a port on the Great Lake of Ontario and the Genesee River, wishing for those navigable waters to be in city limits.  In fact more than one attempt was made prior to 1916 to claim the Port of Charlotte for the city’s own.  But those attempts failed, unlike the final attempt that succeeded and became effective in 1916.

It was not unusual for Annexation attempts to be hotly contested, and pros and cons existed, and many points of view would be the case in such annexation attempts.

In years and decades before annexing the Village of Charlotte, the City of Rochester annexed other lands from surrounding towns.  In fact in the push of city limits northward (west of the Genesee River) a number of annexations occurred from the Town of Greece.  One substantial driver of this was the expansion of Eastman Kodak Company, and the desire of Kodak to have city services in the areas that it owned.

>> For those of you who shop at the iconic Rochester, NY based Wegmans’s Food Markets, you may be interested to know that Wegman’s stores have origin in 1916 in Rochester, and so Wegman’s celebrates 100 years in 2016 with some special initiatives.

Jumping to today, and a bit off topic, but within the Town of Greece, on June 11 & 12, 2016 is the Street Machines of Rochester super cruise and car show 2016 in Badgerow Park North.   Eye candy and more for vintage car enthusiasts. – – –  Perhaps a reason to cruise northward to this car show.  Timing on Saturday, June 11th is quite impeccable, being that the Saturday late afternoon/early evening outdoor car show (4PM-8PM) follows the ADK Outdoor Expo which is held in Mendon Ponds Park and which ends at 4PM.  Saturday’s Super Cruise is free admission (flyer), Sunday’s Car Show has $3 spectator admission fee (flyer).

And, for you super cruise night junkies, Friday and Thursday evenings present some distinct possibilities.  Every Friday during the summer at the Damascus (Shriner’s) Temple at 979 Bay Rd, Webster, NY there is a super cruise night.   And, on Thursdays during the summer at the Charcoal Corral / Silver Lake Drive-in located at Silver Lake (Perry), NY cruise nights are held.   Both of these have food available for purchasing, thus allowing for getting dinner and checking out the cars.


Back to anniversary topics. – – – What about 200 year anniversaries?

Well, The Town of Springwater, NY originated in April 1816 by act of the NYS legislature.  And, Springwater Trails is helping to recognize this bicentennial, leading hikes in the Springwater Trails Bicentennial Hike Series scheduled on the third Sunday of each month April through December 2016.

And what about 400 year anniversaries?  2016 holds the 400th year since the death of playwright William Shakespeare.  – – –  A tip.  If you enjoy Shakespeare presentations plein air, check out either of these 2016 Shakespeare presentations.  1) Romeo and Juliet at Highland Park Bowl (at Highland Park in Rochester) July 15-30 (no Monday or Thursday performances) produced by Shakespeare Players (of Rochester Community Players) who has for decades now been presenting summer outdoor Shakespeare productions “in the bowl” ; or  2) “Shake On The Lake” (SOTL) productions of The Twelfth Night at various venues (Silver Lake is the “home” venue) in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Regions during late July thru mid August 2016.  2016 is the fifth year of SOTL summer Shakespeare productions, the inaugural was in 2012.

So, if you appreciate Shakespeare plein air, you’ve some opportunities.  An appreciating Springwater Trails Hike Planner may wish to consider possibilities of coupling a Springwater Trails (S/T) hike nearby to a Shakespeare plein air performance for making of a S/T hike combo event, be it this summer or a future year’s summer.



October has arrived – 2015. (UPDATED) and also time to think Winter hike planning

Yes, October has arrived in 2015!  That means fall foliage viewing (monikered “leaf peeping” by some folks), and things like the 50th annual Cohocton Fall Foliage Festival, Bristol Mountain skyrides, 40th annual Letchworth Arts & Craft Festival (also) in Letchworth S.P on Columbus Day weekend, fall foliage trolley rides  & pumpkins and trick-or-treating (on Saturday 10/24) at the NYMT and also RGVRRM train rides.   (Some S/T hikers may recall the April 19th, 2015 hike starting at NYMT and may also recall some hiker interest shown in seasonal train rides & trolley rides offered in both Autumn foliage season and also near Christmas, as well as summer.)

This October also brings a very unique opportunity in Western NY for hikers and historic canal appreciators.  The 2015 October Fall Field Trip of the Canal Society of NYS is focusing on the former Genesee Valley Canal, and more specifically the southern portion.  The Fall Field Trip scheduled for October 23&24, 2015, is based out of Mt Morris, NY, with multiple visits to substantial parts of the former Genesee Valley Canal.  Sound interesting?  The details can be found at the above hyperlink provided, or click ⇒ October 2015 Field Trip schedule details.

Also of note, for folks interested in canals in NYS, is an official website publication of the NYS Canal Commission. ⇒  New York State Canal System .                                        .
Of course, October conjures ghosts, goblins, witches, and Halloween at the end of the month. And too, October brings Jack-o-lanterns, quintessentially Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers’ MONSTER MASH (Yep, Drac’ is back with all his friends and is cool with being part of the band, despite not much play on that Transylvania Twist), and Pumpkin Spice beer.  October also brings high hopes of delicious homemade casseroles and wholesome healthy vegetable dishes, in sync with a bountiful harvest season, at S/T after-hike socials (hint), Just Sayin’.  Beautiful Autumnal colors can abound on trees and underfoot along hiking trails.  Fresh fallen leaves can bring beauty and hiking cushioning and the “crunching” sounds of treading on dried leaves, as well, slipping challenges may now exist in wet conditions.  Thus, October, November and December may bring to mind use of Traction Devices (TDs) for hiking which are easily donned and doffed upon hiking boots & shoes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           .
October, … ah yes, that “Turkish Carpet” on the ground surrounding the Finger Lakes certainly has its beauty in a multitude of ways.   Bright reds, oranges, and Yellows, and some tans & browns, all abound around us.                                                    .                                                                                                                                                                        .
On a different topic of salience, October is Disabilty Awareness month, and at least one S/T hike in October (the 10/18 Avon hike) has a routing suitable for Flatlanders (hikers and would be hikers with mobility limitations).  We’ve had others in the past and will have more in the future. Many hike locales do not lend well to limited mobility hikes, but when a locale does, … well, seize the opportunity may be in accord.                                                                         .                                                                                                                               .
 More hike thoughts – October 10th, 2015 brings the last Saturday series hike for the Ontario Pathways guided hikes, albeit a bit of a travel for many S/T hikers to northeastern corner of Ontario County. As well, October 2015 brings the seventh and last 2015 Genesee Valley Greenway State Park Interpretive Hike on second Saturdays of the month April thru October, but being the hike series runs for two years (2015 & 2016) there will be seven more hikes in the series starting in April 2016.            .                                                                                                                                                                                  .
Our own S/T hikes in October take a tour of various towns, with the first hike being a gully/creek hike, in yes Springwater. Then hike locales in South Bristol/Canadice, Avon/Caledonia, and Hornell/Almond (update – the trail section chosen for this hike has been shifted eastward, so we’ll be in Hornellsville only).   And speaking of hikes… what about Winter, not rushing things mind you.
October also is a time when fore-thinking hikers will start to consider Winter hikes for possibilities of Hike Planning.  Mendon Ponds Winterfest in January on (1/17/2016) the Sunday of MLK Jr holiday weekend is scheduled.  And a tentative hike/snowshoe/ski with a tenuous date of February 7th, 2016 at the Town of Rush Park at 6565 ERR and the adjacent NYMT at 6393 East River Rd is under consideration.  What favored hike as a reader of this article, might you like to see on the Winter 2016 S/T Hike Schedule.  OK.  Suggest it and hopefully Hike Plan it for benefit of your fellow S/T hikers!     .                                                                                                                                                       .
Please bring Winter 2016 hiking season (January-March) Hike Plan proposals and offers on October 25th to the Sunday hike and we will start putting the Winter hike schedule together on 10/25 and thereafter.
One last tidbit of potpourri. Remembering the hikes we’ve had in Letchworth State Park, and particularly the combo hike event (June 2014) that provided for a tour of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mount Morris Dam for flood control, you may be interested to learn a bit about present day debris removal at the dam.  There were questions about this in hikers’ discussions following the dam tour & hike.
Now that you’ve read; if you’ve laughed, or learned, or are now thinking about Hike Planning a Winter hike for S/T, well, … then it would be an author’s success.

A busy latter half of September 2015

Well, Springwater Fiddlers Fair 2015 is now history, and so too the rains that periodically fell on the day of Saturday, Sept 19th, 2015.  Thanks go to all volunteers and participants!

Now, looking ahead in time-frame ’til the end of September, we find other activities and options on the Springwater Trails calendar plentiful, as evidenced by the listings on the righthand column of the website homepage.

And too, for hikers looking to take in a unique opportunity on Sunday, Sept 27th, 2015 just prior the 2:00PM S/T hike in Nunda, there is the long standing annual community celebration of St Michael’s Day (St Michael’s Feast Day) in form of a community Pig Roast and music by Steel Alchemy community steel drum band and also by The Geneseo String Band.  All held on the front lawn of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Geneseo, at 23 Main Street, starting approx 11:45AM or so (commencing following the 10:30AM worship services).  This is a free community outreach event, no admittance fee or donation required.   All are welcome, to church worship services and/or the St Michael’s Day Feast celebration, whether “dressed to the nines” or in hiking attire or work clothes.  – – A number of S/T hikers have indicated interest and intent to go prior to the hike.  If you go, you may find yourself torn in prying yourself away in time to make it to the hike, with all the great music, food, and community celebration. – –   (If you really want to make a donation in appreciation of this celebration, one would guess that a non-perishable donation for the community food drive would be greatly appreciated, albeit not even suggested in the event announcement.)

Some other happenings. *** In 2015, Autumnal Equinox is Sept 23, Wednesday. (The S/T website has an article of the kin Vernal Equinox.)    ***A full moon, this one also sometimes called a blood moon, as the moon turns red, will delight in a Total Lunar Eclipse on Sept 27th-28th, Sunday into Monday, visible in our Finger Lakes Region of NYS.   (Total eclipse event starts at 8:11PM Sunday, is at maximum at 10:47PM Sunday, and ends at 1:22AM on Monday.)    And perhaps also of interest to S/T hikers Sunday, Sept 27th Sunset is 6:59PM, while Moonrise is 6:51PM.   (This full moon is a “supermoon”, so moonrise will be spectacular for viewing).

National Hunting & Fishing Days are Sat & Sun 9/26 & 27/2015, and in recognition an event will be held at Mumford Sportsmen’s Club, 8667 Gulf Rd, Mumford, NY, both days 10AM-5PM.  Co-sponsored by NYSDEC and organizer Livingston County Federation of Sporting Clubs.  Numerous vendors, displays, and activities related to conservation/wildlife take place during these two days.

One last note on celestial bodies, light, hiking, and after-hike socials.  Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 (three days from full moon) with sunset at 4:41PM and moonrise at 3:29PM could possibly work for an outdoor after-hike social, if conditions otherwise lend themselves. At discretion of the Hike Planner of that day’s hike. Of course, for such possibilities having in place a “Plan B” is always a good thing.  Autumn 2015 (Springwater Trails hiking season) Full Moons: Oct 27, Nov 25, Dec 25 (Christmas Day).

Latitude/Longitude for navigation and your GPS unit

Information herein about Latitude and Longitude coordinates applies for use with a GPS unit, whether using in road travels or hiking.  The info also applies for map reading (and map & compass pursuits).  Herein is an easily explained primer about Latitude and Longitude.

Many folks these days refer to latitude and longitude coordinates as GPS coordinates or GPS coords (or GPS cords) for short.  They also can be referred to as map coordinates, and have been so long before the advent of the GPS unit.  (GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System.)

[ For mindset, an example of a listing of latitude and longitude coordinates is:  42.637310, -77.596007 ].  This coordinate notation method utilizes degrees in a full decimal notation or format.

[The same locale listed differently (using degrees ° , minutes ‘ , seconds ” and a decimal included within seconds) is: 42°38’14.3″N 77°35’45.6″W .  For sake of ease for right now, let’s stick with the full decimal form of degrees (which has 6 decimal places s listed above) for our first identification of latitude and longitude.]

In coordinates, latitude is listed first (and then longitude), so consider the coordinate listing system as alphabetical. And if you use the mnemonic “changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes”, as Jimmy Buffet proffers in his song, you can remember that changing of seasons and temperatures is associated with latitudes (thus further north or further south). Continuing further explanation, alphabetically North comes before South, and likewise North is over South, thus the southern hemisphere (southern latitudes) being below the equator has an assigned minus (-), while the northern hemisphere (northern latitudes) where we in New York & all of the US are has no preceding minus (-) in latitude.

In coordinates, longitude is listed second (read last). In longitude, the US is in the minus (-) half of longitudes, it lies west of the Prime Meridian. (The Prime Meridian is an imaginary north/south axis line labeled as longitude zero; it passes thru Greenwich, England the site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.) Being that the continental US (and Hawaii, most of Alaska, and North & South America) lies to the West of the Prime Meridian, the US is in the western hemisphere and considered West Longitude. Again alphabetically, East is before West so logically the latter (West Longitude) gets a minus (-) assigned to it in longitude, while East Longitude (think Europe, Asia, Africa) has no preceding minus (-) in longitude.

What lies 180 degrees, half way around the globe from the Prime Meridian, you ask? Well, it is the antimeridian aka the 180th meridian aka 180th parallel. What about the “International Date Line” (IDL)? Well, the IDL roughly approximates the antimeridian, but deviates to pass around some island groups and territories. No time herein to start talking about “time zones”, but there are commonalities to meridians. What about Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)? Yep, related to that Prime Meridian, but again not talking about it herein.

Close to home, utilizing this latitude/longitude coding system in degrees and decimal, the “four corners in Springwater, NY” can be represented as approximately 42.637310, -77.596007   This decimal notation is but one of a number of ways to code latitude and longitude. Utilizing degrees, minutes, and seconds of measure is but another, and it is this system (degrees, minutes, seconds) that is more likely utilized on a traditional paper map.

You can see the latitude/longitude system as a type of grid. Visualizing can make for easy, “ah-ha” understanding. Cropped from an article, the latitude/longitude grid of the continental US (below) may help you to easily identify with the concept. The cropped segment is provided chiefly for viewing the grid, but if you wish you can take up on the accompanying prose, and even take a look at the article in entirety. The prose accompanying this grid does not utilize decimal listing of lat/long, it uses degrees, minutes (‘), and seconds (“). The decimal listing of lat/long is most easily utilized in a GPS unit geared toward driving destinations.

If you know more than you did before reading this segment, Great!, … and now you can consider it as a primer for when S/T hikes may utilize navigational coordinates (aka Lat/Long coordinates, aka GPS coordinates), … perhaps a future hike with a Geocaching or Orienteering component.

—- cropped segment of an article (below), including the lat/long grid of the US —-

It is worth taking a few seconds to memorize the following numbers. It will help you to use latitude and longitude more effectively:

1 degree = 70 miles
1′ = 1.2 miles
1″ = .02 miles
Los Angeles
34° 3′ 8″ N / 118° 14′ 34″ W
34 degrees 3 minutes 8 seconds North / 118 degrees 14 minutes 34 seconds West
The map shown above only shows the major degrees. However as you can see, even the coordinates 34° N / 118° W will enable you to sight fairly quickly on the map where Los Angeles is located. If we had a map which indicated ‘minutes’, then you could distinguish down to approximately a mile. If the map indicated “seconds”, then you could pinpoint the exact center down to approximately 100 feet. Think of it as grids within grids… It’s just a matter of having the right map which overlays latitude and longitude down to the resolution that resolves for your purpose.