Monday, July 31, 2017

Jackson's First Birthday

So sometimes Gigi takes
 awhile to catch up with events.
Jackson had a first birthday party back in May.
Got photos of the event in June.
And now to tell the story 
this last day of July.
How fast this year went by!
So a Wild Things party
 brought all sorts of good things!
Fun and festivities!
And cake!
And Frosting!  
Lots of love shared all around.
Momma Jess and Daddy Dan.
 Great to have friends to share such fun.
Jackson Frederick-
 the king of  the Wild Things.

 Aunts and uncles
 and Grandpa and Grandma.
Cousins and friends.
Aunt Laura and Griffin.
A wonderful day to celebrate-

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Adirondack Style

You can't visit Lake Placid 
without checking out
 some of the local establishments.
A favorite was Antediluvian-
 Antiques and Curiosities.
An amazing assortment of one of a kinds.
Plenty of Olympic artifacts here.
There was also the Adirondack Store 
and Gallery right next door.
So what is Adirondack Style?
Well, there are the chairs---
namesake and everywhere-
in every color.
It is rugged, rustic, and lodge
with natural elements.
There are many stuffed animals.
Some cute and cuddly 
and some fierce and very REAL.
The architectural style is associated
 with the Great Camps 
within the Adirondack Mountain
 areas in New York.
Elements include whole, spilt, or peeled logs.
Massive fireplaces are built of cut native stone.
This was promoted to avoid the shipping costs
 of conventional building materials.
The style was influenced by 
Swiss chalet architecture
 introduced to America by Andrew Downing
 around 1850.
The style includes outstanding craftsmanship 
and birch and cedar furniture and accessories. 
 Log and twig works highlight a handmade style.
Through in buffalo checks, hand-made pottery,
and plant and animal influence.
It is a natural style. 
Plenty of spots to find in downtown 
Lake Placid.
A bit of time has stopped here.
And it is a delight 
to wander through the town.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Here and About- High Falls Gorge, NY

Adirondack Park-
The Adirondack Park 
is a part of New York's Forest Preserve 
in in Upstate New York
The park's boundary corresponds 
to the Adirondack Mountains
Unlike most preserves, about 52 percent of the land
 is privately owned inholdings heavily regulated
This area contains 102 towns and villages, 
as well as numerous farms, businesses, 
and an active timber harvesting industry. 
The year-round population is 132,000, 
with 200,000 seasonal residents. 
The inclusion of human communities 
makes the park one of the great experiments 
in conservation in the industrialized world.

The park's 6.1 million acres include more than 
10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 
and a wide variety of habitats including 
wetlands and old-growth forests.

The West branch of the Ausable River 
is one of New York State's
 most famous trout streams. 
The Ausable River journeys north
 to its exodus to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
 Canada Yew is the low growing evergreen shrub here. 
The shrub is a favorite browse food of deer and moose.
 The tan foam at the base of the falls is a natural
 by-product of decaying vegetation.
Rain collects these natural foaming agents from
 the organic residue of leaves, branches
 and trees on the forest floor.
These agents are barred to the river
 and react with the river water. 
The extreme agitation of the river rushing 
over the rocks of the falls 
forms the foam in the pools below.

A trail to hike.
Amazing fresh green colors.
 The sound of rushing water.
A cool day at the end of July.
Family and friends.
Just can't beat that for an
 outing in the Adirondacks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

IRONMAN Lake Placid 2017- Part Three

 Bring 'Em Home.
The Midnight Finishers.
 Part of every Ironman event 
is going back
 for the last part of the evening.
The Professionals are present.
The Finishers are present.
The Families are present.
Cheering and praying 
their loved ones home.
As a family we prayed 
at every hour of the race for Dan.
Safety. Strength. 
Lack of discouragement.
No equipment break down.
Mental focus.
The Lord's protection.
Bright lights.
Bright orange MMRF 
Bam Bam sticks.
Loud rock music.
I watched the Live Feed 
as I stayed with the littles asleep.
I could see our family down
 at the fence at the finish.
Raucous cheering and Mike Reilly
 on the microphone.
as the last athletes 
came across the finish line.
A race against the clock.
16 hours in.
16 1/2 hours in.
The clock winding down 
to the 17 hour time limit to finish.
Knowing that the first finisher 
was nine hours ahead of you.
Brent McMahon - 8 hours 13 minutes
Andy Potts- 8 hours 37 minutes
 They are at the finish line
 handing out medals. 
So how did this race get started?
"Whoever finishes first, 

We'll call him the Ironman.

During an awards banquet 
for the Waikiki Swim Club,
 John Collins, a Naval Officer
 stationed in Hawaii, 
and his fellow athletes began debating 
which athletes were the fittest: swimmers,
 bikers, or runners. Later, he and his wife Judy,
 who had both participated in new competitions 
known as triathlons in San Diego, 
decided to combine three
 of the toughest existing
 endurance races on the island. 
On February 18, 1978, 
15 competitors, including Collins, 
came to the shores of Waikiki
 to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge." 

But, it was pretty apparent that our family came 
home with another focus about finishing the race.
The looking for those 
"still coming".
Where are they?
Will they make it?
Gather them before time runs out.
Get 'em home.
The great cloud of witnesses.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so
 great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside
 every weight, and sin which clings so closely, 
and let us run with endurance
 the race that is set before us."
Hebrew 12:1
Time to finish well.
And cheer on EVERYONE 
to the finish line.

A special shout out to Tom and Debbie Ziebart-
 (Concordia River Forest Grads)
 for this wonderful event. 
Tom is Operations Manager for Ironman.
They are members of  Faith Lutheran Church - LCMS 
in Eustis, Florida.

Monday, July 24, 2017

IRONMAN Lake Placid 2017- Part Two

 Part Two of the the Ironman Story:
(photo heavy- big story)
First of all this event starts 
VERY EARLY in the morning.
The athlete and his parents 
left the house at 4:15 AM.
It was DARK then- 
the later crew saw this sunrise.
Cotton candy skies 
hovered over the bike transition area.
Dan spotted where we were 
and was able to greet his little family.
                                                                             photo credit- John Denninger
There is something iconic 
about the Ironman at the 
Lake Placid Olympic site.
Sister Sara and Levi 
joined the family photo group.
Root and Toot
 make out their secret cheer plan.
 The Professionals get in the water
 at Mirror Lake first.
Then you try to pick out your athlete out of 
1000's of black wetsuits.
Professionals wear silver hats.
Men wear green.
Women wear pink.
It is now a rolling start event.
Dan was in the early group
 of faster swimmers.
Then they swim 1.2 miles
 and get out of the water 
and run a half-circle on the beach 
to get back in the water to do that AGAIN.
And you finally just say you saw your athlete
 and start cheering and yell- GO DAN GO!
And ring a cowbell for good measure.
Then you give a whoot whoot 
for a swim time of 1 hour and 2 minutes.
Right on projected swim time.
AMAZING- because you get kicked.
 punched, and pushed in this swim.
It is an open water swim with 2,900 others.
Next you take off walking
 to Papa Bear hill to cheer on the racers.
It is suppose to be a "Bear" of a hill.
Our  "guide" said it was about a mile walk 
and then 1/2 hour later 
 said it was only 2/3 of a mile.
We sat on a rock by the road
 here for a long time.
But, they were playing loud 
classic rock music so it wasn't so bad.
 You make friends
 with the State troopers.
                                                                                  photo credit- Jessica Meier
The NEXT time you come,
 you will bring chalk to write words
 of encouragement 
to your athlete on the road.
                                                                                                                                      photo credit to Kathy Meier
And in the split second 
you look down to get your hat -
after waiting a LONG TIME.
So you get a photo from his momma.
And then his dad loses his voice
 from shouting at the bikers-
"You Got the Bear!"
So you start walking back
 and pick out your someday house -
 all because of those red Adirondack Chairs.
You check the air temperature 
with your tongue.
Early morning temp was 55 degrees.
Afternoon was about 71 degrees.
Partly cloudy with a great breeze.
A perfect Ironman weather day.
But we spotted you this time 
around for a thumbs up.
5 hours 35 minutes to ride 112 miles.
                                    photo credit- John Denninger
Dad- Peter-
"Ironman Traker App on your Phone" Expert.
The technology today 
lets you know exactly 
where your athlete is 
and projected times for each event. 
Time for the race support team
 to go to Starbucks.
Later, we spot our runner 
and give high fives and shout outs.
He asks,
"Where's my boy?"
The next time through he heads 
over to the MMRF 
(Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation)
Cheer tent. 
Now he is fueled with a quick hug
 and squeeze from his little family.
Time to head over to the 
Finish Line Cheer Square.
A wonderful perk for his 
fund-raising efforts for MMRF.
Ironman etiquette?
You cheer on EVERY athlete.
This crew worked hard 
on a long day with 2 one year olds.
When married to an Ironman athlete-
In this place- everyone knows
 about the sacrifice and time given 
to train for this event.  
Down the home stretch.
Cheered on all the way.
                                                                     photo credit- John Denninger
Greeted by the recovery team.

Finish Time
19th Place out of 176
M 30-34
111st  Place out of 1,575
By Gender
120th Place out of 2,199
(lost about 700 athletes 
since this race started)

 The Ironman out of the recovery tent.
And when you finish first for MMRF team
and raise over $10,000 
for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation-
you are a ROCK STAR.
Thank you to all who donated-
what a blessing.