Can’t Get There from Here

The repairs for which the road residents were first given a heads-up for completion in October of last year (after Hurricane Michael removed most of Goose Creek) is finally happening this week.

And since October we’ve been driving through water, in and out of the valley here, with wheel rims and brakes staying wet and rusty now for more than a half-year. The culvert under the concrete (poured in the early 70s) had filled with debris and could not be cleaned out. The concrete over top of the culvert had collapsed more than a year ago.

And this is just the first of many possible repairs. We understand that FEMA had identified almost 2 dozen specific remediations along Goose Creek–as in “keep the creek from eating into the midline of the road” remediations. However, what eventually gets done (probably in 2022 or 2023 at the earliest) depends on local funding and supervisor decisions, fraught with the politics and fiscal choices pertaining thereunto.

Friends in Low Places

IMG_5006townDrunk480

Still unpacking from our whirlwind trip to and from Missouri and have a few images to share.

The one above, from a favorite regular dinner stop on the way up. Last time we were there, a guy fell off a bar stool. Made for great entertainment. Not so lucky this time.

But I did grab a shot across the room that doesn’t hold up so well for details of the small sign above the chunky patron. It reads..

Ah the American Heartlands. Gotta love her.

A Time Capsule and Reflection: Dillons of Ireland

In May 2001 we had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, the excuse being to visit our son who was an exchange student at Queens University in Belfast.

The Firsts: Fred, Ann, mother Betty and Nathan in Belfast
The Firsts: Fred, Ann, mother Betty and Nathan in Belfast

We did all the touristy things, including taking the ferry across to Glasgow and the train from there to Edinburgh.

View through the cannon turrets at the Castle.
View through the cannon turrets at the Castle.

Weeks before we set out for our travels, I did some genealogical snooping around because I had a strong sense that there were probably Irish roots somewhere in the family tree.

From my mother’s maiden name, Dillon, I was able to trace her father’s roots back to Henri de Leon. The man had moved from France to Ireland. I just thought to search for the name (some 14 years after my first) and find the man mentioned in Wikipedia:

Dillon is a family name of Irish origin but with Breton-Norman roots. It is first recorded in Ireland with the arrival of Sir Henry de Leon (c.1176 – 1244), of a cadet branch of Viscounty of Léon, Brittany. He arrived in Ireland accompanying Prince John (later King John) of England. The name evolved into the Irish language “Diolun” / English language “Dillon”

Dillons from Ireland, buried in Floyd VA
Dillons from Ireland, buried in Floyd VA

And so when we first moved to Floyd in 1997 and my PT clinic was in the heart of town, I’d often wander through the cemetery across from the Floyd Country Store.

Here buried in tiny Floyd VA lies Henry Dillon, from Ireland, probably connected remotely to my mother’s father’s family from Murphreesboro, TN.

And our first grandson, born to our son, is Henry Dillon First. Some of you will remember the immensely difficult situation of his birth in 2009. Beyond all reasonable expectations, he lives on, loved and cared for at home by his remarkable parents.

Minnewaska: Ulster County NY Catksills

IMG_0450SteveFlyBranch480Sorry, we have house guests and such so only a link to some images from the recent NY trip this morning.

First use of a new “story-telling” app called Grapewise. Maybe I missed some of the potential for this tool on first use, but will need to see more from this to be tempted to use it further.

A few images at Grapewise. Seems you can’t click from one to the next. Meh.

Catskills Part One: Kaaterskill Falls

Upper Kaaterskill Falls
Upper Kaaterskill Falls Creek, a rock cairn accents the view, mid-stream

Kill this. Kill that. Fishkill. Peekskill. Fresh Kills. Say what?

Okay. It’s a Dutch term meaning creek or waterway (a vestige of the area’s colonial past) and found its way into Catskill–ONE name for this dissected assortment of variously protected natural areas in New York State. The geology seemed familiar in places to me as someone familiar with the Ridge and Valley and Allegheny Plateau geology:

Geologically, the Catskills are a mature dissected plateau, a once-flat region subsequently uplifted and eroded into sharp relief by watercourses. The Catskills form the northeastern end of, and highest-elevation portion of, the Allegheny Plateau (also known as the Appalachian Plateau).

Although the Catskills are sometimes compared with the Adirondack Mountains further north, the two mountain ranges are not geologically related, as the Adirondacks are a continuation of the Canadian Shield.

Similarly, the Shawangunk Ridge, which forms the southeastern edge of the Catskills, is part of the geologically distinct Ridge-and-Valley province, and is a continuation of the same ridge known as Kittatinny Mountain in New Jersey and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania.

The reference to the “CAT” of the region’s name is in some debate, and there have been many who argued for something less Dutch and more distinctive in contrast to the competing mountains in nearby states:

The locals preferred to call them the Blue Mountains, to harmonize with Vermont’s Green Mountains and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It was only after Washington Irving’s stories that Catskills won out over Blue Mountains, and several other competitors.

And so Kaaterskill Falls inherited a name early on when the mountain label was still being established. It is the highest waterfall in NY state, and most likely, the most dangerous for the typical tourist to reach, as it requires a death-defying cliff-hugging scamper along a massively-busy Winnebago-traveled highway over the quarter mile that separates the parking lot from the trail at the base of the falls. Caveat emptor.

What we didn’t know until later that day was that traffic was WAY up because an impending major music festival (25k strong) near Tannersville–our original destination, aborted for less-traveled places that evening and the next day. And more on that, anon.