The Dam Experience

I mentioned previously that Mark and I had gone to the Mount Morris Dam to have a look. ( I had such trouble with connecting to the internet while we were gone.  It would be here one minute, gone the next, so I had to keep everything short and sweet.) I took these photos on that outing.

While we were there, we went inside the Visitor’s Center to cool off and have a look at information on the dam and how it was built.  Lots of fascinating information, particularly for Mark with his interest in mechanical engineering. As we were walking about, I saw free bookmarks with a picture of the dam on them.  I picked one up and saw on the back that the Army Corps of Engineers offers a free tour of the dam at two o’clock on weekdays.

As we were preparing to leave our campsite, we talked about what we would do on the way home.  The kids stopped at Darien Lake Theme Park for about an hour and a half, then we headed to Mount Morris to try to make it for the tour of the dam.  As it was, we got there at about 1:45, and we were able to join the tour. (They only allow for a group of thirty people)

We had to walk down an access road to the top of the dam and the ranger (a woman named Harmony) warned anyone who might not be able to make it back up the incline to turn around if in doubt.  It was very hot and the walk was only about 1/4 of a mile but we made it with Ben holding Mark back a bit in the wheelchair.

Looking upward from the road as we walked down.

Harmony leading the group as we walk on the top of the dam.  It was a long way down to the Genesee River!!!

Looking southward….The dam is a “dry dam”. This means that it doesn’t typically hold water back, except during times of excess precipitation.  The Genesee River begins in Gold, Pennsylvania and flows northward, finally emptying into Lake Ontario.  On the south side of the dam, there is very little water, unless during heavy precipitation.  On the north side, there is more water as a small dam in Mount Morris causes the water to build up.

After this point in time, we entered the building and we instructed that after 9-11, there are no pictures allowed to be taken inside the dam for security’s sake.  We entered the elevator and explored down seven levels below where we entered.  The tour was very interesting, with the ranger having fun with the kids on the tour.  It was so cool inside the dam….the temperature was a bit above 50 and it smelled musty!  There was lots of condensation.

The tour showed us how the dam operates, and we got to see the big hydraulic motor that opens and closes the gates of the dam according to the desired flow.  It was all pretty amazing.

I wondered how Ben would do helping Mark back up to the top of the hill again.  As I said, it was hot!

We all made it up and Ben and Mark only stopped for a few moments!

We went back inside the center to cool off again as well as to watch a video on the dam’s history.  It all was interesting, and in seeing photos of the devastation to Rochester before the dam was built,  it made perfect sense that this structure was built to save the city, as well as surrounding areas from flooding.  One fact that stood out to me is that the cost of the dam in 1951 was $25 million dollars.  If it was built in 2007, the estimated cost would be $150 million dollars!

The dam really proved its value in 1972 when hurricane Agnes dumped nearly 18 inches of rain in the area and the dam was filled to within four feet of its capacity. The south side, which generally has little water, became a lake, backed up seventeen miles from the dam.  Little destruction resulted, primarily because of the mount Morris Dam.

This would be a tremendous daytrip for those in the area.  The tour is only about one hour long.  It would be great to visit Letchworth State Park on the other side of the gorge either before or after the 2:00 tour!

We’ve Been Away….

We have been camping out for a few days while attending the Buffalo Sabres Development Camp.  This is always so exciting, watching the young fellows with dreams of sometime playing in the NHL, showing their best as coaches, scouts, and fans watch!

Yesterday, we went for a ride afterwards and ended up at Mount Morris.  We drove around a little and wound up on the other side of the Genessee River Gorge from Letchworth State Park.  In all the years we have lived nearby, we never ventured over to this side.  It was so interesting as the Army Corps of Enginers operates an information center there with all manner of information regarding the Mount Morris Dam.

After looking around a bit, we went for a ride in the country and found ourselves in an Amish community.  There were a few houses and one was interesting.  It had been set up as though for a party.  There were several buggies and several cars parked there.  It is unusual for the Amish to “hobnob” with the English, so I could not figure out what the occasion was.  

As we passed by, while taking a photo of the buggies, I happened to capture two little girls jumping up and down on a trampoline.  One little girl was Amish and the other was “English”.  They were so cute.  I cropped the photo which is terrible, but that’s okay, as the Amish do not believe in having their photos taken.

We will soon be home!  Until then……

In Case You Missed an Annual Dose of Fireworks

Yesterday, we traveled to visit with my parents and brother, Randy.

We spent most all day outside in the sunshine and let me tell you, it was hot!  We played musical chairs, but instead of people moving from chair to chair,  we moved the chairs to the next shady area as the sun made its way across the sky.

We had a nice time visiting and we even had a nice lunch.  I had gotten up early to make Texas Caviar, Macaroni Salad,Macaroni and Cheese,  and cake for Strawberry Shortcake.  Mom had made Potato Salad and she bought some Wegman’s subs along with strawberries and ice cream for the Shortcake.  We had tons of food and it was pleasant to visit without the stress of fixing a meal.

We started home again a little after seven o’clock and Mark had looked online to see that the town of Hornell would have a fireworks display about the time we would be passing through.  We did indeed arrive in Hornell a few minutes before ten and made our way toward town.  We had no idea where the fireworks were going to be displayed, but it isn’t too hard to find them!

We drove into a small parking lot where several other cars had parked and watched from the car.  Mark said he read an article about Hornell and their July 4th celebration.  He said they didn’t have a display last year, and this year would be scaled back somewhat.  As we were driving, it was strange because it looked like fireworks were being launched from three or four locations.  We had a great view, so we enjoyed them all!

Interestingly enough,  as the fireworks were booming and lighting up the sky,  lightning was also putting on its own show in the background and above in the clouds. It sure added a cool factor!

So, for those who would like to see just a tiny sampling….(oh, and as a note,  the fireworks were continuous for a good solid half hour!  Amazing….)

Hope you enjoyed the show!


Enough of being quiet…..



There,  I *almost* feel better.  Seriously, I am feeling so beat. It is hard for me to understand how some people feel totally recharged by the sun and heat, and others like me feel totally drained of all energy.  I realize the heat we are experiencing really isn’t that bad, as we have relatively low humidity and it is very breezy here in the Bristolwood.  I just don’t feel very much like doing anything.

We discovered a real headache last week, too…I went down to look inside our camper and saw what looked like mushrooms growing in one corner.  When I went inside, it was obvious there was a problem as the camper smelled musty.  It happened that our friends Jeanne and Ben came by the day I made this discovery and Ben graciously offered to help us.  I always think it is an amazing blessing to have friends that want to help out and Ben happens to be not only a woodworker, but an engineer as well!

Mark called our insurance company about the problem and found that our comprehensive policy covers mold.  We had a company that removes molds come and the estimate made me nearly drop.  Mark and I talked about it with the kids and they said they thought we could do it ourselves.  Mark called our agent and she gave us a go ahead, so Saturday, Ben and our Ben began carefully removing the carpet (which looks like a total loss) and then the wall panel where the leak is.

The professional guy that came to give us an estimate told us there was a 75% chance of uncovering black mold.  Well, the guys had a big fan blowing air out of the camper, the area was securely taped off from the rest of the camper, and every precaution was observed.  Thankfully, behind the wet wall board was wet insulation.  That was it.  There was some mold, but it didn’t look at all like black mold as shown in images on the internet.

Thank the Lord for low humidity in spite of these high temperatures!  We sprayed a mold inhibitor all over the wall…all over every exposed area, actually.  We even sprayed again and then ran the fan aimed at the wet wall.  Today, it was vastly improved!

Ben came over again and he, our Ben, and Michelle, worked like troopers!  Mark made a special board with carpet backing so Michelle could perch on top of the camper and look for leaks in area around vents and openings.  She replaced a broken vent cap in the bedroom ceiling and replaced the special caulk around the Fantastic Fan in the bathroom.

The corner where the water had been collecting was rotted out.  The floor was cut out and Ben and Ben worked on restoring all the damaged areas.  Apparently, the leak had been there for quite some time.

Our friend, Ben, went all around the perimeter of the camper, inspecting and filling all compromised areas of caulk.  He found only a couple of suspicious areas and ficed them.  It was amazing seeing everyone working together so well!  There was no way I could do the work that Ben, Ben, and Michelle did.  The sun has been so exceedingly hot and the temperature is hovering right at about 90.  That is a recipe for dizziness and misery, so I am just so grateful for all this work being done!

I haven’t been sitting about idly. I do try to help out as a “gofer” and I try to make some good lunches for the hungry crew!

Ben and Jeanne have been such amazing friends!!!  Ben plans to come over once again tomorrow and hopefully things will be dry and ready to put back together again!  I really thank God for such a dear and kind friend!  When I asked Ben how we can ever repay him, he told me “You can’t!  I just like to putter!”

When we were at my parents’ home last Tuesday, I took a funny picture of a Cardinal.  I am not sure if it is a female or a young male….

The bird had just landed on the feeder!

Well, that is about it for now.  As you can see, this has been a busy weekend.  We went shopping yesterday afternoon after finishing up on the camper and didn’t get home until evening.  We still need just a few more things, so a trip tomorrow morning is in order.  Busy busy.  But I must admit….after yesterday,  I was unsure the camper was ever going to be the same.  We used a product that is odorless but kills mold and prevents its return.  I was shocked at how clean everything looked today!

By tomorrow,  that camper is going to be sooo much better!