family camping

Miscellaneous shots from our trip….

This is just a potpouri of photos with no continuity but I thought I would share.

Yeah….while Angus is “all about business”, Murphy is ridiculously clueless about his surroundings!  Little fellow just wants to be our baby!

On a little diversion to Salamanca on Monday, I walked around the town a little.  Coming into the town on Main Street,  one passes over a bridge and sees this pretty mural on the side of a building.  Salamanca is located on Indian (Native American) territory.  It is a pretty little city which was also the home of Ray Evans, the man who wrote the lyrics for the Christmas song,  Silver Bells.

On Monday, I took a brief walk around the park to see what I could see.  It is fun to walk as one sees things that would never be seen from the car.

Tadpoles or pollywogs? I don’t know!  There were many of them in a stream I saw while crossing over a little foot bridge.

These pines along the road were so pretty against the sky of blue!

This was my find of the day, though!

Later in the day, I was hungry so we stopped by the Administration Building at Redhouse.  I got a menu and ordered a sub. It was a toasted turkey sub. Very good and it came with a pickle and fries! Wow.  The price was good, too.  I had to run upstairs to the restaurant to grab it.  I had never been up there and what a surprise. It is a pretty little place!

Amazing how cozy this restaurant is…it has dormers on the front of the building, facing the lake.  The only downside is that the restaurant doesn’t have an elevator, so Mark cannot go upstairs.  Downstairs, though, there is a lodge area with chairs and huge windows overlooking the lake.  One of the waitresses told me that if we were to stop by when it wasn’t too busy, one of the waitresses would run a meal down!  The lodge is located down a few stairs from the main level, but there is a little lift there so wheelchairs can access that area.

After our busy day of exploring the park a little (believe me, there is TONS more to see and do there!) we stopped by the Quaker Lake gift store.  I found a real treasure there!  I am always, always uploading photos off the SD cards and forgetting to put the cards BACK into the camera.  Oops! 

Yes, this awesome brightly-colored little pouch (necklace) is perfect for storing an SD card in its case!  AND, it also gets compliments!

On Tuesday morning, we left the park shortly after ten in the morning to go visit my parents. On the way, Mark stopped at the Butterfly Field (yes, it is designated as such) so I could see if any butterflies were around.  Apparently, they are late sleepers because I only saw one as we were leaving!

This field is huge and I walked a trail that covers its perimeter.  I was so disappointed.  It was pretty hot in the sun, too!

I think I felt how this spent Thistle looks after all my traipsing about!  Although I didn’t see butterflies, the entire field was absolutely buzzing with bumblebees and honey bees, working in the Goldenrod!

I already mentioned that we went to my parents’ to visit on Tuesday.  While we were there, my older brother, Bob, came by. Bob lives in the country and has quite the garden.  He really loves gardening and has always had a garden, even when he lived in the city.

Bob brought along some zucchini squash, yellow tomatoes, red tomatoes, and corn.  Well, my dad decided to deck himself out!

Uh huh.  Now we know where my sense of humor came from, right?

Allegany State Park, revisited

I had to chuckle as I read the title of the last post.  Busy?

Last Sunday, we had planned to take a little trip as Michelle begins college soon.  Tomorrow soon!  Yes, tomorrow is Labor Day and the United States of America rests and pays tribute to its laborers.  However, Rochester Institute of Technology begins their fall classes on Labor Day!  One of life’s mysteries, I guess….

But I digress.

Michelle went with her boyfriend, Jacob, to his church picnic last Sunday at the county park located just a couple of miles from our house.  She came home early at four,  and off we went on our little adventure. 

We drove to Allegany State Park where we stayed until Friday. Although we had planned to relax, we were busy every day! It was very nice, though! The weird thing in all this is that I really didn’t take many photos.  This was our little niche in the world from Sunday night until Friday noon.

I always end up chuckling about us spending time at campgrounds because of the fact that we live in the woods.  Most of the folks I have met at campgrounds are city dwellers who are so appreciative of the fact that they can escape to the sanity of a less stressed and hurried lifestyle, only if it is for a couple of days sometimes!

On Monday, we explored the park a bit.  Ben remembered how we visited Thunder Rocks this past winter on the snowmobiles and he wanted to return to see them now.  I am not sure we have rock formations like this around our area, so I forget how massive they are until we visit them again! (Hoping you don’t mind seeing our kids over and over!)

Fly Tweetie, fly!

After our stop at Thunder Rocks,  we passed by Science Lake.  Not sure how the lake came to have that name, but it sure is pretty. There were a couple of young men fishing there….the lake has trout in it. Please forgive so many photos…I could not choose which to show.  As you can see, this was a day of perfection, weatherwise!  It could not have been a nicer day!

Science lake is a manmade lake, thus it has a spillway to keep it from getting unruly!  That was quite a drop!

After visiting Science Lake, we were on to see the bear caves.  Yes!  There are many black bears living in the park, although I saw n’ary a one. Drat!  I would love to have some bear photos.  There is an area where campers take their trash that is filled with several dumpsters.  The area is surrounded by electric fencing to discourage said bears from pillaging!

I remember as a child seeing bears at a dump area of the park.  People would drive there in cars and throw food from their windows to feed the bears!  Yeah, hard to believe. 

That little hike to the bear caves was pretty strenuous for this “picture-taker”!  I was getting tired! We had to take out Little Bear (Angus) along for the walk, as Mark refers to him as a bear cub!  He enjoyed the cruise through the woods, too.

On Tuesday, we went to visit with my family.  It was another beautiful day and we really enjoyed the time spent together until dusk when the mosquitoes came out for their bloodlust fest!  These days were so much fun, but passed by much too rapidly….

Front: Mom, Dad, Mark, me and Fritzie   Rear:Randy, Ben, Michelle

Busy Days

Yesterday morning, I got up and went to work right away on the rubber roof of the camper.  At some point, we had developed a leak inside the camper and I was pretty sure there was a problem on the roof.  Mark said the roof should be cleaned, so he read up on the process and found Tilex is good to use for cleaning it.  We picked up an industrial strength bottle at Lowe’s, so I was anxious to get busy.

Michelle had moved a ladder around the camper a few days ago, snapping photos of sections of the roof.  She and Mark reviewed them and saw a spot or two that looked suspicious.  As I worked on that roof,  it was incredible to see the color change from grey to white!  Mark said  the company that makes these roofs recommends washing them three or four times a year…..YIKES!  It has been awhile since the last time I was up there!

As I worked, I was antsy to get to the refrigerator vent.  I was convinced that the leak was there as when it rained, water would  drip down in the cabinet below the vent.  It didn’t take long to see the problem once I got to the back side of the vent….

The big long dark “crack” in the center of this photo is where the rubber roof actually came away from the caulking that kept it water tight!  After I finished cleaning the roof,  Michelle (excellent cake decorator!)  went up with a tube of caulking and fixed that area up better’n new!  The test came last night.  We had a few downpours that would have left water in the camper, for sure!  When I got up this morning,  I went out and ran my hand inside the cupboard….it was bone dry!  Phew, that was an easy fix!

As I was looking through the photos on this SD card before uploading them,  I saw a few photos from Genesee Country Village and Museum that might be worth sharing.  There are several really nice sculptures there and I had never been able to get a decent photo of the two horses before.  This time, I took my time and took many photos from all different angles till I came up with a photo I like! Oh, and the flowers are from near the gazebo on the main green.

As we were leaving the village while we were there,  I spotted a wild grapevine growing along a fence….

These remind me it won’t be long until the grape harvest in all the Finger Lakes region! 

Since we were at the village on my birthday,  Erin went into the gift shop with her dad and Sarah.  When she came out, she handed me this really cute little Scottie dog!  He rode home on the dashboard of the truck.   What a cute present!

And, speaking of Scotties….I got this one of Murphy resting in my Nikon camera bag the other day!  Both he and Angus love this bag.  No idea why!  I got my snazzy new backpack/camera bag and it blows the doors off this “ragbag”!  I actually got the bag together with an extended camera warranty and lens.  It was a three-for deal that was too good to pass up.  The only thing is, the bag has very little padding and has developed a hole where the top closes.  I have found cardboard and paper with Chinese writing on it leaking out the hole.  It really was time for a new bag!

Now randomly from my front garden….

After spending a few hours cleaning the rubber roof last night,  I was anxious to clean the awning today.  It had gotten pretty ugly with lots of black mildew spots on it.  I dragged out the ladder and began working away.  I found awning cleaner and a scrub brush did miracles on removing much of the spotting.  As I finished up the highest part, Ben came out and helped clean the rest.  It took the two of us a little over an hour.  I think had I still been working alone,  I would still be out there!

Now the little camper is about as clean on the outside as on the inside.  The work is strenuous, only because I find myself working from a ladder!

With the hurricane threat,  I pray for folks up and down the east coast.  From all I’ve read, this is pretty unusual, but they have had to deal with hurricanes before.  Our forecast doesn’t show any rain although I am wondering if it will change.  Seems when this happened previously,  we got wind and lots of rain!

This is just so cool!

Last evening,  I went for a little walk down to the lake at the campground.  I wanted a photo for my journal since I had missed the day before. No matter how hard I tried to connect,  I just could not.  Bound and determined to get a “Blip”,  I found a rather cute (or ugly!)  capture. Thankfully, it published just fine last night.

While I am at it, here is the photo that did not upload the night before.  These ducks were at Darien Lake Park.

Okay, so back to last night. After my frog photo,  I walked back to the campsite when what should happen to be parked directly kitty-corner to our site?

Yes! That is a Scotty camper that is a 2010 remake of a camper  produced in 1963. As I looked at it,  I noticed Scottie statues placed here and there. Sure enough, guess what ELSE was there?

That is Flora,the Wheaten Scottie,  and her brother, Murdo, a Brindle. On the Scottie forums, when a Scottie lies down with his legs straight out like that, it is called “froggin'”!

I spoke to the friendly couple who owned the camper and pups.  They were so happy to hear about our Scotties, too!  They are both of Scottish descent and Frank plays the bagpipes!  Of course they would have a Scottycamper and two Scotties!!! It was so fun talking with them.  They gave me a card and we are going to keep in touch.

Before we left this morning,  Bonnie and Frank came over and took a picture of Michelle and I with Angus and Murphy!  I really enjoy camping because one often meets such nice people!

Last night wasn’t too shabby..

We arrived at our campsite on Saturday evening to set up.  Kingdom Bound always starts on Sunday, but this time,  it had some bigger bands on Sunday night.  The headliners for the night was the newsboys and they are always delightful, always!

We began with Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.  D&MHO has a “big band” sound with brass. Although that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they are incredible, mixing Denver’s  voice (reminescent of Frank Sinatra) and some unexpected twists to old hymns and new songs, too. The band is so tight, it is as though all the members are breathing in one breath!

After D&MHO,  Petra,  a music group we enjoyed in the 80’s, was next.  The group has aged considerably but sounded just like I remembered!  Everyone loved them….they really were the beginning of Christian rock.   It is funny how we considered this group to be somewhat “radical” and how now music has progressed. 

Following Petra, we heard an awesome word from Reggie Dabbs.  Reggie is an absolutely amazing and inspiring preacher.  He tells it like it is, telling his audience we all have a little “chocolate” inside,  and encouraging the audience to “put on” decidedly “black moves”.  Reggie was raised in foster care, as his mom was a prostitute and his dad, a one night stand.  The man is a master of words at making everyone feel the love of Jesus and how anyone could leave with a low self-esteem would be unfathomable.

Reggie wound down and it was time for the newsboys.  Oh my!  The group not only is musically magnificent, but seeing the musicians “take flight” as in being raised into the air on “lifts” is nothing short of entertainment at its best! The band played with great zeal and ended far too soon.  Of course, they came on out for the encore which was three songs and had the drummer,  Duncan Phillips playing vertically! This in and of itself is fantastic.  The newsboys never fail to put on a first rate show!

We got back to the camper after eleven and we were pretty tired! I was awakened on and off throughout the night by thunder, lightning, and heavy downpours of rain. Seems it wouldn’t be Kingdom Bound without some wild rainstorms! Michelle hopped out of bed shortly after six and I got up, too.  The sky was a pinkish-orange color off in the distance, then the sun began to shine as the rain poured down.

Of course, I needed my “nature fix”, so this afternoon, I was out shooting some photos of subjects at the campground.

i have seen and taken photos of a more turquoise dragonfly, but this one was a very pretty pale blue.

That is a hummingbird moth in the petunias.  I have tried to photograph one of these at home, but,  like hummingbirds, these little moths twitter and flitter like crazy.   This one was so little…I was fortunate to get a photo!

There are a couple of dragonflies in this photo, but you might have to click on it to see them.

I got some pretty good band shots at the concerts, but I think I will just bundle them into one single post at a later date.  My internet is less than stellar….

Having some fun and enjoying relaxing a bit!

Still recovering…

I am still trying to recouperate from our little vacation.  We weren’t gone that long, but it was a bit of a touch and go trip home on Sunday. 

We had a wheel bearing go on the front right wheel on Saturday. Mark thought about going to a Chevy garage that was open until 6pm on Saturday, but decided he would like to try to do the job himself.  Ben was willing to help out and Mark thought it would be doable.

We hitched up on Sunday morning and went to the Sabres Development Camp. We really enjoyed watching the young prospects drill and then scrimmage on Saturday and Sunday.  We have been attending these camps for a few years now and have seen several players become Buffalo Sabres. 

After the camp, we began our very slow way home.  We would drive about 30 miles or so, then stop to allow the wheel to cool off.  It took hours to get home, but we were so thankful to arrive safely. 

Yesterday, the temperatures soared into the 90’s, making me totally miserable. Mark’s mother had a doctor’s appointment in Rochester at 9:30am, so Mark and I were off early in the morning, once again praying the wheel wouldn’t let loose. We took my mother-in-law to her appointment, then picked up the parts and tools we needed to fix the wheel bearing.  Thankfully, our faithful truck brought us safely home once again.

At this point, I must add that the Explorer is at the Ford garage, getting nearly $1500. in repairs.  I am of the mindset that we should put it up for sale right away and get something with good gas efficiency.  We will see.  The Explorer is a 2002 model and although it has low milage, it is getting old.  We will be doing some driving when Michelle begins RIT, so it would be good to have a sipping versus guzzling vehicle.

Today was another blazing hot day, although tonight, it is beginning to cool to the point that it is getting comfortable. Mark and Ben began working on the hub today, but parts seem quite fused together.  Mark cannot work for long periods of time, so they worked for just a few hours and quit.  Mark is searching for info on how to remove the hub and I just pray he finds a good answer.  With all this vehicle mess,  it would be quite pricey to have two vehicles getting repaired!

Well, enough of that.  I am not going to stress over things that I cannot control!

So, let me tell you about Lewiston!

As we were leaving our campground on Sunday, we realized we were really early, so Mark took the Lewiston exit.  I was happy to poke around, as the last time we were there, it was raining. A lot! 

Lewiston is referred to as “Historic Lewiston”.  It is a beautiful little community with beautiful little shops lining the main street.  Flowers adorn the lamp posts and there is a sense of a very old community. The buildings have a look of antiquity and were it not an early Sunday morning,  I would have gladly slipped inside the shops to have a look….they are quite inviting! Why I didn’t take a photo is beyond me, except for the fact that we were pulling the trailer behind us and together, the truck and trailer are about 50 feet long…makes for some interesting parking!

Mark drove around and stopped in a large parking area….right near one of my favorite statues…the Freedom Crossing Memorial. I blogged about this previously.

Just beyond this memorial was a set of stairs.  Well, curiosity got the better of me, and I hopped off in that direction.  I went down….and down….and down some more!  When I arrived at the bottom,  I was on a driveway/walkway just above the level of the lower Niagara River.  Oh, this was beautiful!

I walked along, meeting up with the Harbor Manager (I know that is the wrong name…I just cannot remember what the title was that was embroidered on his shirt.) What drew me was this…

This is The Black Pearl and cruises are available! I would love to go there and spend the day….the price of a one hour cruise is $35 per person…three hours is $75 per person.  The boat has diesel engines to get it moving up and down the river, but I was told that once it hits the lake,  it becomes full sails, a beautiful replica of a 1600’s ship. Wow, the directions my mind could go with that!!!

I spent considerable time looking around and talking to the Harbor man and another man.  They told me the fishing for Muskies is excellent there.  They said folks who fish there never divulge how big their fish caught were nor where they were fishing.  Hmm….They also said hardly anyone fishes there as they just don’t even know about this.

I suddenly became aware that I had many, many stairs to climb to get back to my family who might just be wondering where I was!  There was no way I was going to race up those stairs and I did notice a little addition off to one side with a bench…I thought perhaps they kindly put it there for folks who felt like they were going to drop from all that stair-climbing!

Since the family didn’t seem to be paying any attention to my winded self, I walked on over to see a restaurant that overlooks the water below.  It is an interesting shape and I just wanted a closer look.

As I snapped a photo of the restaurant menu, (wow! Who ever would have mounted their menu on a story board in front!!! What an awesome idea!) the man who founded the restaurant came over and talked my ear off!

I learned the history of the restaurant as well as how it came into being!  The restaurant was actually a coal silo that held coal for the steamships that used to travel the river.  After steam engines were replaced, the silo sat vacant for years and years.  While relatives from Minnesota were visiting with the man I spoke to,  they observed the silo from the Canadian side of the river.  They commented what a perfect day it was and the man said the only way it could be better was with an ice cream.  The relative pointed to the silo and told the man he should consider turning it into an ice cream parlor. And that is the condensed version.

The silo is leased from the town of Lewiston and the man’s son now operates the business.  He added a patio and outdoor picnic tables along with flowers and pretty landscaping.  ( I was told the view here in the autumn is absolutlely breathtaking…umm….one would NOT have to sway me…I believe it!)

The ice cream parlor (proper) was moved from the silo to an 1860’s Canadian Railway caboose.  The man explained that it took years to convince the town to approve the addition of the caboose.

Oh, by the way…that white house across the river?  It was owned by Tom Selleck at one time.

Wow, I learned so much from listening to this fellow! He was like a walking encyclopedia!  Oh, and by the way…the shape of the restaurant resembles a minaret mosque…the man lived in Istanbul, Turkey, for some 15 years!

I can’t believe I remembered so much of the conversation, but I do want to visit this restaurant.  It was given a high rating by a Buffalo food critic (the fellow chuckled, saying she critiqued the atmosphere, the owner and his wife, the setting…everything, but never once mentioned the FOOD!).  It also was featured on the show Man vs Food.

When Mark looked at the pricing, he was impressed.  He said too bad we were leaving town….this would have been an awesome place to take the kids for lunch!

Okay, so that’s it for Lewiston. (I think I oughta get paid for this! Or, at least get ONE of the vehicles fixed for free!!!)

The Ospreys

As we were leaving Allegany State Park, we passed by an Osprey nest.  Now, I am no ornithologist, but I think the difference between Osprey and Bald Eagles nests appears to be size.  I am thinking the eagles make a much deeper nest.  Both types of birds use tree branches that look like they are huge….it is hard to comprehend just how they build their nests….watching a nest building would be very interesting!

We spotted the Osprey nest built up on top of a telephone pole.  I asked Mark to stop so I could have a look and he pulled over.  I got out and began walking toward the pole….There was an adult bird in the nest and I saw one youngster in there as well.  As I walked down the road,  the bird in the nest began screeching like a banshee!  I moved across the road and that seemed to calm the bird down some.

Believe me, seeing the size of these birds and their talons, I would never want to mess with one!

As I was walking along,  I caught sight of another Osprey flying.  I half-heartedly tried to capture a few photos of the bird in flight and was amazed when many of them actually turned out well!

If you enlarge these photos by clicking on them, you can see more detail.  I have learned that I am really much more of a naturalist photographer than an urban one!  Our trip to Buffalo really made me realize that. I would rather wait in the woods for a photo op than to get out on the streets to capture city life and movement!

And then came Sunday

Sunday morning, we got up and went on a little adventure.  We drove a couple of hours to Allegany State Park where the park was basically filled to capacity!  Instead of taking our camper along with us on this trip, we took tents.  I had a sneaky feeling this trip was going to be really different!

We pulled into the campground and were given a choice of three sites from which to choose.  The girl at the desk advised Mark to take a certain site, so we did.  In driving over to take a look,  one a couple of sites down was better.  The kids began to set up tents and we drove back to the administration building to switch sites.  As soon as I told the girl, she informed me the better site had just been taken. Great!  So, we rushed back to tell the kids we couldn’t take the better site.

We set up on the smaller cite and as I looked around, I could not believe how many people were there!  The campground was totally packed, save for the one site we decided not to take.  It was near the restrooms and I had visions of people coming by all night long,  making Angus and Murphy restless.

As it was, we were next to some people with a Lab that tried to walk into one tent and jump into our truck. Why should anyone obey the six-foot leash law, after all?  Argh!  Our little boys stayed in the truck much of the time so they wouldn’t get nervous and bark…there were so many “wandering” dogs!

Later on, the last site was taken by two guys on motorcycles.  They were rather interesting…the next morning, I saw them lying on the ground, wrapped in blankets mummy-style!  They slept out under the stars!!!! That was interesting. Oh, and the stars?  They were totally awesome!

Here are the very few photos I took at the park.

I love this photo!  The little girl was playing in the stream and the light from the setting sun was filtering in so nicely, highlighting the girl like a spotlight!

so, why did the turkey cross the road?  Yes, this turkey was just enjoying a Saturday evening stroll along the road.

I must admit at this point that I am one spoiled rotten camper.  Yes, I was missing our camper….terribly!  I missed the comfort of the couch and chair,  a nice little kitchen, running water, and yes, even the air conditioner!  As evening rolled around, so did the thick smell of smoke.  Everyone had a campfire!

Mark found out there were going to be fireworks at Quaker Lake at 10 pm.  We went and I (foolishly) took the new camera. Too bad I didn’t take the Nikon…I would have gotten more and much better pictures.

For some reason, the Canon had some trouble with the more colorful fireworks, but that is okay.  After all, the very ***best*** display of color was on our way to the fireworks.

When we got back, we decided to do something we never do when camping!  We made a campfire! Michelle was tired, so Ben, Mark, and I sat around our little cozy fire and chatted.  It was pretty late when we started the fire, so we knew we were going to be staying up late.  We were so enjoying ourselves.

Then it happened.  The Scotties were in the truck and we heard a distinct “click” sound.  Yes sir…Angus had locked the power windows on the truck.  Everything we needed was inside the truck…including both sets of keys!  So….Ben and I took a later-than-midnight stroll about a mile long to the admin building!  We walked along the bike path, and although the stars were beautiful, it was dark!

When we arrived, I told the police we had a rather unfortunate situation at our site.  After explaining the problem, one of the officers said they bought a kit for just such a time as this.  He reassured me we were not the first to have this happen. In fact,  he said one night, he opened five doors with keys locked inside!

The officer was so incredibly sweet. He worked on the door until finally the latch popped!  Angus and Murphy were such good boys. They never barked or carried on at all, even though this man with a strange looking glow-in-the-dark wire was intruding their space at one o’clock in the morning!

Ah yes, nothing like a good crisis to end the day!  The officer told us he would hate to think anyone would ever call a locksmith in Olean to get their door open.  He said he thinks the base charge is $250.  And, he said the locksmith knows the police can do it for free!

Ah yes, the fun times living with Scotties.  And, speaking of Scotties, here is a photo of Angus as we were driving to the campground along the park road.  We weren’t going very fast and he thought the air was smelling very fine….

I thought he looked all the world just like a black bear cub!

A-Camping We Did Go!

When I told Mark it was possible to rent cabins at Allegany State Park in the winter, he simply thought I had “lost it”!  Who ever heard of renting cabins for camping in the winter?  Well, he did check it out and found out I was right!

To be very frank, I often miss the area where I grew up and lived earlier in my life.  I miss many things sometimes, but the one big thing I miss is real winters!  I remember as a kid being able to walk up high on snowbanks and even touching the roofs of garages!  Growing up in the snowbelt meant there was a fairly good chance of having some fun in the snow.  Where we live now, we really lack snow.

Mark had been in touch with Allegany State Park for a few days, inquiring about conditions for snowmobiling.  The park has miles and miles of fabulous trails to ride in the winter!  The area received a good snowfall and we were told conditions were great for riding.  That was all Mark needed to hear….

We packed up some things on Monday and left on Tuesday for our adventure! We had no idea what the cabin we were renting was like.  We brought along basics, but didn’t bother to take a lot of food.

We arrived at the park  on Tuesday afternoon and Mark, Ben, and I went out riding the trails while Michelle hung out at the cabin with the Scotties, setting everything up.  The trails were awesome!

I am not going to say anything more tonight, except that we had such a great time. I cannot think of many ways to spend time as a family that are this much fun!  Overall, I think we would all give this adventure a thumbs-up!

I will try to get some photos up tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it is tough to take photos while snowmobiling.  Stopping on a trail and fumbling with taking off gloves and fishing the camera from my coat pocket takes too long!  Everyone gets way ahead of me, then when they realize I am missing,  they either send someone back to find me, or just sit and wait…