Monday, September 9, 2013

Great Bear Springs, Oswego Canal #1 and WHAT IS THAT? in Phoenix, NY

Once Gavin was boarding the bus I was off to my volunteer position at Vera House. After my shift I took Nick and the dogs to a Park that I did not know existed just North of Phoenix, NY called Great Bear Springs. Nick had asked about taking a hike the day prior and wanted to go to Clarks Reservation in Jamesville, NY. I was concerned that we would be cutting it close to getting back in time for Gavin's bus return, so I had asked one of the new volunteers if she knew of a place and she mentioned she was just at Great Bear the day before riding bikes and said it was wonderful.
 
Just off Rt 57 in this fenced in area is this recreational park filled with dozens of trails through the wilderness. The trail system is so complex (at least for me) you need to sign the book upon entrance.
Its possibly a good thing too, because at one point I did start to think we were lost.
I didn't take to long of a look at the maps before we started out, and there were none located in the map compartment. I really did trust that we couldn't get to lost out there, but might look a little longer at the map next time.
Alec's trail led into
Mishemokwa Springs, which eventually led to
Root Hill, and it was after that when I started to think we were getting all backwards. Nick was confident that we were heading in the right direction the entire time, and I let him lead the way.
I hung back with Peanut stopping every once in a while to get an odd picture and slow down the pace. Riley and Nick could run like crazy while Peanut and I would meander along. Planning on getting there when we get there.
We passed several rotted trees, and I found a Tree's butt! So I had to grab a picture of that.
I guess it was funnier when I took the picture....BUTT...(HAHA!!!)
anyways....
There were lots and lots of trees many falling down and barley standing, Nick rustled a few of them anticipating a "TIMBER"! No falling tree's however and I am thankful. He might be able to run like the wind, but his old mom can't and for sure Peanut cant and wont.
 
I looked at this one vicariously tangling over atop two other trees.
 
Then my attention went to the only brightly colored items I found in the forest..
These little berries really stood out amongst the dead leaves, tree bark and green canopy. It was the ONLY little bunch I saw on the entire walk. I thought that was unusual.
When we reached this little creek, Riley went right in, no hesitations.
And Nick found a frog. He was very corporative and didn't jump away.
found just a few mushroom tops.
We walked about 1.5 miles maybe more, but it was hiking trails and we all worked it hard. Nick's sense of direction saved us. Had I followed the arrow I was leaning towards we may still be walking.
I was following the Orange Trail...
Although the Park is named Great Bear, we never did see any...unless you count this guy waiting just outside the gate entrance.
 
We headed back towards home, all feeling like we had a fantastic workout; even the dogs just laid on the van floor dead.
 
 
As I drove through Phoenix, I noticed a glimpse of the Oswego River and a small park next to it. I make a quick rt turn and decide to talk in a town stroll.
Henley (although I am not sure where the name Henley came from as I am sure he/she was of some importance to the area) is located on Lock 1. (I was on Lock #24 last week), so I was excited to be at the #1 Lock. Henley Park has a small museum housed in the original Bridge House. I would have enjoyed a view inside, but the museum closed just minutes before we hard arrived at 3pm.
 
(A longer view of the Bridge House)
It would also have been nice to get some history on the canal way and what is a bridge house anyways? I really don't know much about this stuff what so ever. Nick wasn't interested, so he was no help. We ventured on in search of what he might be more interested in; a cool drink. I wondered off to get a look at the River.
 Look some ducks...I bet they live in here...
Isn't that so cute?
 
We made our way along the street in search of a restaurant or a corner store, surprised to see that several places were closed and only open at odd times during the week. We did find an adorable little café and Nick went in to get us some cold drinks while I dog sat outside.
 
As I was waiting I noticed an odd sight in the store front window in the building next door.
 
I had to do a double take...Isn't that a Mastodon skull?
It was so incredibly strange where it was placed and there was no hint of why or what this massive head was doing looking out on State St in Phoenix, NY. I asked the question more out loud and perhaps to the dogs then myself, and by luck the door to the Real Estate office next door was open and a nice man came out to answer my puzzled questions. Apparently, (and this is still odd as to why?- It's not like Phoenix, NY is well know for it's fossils and prehistoric beasts) this office (again...ODD PLACE TO PUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS) was once to be the future home of the Lost World Museum, but it never happened.... It perked enough interest for me to goggle it, and I found a small article about the museums date to open in 2009, but failing to do so. Apparently this museum was to house items like a stuffed Chupacabra, and other human oddities to provoke people to question evolution.
Here is a small quote taken from  ProjectAbsurd.com
Mr. Adolfi claims his reasons for opening the museum are to raise questions about evolution and to prove creationism by displaying strange oddities – human, animal and otherwise.
Needless to say, it never happened. I wonder if his Chupacabra is hiding somewhere in the building space. How creepy.
Interesting for sure.
We made our departure from this odd store front and headed back to the River, for some more "normal" or at least blending with the location scenery.
 
I came upon this pretty painted informational, that provided information about the Phoenix Fire that took some 80 buildings down. I tried to locate additional History on the area and about the fire but the most I could obtain was the unknow (to me) importance the area was during the French and Indian War. Apparently there was a French camp located near the river and travels to Fort Ontario along the Three Rivers (located South of Phoenix) and this area was often traveled upon. I do wish the museum was open so I could have gotten some more information.
 
One quick picture of the draw bridge connecting to the inner park area and a man made damn, and we were back on our way towards the van and home.
It was an enjoyable afternoon. I was glad my son had come along and I was glad I was able to see some new areas just minutes from my own home I never knew existed. What adventures will come my way the rest of the week?