Sands Point, NY – May 2018 – Sands Point Preserve

Our final stop on our tour of North Shore Mansions was Sands Point Preserve. This estate contains two primary mansions, the Hempstead House and Castle Gould.

Castle Gould was built to be a replica of Kilkenny Castle.



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Which from a distance has a strong resemblance.

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As with the other estates this one too borders the Long Island Sound. While these mansions remain much like they were 100 years ago, the others nearby have been torn down and replaced with modern houses.

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Back up on the hill you again get a nice water view.

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The Hempstead House features well kept gardens, although large tents mar the view (for all of those brides from Planting Fields I guess)

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This home too features a large turret.

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The entryway has massive wooden doors, with a smaller side door for actual use.

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Clearly if you are going to visit Long Island Mansions of the past, don’t do it on a Tuesday – they are all closed to tours.

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Lloyds Neck, NY – May 2018 – Caumsett State Park

Caumsett State Park is situated along the North Shore of Long island, with 1400 acres facing the Long Island Sound. Famed retailer Marshall Field built the estate in the mid 1920s, naming it after the Matinecock Native American’s word for ‘Place by a Sharp Rock’

The estate was purchased by the state of New York in 1961 as a park. The mansion itself is in need of some repair, although apparently birds like to live on the chimney.

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As noted it is along the Sound, with a picturesque view.

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Returning to our tour around the outside of the house (it is rarely open for interior tours) you can still see the details, as well as the need for some upkeep.

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Nearby a former garage serves as a gathering spot.

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Also on the property are other stately homes, although without the water views.

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One home is still in daily use.

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The estate was used for many equestrian events, as evidences by the many barns. Caumsett State Park is a nice place to hike with natural scenery, but with some investment the property could be brought back to be an impressive setting.

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Watkins Glen, NY – May 2018 – The Glen

While I have known that Watkins Glen, New York had a true ‘glen’, I had always known if for the racetrack (see previous posting). On this day we spent a couple of hours exploring the park – and it was well worth it.

As we started down the 400′ deep ravine we had no idea what we were in for.

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We went through a spiral staircase in a tunnel and came out to this – a nice 60′ waterfalls.

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Which the path lead behind.

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On the other side was a view further down the ravine.

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We opted to head up the gorge for an hour or so – a beautiful hike indeed.

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Cincinnati – October 2017 – Cyclocross

A ‘cyclocross’ (cross country bicycling racing) was held on a cold Sunday in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield. The event took place throughout the streets and fields of a park.

With teams from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond the pits were filled with an impressive collection of tents, trucks and bikes while the technicians readied them for the races.

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There were numerous classes, including this one the start of a multi-group female race. This race had under 23s and over 35s.

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Miles of blue tape outlined the course up and down throughout the park.

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Some racers were more bundled for the cold weather than others.

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Famed baseball player Satchel Paige had a quote ‘don’t look back someone might be gaining on you’ – clearly she didn’t head his advice.

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A sand pit results in some small jumps, although nothing like a BMX track would yield.

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It did however cause some of the racers to get a bit off course.

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Given Halloween is near a couple of riders dressed for the occasion, like the human taco.

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A few got hung up on a small hill and had to dismount.

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Racing to the finish.

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Vancouver – September 2017 – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Park is a natural area in North Vancouver that has a deep gorge running through it. Since the 1800s a private park, close but not included in the main park, has featured a suspension bridge across the ravine.

Today the park has a number of other attractions, and as a ‘tourist spot’ is well done.

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The park features a nice display of replica Native Totem Poles.

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The ‘Cliffwalk’ is hanging along the side of the cliff on a narrow walkway.

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The “Treetop Adventure” is suspended high above the ground giving interesting views of the canopy

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As well as the activities below.

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The the main attraction is the bouncing, swinging bridge.

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Banff National Park – September 2017 – Canada’s First National Park

Established in 1885 Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest. Set in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the park itself it a natural wonder surrounding the town of Banff.

The town itself is nice, filled with the typical tourist shops, but kept nicer than most. A visit to Banff is highly recommended.


Views from Tunnel Mountain

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The famed Fairmount Hotel

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The waters are turquoise due to mineral content.

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There were a few hoodoos.

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Lake Minnewanka provided the setting for a boat tour.

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An eagle kept an eye over the boat tour.

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Columbus – June 2017 – Comfest

Held in Goodale Park in Columbus, Comfest is a community festival that according to their website is guided by the principals that people ought to work for the collective good of all people rather than for personal gain; The basic necessities of life are a right and not a privilege; People should strive to conduct their lives in harmony with the environment; We recognize that there are primary attitudes which divide and oppress people – We seek to eliminate these attitudes (they are actually longer – check their website for full details)

The festival is full of crafts, music, various groups making various political statements, and thousands of people having a good time – easily the highlight are the people. Another highly recommended event.

Making art to the music.

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One of the members of a band. They had the Dead covers down perfect.

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Someone who decorated one of the portable toilets.

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Promoting Veganism.

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A happy dancer

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Another happy dancer

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More happy dancers

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Bongo session.

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He was in a kilt – and I was standing next to some cool sculpture – what could be better.

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