Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream Factory Tour

We were driving along Rte 7 in Waterbury, Vermont scouting out the fall colors when we stumbled upon the original Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory at 1401 Waterbury Stowe Rd. I always wanted to go on the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory tour, so we swung in and parked. I looked at the clock and it was like 5:30 pm so I figured we had missed the tour, but to my delight they run the tour till 7 pm. We bought two tickets for $3 each and waited 10 minutes for the tour to start.
It took around 30 minutes.

First we were ushered into the movie room where an informative movie was shown to us. The movie told a rags to riches story of how Ben and Jerry's grew from two average guys into what it is today.

It was an interesting tour, unfortunately however they were not making Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the factory the day we were there. They did however have an informative monitor that showed you what the production line would look like if they were producing ice cream.

After the tour we were taken to the sample room for a taste of the world famous Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

Ben and Jerry's employees

Colorful hallway

Ben and Jerry's top 10 flavors.

Tours begin here sign.

Ben & Jerry's cow garbage can.

One of the things I wanted to find outwhile I was at the Ben & Jerrys factory was what ever happened to Wavy Gravy? It was my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor and I miss it

Ben and Jerry's quality assurance lab.

Saranac River Fall Colors 2009

Blog Update: It's the last day of September and the 2009 fall colors along the Saranac River in New York's Adirondack mountains are getting really getting good now. If I had to guess, I think it'll be about a week before they peak. Hope you enjoy the pictures of New York's scenic Saranac River.

Silver Lake Bog Preserve, NY

This morning I visited Silver Lake Bog Preserve on Old Hawkeye Road. It's a rainy autumn day and the fall colors in the bog are absolutely lovely. The preserve features a wonderful boardwalk that meanders a half mile or so through a wonderful wooded, swampy, mossy bog which is home to a diverse variety of mushrooms and plant life including cinnamon ferns, black spruce, tamarack, balsam fir, laurel, it's even complete with one of my favorites, the carnivorous pitcher plant. But that's only 1/2 the adventure after the bog walk there's a short hike to the scenic bluffs which overlook beautiful Silverlake some 200 feet below.

The Silver Lake Bog Preserve was made possible by the generosity and hard work of conservationists in co-operation with the Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Chapter who also maintains the trail.

A bolete mushroom in the bog.

It was cool to see one of my favorite flora along the boardwalk the Pitcher Plant. The Pitcher Plant is a carnivorous plant that eats insects.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adirondack Park Fall Foliage 2009

Trip log 22,785mi. - Today we went in search of fall foliage to photograph in the Stillwater Reservoir area of The Adirondack Park, located in Upstate New York. After having the van serviced in Watertown we headed up into the State Forest Preserve for a look at the colorful leaves. It rained most of the day, but that didn't deter us. This year autumn in Upstate New York appears to be a wet one, as unsettled weather is expected for the next several days, so if you want to catch the fall colors you may have to get out despite the rainy weather this fall.

Outside Watertown at the lower elevations the leaves were just starting to change colors.

Once we took the scenic drive up to higher elevations where it's cooler in Adirondack Park the fall foliage was much farther along.

Some spots like around Stillwater Reservoir at 1700' above sea level, were very close to their peak of fall colors only a week or so out.

Chief Uncas Road

-- photo blog post from my iPhone

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Harvest Celebration at Cedar Pine Campground

We are at the Harvest Celebration at Cedar Pine not far from Redfield, NY. We came in the back way on a skinny little one lane gravel road that was a very pretty drive. Very friendly atmosphere here, having a great time. Keller Williams, David Grisman and Rusted Root are on the playbill for the weekend.

We came in on Corridor 4A. It was like a tunnel through the trees.

Looking at stage #2 before the music even started on Friday. The weather is excellent and we are all setup.

Harvest Celebration vendors setting up shop for the weekend.

Photos of Keller Williams performing at the Harvest Celebration Festival

David Grisman & Co. at Harvest Celebration 2009

Rusted Root was the Headliner Band at the Harvest Celebration.

-- photo blog post from my iPhone