Some OFs celebrate the summer solstice with a hike

Of course it is another Tuesday. Tuesday, the longest day (actually daylight day) of the year and there are still 24 hours in the day, June 21, and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie.

One thing about the 15-plus hours of daylight this year, there wasn’t much of it, and to old blood running through old veins in a bunch of OFs, it was cold! The OFs mentioned this fact a couple of times on Tuesday morning along with the rest of the country being really hot, even our neighbors to the north.

However, not us, although many of the OFs like the weather we are having instead of the sweltering heat.

To go along with this, the wind has blown chilly for quite a few days. This is not news as anyone can tell the weather just by stepping outside. The swimmers and boaters might have a short season unless we have a hot fall.

The day for the beginning of summer is on the solstice. The OFs learned this in grade school.

Some of these same OFs became hikers later on and, as a ritual, these OFs along with many others take a hike on the day of the solstice. Rain or shine, hot or cold, out they go hiking on whatever trail they choose.

One trail the OFs are hiking is Looking Glass Pond up in Summit, New York. An OF claims it is a nice walk and not too tough. Another OF is working on a state trail in Dutch Settlement State Park, which is more than a hike. It is activities like this that keep the OFs young OFs and the trails ready for thousands of other hikers.


Preparing for the worst

There is a routine performed many times by many people along with the OMOTM; that is preparing for the worst and it never happens. The reason for this is (no joke) preparing for the worst.

If it weren’t prepared for it would surely happen.

So, as one of the OFs said, “If anyone does not want it to happen, prepare for it.”

The OFs talking about this were the bikers that ride their bikes to the breakfast. One OF, who came on his motorcycle prepared for the worst, took half the morning to get out of all the gear he had on in case the worst happened — which it didn’t.

Sometimes, one OF said, he prepares for the worst and it happens. One time, this OF was with a bunch of guys who listened to the weatherman and did not prepare. The weather turned out ugly.

Now those guys were all miserable; they were at a point of no turning back. Inside, the OF said, he felt quite smug.


Rising prices mean less dining out

There was a discussion on eating out, which used to be one of the favorite things for the OFs to do. At a certain age, cooking is not as much fun as it used to be, and to some it never was fun. It was a chore that had to be done if the OF wanted to be around the next day.

What the OFs have done now is to cut back on going out like they used to. The OFs did mention how even McDonald’s now cost as much as a regular diner or counter as the prices have gone up.

One OF said, “Why not go to some place nice, pay a couple bucks more, get more, and it is not coated in grease.”

Another OF said, “Hey, the grease is the best part.”

It seems at most of our breakfasts, talk of rising prices works its way into the conversations. This scribe is thinking about cutting the column down by just reporting “see previous column” because of the redundancy on the topic of pricing.

There has to be a silver lining here someplace. Maybe we will find out it is possible to get along on a lot fewer things. We might find out jeans sold at Walmart are the same jeans that are sold at Macy’s at three times the prices just because of the label.

We may learn that apples with a blemish, but cheaper, are the same as prime apples without the blemish and double the price, or a corn borer does not affect the quality of an ear of corn without the borer.


School tops two culverts

Another topic, which was more to the locality of Middleburgh and not the Hilltowns, was discussed. The only way this project would affect us here on the Hill is if there were another flood like Irene, or the high water of 2021.

When there is a natural disaster such as Irene in 2011, and people are still talking about it and working to help protect certain areas 11 years later, that indicates this was quite an event.

The OFs who live in and around this area were talking about Middleburgh High School being built right on top of the storm culvert. This scribe has heard of this for many years but did not think it was true.

However, with two roads going to be closed down for construction upgrading this culvert, this scribe went to his old friend Google and found the maps for the Gorge Creek culvert repair.

Sure enough, the school is built on top of the culvert, which the map shows is in two sections. According to the dotted lines that marked the culvert, the physical school is on top of both of them.

With modern technology, this may not be a problem. They may be able to clean the debris from the culverts with cameras and machines just like the scribe has seen it done in Albany where roads and buildings are built on top of many culverts.

Storm drains are under most all roads, and even cities are built on drains, which are possible to drive a car through, so this scribe guesses part of a school on top of a culvert is not a problem.

The Old Men of the Mountain who showed up at the Your Way Café in Schoharie prepared for anything were: Joe Rack, Roger Shafer, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Paul Nelson, Mark Traver, Doug Marshall, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Jake Herzog, Marty Herzog, Pete Whitbeck, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Elwood Vanderbilt, Lou Schenck, and me.