Moving somewhere sight unseen always feels like an adventure until you get there and get settled in. Then it just feels like home. It’s a little bit different this time as it’s my first time living in a furnished apartment, and while I am still adjusting to using other peoples things on a daily basis (and keeping Stanley from breaking other peoples things) I have always been blessed with the ability to make myself at home nearly anywhere.
Our first days here have been filled with exploration and play whenever we’re not working. Rachelle’s schedule has been erratic as the athletes arrive at school and must be poked and prodded to assure they’re of sound health to begin their training for the upcoming seasons. The whole of the student body has arrived and has begun the long slow march toward spring. The campus itself is almost as alive with color as it is with people. The leaves have started turning, and in some cases, falling. I’ll get some pictures as the colors really start to change; right now we’re at the point where the trees have dots of colors with a backdrop of green. But even as I look out over the lake this morning, I see trees that were bright green just a couple of weeks ago that now sprout all manners of orange and red. And our deck has a large collection of various colored leaves, though the majority of them are brown, it’s a reminder of the dry summer that’s about to end and that fall will soon be here.
The water, like the leaves, has been changing as well. What was a gigantic bathtub of relaxing warmth has quickly changed to a tepid pool that now mimics the bite of the autumn air. That’s not to say it’s unswimmable, but it won’t be long until an open water swim requires a wetsuit, or that my trips out on fishing float will require waders and warm pants underneath. For now, I can still wade daily into waist deep water and tease the local panfish with my amateurish fly casting. I’m afraid I may never pull a bass out of the lake, but I’m quite adept at finding large bluegills, and in the right part of the lake, I’ve caught several 10 inch Alewife, a fish I was unfamiliar with until I moved to New York.
That dry summer I mentioned above has affected the water levels throughout Central New York, but it certainly doesn’t show at first glance. There’s water everywhere here; from the lake in our back yard
To the waterfall at Chitenango Falls State Park
Lastly, to the trout streams I plan on spending my September and October weekend mornings ankle or knee deep in (Most of them are too shallow these days to stand waist deep). I took the long labor day weekend to explore the local streams and I was thrilled to find local streams within just a few miles drive. I mostly looked and explored as I don’t have all my gear yet, but I did throw a line in the water at a stream specially designated for catch and release, intended for learning the art of trout fishing. The best part about these streams is that they’re incredibly beautiful and peaceful. The training stream is a section of the old Chittenango canal, and I actually fished off the top of a lock.
Of course, water isn’t the only place we’ve adventured. The biking here is so very challenging, that I’m still fighting to build up distance and stamina. Rach and I did a loop around the lake yesterday, and we both were completely beat. But I have a month to get ready for Half Full Tri, and the riding here is much harder than it will be on race day. So I’m not too worried about the distance or the climbing, I’ll get there. And I’ve never had as much access to open water, and I’m taking advantage of it; whether swimming or kicking my fishing float, I’ve been averaging about a mile a day or so. Plus, we learned yesterday that I get free access to the sports facilities at Colgate, including the amazing pool facility, which I’m definitely going to make use of it.
Finally the people here are exactly what we were hoping for. The biking and running on the road here is only difficult because of the elevation, not because there are people wanting to run us off the roads. Our neighbors, mostly retirees and their families, are amazingly nice, and have volunteered use of boats and docks for when the water is too cold to fish from my float. The people here are so down to earth. An example; our actor landlord, he of ~200 credits on his IMDB page, does his own yard work and is a garage sale expert, finding all kinds of deals. Rachelle likes he co-workers and everyone we’ve talked to has been nothing but friendly.
And then there’s the dogs. Most of our neighbors have dogs, and Stanley has become fast friends with all of them. I’ll share some pictures shortly, but Stan might be the one who has adapted most easily. He loves sitting and watching the lake, going for walks, visiting his doggy neighbors, and of course playing in the lake. He still doesn’t like baths but he’s at least getting comfortable with the water.