Archive for August 1st, 2010


Hockey Clinic

August 1, 2010

The weekend following the Boilermaker, we found ourselves headed in the opposite direction for Erin to participate in a girls’ one day clinic in Amherst. She had done a couple of one day, co-ed clinics locally, but this seemed like a great opportunity, so we signed her up. Once we got there I was a little concerned since most of the girls looked much older and more experienced. As we began to watch, my concerns grew as she seemed to be getting hammered by the older girls, letting in almost every puck shot her way. She kept at it though and her saves increased as the day wore on. I was still a bit concerned when they stopped for lunch. We waited for her to come out of the locker room to see if she would want to eat with the girls, or sit with us and eat the lunch we had brought from home. She told me she would eat with her “friends.”  We didn’t really get much of a chance to talk with her during lunch, so we really weren’t sure what she thought of the clinic so far. During the second on-ice session, she simply looked tired. At the end of that session, the coaches and staff of the organization talked to the whole group of girls encouraging them to keep on and whatnot. Afterwards, they called Erin over and talked to her for a minute by herself. Not sure what to make of it, I was anxious for her to change so we could find out. While we waited for her to change, the director of the Edge program came over and told us that he was impressed with her abilities since he knew that she had only just learned to skate about a year ago. My heart swelled with pride! She works so hard and listens so well, it was quite a treat to have someone recognize and acknowledge that. When we asked her about it on the way to the Jeep, she told us that they had told her she was doing a good job and to keep up the hard work. She’s so funny…nothing goes to her head.

Erin is a pretty care-free kid, so the level of intensity she is capable of, visible in her eyes in the next picture, is always a little astonishing to me. I think this must be a hockey thing for her since I rarely see this off-ice.

I think this picture shows well, just how little she was compared to the other girls at the clinic!

This sign was torture as we sat in the rink all day. La Nova is our favorite pizza and wing place. After the clinic was over, we did go there and get a few slices and an order of wings. YUM!


Boilermaker 15K

August 1, 2010

I don’t think I ever recall being as busy as I have been this last month or so. I had intended to post some more stuff from June, but time has slipped away and I have so many interesting things to tell about July, that I am going to forget trying to catch up and just move forward. The next several posts will summarize the month of July. Since we returned from Florida, in late June, we have had something going on every weekend and I don’t see much relief in sight since hockey starts in a couple of weeks. In addition to hockey, Jeff is returning to school at RIT to pursue his Master’s degree in Information Technology, Kyle will be attending MCC for business administration, and Sarah’s dance classes will resume in September. I don’t even want to think about how busy we will be!

On July 11, Kyle ran the Utica Boilermaker 15k, that’s 9.33 (hilly) miles. He had heard about the race and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. Utica isn’t exactly in our backyard, so we knew we’d need to spend the night nearby in order for him to make the 8 (ish) AM start. We quickly learned that all the close, good hotels fill up as soon the hotels make them available after the race from the previous year. That left us with two choices, stay further away or stay in a hotel that may have rentals by the hour. We opted for the further away choice.

We wound up staying in Rome, about 25 minutes away from Utica, in a reasonably nice motel.  The motel happened to be situated across the street from Fort Stanwix, so we wandered over to check it out. We checked it out on Saturday, after they had closed, and found out that admission is free, so after the race on Sunday we went back to the motel so Kyle could shower, checked out, and went to the fort for a brief visit. While we were there, a gentleman who worked there allowed us to go into a couple of buildings that had been roped off. One of them was a trading post, where he let Kyle pick up a coyote pelt. We also got to feel the pelts of several other animals. It was a brief, but interesting visit to the fort.  The pictures that follow are from both the race and our visit to the fort.

It was a beautiful day for a race. It started out almost chilly, then warmed to a reasonable, pleasant temperature.

I missed Kyle as he ran past us, so I guess it was a good thing that I took a “pre-race” picture.

Incidentally, the headphones he was wearing in this picture did not come home from Utica with us. After he had left us to catch a bus for the starting line, I got an annoyed phone call from him asking me what to do because a race official told him he couldn’t wear that style of headphone. They apparently only allow earbud style phones. I told him not to stress over it, and to just leave them somewhere. Apparently they were a pair of $5 headphones he had picked up ages ago, so he just threw them out. Fortunately the race is a very well put together one and they had bands playing all along the race course so he had music even though he couldn’t use his mp3 player.

This is the line, near the finish line, of runners waiting for the bus to take them to the start line. It was about 1.5 hours before the race and the line wrapped around the corner and to the next cross street.

This race is such a part of Utica that there are permanent mile markers along the race course and the finish line is a permanent structure right near the Saranac brewery. It was incredible to be a part of such a thing, even just as a spectator. It almost makes one want to throw on the running shoes and join the festivities….almost. Kyle had a great time, despite the headphone dilemma. In fact, we already have rooms reserved, near the finish line, for next year. Oh, I guess I should mention that his time was a respectable 1:15:13.

When we visited the Fort Stanwix site on Saturday, it was that magical time of day when the sun was low in the sky and the lighting was perfect for making my pictures glow.

This tunnel was apparently designed for the vertically challenged. Kyle is only about 5’9.”

What we toured is a reconstruction, in the same location, of the original fort. All that remains of the original, are a few crumbled bricks that had once been part of a fireplace.

The coyote fur on top is the one Kyle was allowed to pick up.

We had an enjoyable, if somewhat rushed, trip. Next year we will stay two nights, so we shouldn’t feel quite so rushed.