Events of Winter 2001

Visitors and Travels

Last Update: 8 March 2001

December 2000 was the coldest month since the record-breaking December 1989. There was not much snow but we knew it was winter. I’ve never seen such a big pile of ice next to the stock trough – just one indication. Barb and Rick McKee visited briefly just after Christmas so we went to see the ice formations on the cliffs along US 220 just a few miles south of us. Barb had taken a photo of these same formations in December 1989, right at the end of the record cold spell, that was used in the 1990 Exxon Corporation calendar. Rick works for Exxon, just to complete that link.

Rick & Barb pose in front of the ice formations.

This is a closeup of the very right-most part of the formations shown above. The light spot on the cliff in upper right can also be seen in the wider view.

We have finally sold the house in State College, PA, at 118 S. Buckhout St., where I lived for 25 years prior to meeting Char. This photo was taken early in the morning of 31 January, just prior to signing the final papers. The tenant had just moved out the day before so I spent one final night in the house, camping out in the room that had been my office.

On 27 January, just before going to State College, Char looked out the window and said, “What’s that down by the creek?!” It turned out to be a fox, wandering aimlessly in the middle of the day. We watched it cross the road and start up into some forsythia bushes on the hill just below our house, whence I decided to try to get a picture of it.

I did not get as close as these photos appear — they were taken with a 350mm lens. Still, the fox did not run off when it saw me so I shot up half a roll of film before tiring of the sport. We worried that it might be rabid, since foxes are largely nocturnal and always skittish, but this one seemed only sleepy so I let it go. Obviously I could have shot it with a rifle as easily as with a camera and would have if I had been more convinced it was sick.

Char left on 5 February for an emergency visit to her sister in Washington, as noted on our home page. While she was gone my paddling friend from Penn State, Tom Irwin, along with his wife, Paulette, and children Dan and Andrea, visited for a day. Sadly, we were not cooking sugar at the time but Tom enjoyed a hike around the place while I tried to explain Char’s weaving and spinning equipment to Paulette. We had a great visit but no photos were taken. They were on their way from Latrobe, PA, down to Roanoke to buy a car. They left early Monday morning, got the car and were back here briefly before heading home.