Paddling With Sonora – 8/31/2018

I was restless after work and wanted to do something. I was thinking about a motorcycle ride but felt like I should do more stuff with the family. So I asked Sonora if she wanted to paddle with me and she said yes. So we set off to Greentree where I start most of my paddling trips for a daddy/daughter paddle.

We paddled up to the 141 bridge taking our time. It was great to chat with Sonora while we were out. When we got to some difficult parts, I took the safest route to keep us dry and her happy.

I need to remember to do more things like this with the kids. They are my favorite people and we had a great time sharing one of my favorite things!

Hogan Haake

SLU Day at Cardinals – 8/30/2018

SLU had their day at the St. Louis Cardinals. We bought tickets before we learned that Corvin had a Cross Country meet the same day. So you’ll notice Corvin isn’t in any of the photos (and I’m not a fan so there was never a ticket for me). Laura went and they all had a great time.

And I guess there needs to be a photo of some of the SLU people Danelle goes to school with 🙂

Hogan Haake

Kids To Maine -Part 6 – 8/10/2018

Not to ruin the drama, but this is the last major day of the trip. I got a hold of a marina that had a pontoon boat we could rent, so we jumped on it. A quick visit to the grocery store across the street to get lunch supplies, then we drove half way back up Seneca lake to the marina. Sonora was beyond excited.

On the north end of the lake there is a canal and we went up it for a bit, lots of cool boats and houses.

Mmm, lunch!

A steam powered boat!

Eventually we cam back out into the larger lake to hang out and boat! Deep down inside, we’re all kids, and even mom got in on driving the boat!

Sonora even jumped in the water, but it was super cold and that didn’t last!

We were told not to go farther than half way down the lake by the rental company. We did our best to comply, till we realized that we were farther south than we realized. We rounded a large island that turned out to be Seneca Lake Sonar Test Facility. This is a government facility used to test SONAR equipment. Read about the interesting details in the link if you want to know more. It is strange boating near it and wondering what it is.

It got a bit rough out here for our little pontoon boat and we were wondering if we took on too much! A few times the front of the boat went under a wave and sent water towards us! But we finally made it back to return the rental.
Our vacation was complete as we had seen everything we came to see and delivered the kids back to Maine safely. We started driving home. I realized quickly that Niagara Falls was on our way home, so we made a slight detour.
Looking across from the US side.
The final mileage from the trip!
Hogan Haake

Kids To Maine -Part 5 – 8/9/2018

I’ve been trying to rent a boat to go see Boldt Castle. Danelle, Steve, and I did this back in 2005 and had a great time. I guess its more popular as we couldn’t just get a boat at a moment’s notice. Sonora was very disappointed, but that is how things go. Just the same, we decided to go see the castle. The ladies were not disappointed at the castle and it changed a bunch in the last 13 years! Here are just a few of the photos!

On the ferry back to the mainland, Sonora and I had some fun.

After the castle, we had to decide what to do next. The trip was winding down, but we still had time. We started driving towards home. But first, there were supposed to be decent waterfalls to see in Watkins Glen, NY. I took the scenic drive going down the west side of Seneca Lake. This lake is at least 25 miles long, so we had lots of fantastic views during our drive. It also turns out that Watkins Glen was awesome and HUGE!

It didn’t look like much from the street, but the three of us started hiking down about 90 minutes before sunset. Mom was nervous to go down, but I talked her into going a bit further. She was also worried about getting back up the hill. After scouting ahead, we realized that it was possible to hike all the way down from the top and get to the visitor center across some bridges. I offered to hike down with mom and Sonora, and then run up to get the van and pick them up. This gave the girls an easy downhill trip so we could all see the glens.

Going down, these steps could be a bit slippery at times!

This is one of many waterfalls in the area!

One of several bridges that lets you get from one side to the other of the glen.

Mom checking out the bridge.

I’ll be going back up these shortly. I can still feel the burn!

I wish we had more time to explore here. The day was done. We were ready for a motel and some sleep!

Hogan Haake

Kids To Maine -Part 4 – 8/8/2018

Today is what all the rush was about… We had a 10am reservation at the Revolution Rail Company.They have rail biking excursions on old railroad lines that are no longer in service. I had to reserve a few months in advance because its popular and fills up fast! I should have done it 1 day later so we had more time in Maine. Anyway, we got there early anxious to see what it was all about and not miss our reservation.

There were several ski lifts in the area and we found an old Gondola on display.

Eventually we wondered back to the station to check in and await departure for our trip. In the mean time, we played bags.

And even better, we finally got started with our trip. There is nothing quite like spending time in a yellow school bus!

Sonora got the tiny seat in the back.

I sat with mom opposite Sonora.

We didn’t know what to expect, but the rail bikes were very cool. Revolution Rail had them custom built just for us to ride.

Here we are just pas the half way point on our way back.


The rail ride was spectacular and I’m glad we had reservations as they were full! But all good things end and it was time to move on. This was the last planned activity we had planned for the trip. The rest would be winging it.

Speaking of winging it, I talked mom and Sonora into a “short” 1.1 mile hike. Only most of it was up a mountain. They didn’t give up, but they wanted to! I think the view was worth it. And the hike down was super easy!

Again, we drove on, not knowing what we would see. When I saw some float planes, I stopped. We saw that the rates were reasonable and did our best to contact the pilot. Unfortunately, we never did get a hold of anybody and only got to look on from land.

This day had us driving again late into the night, but totally worth it.

Hogan Haake