Pounding Stones and Flying Drones at Crystal Grove

My wife and I had the pleasure of getting the camper trailer out for a weeklong end of summer vacation. Our destination was Crystal Grove Campground and Diamond mine in St. Johnsville, NY. We shared two exciting and fun days smashing stones to discover Herkimer diamonds. Finding the beautiful crystals was easy with a little experience and practice. Evan and Cecily are hospitable hosts and go above and beyond to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves.

I had an opportunity to fly my Hubsan X4 drone around the area. Having so much open space and sky to soar around is liberating! I collected some of the video footage I recorded from the drone and assembled a [somewhat shaky] video. Our poodle Fleur is oblivious about the thing buzzing around her head. I added a rocking Nightwish tune to add drama to the flight.

One night we found ourselves with too little time to prepare dinner at the camp. We drove into St Johnsville and stopped in Cosmo’s Bar & Grill for some takeout burgers and wings. I felt at home chatting with the bartender Mike and Speedy the local patron. Chris the chef invited Fleur to hang out back with his dog Bronx. The food was off the charts delicious. All in all it was an enjoyable visit. We hope to return to the area for more fun in the near future.

Longs Park Arts and Crafts Festival

longs park arts and crafts festival

Today, Friday, Sept 4 2015 kicks off the Longs Park Arts and Crafts festival in Lancaster PA. The event showcases over 200 artists and craftspeople from across the country. On Sunday Sept 6 I will attend the festival to explore and also lend a hand to my woodworking friends at JD Lohr Arts & Crafts Furniture & Woodworking School. In other words, I’ll be helping pack up at the end of the event.

I’ve been fortunate to attend three woodworking courses the JD Lohr School of Woodworking offers and I consider Jeffry and instructors family. In the near future I plan on returning to the school to retake the Advanced Joinery class to make another nightstand. Can’t I make another nightstand at home? Yes, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as a week at the school. Time shared at the school is a wonderful vacation.

Robert Spiece is an instructor and “second in command” at the school. I have the extreme privilege of owning a few pieces of his custom furniture. Beautiful work. Because Rob was thoughtful enough to share a free ticket to the festival and I had some time on my hands, I carved a representation of Rob as a token of thanks. Thanks Rob for the ticket, thanks for trusting me to load the truck, thanks for the beautiful furniture and thanks for making woodworking fun.