Tag Archives: Route 31



Today’s Finger Lakes Professional Photographers meeting was about using WordPress to maintain the FLPP site, and it was presented by… yours truly.  We had 7 of us there and there were lots of great questions asked.

I love WordPress.  It says something about open source software.  Open source software is where you let people see the code.  Programmers can contribute to maintaining the code as long as they follow the rules.

Heck, I use OpenOffice and Mozilla too.  These are also open source.

So, I gave my presentation and then we went to dinner at Empire Grill on Route 31.  Our service was excellent and so was the food.  Our waitress did an exceptional job.

We decided it is time to update the FLPP site.  Once they saw some of the other templates they started ooo’ing and ah’ing and that was all it took.  It’s been a few years, so I guess it is time for an update.

While I feel like I’m getting quite proficient in WordPress, I still hate what Google has done to the search engine world.   In some ways it has made it harder to fool Google in picking up bad websites, in other ways it is harder to fix things when they go wrong.

Either way, the next company that calls to tell me they can make me come out on top of Google searches I’ll simply say, “Do it, and then we’ll talk.”

Canal Trail

Canal Trail

The Erie Canal Trail goes behind the Beckwith Mansion (but, because of an old section of the canal you can’t get there from here).  You can see the mansion from the trail this time of year because of the lack of leaves on the trees.

copyright 2015 db walton

Erie Canal Trail Palmyra New York

The cool thing about this trail is that it goes from Niagara Falls, New York, to the Hudson River.  It’s about 400 miles long.  One could literally walk from Niagara Falls to the Hudson, and from there catch public transportation to NYC.  (Yeah, that would take a while.)

My only complaint about the trail system is there are very few restrooms along the trail.  There are some places where it passes through villages (like Palmyra) where you could deture to use a restroom, but, for example, going from Palmyra to Newark would probably be a day trip and that’s a long time to hold it.

Cars are not allowed on the trail, but bicycles (non-powered) are.  The trail is very smooth (at least the portions I’m familiar with) and paved in places.  And, because it follows the canal, it is relatively flat with a few minor elevation changes.

copyright 2015 db walton

A Small Elevation Change

New York State Route 31 follows the canal for quite aways.  (The above photo is north of NY SR 31 just east of the Village of Palmyra.)  For cyclist this is great because you can have your support vehicle follow on Route 31 and meet you at some of the bridge crossings.  (Visit www.GetItDoneOn31.biz )


copyright 2015 db walton

Milkweed Pod

It is a beautiful trail.  Even the weeds are pretty.  You might even see deer and other wildlife along the canal.

Anyone interested in a tutorial photo-walk along the canal trail should contact Brent.


Looks like I will be accompanying the missionaries on Sunday as well as being the organist in stake conference.  The missionary conducting the choir dropped off the music today.  I’ve got some practicing to do.  The ones from the hymn book are no big deal — I play those all the time.  It’s the sheet music number that I have to figure out.

It will be fun to be part of the missionary musical number.

Pageant Tuesday, 2013

Pageant Banner Across Main Street (Grandin Building in background)

Pageant Banner Across Main Street (Grandin Building in background)

The Hill Cumorah Pageant starts back up tonight.

I spent the afternoon in the village. There was a guy there who was claiming to be a minster from down the road trying to tell members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they are wrong. It left me wondering…

What type of minister tries to tear down the beliefs of others?

He tried to twist my ear, but I finally told him I know my beliefs are valid and walked off. He kept harping that the bible says there is no more revelation.

I personally believe in a living God who reveals his words today just as he did in ancient times. He is not dead, and he did not die after John wrote Revelations 22:18.

Having read and studied the Book of Mormon, I can plainly state that anyone who refuses to read it because they think it is of the devil are deceiving themselves. They have placed themselves in a Catch-22. Their own belief keeps them from finding the truth, the truth they will never find unless they humble themselves, read it and pray and ask God if it is true.

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, as I was reading the other day I noticed something I had not noticed before.  Having just written my first book, and having worked 18 months and produced 173 pages, I find it amazing that the translation work of the Book of Mormon was done in 65 working days (over about a 3 month period).  In the first part of the Book of Mormon, you do not hear any commentary by Mormon or Moroni; much of the commentary is by Nephi.  Commentaries then switch to Mormon later in the book.  From a writer’s standpoint, I find this very supportive of its translation (versus having been written in those 65 days).

And, speaking of the Book of Mormon from a plot standpoint…

The placement of the Book of Ether is fascinating.  It doesn’t appear when Limhi’s people first find the plates, even though Limhi asks Ammon regarding someone who can translate them.  I think it would be giving Joseph Smith and those who assisted way too much credit to come up with such a complex plot as to place the Book of Ether where it is, and to have Moroni translate it.  And, remember, Moroni translates the 24 Jaredite plates as a last resort because he hasn’t died yet.  (Mormon Chapter 9 is a farewell by Moroni, yet he goes on to translate the Book of Ether, adds some administrative text, adds a letter from his father, Mormon, and then finally closes his writing.  All along, you get the feeling that each chapter might be the last.)  Thus, the Book of Ether is obviously something that couldn’t have been conjured up.

I could go on about other things too.  Super long parenthetical statements that fit so nicely, yet would be difficult to track with modern word processing, let alone a quill pen.  Chapters written as chiasmus – something not discovered until the 1970s.  There are complex parallels, especially in the center of the book during the ministries of the Sons of Mosiah, Alma, and others.

I don’t regard any of this as proof of its truthfulness.  That proof only comes through study and prayer and divine revelation.  However, it does provide an understanding that the book is a masterpiece of complexity that exists nowhere else in literature as we know it.

On the way to the village, there were some kids selling lemonade. I had a nice chat with them and enjoyed a cold lemonade. They were raising money for the son’s hockey equipment and the other half was going to a charity. I was impressed with the young man’s understanding of self-sufficiency and self-reliance.



I also stopped by the E.B. Grandin Building (aka The Book of Mormon Publication Site). With the 90 degree heat, and 90 percent humidity, the air conditioning felt nice. One of the senior missionaries escorted us upstairs to where they had a huge jug of ice water. I sat there, rehydrating, and enjoyed a nice conversation with some of the missionaries.

Sister Smith and a Recreation of the Harmony Home

Sister Smith and a Recreation of the Harmony Home

Senior Missionary Couple at Grandin Building

Senior Missionary Couple at Grandin Building

It looks like they started demolition on the burned section. However, it also looks like they may have stopped. There are asbestos warning signs all over, so I’m wondering if they had to stop so they could take care of asbestos abatement.

Demolition Starts... and Pauses

Demolition Starts… and Pauses

Networking, Working and Cousins

Thursday mornings start off with the Tri-County Networkers meeting (http://www.tricountynetworkers.com/). One of our presenters couldn’t make it this morning, so I give a short presentation about how to update the web page for the group.

Elizabethe has been feeling under the weather, and has been coughing all day. I’ve been trying to be real careful so I don’t get it. Respiratory ailments and I do not get along.

Work consisted of working on the Route 31 book’s text, and trying to drum up more participation in the book. I find it funny that people’s first reaction is, “Route 31? Why?” Then it changes to, “Route 31? COOL!” You don’t know what’s in your backyard until you look, and Route 31 has a lot to offer.

My cousin, Todd Knowles, stopped in with his wife, Lisa, and 3 of their children. His son Trevor graduated from West Point and they came this way to see the church sites (and sights), and are heading to Kirtland, Ohio, next. I had a fun time showing them the house and talking about its history.

Day 4 of the Tour

We photographed the breakfast at the hotel this morning, and then after a bit of a rest, we hit the road for the last day of the tour. We did a little detour to Tipperary Hill in Syracuse. The story behind Tip Hill, as it is also called, is known for a stop light that has the green light at the top, instead of the bottom. The standard is RED, YELLOW, GREEN. But this light is reversed, and here’s why…

The light was installed in an Irish neighborhood, and the following morning, the neighborhood boys took rocks and broke the red light as they felt it was an ethnic attack against the Irish to have the green light on the bottom. When the city replaced the broken red light, again the rock throwers broke it out. Finally, they decided to reverse the lights and that stopped the vandalism.

We made our way back to Route 31, and continued the drive home in the reverse direction.

After making it home, I spent the rest of the day copying all the photos and making backups. Now comes the hard part — organizing the pictures and writing the book.

Day 3 of Our Wild-n-Crazy Tour

We spent last night at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Liverpool, New York. It was wet and drizzly, but we managed to get a few outdoor shots of the hotel. (It is on Route 31, and we’re exchanging services in kind as part of the book tour.)

Our journey today took us to the eastern end of Route 31. We did have some rain throughout the day, but we managed to stay mostly dry. It did impact our being able to take some pictures, so we will have to take some makeup trips.

We had a wonderful dinner, which you’ll read about on www.GetItDoneOn31.biz next week.

Day Two of the Route 31 Trip

Since day 1 ended near home, we stayed the night at our homes. I picked Paul up early again this morning, but this time, his clock was off and he wasn’t quite ready yet.

We got on the road and headed straight to our 10am appointment at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. There we were met with smiles and a friendly staff who posed for the book. (Wayne County has a great sheriff, and his staff was equally friendly.)

The rest of the day was met with rain and drizzle. You can see more in a few days on http://www.GetItDoneOn31.biz .

And They’re Off

I threw some ice in the ice chest after eating a good low-carb breakfast, and headed to Canandaigua to pick up Paul. Once we got his stuff in the car, we were off to Niagara Falls to start the Get It Done on 31 ™ Tour. (See www.GetItDoneOn31.biz)

Bill and Patsy Gerle were going to meet us there. They are a couple I taught while serving in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Patsy called at 10am and said Roger wasn’t feeling well and they were going to drive straight to my place. She then asked about urgent care clinics. That didn’t sound good.

Paul and I got to the start of Route 31 – a fancy neighborhood over the bluffs above Niagara Falls. We turned west, and began our route. (For more about the tour, please visit http://www.GetItDoneOn31.biz. It will take about a week for things to get updated, so there is no need to go there today.)

When we got to Rochester, I talked to Patsy. She was directed to take Bill to the E.R. I asked where, and Paul and I drove directly there to give Bill a blessing.

Bill was in great spirits, as was Patsy. We talked for a bit after giving Bill a blessing, but like most E.R.s, it was pretty hectic, so Paul and I went on our way.

Patsy came in late and spent the night at the house as they admitted Bill.

Temple and Last Minute Items

Tomorrow is the big Get It Done on 31 Tour, and I have some last minute items to get done.

After our morning session, I spent the day packing the car and getting some cash for the trip. I’ve got the trunk of the car well packed and organized to make it easy to get cameras in and out.

The evening at the temple went well. It’s time to call it a day before the big trip.

Sister Monson and Sister Missionaries

My heart ached when I heard of the passing of Sister Monson.  I immediately thought of President Monson’s talk in April 2008.  The talk touched me of his love for his sweet Frances.  As you listen to this talk from a little over five years ago, you will see what a wonderful relationship President and Sister Monson had:  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/abundantly-blessed?lang=eng#watch=video

I spent most of the day cleaning the car, and getting ready for the trip next week.  Yes, next week is the Get It Done On 31 Tour.  (See www.GetItDoneOn31.biz and http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1608435784/get-it-done-on-31-tour )

Right now, we have one backer on Kickstarter and a large corporation has come forward and is providing lodging for us on the tour.  (You’ll have to wait and see the book to find out.)  If you, or someone you know, wants to be part of this book, visit the Kickstarter page in the next couple of days.  Think of this book as being like a road guide book cross with Guy Fieri and photographed by yours-truly.

All 6 of the sister missionaries serving here came to dinner tonight.  We had Sisters Anderson, Roberts, Davis, Aielo, Butters and Jones.  (We would have had the elders too, but they had a conflict.)

Elizabethe suggested we have a potato bar, so I made some various sauces, and we chopped some onions and peppers, and cooked some bacon, plus the traditional sour cream and butter.  It was a great hit.  I kind of flaked on dessert as I forgot to go to the store.  So, I just made some chocolate pudding and threw some grated candy bars in with it.