Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Avett Brothers / Cooperstown

This weekend we went to Cooperstown to see the Avett Brothers concert at Ommegang Brewery. Alison and Bob were gracious enough to let us stay with them at the cabin they had rented in Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park. The cabin was fantastic, very roomy and open with a great porch and fire pit. It was the fanciest cabin I've ever seen, though the Madagascar puzzle was missing 5 pieces.
Friday night we checked into the cabin, took a walk around the park and then headed into Cooperstown for dinner. First we tried to go to Origins Café, which we thought was a restaurant because it was listed on the town website under restaurants. It was very cute looking with a greenhouse and tree nursery. We walked in and asked for a table for four. The woman at the counter looked at us like we were aliens and said "We started serving at 6:00 and it's now 7:30." Alison said "Oh do you only serve at certain times?" and the woman looked at us oddly, mouth agape and then told us they were doing a church benefit that night. Pete said "So are you not serving food?" and she said "We were serving food at 6:00." It was the strangest interaction, like something out of the Twilight Zone. Later we found out that the café is only open from 11am-4pm and for private events. I suppose it was for the best. Origins had a booth at the concert venue and, while their ginger ale was good, their oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were only mediocre. We ended up going to The Blue Mingo for dinner and got to eat outside while watching a spectacular downpour/lightning storm over the water. I almost sat down on the side of the table closest to the water, but Pete asked to switch with me so he could have more leg room. I happily agreed and was even happier I had once it started pouring rain and that side of the table got a little wet. Also, there was a giant spider on the awning above Pete's head and I would not have wanted to sit underneath that.
Saturday morning we ran about 12 miles in Betty and Wilbur's Park, including 2 clockwise and 2 counterclockwise loops of Andy's trail. The trail, just steps from our cabin, was nice doubletrack with some rolling hills, one section of little roller-coaster like hills and a few orange newts. From a park employee, we learned that Andy was Wilbur's friend and that once, while hunting, he killed a deer and while trying to drag it out, ended up going around in a circle. I guess they decided Andy's Trail was a better name than Trail of Deer Tears. The dead deer story harshed my trail zen, though on the last long uphill, which Pete challenged us all to run without stopping, I kind of wished someone was dragging me. It was worth it though because after the run Alison made us some delicious strawberry pancakes. Then we walked around Cooperstown for a bit, watched an inning of a baseball game at Doubleday field, and played catch with a football and frisbee at Glimmerglass State Park. Cooperstown is an adorable little lakeside town, though there is not much there other than baseball related shops and it smelled like ketchup. The ice cream situation was a little disappointing too, as we couldn't find any non-dairy ice cream for Alison.
We arrived at Ommegang Brewery around 4pm, waited in line to park and then waited in line to get into the concert. Ommegang is a great outdoor venue, with a huge field in front of the stage, some food and beer tents and plenty of port-o-potties (with handwashing stations complete with warm water and soap instead of just hand sanitizer). Despite the storm the night before, the field was dry and we set up our chairs, got some food and enjoyed the sunshine. John Prine was the opening act. I didn't know any of his songs but his voice reminded me of Johnny Cash. I started to get a little impatient for the main event, but it was totally worth the wait. The Avett Brothers are amazing live and played most of my favorites, including "Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise," "Live And Die," "The Perfect Space" and of course "I And Love And You." I was hoping to hear "The Ballad Of Love And Hate" too but they didn't play that one. Oh well, maybe next time! Just once I would like to go to an outdoor concert that doesn't reek of pot, but I can't complain. It was a beautiful night with great music and even better company.
Sunday morning, Pete and I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was pretty interesting, though for some reason I thought it would be bigger. Also, I thought the Hall of Fame was just for players. I didn't know that umpires and managers can be inducted too. It's a myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, but the story was perpetuated to drum up tourism for the area because, with The Great Depression and Prohibition, there wasn't much else going on. But "America's Pastime," baseball, is actually a variation of the British game Rounders. Sometimes history is more fiction than fact.
I was having such a good time just enjoying the experience this weekend that I didn't take any pictures. Well, I took one picture, of The Hotel Pratt and a funny Chinese food sign in downtown Cooperstown. Everyone loves FooKin. I can't thank Alison and Bob enough for inviting us to join their weekend adventures. This is what summer, and life, is for. Good friends, good music, good times running through the woods and staying up late playing euchre and laughing.
Lyric of the moment: "If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected. Decide what to be and go be it. There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it..." ~The Avett Brothers "Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise"

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