Cooperstown Road Trip

(Silas took the two pictures above.  He wanted to take pictures of the flowers for Mommy.)

(Jonny here today.)

Last week Keats, Gabe, Silas, Job and I took a road trip to Coopserstown, NY for an epic baseball tournament planned a year in advance. We sold around one thousand boxes of doughnuts, worked concessions at several tournaments, and played bingo to get there. And, it was worth it. Not only because Keats and Gabe got to spend a week playing baseball, but because I got to spend time with my tiny guys in a beautiful part of New York State.
I don’t really do well at planning. Some families from our team booked a place to stay over six months in advance. I, however, didn’t make a reservation anywhere. My original plan was to get a school bus and turn it into an RV for this trip and to take the whole family. But, that went south when I blew all the money on a sawmill. Instead, it became a tent camping trip. I knew there were two state parks nearby (Glimmerglass and Gilbert Lake) that had camping available. We made it to Gilbert Lake State Park at 2:35 am. Not wanting to bother anyone, we just slept in the van. After several hours of not really sleeping, I drove Keats and Gabe to Dreams Park where I registered them and left them for the week. This was the first time our boys would be sleeping away from home without a parent. The littles and I went back to Gilbert Lake to register there and set up the tent. After downing some Cheerios I realized that I had to kill 8 hours before I needed to be back at Dreams Park. So, I strapped Job and Silas in their seats, and we added some miles to the van. We cruised around the countryside and eventually found ourselves on the shores of Otsego Lake and the beginning of the Susquehanna River. It didn’t take long before they were soaking wet.
We made it back to Dreams Park in time for the opening ceremony and the skills competition. Gabe participated in the Roadrunner competition. Each of the 105 teams playing in the tournament entered their fastest kid to run around the bases and be timed. Gabe got 2nd place. Not bad.
The next two days consisted of waking up early to go see the boys play, wasting time, then watching the boys play another game. It was hard to keep Silas and Job entertained while their big brothers played. But, I had plenty of help with the other moms and siblings, so, I actually got to watch a lot of the innings.
At some point, I found myself with the little guys back at Ostego Lake. This time I met a local with a giant gray beard. His name was Bern, and he was super friendly. We chatted for a long time about the Avett Brothers, dams, and ice fishing. It turned out that he had a house on the lake and he invited me to use his boats as I liked. I didn’t hesitate, and before long we were out on the lake in kayaks and paddleboats. The water was amazing. So clear and blue.
The week seemed to fly by. We spent the last night at Glimmerglass State Park just to do something different. The littles and I did a lot of fishing and swimming when we weren’t at the ball park. Keats and Gabe were able to hang with us sometimes when they weren’t playing. The goldenrod was amazing. I saw three dead porcupines in the road. I bought a Vermont Castings woodstove on the side of the road for $40. I love New York.


  1. Johnny blogging his solo parenting adventures are the BEST!!

  2. How did they do in the tournament?

    My neighbor’s boy was on a team last year and they won the whole shebang.

    • Not so great. 🙂 I think they ranked just above the middle going into the actual tournament part. I don’t think their hearts were in it, because by the time their week came around it was so late in the season that the team had mostly gone their separate ways, playing on new teams. This was kind of a last hurrah. My boys had a great time though, totally loved it!

  3. I envy your road trip Jonny and especially the woodstove find! What an awesome deal indeed. Where will you be putting it?

  4. This makes me smile. I would love to see the stove sometime. Man I would love to find a stove for 40 bucks.

  5. Fabulous job Jonny! (with your boys also…;-)
    Love your journaling and your photography.

  6. You make me miss my home! What an adventure. I grew up in upstate New York but always loved traveling around (mostly due to horse shows growing up) to see all New York had to offer. Even though I lived there for 18 year of my life, I only went to NYC once and that was more than enough for me!

  7. I grew up right around the corner from Gilbert Lake! What wonderful memories I had there. Cooperstown is such a gem. I am glad you all had a wonderful time. You must be exhausted!

  8. Don’t get me wrong – I love Ginny’s writing and photos, but I’m just wondering if Jonny can write once in a while. Glad I am not the only one who counts roadkill on long car trips!

  9. Sounds like your guys had a great time. And way to go Gabe!! That’s amazing! I would have loved to see that. I’m glad they are all back home and well and that you have a new wood stove. Cool.

  10. Our son’s baseball team went to the same ball park 18 or 19 years ago and it was a blast for boys and parents alike!

  11. Great deal on the stove! And wonderful memories for your boys. (good goin’, Gabe!)

  12. What a great trip-and wonderful pictures Jonny!

  13. Gotta love a post that references three dead porcupines in the road! Cool.

    On a more serious note, it really does sound like you all had a lovely time. I do envy people who can go with the flow–I am an over-thinker and an over-planner.

  14. Love everything about this post!!

  15. Gorgeous photos Ginny!!

  16. Melissa McIntyre says:


  17. $40!!! Amazing…and the rest of the trip too….

  18. What an amazing memory to share with your boys! Your pictures are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing

  19. sounds like a super fun time, I love your writing voice! Tell Ginny that those two photos that Silas took for her are frame worthy 🙂 congrats on the new stove!

  20. fish dog farm says:

    Aww. I wish we knew. We live only a couple hours from Cooperstown! Looks like memories made. Glad you had fun.

  21. The best deals on antiques are upstate! Next time try to find a local auction. The people watching alone is worth an hour there. You can anything from rubber bands attached to old bottles of wine to used sheets (ewww!) oh what I used to find. Love your blog.

  22. Jean G. Woodhouse says:

    Jonny is quite a husband, father and super human to take on the photographing and journalling as well on this trip.

    Ginny, you are blessed.

  23. For not planning much you did fantastic! My husband is a lot like you & would have handled the trip similarly. I would have planned it to death & it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun or relaxed! Love the narrative! You & Ginny are a great pair!

  24. mary louise says:

    a vermont castings stove for just $40? wow, you struck gold! we have had several vermont castings and loved each one. what model did you buy?

  25. Let’s just say I am in awe of the ‘no planning, laid back, one week, 5 boys and their dad’ all neatly wrapped in a nice and matter-of-fact narrative. Bravo, wow !

  26. Glad you had a good time in NY! (Just don’t come here in the winter, because then all your good impressions of this state would be ruined and you wouldn’t love NY anymore!)

  27. Loved the pictures of the boys. It’s so cute to see the little ones hang around each other and the big ones are getting so grown up. I’m glad you helped give Ginny a break and got to have some great memories as well in your travels.

  28. I’m so happy you were able to make these memories Jonny . Wonderful score on the woodstove!

  29. Oh man! You guys were less than an hour from my house!

    Sounds like you had a beautiful memory-making adventure!

  30. What a nice adventure! I like the photo of the tent in the cabin door.

  31. What a great trip, and how great to take the littles with you. I know it was great memories for everyone. Pretty great deal on the stove. Love the pictures!

  32. how special!!! wonderful too for the boys to have such nice “Dad Time”!!! Yay!!! Loved all the pictures and the stories! God bless you all! (So neat also how you worked hard to get there, that’s the best!!!)

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