Autumn Cabin Rental Adventures in Central NY

Fall hay ride enjoyed by Wellnesste Lodge Cabin Rental Guests in Taberg, Central NY
Fall hay ride enjoyed by Wellnesste Lodge Cabin Rental Guests in Taberg, Central NY

The Coming of Fall & the Pleasures of Change

We, who are fortunate enough to live in the northeastern United States, are blessed with four distinctive seasons of change. Just as spring evokes our senses with the color of wildflowers and migrant birds, so does autumn with falling leaves and crisp nights. The fall is a time for quiet walks in the woods; crisp evenings under the stars by the campfire; fresh apple cider; hay rides and flocks of geese overhead.

At Wellnesste Lodge, one of the autumn traditions for our family and for our many cabin rental guests is to make the annual pilgrimage to the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY. There, every year, hundreds of volunteers put together what is known as the “Annual Harvest Fest”. Visitors enjoy old fashioned horse-drawn hay rides through the grounds of the living museum and see pristine buildings preserved over hundreds of years… the old school house; the blacksmith’s shop; the apothecary; the granary and dozens of other treasures are all open for exploration. Inside the buildings you’ll find volunteers/ craftsmen (and women) in period dress performing their specialties just like generations have before them.

Out-of-doors you can wander the gravel paths and browse dozens of local merchants’ tents to find sweet New York maple syrup, apples, craft cheeses, ripened gourds & pumpkins, homemade jams, hand knit sweaters and so much more. The wonder of farm life is alive at this harvest fest and connects every visitor to the roots that made this country great in its infancy and still provides nourishment to all of us to this day.

Milking the cows at the harvest fest in Central New York.

Milking the cows at the harvest fest in Central New York.

Fall harvest fest enjoyed by Wellnesste Lodge Guests.

Fall harvest fest enjoyed by Wellnesste Lodge Guests.

Another favorite sight here is the ability to see children of all ages enjoying the many farm animals roaming about. You’ll witness animals that have been raised since birth as prized members of Central New York farm families and are brought here to “show off’ and share with the attending public. Farm fauna including cows, bulls, pigs, goats, oxen and sheep are a pleasure to enjoy and snap a candid photo with.

The small children love to walk about the courtyards amongst free range chickens. They’re also thrilled by the gobbling turkeys and enthusiastic quacking of the farm’s ducks. Perhaps the most treasured of the children’s animal interactions is the ability for everyone to try their luck at milking a cow by hand (a task that’s certain to connect both young and old to our ancestor’s farming roots).


The fresh air and milling about is sure to make your belly rumble and your thirst long for something wet to down. Fear not for no one should go hungry or thirsty at this harvest fest as there is fare for all to enjoy. Pick up a cup of hot beef barley soup cooked in a cast iron pot over an open fire. Or perhaps enjoy an ear of delicious roasted corn dipped in butter- a cardiologist’s delight! An old fashioned SaranacGinger beer or Root beer is the perfect libation to wash those goodies down and a slice of homemade apple pie with fresh whipped cream is a must to top off your bellies’ delight.


There are countless other fun things to do here at the annual harvest fest and there’s literally something for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps the reason we love this time of year and this tradition so much is because it gives us the opportunity to enjoy the cool air, fresh smells, gorgeous autumn foliage and time together as a family. That, after all is what I believe the founding fathers likely had in mind- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (on a fall afternoon in beautiful Upstate NY).

A Vigil Host

The wind blows cold both far and near

October’s come ‘nother year

As colors blaze upon the hills

The summer’s corn …headed for the mills

Maple red and Oak of brown

Yellow of Birch blow all around

I watch the colors in the breeze

Perched on the steps …below the trees

By day I sit …and I spy

The local landscape changing by

At night I give off spooky glows

To ghouls and goblins down below

Some shout out “Jack!”

Some scream out “O”!

Some squeal “A Lantern”!

But they all know

That it’s just me on Hallow’s Eve

Sitting pretty as I please

So go on children …seek tricks …and seek treats

Go door-to-door for snacks & sweets

I’ll sit on steps- lit all aglow

When you return- just let me know

It’s Halloween! you witches you vampires …and you ghosts

And your ‘ol friend Jack-O-Lantern Stands vigil as your host

~ Christophe Marin ~

The Power of Nature & Our Human Frailness

Garnet Rock Beach under water
Garnet Rock Beach under water

It’s so easy to forget that we as humans are not the center of the universe. We all too often get caught up in everyday worldly affairs and as life passes us by, we sometimes fail to notice all of the natural beauty (and natural power) around us.

Even though we live in the country each and every day, I must admit that we too sometimes take the natural world and Mother Nature for granted. This morning was a stark, yet beautiful reminder of our human frailty when matched with the power of nature.

For about a week we’ve had off-and-on rains in Central New York (CNY) and yesterday proved that should one be capable of doing so, the building of an Ark would have been in order. With near-record rainfall within a 24 hour period, a mini-monsoon hit CNY blessing us with more moisture than our ecosystem is accustomed to. Being that Wellnesste borders the famous East Branch of Fish Creek (a world-class whitewater river); the downpour only meant one thing: flood alert.

The lower fields and Garnet Rock Beach had not previously been touched by flood waters since the great rains five years ago (following Hurricane Katrina). At that time, the river decided to overflow from its traditional banks and create a small riverette in the lower fields, which subsided within 24 hours.

Awakening this morning with windows ajar for fresh air, we could hear the thundering rumble of water-slapping-shale-valley-walls and knew that something unusual had arrived. Dawning camera, shorts and Tevas, Sophie (our 7 year old daughter) and I (with our 2 year old loyal mutt Ottie following closely behind) set off to explore. We soon discovered that our human-handiwork of building a cozy sand beach adjacent to the river (which has been standing strong for years) was in peril.

Ahh… life’s lessons and our human frailty shown to us in 3D! Pictures do not do the event justice as millions of gallons of hydrogen and oxygen combined atoms (H2O) whizzed by at faster-than-we-could-blink speeds. There were whole trees (some undoubtedly weighing thousands of pounds) floating away in the whitewater current as if they were match sticks. Our little beach, which had taken me about a week to build by hand years ago and accompanying Adirondack Chairs were now 3 feet under water with a steady current flowing over them and onto the lower fields. The river’s waters that had crested over the bank undulated through the lower fields like a slick serpent following the path of least resistance and eventually forked into two small streams about ten feet wide and three feet deep. The murky waters (some murkiness likely caused by the sand that once blessed our beach) was rushing by as we imagined the dorsal fins of trout and salmon passing along heading back towards the main river.

That’s the most powerfullest thing I ever saw,” exclaimed Sophie as she performed a spontaneous flood dance amidst the flood waters. I think that about summed up the feeling right then and there… the most powerfullest thing. So today, as I sit in the comfort of Black Bear Cabin in anticipation for this weekend's annual Halloween Party, I feel humbled once again by the power of Nature. Despite computers, the internet, modern construction and all of mankind’s accomplishments… we are all here just for a short while and Mother Nature reminds us from time to time that we are not the center of the universe!