Keeping the spouse happy

Bill HiltsIf you're an avid hunter or fisherman, it’s important to keep your better half happy. Sometimes it’s something as simple as making sure your accommodations are clean with a working bathroom as you travel for work or pleasure. Other times, you have an opportunity to pamper your spouse with something special. That happened over Labor Day weekend in Sodus Point.

Every Labor Day (at least when I don’t have a conflict like a trip to Alaska) I help out the Lake Ontario Counties Derby and David Chilson by serving as emcee for the awards ceremony – held the last few years at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Point. The location is a good one from the standpoint of being centrally located, as well as a great spot on the water to take pictures of all the winning catches.

Rather than make the two-hour drive in, emcee the awards and head home, I decided to bring my wife, Sandy, along so we could spend the night and take in some of the local Wayne County attractions. It started with our bed and breakfast for the evening – the Carriage House Inn. Our hosts were Claudine and Jerry Karczewski, new proprietors of the 1870 Victorian home. Overlooking Lake Ontario and adjacent to the historic Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, the award-winning Carriage House makes you feel right at home in so many ways. The bedroom was very comfortable and the breakfast was outstanding. By the time we left, we felt like we’d known Jerry and Claudine all of our lives.

After we tore ourselves away from breakfast, we headed east to the other side of Sodus Bay for a little hearty exercise. Our destination was Chimney Bluffs State Park, a 600-acre tract of public land offering unique land formations sculpted out of clay and towering some 150 feet above Lake Ontario – right next to the water! You can view these bluffs from the shoreline, from the top of the bluffs or from the water. All vantage points are spectacular. It’s well worth the hike.

There are several wineries in the area and we stopped in to sample the fruits of the vine at Thorpe Vineyard, in close proximity to Chimney Bluffs. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the offerings and we actually picked up a bottle of their Riesling.

One thing that caught our eye was the 16th Annual Apple Tasting Tour in October. The Tour Challenge runs the entire month, with a special Tasting Weekend set for Oct. 11-14. Check out their website at for details. What a great idea! Wayne County is known for its apples and this is a great way to sample a wide variety of options – from Apple Country Spirits to a long list of fruit markets; from Heluva Good Cheese Country Store to area wineries that use fruits for some of their wine-making. Again, it’s about keeping the spouse happy – a sacrifice I love to make when it involves food and drink. We will be back in October to visit more of Wayne County’s outdoor attractions. Did I mention that they have some pretty darn good fishing and hunting there, too?

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