Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ice Volcanoes at Golden Hill State Park

It wouldn't be winter without a hike along the Lake Ontario shoreline to see the ice volcanoes. 

A quick stop to chill the wine, and we headed off down the snowy path.

Along the way we spotted a few ice caves and bridges off shore. 

I love how this pool of ice has rectangular and round pieces. 
It reminds me of my favorite Gustav Klimt painting "The Kiss".  His robe being all angular and hers soft and round. 
Anyhow, back to the hike.....
Don't let the snowy appearance fool you.  This was solid rock-hard ice.  Sure it looks like all soft mounds of snow, but a pair of ice cleats would have certainly come in handy.  It was treacherous.   Even Kyah was having a hard time, and she is like a mountain goat!

The volcanoes close to the land were filled, but very deep and although I was tempted to go right to the bottom, but I wasn't so sure I'd be able to get out without a grappling hook, which I did not have!  And since I only had my camera phone with me, it was impossible to get a good shot.
Gingerly making my way out to the water's edge and up the icy incline, I was rewarded with watching this sheet of ice slowly disappear under the shelf.  Fascinating.  One by one, these sheets would work their way down the channel and slip under the edge, never to be seen again.
Looking out toward the water, I see this giant crack running along the edge.
Not someplace I would want to fall into, so I slid back down and explored some more.
 I really thought this half volcano right at the edge was so neat.  I did manage to crawl my way to the top, but couldn't take a picture as it was so steep that I had to hang on with both hands or else I just slid right to the bottom.  It was so ugly on the inside!
Here it is from behind - I realize it looks like nothing in this photo, but in person, it was quite the specimen.

Another cave along the edge, with the sheets of ice being drawn into it:

 So as I was exploring (and slipping and falling), Pete was being his ever-resourceful self:

While he built the fire,
I pulled together a little impromptu picnic.
 Cheers to a great winter hike!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Weekend at Humphrey Lake Lodge

Being almost 49 years old, I realized I had never travelled alone. Even when I travelled for work, I always went with someone.
How Appropriate.
This print hangs in the bathroom at Humphrey Lake Lodge.

I searched online and found what appeared to be the perfect place for a single chick to chill for the weekend.  Almost too good to be true.  I did a little research, checking out the location by google mapping it on the satellite setting.  Just wanting to make sure there wasn't a factory or some other industrial place lurking close by.  Didn't want to get "catfish"ed, I guess you could say.

Well, the more I looked, the more I was convinced I had found THE perfect place for a few days of solitude.  Booked it.  But then panicked.  I can't go alone.  Called my two friends that I know would enjoy a weekend in the woods and as fate (luck?) would have it, both were busy that weekend.  So I took that as a sign.  I was going away alone.  Gulp.

I meet the owner, Bette, at her home and she led the way up the hill to the cabin; picture her flying up this 'driveway' (more like a dry creek bed) in a golf cart, and me carefully picking my way around the rock filled ruts.  I felt like a City Slicker (but I swear I do live in the country!) and wondering if I had lost my mind doing this alone.

As soon as the cabin comes into view, I know I'm never going to want to leave.  This place is
I spend the first hour or so getting acquainted with what will be home for the next 72 hours.

Pretty comfy.   I believe I could live here year 'round.

My high hopes of hiking for hours and then coming back to get some beading projects done, quickly melted away in the heat and humidity.  And I became addicted to the view.  Heavily addicted. 

I spent the majority of the day watching the fish jump in the pond and eavesdropping on the birds. 

I read.

I stared at the view.

I made friends with the tadpoles.

I felt like a peeping tom watching a turkey take a dust bath and then down to the pond for a drink. Wish I had my camera handy, but it was in the cabin and I didn't want to take the time to go get it.

 I held my breath when a fawn made its way along the pond edge before disappearing into the meadow.  So silently, had I not been looking, I would have missed it. 

I practiced yoga.

I ate.
 I smiled every time a fish would jump and send ever-widening ripple rings across the pond.  It was so fun to hear the splash and then quick look across the surface to see where it had jumped.  Silly, but fun.

I ate some more.
I walked the perimeter of the pond and enjoyed the view from a different perspective.

I did a bit of beading on Twigs, who has now been officially renamed Humphrey.

And while I sat there basking in the glory of it all, three visitors came.

And stayed near me most of the day.  Oddly enough,  on my feet, but occasionally sharing my chair.

I've never experienced butterfly love before, but its an amazing thing to have such a delicate creature share your day.   Fluttering around, landing on you, tasting you.  Beautiful.  I lost myself watching them. 

After an over the top day that was beyond my expectations, I will admit I was a bit apprehensive as dusk settled on the hill.  Even with a gargoyle on duty...

I'm not much of a night person.  But I was brave enough to venture out and  catch the almost full moon reflecting off the pond while hundreds (thousands?) of fireflies blinked everywhere.  Pure Magic.

The morning dawned with the valley covered in mist.  So serene.

 I decided to  walk in the woods a bit before the sun rose fully and the heat convinced me to lounge on the porch all day.

I saw enough of the woods that morning to know I will most definitely come back in the Fall and hike hike hike.

Today, though I will feed my addiction to the view.

I headed home feeling like a new person....and looking forward to returning.

 Two minutes at Humphrey Lake Lodge. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Niagara Gorge at Low Water

I always try to go to a few of the hikes organized by the New York State Parks Department
Morgan at the Whirlpool

The NYS Parks Department works really hard to get these hikes together and I'm so thankful they do.
Me and My Shadow :) in the early sun
I always learn something new. Like the fact that at this time of year, so much water is diverted for power that the whirpool no longer exists at the bend. It's still a great spot, even without the swirling whirlpool.

Especially on a day like this one.

And although I've hiked this gorge many times, it never ceases to amaze me all the hidden treasure I somehow missed the last time through. 

This time around I learned that one of the workers engraved the year along the pathway beyond the whirlpool flats.  Keep your eyes open next time you hike that ledge and see if you can find it.  Pretty cool.

And we came along these remnants of a by-gone era:

Heaps and Heaps of cast off hardware from a long gone factory that was at the top of the gorge some time ago.  All melded together.  Forever.

Pure Art if you ask me.  Fascinating.  As mezmerizing as those rapids.  The more you look, the more you see.
Very Cool Indeed.