Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowshoeing Blue Mountain Lake and Tirrell Pond Trail

Almost on a whim, Nolan and I decided to get a taste of winter climbing in preparation for taking on the Adirondack 46 high peaks. Blue Mountain is not an official "high peak" but we wanted to see what it was like climbing in winter conditions, as this seems to be the more elitist and hard core way to accomplish the 46er odyssey. We selected Blue Mountain because there seemed to be enough of a base to snowshoe up, and by all weather accounts it was going to be a fairly comfortable 20 degrees and sunny that day. And finally because it was a "manageable" 4 mile ascent/descent. What started as a 4-miler turned into a 10 miler on snowshoes. After arriving at the trail head which is about a quarter mile up from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Lake, we rigged up the shoes and headed out around 12:30. We headed down the Tirrell Pond Trail which was a gradually ascending moderate climb for around 3 miles. We turned back just before Tirrell Pond after discovering we would be taking a chance by trying to use a private service road up the back way of the mountain. To make sure to leave enough time to get up Blue Mtn we headed back down Tirrell Pond trail and to the trail head, so we could get up the mountains summit and back down by dark (around 5:30). By around 2:45 we were headed up the trail towards Blue Mountains summit..... I'll post more details

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ice cold and hard edged...a brooding and temperamental mistress is February

February can be a tough month to "weather" here in the Mohawk Valley. Most everyone at this point (except snowmobilers and skiers) have had their fill of snow and cold and look forward to the warmer days ahead. A good way to pass the time is to drive (or run) around the countryside and enjoy the beautiful Mohawk valley scenery. Most like you'll see many farms and old barns. Trolling around you're sure to see these monuments in most suburban and rural areas of upstate NY. A testament to a time when life was much simpler and prosperous. The barns sit like sentinels in freshly fallen snow along the edges of hilly meadows, or perhaps slowly encroaching forests. Many have fallen, many others are giving in to old age and neglect. A handful are loved and cared for and seem to weather time, and with imagination can momentarily take us back in time. Hope you enjoy these photos of area barns I did in B&W or just a hint of color, to help capture that "stepping back into time" nostalgia look. It's interesting that in the starkness of winter, I am often able to photograph barns, that in the summer are covered by high grasses, brush and trees. Fascinating also, is that often the farmers who own these barns mirror in personal appearance and state of their businesses; their barns. Also, keep in mind that most of my photos are available for purchase....just e-mail me for prices.