Friday, February 12, 2010

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival In The Making

It'd already been a long drive, beginning early on Sunday morning and with side trips to the Lake Champlain area, Hurricane Mountain Road and the unmarked road with the horse farm. But as I entered the town of Saranac Lake I saw that construction on the ice castle for the Winter Carnival had begun. I'd attended the carnival last year but this year I could see how the castle was built - if only I'd stop. So I parked the car with the dogs inside and walked over to the construction site. A crane was lifting giant blocks of ice up onto the wall. There, workers were using snow to mortar them into place:

That red handle you see in the lower right hand corner is attached to a cooler full of sodas which someone had brought to throw up to the workers on the ice castle. No beers, just sodas. It was, after all, still Sunday morning and these guys were working with extremely heavy and slippery blocks:

I looked a bit farther down the shore line and saw this piece of equipment picking the blocks out of the lake and setting them on the shore. And then, when a tractor arrived, directly into their bucket:

Several tractors kept receiving a single block of ice and then running it over to the man on the crane who'd lift it into place for the workers on the walls. There was a lot of waiting patiently for these tractor operators:

I believe that the pile of snow along the base of the wall was there to be used to mortar the ice blocks into place:
Many more ice blocks had been cut and removed from the lake than could be lifted onto the wall and mortared into place. These extras were accumulating along the shore line:

I noticed a large square opening in the lake ice where workers were cutting the blocks so I walked down there:

Here's the operation where the blocks are cut and removed from the lake:

And looking across Lake Flower, some Saranac Lake town residences on its shoreline:

Well, the dogs were getting tired of waiting for me and I had many more miles to travel so I took one last photo of the castle construction before I jumped back into the car and continued my journey to the farm:

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