Friday, April 30, 2010

Keene Valley, An Adirondack Town - Part 1

After leaving Chapel Pond, Route 73 descended down into the Keene Valley. The speed limit was lowered as I entered the small town of Keene Valley. It's a tiny town which caters mostly to tourists as it's right on the main road through the High Peaks Region. Well, it was such a beautiful day that I decided to get out and take some pictures. This first building initially appeared to be a boarding house, but I later got close enough to identify it as the Nature Conservancy. Notice the mountain in the background:

A private home with a wrap-around porch. The owners certainly have some nice scenery to gaze at from their rocking chairs:

The local church. I didn't notice what kind:

This is the view you see of the town of Keene Valley as you enter it on Route 73. As I said, it's not a metropolis:

Houses along Main Street with mountains in the background:

And with more mountains in the background:

The Birch Store:

The ice cream store:

The Skylight Gallery:

Adirondack Realty:

I saw what appeared to be an alley running off the highway and loved the view of the neighboring mountains so I snapped this picture:

The Rustic Store:

A closer view of the office of The Nature Conservancy:

The Keene Valley Public Library. I've got more photos of the town which I'll post tomorrow:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chapel Pond

We'd just passed Giant Mountain and the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area when we arrived at beautiful Chapel Pond. This mountain lake is bordered by sheer rock cliffs on one side and is enormously scenic. It was too close to the road for me to let the dogs out, but I stopped and walked down to the shoreline with my camera:

You can see in this picture both the clearness of the water revealing the rocky lake bottom and the sheer cliff on the other shore:

To the east, the sheer cliff becomes a mountainside which settles back down into the terrain. The pines and cedars surrounding the lake give everything a peaceful feeling:

Another side of the lake with a steeper cliff on its shoreline:

A friendly grouping of cedars:

Looking across Chapel Pond towards the east, the direction from which we've just come:

The sun was warm and I was feeling happy and contented:

And the rocky cliffs were magnificent, contrasting dramatically with the serenity of Chapel Pond:

But the dogs were waiting for me, so I began climbing back up towards my car which is just above those boulders:

And there was my little red car filled with dogs. It was time for me to resume my journey:

But before I resumed my journey, I opened the hatch door and took a photo of the dogs who seemed to be enjoying their outing:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Traveling Between The High Peaks

The dogs and I were off the main highway and making our way northward as we headed up to the farm. We'd had a rest stop at an Adirondack campsite along the Ausable River. Now we were driving on State Route 73, perhaps the most scenic route in the Adirondacks, which we'd take as far as Lake Placid:

I'd already decided to take my time and have fun exploring, so I enjoyed the views as mountains rose up all around us. And of course I stopped to take pictures:

We were in the High Peaks Region, from which I once upon a time launched hikes up Giant Mountain, Rocky Peak Ridge and Dix Mountain. Rocky cliffs rose straight up into the air on both sides of the winding road and I was more than happy to stop to photograph them:

Steep, sheer rocky walls on all sides. I'm glad I didn't have to climb up any of them, though that is a popular sport for many younger, more athletic folks:

At the bottom of some of these cliffs is a rushing torrent of a river and on their rocky faces the deciduous trees are beginning to bud:

This is a typical scene along the two lane Route 73. You can see the guard rail along the edge of the road:

The sky was clear and the mountains looked friendly and inviting. But these are not mountains at a distance - these are mountains close enough to reach out and touch:

We passed by the trail head for the Dix Mountain Wilderness trail. I've hiked on it several times in days past, but these days prefer easier trails with fewer people. But we still had lots of traveling to do just to get to the farm, so I got back into my car and set out once again. I've got more photos to post in the days to come:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adirondack Videos

Today's post is two brief videos from our rest stop in the Adirondacks. The first one is the dogs exploring the edge of the Ausable River (though at the time I wasn't sure which river it was). Watch for Daphne, my little water sprite, running full speed up and down the river bank.

The second video, even briefer, begins with tubby little Wren waddling through the branches of a short Hemlock. You can still hear the sound of the Ausable River in the background. Following that is my "revelation" that I've got so darn many dogs that the woods seems to be full of them, dogs in every direction I look:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rest Break In The Adirondack Forest

We were on our way to the farm and had entered the Adirondacks region, so I stopped at a campsite just off the road to give the dogs (and myself too) a break. We began hiking down a trail through the forest. Little Wren is most often the slowest of the dogs, but it's not for lack of effort. She chugs along like a little brown locomotive:

Wren tried valiantly to scale the logs which had fallen across the trail but without success. Each attempt caused her to land backwards on her butt with a bit of a roll sideways. I took pity on her and helped her over them once I'd seen her difficulty:

Wren and Winky are my "curmudgeon dogs" and are almost always the slowest, trailing the pack. It creates a challenge for me to slow the lead dogs and encourage the slow ones to hurry up. In truth, we'd never walked this far from the car before. But I was in a mood for both exploring and for a bit of exercise:

Wally was once quite a little hiker but has decided as he aged to resist such strenuous activities. He was more than happy to do this brief hike, however:

Winky and Wren are still bringing up the rear:

Fergus and Daphne are running back and forth, taking forays into the deeper woods and doing a bit of wrestling. I insist only that they stay in sight:

Seamus has slowed down from his puppy days and is currently a most excellent hiking companion. Mostly he stays right with me and is a perfect height for petting along the way. I don't even have to bend over to pet him. Here, he is traveling with his buddy, Fergus. Notice the nearby mountain seen through the trees:

Another small log which Winky crawled over without a problem. Wren once again required assistance:

What a lovely day, what pleasant sights and smells, what happy dogs, what a worthwhile rest break:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Heading Toward The Farm, Stopping In The Adirondacks

I hadn't been up to the farm since January and after driving up there nearly every weekend for more than a year, that long break was a bit of a shock to my system. My last trip, in January, was so very cold and snowy that I simply didn't want to spend another 5 hours driving up there simply to sleep overnight and drive another 5 hours home the next morning. Besides, my tenants in the farm house appeared to be completely responsible and trustworthy.

But this past week I had a couple of days off of work, so loaded the dogs into the back of the car and headed northward. It was an eventful trip. I took boatloads of photos and had numerous mini-adventures:

The first hour and 45 minutes of our drive up to the farm is spent on the Northway, the limited access highway running between Albany and the Canadian border. But as soon as I exited the freeway in the Adirondacks region, I headed to our usual rest stop, a campsite just off the road and near the beautiful Ausable River. This was all new for little Daphne. Most everything is a new and exciting adventure for Daphne and watching her discover the world is a great joy for me:

Fergus and Daphne, being the young pups, are the most lively. They're prone to running through the woods just for the fun of it:

We headed down a forest path, deeper and deeper into the forest with tubby little Wren waddling as fast as she could go. Yes, that red spot is my car parked at the campsite:

Daphne rounds a bend at full speed:

Curmudgeonly Winky was able to get over this small log, but Wren was not able. You can see her on the trail behind Winky headed toward it. I had to help her over even this small fallen tree:

The Oregon woods where I spent much of my youth with my cousins was called "The Green Forest" and I think this name would aptly describe the Adirondack Forest also. Here, a few of the dogs seem to have discovered a mighty fascinating smell:

We traveled on and on, much farther along the trail then we'd ever gone before:

Here, Daphne and Wally are investigating something which only they find exciting. The weather was beautiful and I'd already determined to take my time and enjoy the journey, so I didn't feel at all rushed. I'll post more photos tomorrow: