Monday, April 30, 2012

Driving Home On The Magnificent Port Kent Hopkinton Turnpike

As soon as I'd eaten breakfast, shut off the water supply and cleaned my apartment, it was time to leave the farm for Albany. This trip had been far too short. But the weather was grand so I decided to take the scenic route home, traveling the old Hopkinton Port Kent Turnpike, once a major access road through the wilderness but now a series of back roads, some only seasonal. Along the way I passed a farm pond with Canada Geese in residence:

And that same farm had a small flock of red hens happily clucking around the barn. I was using my new camera's zoom lens:

Some of the more adventurous hens strayed farther from the barn and toward the woods. They looked happy and peaceful and I wished them well, but I also knew that lots of chicken eating wildlife lived in those woods:

And at that same farm were three contented horses who watched me with interest as I snapped their picture from my car:

But then I continued on along the Port Kent/Red Tavern Roads (part of the "Turnpike"), stopping when it came right up next to the St. Regis River:

The water level was surprisingly low for a spring day but I supposed the lack of snow that winter would mean less water all spring and summer. At any rate, the scenery was lovely:

The dogs waited, though not particularly patiently, for me in the car while I explored and took photos:

A little bit farther up the road I stopped again and walked down to the river to see Everton Falls:

When I got to the seasonal roads, I was happily surprised to find them in reasonably good shape and as scenic as always:

I heard one loon crying off in the distance but didn't see any on this trip:

The edges of this pond are so marshy that I couldn't get too close to the water. But the road is so remote and seldom traveled that I saw no other vehicles anywhere and could stop in the road at any time to take pictures. The mountain air was clean and fresh with a hint of Balsam and I was very much enjoying this journey. I'll post more about it tomorrow:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Barn Construction At The Halfway Point

I arrived at the farm and was happy to see the barn reconstruction had progressed markedly. The new brown steel siding was almost all in place, the walls were straight and strong, the floors no longer sagged:

They'd painted the south door white and had put up a lot of the white window trim:

The east side of the barn was now absent of its former collapsing sheds:

Much of the debris from the shed demolition had been removed although there was plenty yet on the ground. The pile of old tires was still there. The new siding caused the rusted old steel roofing to look pretty bad by comparison. I wished that I could afford to fix that, but I'd already made remarkable progress:

The north door still needed to be trimmed and painted, but overall the barn was looking good:

This barn is a magnificent and imposing structure, a large part of the value of the property. Some day when I sell the place I'll be very glad I had this work done:

The weather was warm and sunny so I left the dogs all outside in their fenced in run where they played with the tenants' dog:

My neighbor had removed all the maple trees in the side yard except for one. I didn't want giant old trees too close to the house when I'm living up there and too old and too poor to deal with them. Besides, my neighbor needed the firewood:

Everything was looking good and I was pleased. But this was only a very brief stay and I'd have to leave for home the next morning. The dogs and I spent a comfortable night in our apartment and awoke to a magnificent sunrise the next morning. I wished I could stay longer but had to get back to Albany. I'll post more about the journey home tomorrow:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Upper St. Regis Lake, A Surprise Find

I was on my way up to the farm via Route 3 heading north out of Tupper Lake and looking for a place to give the dogs a rest stop. I saw a turn-off with what used to be a New York State sign of the type which usually indicates natural areas, boat launches, etc - but only the post and frame remained, the sign itself was gone. I turned onto the little access road and drove into the forest. I found an empty parking lot and a nice trail leading ----- well, somewhere. Of course we all piled out of the car and started down the trail:

The young dogs all ran excitedly ahead but little old Winky was pokey:

And so was old Wally. These two old guys keep me on my toes. The youngsters want to rush ahead but I have to slow them down while simultaneously urging the two oldsters forward:

And then to my surprise I saw a spectacular Adirondack lake just ahead! Of course I had no idea what lake it was, but later on checked a map and decided that it had been Upper St. Regis Lake:

The dogs ran forward onto the sandy beach and I was amazed at the great, unspoiled beauty of it all. If it had been summer, perhaps the beach would have been filled with sunbathers, but I doubted that this remote, unmarked gem got that much attention:

The soil in much of the northern Adirondacks is sandy and it shouldn't be any surprise to find such a nice, sandy beach. But I was surprised and delighted. The dogs were having a grand time running and sniffing:

It took a while, but old Wally and Winky finally arrived, moving slowly and checking out every scent along the way:

We all explored the forest along the sandy lake edge:

There was a broad, wide, level trail running parallel to the shoreline and the Papillons wanted to explore it, but  we had been on the road for a long time and were perhaps a half hour from the farm. So I gave the dogs a call and started moving them back toward our parked car:

Fergus, Clover and Daphne ran on ahead:

Wally, Winky and Seamus lagged behind as if reluctant to depart such a beautiful spot:

But I got them all moving in the right direction and, eventually, loaded back up into the car so we could continue our journey to the farm. But I'll post more about that tomorrow:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Trip Up To The Farm With A Stop Along Route 28N

With work on the barn going at an exciting pace I was soon back on the road driving up to the farm. But this time I decided to take another route just for variety. I was driving on Route 28N through the Adirondacks near Newcomb, New York when I spotted a pull-off which I knew from previous trips had a nice place where I could give the dogs a rest stop. We all hopped out of the car and down a small hill to a brook:

Little Daphne and Clover stopped only momentarily for a drink before resuming their race through the forest:

Old Wally, in spite of his failing eyesight, happily walked across the water on a moss covered log:

And crabby old Winky did the same. These two old guys have not yet given up their spirits of adventure - they're just slower and more cautious these days. But this was just a quick rest stop and within minutes we were all back in the car and on our way once again toward the farm. I'll post more tomorrow:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Last Rest Stop Along The Ausable River

We were on our way home, the dogs and I, from a particularly busy and productive visit to the farm and had almost reached the main highway. I had only one last opportunity to give the dogs a rest stop and pulled into our favorite little campsite hidden in the forest next to the Ausable River:

We trotted down the hill to the river's edge:

There were a few patches of snow remaining in spite of the incredibly warm weather:

The happy pooches ran from interesting smell to interesting smell, checking each one out with great enthusiasm:

Seamus and Daphne trotted confidently through the Hemlocks and Cedars with the lovely Ausable River burbling on the opposite side of the trail:

Clover, Winky and Fergus climbed uphill just a bit and surveyed this magic wonderland of nature. I often think at moments like this how blessed I am to enjoy such forest grandeur and happy dogs:

Daphne trotted across the mossy forest floor to my side and looked up, apparently wanting to make sure I was OK:

And crabby old Winky, in spite of what looks like a frown, was happy and bouncing like a puppy:

The waters of the Ausable River were a bit too high for me to go rock hopping so I just admired the beauty from the safety of the forest path:

And then it was time to return to the car. I kept an especially close watch on Wally because his eyesight is failing. He has slowed down considerably but seemed to have no difficulty finding his way through the boulders and up the steep hill toward our car:

Wally did, however, insist on stopping one last time at an interesting smell along the trail. But in a few moments I had all the dogs loaded back up into the car and was on my way home:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Driving Home From The Farm Through The Adirondacks

It had been a productive and exciting visit to the farm, but of course the time came when it was time to head for home. I didn't dawdle but left early in the morning and took the most direct route. I did, however, take the time to stop and photograph some of the beautiful Adirondacks on my way home:

Some of the high peaks near Adirondack Loj Road:

More peaks over a driving range:

And when we arrived at the Cascade Lakes, I pulled into the little waterside park to give the dogs a break:

It was still quite early in the morning and taking pictures without glare was difficult. But as you can see, the surroundings were magnificent:

We were all alone in the park and the dogs trotted around giving everything the sniff test. The morning sun was just beginning to hit the mountaintops while we, down below, were still in the shade:

In spite of the unseasonable warm weather there was still some ice on the lakes and steam rising as that ice melted. The dogs and I took a walk along the shoreline:

Poor old Wally found himself too far from the car when it came time to leave. Winky was the other direction so I just had to hold still and keep calling them both:

And then we drove onward through the Keene Valley:

And I stopped for more photos of the glorious Adirondacks:

My favorite spot. I never grow tired of this scene:

I drove on past Marcy Field but didn't stop to let the dogs out. I reckoned that there'd be an opportunity for one more rest stop when we reached the Ausable River: