Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chocolate & Craft Show, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

I'd just visited the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and had seen the Arctic Golf, the Ice Castle and the Curling demonstration (previous posts). I found my parked car and began navigating the icy hills and narrow, winding roads of Saranac Lake. I was just about to head back home when I got stuck in traffic in front of this impressive building, the Harrietstown Town Hall. The village of Saranac Lake is partially located in the town of Harrietstown:

I was stuck in traffic anyway and couldn't move, so when I saw these signs in front of the town hall, I pulled to the curb and parked. They were holding a Chocolate Festival and a Lutheran Church Women's Craft Sale. How could I resist?:

It was quite crowded inside and there were lots of baked goods, though only some were chocolate:

The crafts seemed to consist primarily of fabric items such as place mats, table runners and mini-quilts:

I saw more people looking than buying or eating, but one man was certainly enjoying the brownies he'd purchased:

I saw this elegant stairway and walked downstairs to see if there were more crafts and chocolates:

There were no more crafts or baked goods, but a group of young people was rehearsing for a concert, obviously in connection with the Winter Carnival's "Groovy 60s" theme:

I walked back upstairs and discovered that the crowd had thinned. I did not, however, buy any sweets, however tempting they might have been:

It was time to go home, so I began driving through Saranac Lake to get back on the main road. The streets were hilly, narrow and winding. At one point, I saw this mountain just ahead of me and snapped a photo because I felt pretty sure it was Mount Baker, about which I blogged here and here:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Curling At The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

I left the ice castle (see yesterday's post) and walked down to Lake Flower, where the Lake Placid Curling Club was demonstrating their sport:

Curling is a sport from Medieval Scotland in which stones are slid down the ice toward a target:

I didn't know what they used in the real sport but on this day, they were doing the sliding with push brooms. I looked it up when I got home and read that brooms are specially made for the sport:

The stones were given one push with the broom, bristles up, and then the player ran ahead and brushed the surface of the ice ahead of the sliding stone, apparently hoping to make it slide more smoothly:

Curling hasn't caught on in much of the U.S., but I've read that it's popular in Canada and there is an Olympic Curling event:

There was a small crowd watching from the sidelines, where the biggest attraction was a Labrador Retriever who loved the snow so very much that she was rolling and burrowing in it with great joy:

Children got to try curling and it was fun to watch:

Everyone was having fun. The snow continued nonstop, but it wasn't snowing too hard and the wind was calm. Alas, the heavy snows, high winds and below zero temperatures were to arrive the following day:
One man had a clipboard and wrote things down from time to time. Was he keeping score? I never found out:

But I'd seen most everything around Lake Flower, so I walked back toward the road to find my parked car:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ice Castle At The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

I left the Arctic Golf and walked over to the ice castle, always the highlight of the Winter Carnival. This year's theme was "The Groovy 60s:"

In front of the ice castle was a mysterious ice formation into which kids crawled. It turned out to be Apollo 11, which landed the first humans on the moon in 1969. This was in keeping with the "Groovy 60s" theme:

And there was an icy astronaut - perhaps Neil Armstrong?:

I thought this highly popular ice sculpture was a car until I got home. Then it occurred to me that it must have been the Lunar Module from Apollo 11. Whatever it was, the kids and their parents loved it:

A hippie Volkswagen van. This was, after all, supposed to be the Groovy 60s. People climbed into the back of it and went to the front windows so their friends on the outside could take their photo:

Next I turned to the ice palace itself and entered the front through this arched doorway. People were taking pictures of each other, sitting on the thrones:

And riding on ice motorcycles:

I walked around to the side of the ice palace:

And in through another archway:

Then I investigated the back of the ice palace, where I knew from experience that I'd find a maze created from all those blocks of ice:

And indeed there was a maze, with lots of twists, turns and dead ends:

I walked away from the ice castle and took one final photo:

There were lots of giant blocks of ice left over, and they were piled here and there around the periphery. They were huge, 5 to 6 feet long. I remember watching the construction in past years. The blocks were lifted into place with heavy equipment and then mortared with snow:

I was off to see what else looked interesting, but how could I not stop and take a photo of this cute dog. There were lots of dogs in attendance that day, but this was the only small dog I saw:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arctic Golf At The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

At last, the weekend arrived when I could attend the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. It's a 50 mile drive from my house, but a yearly event which I enjoy. I found parking on a side street and walked down to Lake Flower. My first stop was Arctic Golf:

I didn't golf, but asked if I could walk around and look. Basically, this was miniature golf, built of ice and snow. The first hole was an ice castle through which one had to putt the ball:

The second hole was a big mound of snow. One had to putt the ball up a ramp of snow and through a pipe to the other side:

The theme of the 2015 Winter Carnival was "The Groovy 60s" and peace signs and hippie music were everywhere. The third hole was a peace sign made of ice:

The fourth hole was a big, fat snowman. One had to putt the ball down the snowy alley and through the pipe to the other side. By the way, that's frozen Lake Flower in the background:

I'm not sure what these ice sculptures were, but I'm guessing they were either snowflakes or flowers, reminiscent of the 60's Flower Power:

The fifth hole required golfers to hit the ball down a snowy alley and between the two ice sculptures:

The sixth hole was a - well, I'm not sure what it was. Perhaps an alligator? A Polar Bear, lying on its belly? Whatever it was, someone's ball had become stuck halfway through its alimentary tract and the officials were working to extricate it:

The seventh hole was a snowy ramp up and over a barrier. Apparently the colors did not last, because children were running around the course with spray bottles, recoloring the golf course obstacles:

The eighth hole looked to me like a snow ghost, a ghost which did not intimidate this little girl:

She made it through the ghost and to the hole on the other side. Did she cheat? I don't know, I didn't notice, but it looked like a difficult shot to me - and she does appear to be checking to see if anyone is looking:

The final hole was a series of mounds which I supposed might represent the high peaks of the Adirondacks. This was, after all, Saranac Lake. But it was time for me to amble over to the ice palace. I'll post about that tomorrow:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Porter Lynch Road In Stockholm, New York - Part 2

I was driving Porter Lynch Road in rural Stockholm and snapping pictures of the scenery. I particularly liked this old, red barn:

This colorful old barn had been assembled in stages:

There was an old manure spreader and a hay rake in the snow:

A very large and well built old barn:

This farm house, with its barn and silo out behind, looked comfortable and inviting, like a place to come home to at Christmastime:

A modern country home:

A front porch to sit on when the weather is nice:

A collection of outbuildings, all painted the traditional green:

There were woodlands along the road:

This appeared to me to be a very old homestead. It was small and had, I thought, been converted to a barn or shed in later years. But even those days were long gone and it now stood, unused, along the road:

I took one last photo before I turned onto the county road. Then I put my camera away and continued on home. I had several bags of feed in the back of my car which had to be unloaded and cattle which would want to be fed: