Wednesday, February 22, 2017

2017 Saranac Lake, NY Ice Palace

Perhaps my favorite local yearly event is the Saranac Lake, NY Winter Carnival. I arrived this year on the very first day and found that nothing was up and running yet except for the ice palace. That was OK with me, since it's my favorite part. I parked and entered the building site on the edge of frozen Lake Flower, my first view of the rear of the palace:

 But first I had to go see the ice lean-to, which honored the traditional Adirondack structure. This was the first year I'd seen a lean-to::

 I walked out onto frozen Lake Flower to snap a photo of the front of the lean-to. There was a pile of wood in front of it, just as campers might supply the real forest versions. I supposed they kept fires burning during the night:

 And also honoring the Adirondacks were two ice sculptures of Adirondack chairs for visitors to sit in:

 I walked from the lean-to toward the rear of the ice palace. Notice the crawl hole for children:

 The structures on the rear were mazes. This year I didn't fully investigate them, though I have in the past:
 

 I walked around to the side entrance and saw lots of other visitors already exploring the interior of the ice palace:

 In the rear were two thrones, for the Winter Carnival King and Queen:

 Behind the thrones were buck and doe ice sculptures, with a fawn between them:

 And off to one side was a giant ice beaver, perhaps eight feet long:

 And two howling wolves, next to a crawl hole for children:

 I took the adult tunnel, which led out to front exterior of the ice palace:

 There it was explained that this year's theme was "Adirondack Wildlife." A giant ice bear stood on each side of the entrance doorway and an ice eagle perched on the top:

 The two bears were popular for taking pictures:

 The smaller bear was kind of cute:

 Outside, by the road, was a gigantic moose:

 And that was the end of my ice palace tour. I had to walk around to the back of it again to get to my car. Maybe next year I'll bring Seamus with me. I see dogs there every year:

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