Friday, July 13, 2007

Road Trip Photos

I guess I had almost forgotten to post some pics of the road trip that Brendan and I enjoyed a couple of weeks back. I can tell you, and I probably already told you, we had lots of fun. We went fishing, canoeing, hiking, sight seeing, snake hunting, caught toads and frogs, and also caught some crayfish. All in all it was a grand time, but I'll let you judge from among some of the few pictures I took. One of the first things we did after arriving was to go and get some fishing done. On the way to the fishing spot, Brendan caught a garter Snake (and released it). It was a nice sized one, but the picture did not come out well. As for the fishing, well the fish were on the small side and few and far between, although we caught several that first day. Brendan is holding a Sunny he caught, then released. A hook loaded with an earthworm, attached to a line with a float, and you can catch almost any freshwater fish in NY.

The next day we headed out to Ausable Chasm for some sightseeing. The hike through the private park was about 3 miles long, and ended with a tram ride back to the parking lot. The chasm was well worth the $34 or so dollars we paid to get in to see it. First I'll post a pic of Joe Cool, then Joe Not So Cool, then scenery shots. I'll basically let the scenery speak for itself, but I will tell you a bit about each shot. The pic of Joe Cool show the Falls at the head of the chasm. The same goes for the next pic, that of Joe Not So Cool. What can I say, I used to be young, and thin, like Joe Cool; but now about 50 extra pounds and old age have brought me down.

Oh well, I guess that is to be expected as one grow older, though I must point out I recently started hitting the treadmill and the weights again. Maybe by next summer I will look more like Joe Cool does here in the weight department - yeah right!

The next series of pics are scenery shots. As you can see in some of these pics, there is a walkway that you take to see most of the chasm. This walkway has been replaced several times over the years. When I was a kid it was more of a catwalk hanging off the side of the cliffs and over the water. Now there is more of a path that was blasted into the cliff face. I guess the reason for this was the floods they had in the 1990s.

Look closely and the shots with the bent and twisted catwalk. That spot is about 60 feet above the water level when the picture was taken. You guessed it, the floods caused the water to rise high enough to damage that catwalk, and tear down many others. At some points, they told us, it reached 90 feet above the level of where it was when we saw it. Talk about flash floods, man that must have been awesome.

Can you just imagine a river flooding to 90 feet above its normal levels. I guess I had never thought of such a thing before, but when you look down these narrow gorges, it is not all that hard to fathom. The flood actually brought down some bridges elsewhere on the river, and they had a big chunk of one of those bridges on display. I would have loved to have been there, observing from atop the cliffs, as that show was going on, and I would probably have been scared as anything that the cliffs would give way to that great force. Note that if you click on the first one to enlarge it, you will notice little people on a catwalk, about midway vertically in the right hand side of the picture. That will give you an idea of scale as to the chasm depth from the top to the surface of the water - and the water is about 40 feet deep (or was it 60) in some places at this water level, so just imagine another 40 feet of depth to the chasm.

Remember that if you want, you raft or tube the river through the chasm. I think it is about a mile long trip. We chose not to, but I think Brendan may have an idea of trying it out
when he returns there someday. This was my second trip there, I made my initial trip when I was much younger than Brendan, before I was 9 years old. I always wanted to bring my kids there, now at least one of the two have seen it.

You again can see some folks in the next shot to give you an idea of the size of the place. Besides being big, this place was cool, and I mean it literally. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far, and will probably remain one of the hottest ones. Despite that, there were some shady places in the chasm that were almost as if air conditioned. God, mother nature, chaos, luck, whomever or whatever was responsible, certainly figured out how to do it right as far as I am concerned. I don't know if you can see them in any of the pics we took, but there are also a bunch of pigeons in the chasm. Yes those veritable New York City rats with wings live free and wild at Ausable Chasm.

The last two shots are one nearing the end of the chasm but looking back upriver, and another where the chasm ends and opens up to a wider area of river. Since I don't know if you will ever get the chance to see this in person, I thought these were some nice shots to share with you. I don't know about how you feel after seeing the pictures, but if you are not impressed let me say it is still worth going to see the actual chasm. Walking the trail and catwalks while viewing Ausable Chasm is truly a humbling and impressive experience, well worth the trip in my book.

Even when you come to the end of the chasm, or at least this part of the chasm (as I am not sure if it ends here) the view is impressive. This has got to be one of the most scenic things I have ever taken in within the USA, and I have been to an awful lots of places in the lower 48. it is not anywhere on the same scale of the Grand canyon, but it is impressive in its own right. If you ever get the chance to be in northeastern New york state, then a side trip to Ausable Chasm would be well worth a detour. About the only thing I wanted to do while at the chasm, that they just would not allow, was to try my hand at fishing in the river. I was told - no trout here, too swift. The lady who told me that does not know fish, or fisherman; because even if she had been right, a fisherman is always willing to give in to eternal hope and wet a line.

The next day, our last day in the area, we went canoeing in the St. Regis wilderness area. What a nice place, wonderfully crisp fresh air, lots of deep and beautiful forest, crystal clear water, the chance to see wildlife. Maybe not pristine wilderness, but probably as close as you can get to such in New York. Shame on me, I did not take any pictures while out on the lakes canoeing. I guess carrying our canoe to the launching site from the rental store had me huffing and puffing so much I forgot all about taking pictures. We did paddle around on two connected ponds or lakes, and we fished as we did so. Brendan had some impressive hits from big fish, but they both threw the hooks. What we caught were only a couple of small ones each and that was it. One fish he caught was sucker which to me was quite unexpected in one of those lakes. I had only seen them in streams and rivers before. It was about a 12 to 14 incher. I caught a smallmouth bass, maybe 1 pound in weight (if lucky). I also managed to get canoe knees, despite three applications of sunblock. It wasn't too bad, as you can see I survived. Brendan used stronger sunblock, and he had the last laugh on me. Well at least I didn't fall into the water or anything like that, not yet as far as the trip went anyhow.

We left the area that afternoon and headed west toward the Finger Lakes. I'll write more about that in another rant tomorrow or the following day. I figure this one is long enough to have completely bored you by now, much like was our 5 1/2 hour car ride to our next destination.

All the best,
Glenn B


Jungle Mom said...

beautiful fotos1 I am so sorry about my autopsy comment! I do hope you know i was unintentional?

Glenn Bartley said...


I thought is was funny as all heck; and of course I knew it was unintentional.

All the best,


jennifer said...

Now I can see the photos..Neat, made me think of an idea to create readership.

Please e-mail me at pen(of)jen(at)yahoo(dot)com

I think that you will think it is a good idea based on this post!

jennifer said...

I screwed up the email...I hate having to try to be smarter than the email trolls.


Sorry but I am now able to say "hey I am 40, what do you expect?"