Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ausable Chasm, NY

Ausable Chasm

Some pics from our recent trip to Ausable Chasm, NY. We opted for the hike only for a mere $61 and change. Needless to say we took our time on the walk and I snapped more than a few pics. Should we have included the raft (or tube) ride for the full effect? Possibly but as it turns out we weren't dressed for the occasion... and I didn't have another $40 to blow on what is normally a free activity in the Great White North.

Inner Sanctum trail, Ausable Chasm Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm Lowing the raft from the top of the chasm

Testing out the zoom on my 60D.
Ausable Chasm Ausable Chasm

And here are a couple from our campground at Ausable Point State Park.

No Swimming Osprey
Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinus polyturator) IMG_8122

Friday, August 26, 2011

Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower

Poke-O-Moonshine trailhead

Of the planned 5 nights at Ausable Point State Park, this was the one showing the clearest skies and hence the day that we would hike to the Poke-O-Moonshine fire tower. As advertised, the trail leaves the abandoned campground at an incredibly steep pitch. Luckily it was only a 1.2mi hike to the summit. Luckily.

Sara's super strength saves the day Heading up to Poke-O-Moonshine
First view to Poke-O-Moonshine Poke-O-Moonshine shelter

Once we reached the top we were greeted by a friendly Ranger/Guide/student dude who was on his last day of duty as our personal tour guide. Without being intrusive, he detailed the view giving names to other peaks in both the ADK and Vermont across Lake Champlain. He even met us again later at the top of the tower and explained how the Rangers of old would pinpoint a forest fire. Then he provided us with a short history of Lake Champlain and the war of 1812. Awesome.

Poke-O-Moonshine fire tower
Our Poke-O-Moonshine guide Poke-O-Moonshine
IMG_8078 IMG_8072
Sara "falls out" Poke-O-Moonshine fire tower Poke-O-Moonshine

With Poke-O-Moonshine under our belt, we are slowly beginning to chip away at the 23 fire tower treks in the ADK. Add another 5 fire towers in the Catskills and we will have ourselves a full fledged Fire Tower Challenge badge. At this rate, our kids will be pushing us up in wheelchairs for the finale. Still, what's life without a challenge or two?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hanging with the Neills

The gang at Ashdaddy Cabin

A window opened and we jumped through landing ourselves at the Neills. We swam, we caught up with the Neill adventure to Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec and we even managed to squeeze in a gig at the Neat Cafe with Corinne West and Kelly Joe Phelps.

Breakfast on the deck Breakfast on the deck

Corinne West and Kelly Joe Phelps
Corinne West and Kelly Joe Phelps

On our way out we checked out Mikey's progress on the Ashdaddy cabin (aka "The Chapel"). It's gonna be sweet.

Mikey presents Ashdaddy The girls at Ashdaddy Sara "owling" at Ashdaddy
Owling at the Chapel.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pancake Bay 2011

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Another great getaway at Pancake Bay on Lake Superior. Thankfully this summer was sunny and warm in comparison to last year's frigid with a side of gale force winds that turned the beach into a large sand-blasting experience.

At the beach...
Playing in the riptide Sara in the sand
Pancake Bay on Lake Superior Sailing on dry land

This year we once again made our annual trek to Mica Bay for some shoreline exploration. Last year the water was too cold and the waves too large to allow us to swim or snorkel so we had to settle for a fire and lunch on the shoreline. This year the conditions were perfect and we took full advantage of the day - we even managed to conquer the "orange island" after a rock scramble, a swim, and a short wade. Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring the camera along for that adventure. Btw, the orange was due to a particular lichen that had grown over the rocks. Very colourful against the blues and greys.

Annual day trip to Mica Bay...
Mica Bay on Lake Superior The "orange rock" at Mica Bay

Every year we sit on the beach and stare off at the horizon and every year we ponder making a trek out to the western tip of Pancake Bay. Well finally this year we made the effort to tear ourselves out of our beach chairs and hike through the neighbouring Pancake Bay Provincial Park and out to the very tip of the western point where sand starts to turn to rock and where there is yet another bay waiting to be conquered. Actually while we all started out on the adventure there were two that broke formation and turned tail only minutes before reaching our destination. Thankfully they had the bacon and blueberry pancakes ready for us when we returned as we were ravenous after what turned out to be an 11km hike.

Hike to Pancake Bay's west point...
West Point, Pancake Bay

This year I decided to make use of a great backpacking tent that I originally purchased 3 years ago from it was sweet and definitely more spacious than jamming the 4 of us in one small room with only a double bed.

Camping at Pancake

Until next year, Pancake...
Pancake Bay on Lake Superior Pancake Bay on Lake Superior

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Heart of York Soccer Tournament

Blast off

It was an interesting ride. The team started by playing their best soccer ever but then followed that up with what may have been their worst ever. That placed them in a "must win" situation for game 3 on Sunday. They were up 3-1 but after two poor calls by the ref ending in a direct kick and a penalty kick they shook hands to a draw. One point shy of advancing. The bright side? We got to start our trek to the Soo earlier changing our arrival time from 3am to a more respectable 9pm.

High five with the parents High five with the parents
OSU Power 99G

Always look on the bright side of life...
Flying Nuns
The Flying Nuns