Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ausable Chasm, the Grand Canyon of the East

Ausable Chasm is called the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks because it is a gigantic sandstone gorge on the east coast. Sure it is no Grand Canyon, but I was so pleasantly surprised and delighted the magnitude of Ausable Chasm. It is America's oldest natural attraction, open for exploring since 1870. You can walk the 4 different trails (2 miles one way) and explore Rainbow Falls, the ins and outs of the gorge, raft the water, and you can even rock climb and adventure if you pay for a guide. Worth the trip, ya'll!

Early father's day trip, behind us the start of Rainbow Falls.

EPIC views!! (Now google what it looks like in the wintertime)
Rainbow Falls and Ausable River

Always good to look up for a new perspective.
Look at how tiny the railing is on the left side.

Look how massive this canyon is!

Look at that moss!!
6 foot father looks so small in the chasm!

We went on a raft through the chasm!
This is possibly the happiest our mom was in recent times because she was in a raft!
Entering the Grand Flume, the deepest part of the chasm (90 feet of water below us)

Things even out after the rapids.
The rapids
That was us!

Hiking Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks

Our great family road trip through the Adirondacks allowed us to fit in one hike with the most rewarding view: Cascade Mountain. It was the first hike of the season and I would be lying if I said it was easy. It was a moderate hike with some steep points, but once you're at the summit you feel so positive and happy that you got 360 views out of it it no longer matters. Also, it was the perfect day for a hike as it was overcast the whole time, and the rain only started towards the end.

Hike Length: 4.8 miles rountrip (7.7) 
Hike Time: 4 hours total 
Peak Elevation: 4,098 feet (1,249m)

Ah, yes, the green calm of the woods.

The hike had several areas with these steep natural steps.
Tree support
I can see the sky again!
First view point!
The family that hikes together, stays together!
You can choose to finish Cascade mountain,
but I heard that the Porter Mountain viewpoint is even better and less crowded.

One of those is Mt. Marcy, the highest Adirondack peak.

The crowd at the very top.

This is our token sibling hike pose.
What a great photo of Savva!

Dad, post hike, complete with flower.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Family Road Trip through the Adirondacks

We welcome you to our family road trip post!
Quote atop
Whiteface Mountain
Every Memorial Day, my family goes up to the Catskills in upstate New York to kick off the summer. This year, in honor of it being the year my dad turns 60 (whoa!), we all took some extra days off to take a family road trip up to the Adirondacks. Adirondack Park is as big as Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. It consist of 46 mountain peaks (highest is Mt. Marcy at 5,344), lakes, and canyons; and it is a great place to hike, canoe, swim, ski, zipline, and whatever else your outdoorsy heart desires!

My dad has been wanting to see Ausable Chasm for years, so I did some research on the towns we could drive through, mountains we could hike and drive up, and sites we could visit on our way to the Grand Canyon of the East! This post has photos of the stops we made, and I will make separate posts about our fantastic hike on Cascade Mountain, as well as our day spent exploring Ausable Chasm.

Cohoes Falls
First stop: Cohoes Falls in the city of Cohoes, about a 16 minute drive north of Albany. The Falls are complete with a park you can walk around, and when the falls are not so heavy you can get really close to them. A great first stop after an over 3 hour drive from Brooklyn.

Stretching and posing

Look alike contest

Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is a small city in upstate New York complete with a famous race track, spas due to the mineral springs, and a performing arts center that is the summer host of the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, among other companies. 

Ballet Slipper sculptures all over town!
Been noticing these sick cars more and more these days.
My mama used to dance ballet. What a diva!

They just don't make buildings like this anymore.
Wishing I never gave up on the flourishing ballet career I started at age 28.
Also! Lots of horse sculptures due to the race track.
This one is for Kim, because I forgot to text it to her 2 months ago.
Congress Park in Saratoga Springs was a great place to relax and watch the local people hang out.
Lake George
Our last stop of Day 1 was Lake George, where we walked around, ate a pretty crummy dinner, and then found a campground to sleep in! My family had never stayed at a campground so I was super excited to share this special experience with them.

The back seat in my dad's van can be made into a bed for chillaxing during long drives.

Savva and I slept in the tent, parents in the car.

The Wild Center & The Wild Walk
The Wild Center is a natural history museum in Tupper Lake, NY. It is special because it has live exhibits and live animals, a giant recreated glacial wall, a floating interactive planet earth, a pond and river, and 31 acres of hiking trails. It is such a cool museum, and I encourage everyone to go there when/if they are in the area! I read about this place because of one of it's main attractions: The Wild Walk. The Wild Walk was compared to New York City's Highline Park, but in the Adirondacks. It is a network of bridges that allow you to perch in a recreated eagle's nest, get caught in a spider web, and walk inside a tree. It is probably more fun for families with small kids, but I still had a blast hoping around and seeing views of the mountains in the distance.

The Wild Center

Floating Earth, Pretty Mama.
And then the Earth turned into the Moon.
Caution: Drive slow if you're in moose territory,
their eye level is higher than deer and won't reflect your headlights!
(Don't you love museums that teach you something you can apply?)
Antler people
Three bear cubs <3
This dude is turning 60 this year!
Part of The Wild Walk
The Wild Walk
Eagle's nest
Eagle eye view of Whiteface Mountain
Caught in the web!

Lake Placid, NY
It is slightly confusing when you are in the center of the town of Lake Placid, looking at a body of water called Mirror Lake. We did not visit any of the Olympic sites but they were in plain sight all over.
Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake - That church reminded me of a Thai wat from this angle
My lovely parents
Get me outta here!
Adirondack Mountains and can you spot the ski jump??

Great breakfast spot: Farmhouse Cafe on Main St.
Cascade Mountain
On Day 3 we hiked to 4,098 feet on Cascade Mountain as our family's first ever Adirondacks hike! More on this hike if you click here.

Whiteface Mountain
At the end of our Cascade Mountain hike, it started pouring rain, so we hopped in the car and drove up Whiteface Mountain (4,865'). It was gloomy, beautiful, and such a visual contrast from the epic views of the Adirondacks that we just experienced.

Bodies of water peaking out
Creep family
Ausable Chasm
Day 4, the storm passed, and we finally made it to Ausable Chasm (5 hours north of Brooklyn, and just 45 minutes from the Canadian border). This place was absolutely stunning and deserved a post of it's own - which you can read if you click here.

Road Trip Outtakes

Cool mom.
Baby Hudson River in Riperius, NY!

Quit droning around, Savva.
Simon Pond in Tupper Lake, NY
Simon Pond in Tupper Lake

An amazing honor system we came across at a people empty but food filled cafe.
Until next time!