The end of St. Lawrence’s school year means that the hikes through areas like nearby Colton’s Stone Valley will be coming to an end for many graduating seniors.
Living in this Adirondack-ish reality of the region presents opportunities to stand face-to-face with nature.
Quiet contemplation of the future is at the end of the trail.
The Sun rises over the Adirondack foothills and St. Lawrence’s Elsa Gunnison Appleton Riding Hall. I was up early to fly the Phantom for a very particular reason: This weekend marks Derby Day, the completion of the 2016 St. Lawrence Summer Horse Show Series. Spectacular riding is on tap for Saturday!
The Japanese rock gardens that we’ve visited in the past were beautiful combinations of moss, stone, and trees. In Stone Valley, the same setting exists in the real world. (Just with more mosquitoes.)
An almost-island was hiding in the background of this photograph of Stone Valley. Most of my childhood adventures involved sorties from some kind of tree-based fortress; this formation silhouetted against the setting sun reminded me of those adventures. Or maybe just the fort from a particular film. (Even it’s neither truly secret, nor a fort.)
When chemists study water, the molecular-level view offers a lot to consider. Bulk water takes on two fluid phases and seventeen (depending on who you ask) solid phases, from a physical scientist’s perspective. That’s my normal mindset. Even when I see liquid water in a photography, however, I’m astonished to see wispy white tendrils and glassy surfaces that are all created by reflection and scattering from the same material.
If the weather is just right and recent rain has the Raquette River running high through Stone Valley, a summer hike is just the thing. A geologist would have the technical explanation of the valley’s odd geometry. The hydroelectric dam secretly controls the scene (or the water release, anyway).
The scale of the setting doesn’t really become apparent until you try to spot the tiny people (chemists and physicists, in this case) on the rocks. Bob Ross would be proud.
“Cabin” is more an aesthetic style than a humble building in the North Country. At St. Lawrence’s Camp Canaras, the cabins are large structures with complicated architectural flourishes; at midnight, they take on a Tolkeinesque vibe.