Mohonk, Year 152

This visit to Mohonk Mountain House, in its 152th year of operation, comes six years after my last stay. In the time since, I’ve upgraded my kit (and my skills) and put both to use to get this stacked-exposure (i.e. “fake long exposure”) view of the hotel’s face on Labor Day weekend.

Mohonk Year 152

Stuck in the Salton Sea

Even might Jeep Life™ has its limits, as this Wrangler found at Bombay Beach. The Salton Sea is an artificial body of water in a valley that was once home to an ancient ocean, and the result includes these large flats made from the calcium carbonate skeletons of long-dead sea creatures. Though the outer surface may look like a desert—and the dry surroundings might support the assumption—this is really just a thin crust, below which is a lot of mud.

I’m guessing this kind of thing happens regularly, because the entrance ramp to the beach included multiple signs with telephone numbers of locals offering to pull people out if they get stuck—for a fee, of course.

Stuck in the Salton Sea

Skytop and the Hotel

Mohonk’s Skytop appears as a small castle atop the hills near the hotel, but its reality is a bit more mundane: it was constructed as a watchtower for forest fires in the early twentieth century. Though no longer in use, it adds an extra hint of magic to the whole setting. The hotel (off to the left) sits on the water, and the tower touches the sky.

Skytop and the Hotel

No More Canoes

There are many ways to define the seasons, with varying degrees of usefulness. (Solstices and equinoxes seem to have only the thinnest connection with the weather.) Perhaps the most valuable differentiation between times of the year is when one can reasonably be out on the water: “Spring” is that first moment when an afternoon in a canoe doesn’t sound miserable.

No More Canoes