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Europe Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy
To begin our day, we traveled to the Galleria dell ‘Accademia where are guide took us through the various sculptures and works of art until we reached the Michelangelo sculpture of “David”. Photography in the Galleria dell ‘Accademia is not permitted but there was certainly a collection of “art work” available from the street merchants outside.

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Adirondacks New York State USA

Crossing the Black River – Boonville, NY

After leaving Boonville, NY, I headed out into unknown territory. I didn’t have good detailed maps of the area with me but I knew that, when I crossed the Black River, I was heading out into an area of the western Adirondack foothills that was a bit less populated with people but better populated with waterfalls and rapids. A fair trade-off in my mind. The first stop was at the point where the road toward Lyonsdale crosses the Black River.

 

 

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Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario Ottawa

Polar Bear Jump – Video and Additional Photos

As promised, here is a short video from this year’s Polar Bear Jump into the Ottawa River. Click on the image below and shiver along with the participants.

Polar Bear Jump – Video and Additional Photos

Below is a collection of additional photos from the day. Enjoy!

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Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario Ottawa

Polar Bear Jump – New Years Day – Ottawa

Polar Bear Jump – New Years Day – Ottawa

In support of Stopping Children’s Cancer, SEARS holds the Great Canadian Chill. This year, the event was located at Britannia Beach. (Location) The Great Canadian Chill is basically a Polar Bear Jump. Similar to a Polar Bear Swim except that, instead of running into the cold water, you jump in.

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Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario Ottawa

Polar Bear Swim – New Year’s Day – Britannia Beach, Ottawa, Ontario

Polar Bear Swim – New Year’s Day, 2011 – Ottawa, Ontario

Update: THe cold water is waiting for the 2012 event – see our 2012 blog

Graeme and I and my father got to Britannia Beach (Location) this morning for the “Great Canadian Chill” a.k.a. Polar Plunge. Just posting a few quick shots from the Polar Bear swim preparations in place before the actual activities of the morning began. Will be adding to this post later this evening but have other responsibilities first.

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Gatineau Hills Home and About Ottawa Flickr Outings Quebec

Wakefield, Quebec – Flickr Ottawa outing

Spring's A'Comin'

Wakefield, Quebec – Flickr Ottawa Outing

Nice day today. Great day actually. Early Spring. Sun shining. Snow melting. +15C. Can’t think of any good reason not to join up with a group of photographers and wander around the back roads near Wakefield, Quebec with cameras in hand and no one in a rush to go anywhere in particular.

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Adirondacks New York State USA

Heading out to High Peaks Region

Heading out to High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks

As I left Ottawa on my way to a winter climb of Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks, the weather conditions for driving were definitely not optimal. I would be meeting up with Tom Bissinger from the Toronto area and I would find out later that he would be driving through worse snow conditions than I was. The next day was supposed to be much better but today was a driving day. To enter the USA, one of the choices is to cross the St. Lawrence River via this toll bridge which leads into Ogdensburg, NY.  From Ogdensburg, I travel to the Adirondacks (Lake Placid, NY) via a combination of county and state roads and highways.  I had hoped that the weather might have improved by the time I reached the border but it didn’t and travel was not unsafe but a bit treacherous from time to time.

This spot on the bridge is more or less half way between the Canada Customs and the US Customs offices and high over the St. Lawrence River.

Once I crossed over the St. Lawrence River and got through customs, I had to chose between two routes but other than that it was just the weather that I had to contend with and although it was only snowing slightly, there was a stiff wind blowing. Thankfully the snow had been heavy and wet and was not blowing around too much. I was traveling in Amish country and the sight of a horse drawn buggy was fairly common.

The saying “Not fit for man nor beast” came to mind as I passed this horse with its back to the wind and the snow.

Stopping in Potsdam to photograph the river and weir gave me a chance to relax a bit and stretch my legs. Driving to this point had been a bit tough but not as bad as I thought it might be. Despite the cold, the icy waters were still flowing over the weir at Potsdam, New York. I saw this shot but needed to get closer so I climbed atop a hard-packed snow bank beside a nearby parking lot.  Still not close enough, so I took a few more steps and instantly found myself waist deep in the soft, white, fluffy stuff.  Liked the shot though, so not too bad a sacrifice.

I was driving my Subaru with its All Wheel drive so wasn’t too concerned as long as the roads had been viisted by a plow overnight.

The next leg stretch was at St. Regis Falls where there is a camping spot in the summer, some nature trails and a nice little falls on the river. Each time that I pass through the hamlet of St. Regis Falls, NY, I stop for a short look at the river and the falls after which the area is named. Not a huge falls by any measure but a beautiful location nonetheless.  The area to the right of this shot is a campground, park and community recreation area and is connected to woodland trails by a beautiful foot bridge that crosses the river below the falls.

The geometric lines of this playground structure against the stark whiteness of the soft untouched snow caught my attention in the playground area of St. Regis Falls, NY, so once again I left the roadway to wade through deep snow to get the angle that I wanted.

Meanwhile back in the car my floor mats were getting wetter and wetter as I transported lots of that snow clinging to my pants and boots back to the warmth of the car after stopping for each photographic moment.

What!!! Oh no!!!! Closed for the season!!!!

Once I had reached Saranac, my driving for the day was almost over. The weather had begun to improve and things were definitely looking promising for the rest of the weekend.

Wall murals created with ceramic chips adorn a few of the walls of Saranac, NY.  This example is on the wall of the public parking area across from the Saranac volunteer fire station.

Made it to Lake Placid without further problems. Lake Placid, NY was the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and is only a few miles north of the trailhead for the climb up Mt. Marcy, New York State’s highest mountain. Although the skies had cleared and the sun was peaking through the still lingering clouds at this point in my trip, that wasn’t to last and clouds and more snow moved in before I reached the trailhead.

Next stop the ADK LOJ parking lot.

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Canada Explorer Carp Home and About Ontario

A drive through the countryside

A drive through the countryside

It was cold but the sun was shining so I took a bit  of a break and drove through the countryside looking for something a bit different to photograph.

At one point a bridge over a rushing river near Fitzroy Harbour gave me a chance to get some shots of ice and water. I had to have the tripod feet in the river to take the shot. Later realized that the rushing water was shaking the tripod and had to modify that approach.

A short distance away a wonderful iron bridge crossed the same river. Getting to the brdge wasn’t too bad since I had the strong wind at my back as I walked along the railway tracks. Walking back to the car was a different story as at -20C the wind in my face had a real bite to it!

Church of St. Thomas the Apostle