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Canada Explorer Ontario Wawa

Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – Magpie High Falls

Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – Magpie High Falls

After our visit to the Michipicoten Dump, we were quickly running out of daylight as we headed for the High Falls on the Magpie River. Before getting to that destination, though, we had to first make a short stop to watch a flock of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) pick their way through some commercial blueberry fields which stretched out on both sides of the roadway leading to the High Falls.

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Ontario Ottawa

Hog’s Back Falls/Les Chutes De Hogs Back, Ottawa, Ontario

Hog’s Back Falls/Les Chutes De Hogs Back, Ottawa, Ontario (Location)

The morning had started pretty early for me since Adell was taking an early morning flight to Winnipeg and that meant driving her to the airport for about 5:30AM. I knew from publications of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and from seeing the water levels of the Jock River for the recent Jock River Canoe-Kayak race that water levels in the Rideau River waterway were lower than normal for this time of the year. There had also been a bit of discussion in recent newscasts about the impact of recent budget cuts on the timing of the opening of the Rideau Canal. Since I was already up bright and early and driving around, I decided that it would be as good as time as any to head over to Hog’s Back Falls and see what impact the water levels were having on the appearance of that bit of the Rideau River.

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Adirondacks New York State USA

Lyons Falls, NY

Up to this point, I had followed the Moose River and now was arriving at Lyons Falls, NY. (Location)

At this geographic location, the Moose River enters into the Black River. The volume of flow in both rivers has grown substantially and now, at Lyons Falls, those flows are joined together as the now much larger Black River tumbles over the edge of another precipice.

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New York State USA

Baldwinsville, New York

This trip the weather was generally not the best (an understatement). Overcast, marginally above freezing, and every so often a bit of a short-lasting snow shower to break the monotony 🙂

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Almonte Canada Explorer Ontario

Almonte, Ontario – A bit of History and Architecture

This blog entry will be focusing on a bit of the architecture and history of Almonte. (Location) Although a few photos of the Mississippi River and the Great Falls are included in this post, please refer to previous blog entries if you are interested in seeing the river and Great Falls in more detail and completeness. Great Falls – Lower SectionUpper Section

The Mississippi River has played an important role in the history of Almonte, providing as it did the gravitational power of the river’s 60+ foot plunge over layered bedrock which was harnessed to operate a number of woollen and grist mills in the area. The river’s water later turned power turbines for electrical power generation. Although the grist mills and woollen mills are no longer in operation, electrical power generation at the location of the Great Falls has been upgraded and expanded recently to better service modern electricity demands.

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Almonte Canada Explorer Home and About Ontario

Upper section of Great Falls – Almonte, Ontario

After visiting the Lower section of Great Falls, I moved uphill to the upper section of Great Falls in Almonte, Ontario.

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Canada Explorer Jock River Ontario Ottawa

Trillium and the Hearts Desire Weir on the Lower Jock River

The White Trillium (Trilliium grandiflorum) has been the provincial flower of the province of Ontario since 1937 and the parkland along the Lower Jock River in the vicinity of the Hearts Desire Weir is an excellent location to find them when the woods are full of their blooms.

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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.