Goodbye Tappan Zee

The old bridge was demolished last week in a controlled explosion with very little fanfare. My daughter sent this Reddit link from an engineering site she follows.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, winter moves on. I managed to adjust the chain saw helmet so it fit like a glove. The chaps were warm as anything and now all of our wood has been cut. Tim even helped move wood with the last batch. More importantly, he had surgery to correct his wrist and it was a smashing (he he) success. All systems go for our February departure.

I’ve sailed through my projects: Birthday quilt and pillowcase, done; New baby gifts, done; 5/7 boat cushions recovered; Leg warmers, done. Several of these left the house so quickly, I never got a photo. Even squeezed in a deer hat.

Yesterday, I put work and projects aside and walked with the ladies’ hiking group. This is an intrepid group of women who hike year round in the Adirondacks. Yesterday’s group was large, probably due to the several weeks we’ve had cooped up indoors because of icy and frigid conditions.

Champlain Area Trails’ new Vail trail

One loop had several cattle skulls as fence posts. I tried to take a photo through the eye socket but my phone did not like the cold.

Now we brace ourselves for the next winter storm this weekend. It’s been called a major snowstorm with “plowable” amounts greater than six inches. Greater than 6 inches? 7? 50? Time will tell. Better fire up the snowblower.

Travels with a wayward sailor

We made it to and fro the cabin in the woods, even though the thermometer dipped below minus 26 Fahrenheit. Tim was dressed as a lost sailor. He loves his foul weather gear and has always worn it in the cold weather: Henry Lloyd red jacket and black overall bottoms. This year he stepped it up a notch. The joy of winter camping (to me especially) is you don’t have to carry all your gear (warm clothes, good food and wine). One (Tim) can haul it in on a sled. I held up the rear on the downhills so it didn’t careen into Tim’s ankles. We used a little plastic sled and had all our gear in an old sail bag. Hence the wayward sailor.

To our dismay, we arrived to a frigid cabin, the temperature inside was below 0. As soon as we spilled a little water, it froze solid.


The gas was off, the pilot light was out and we had to get it going before we froze or it got too dark. And we did. Within a mere five hours, the temperature inside rose to a balmy 50 degrees and remained that temperature throughout the rest of our stay. We were cozy. More importantly, my hands warmed up enough to knit.


Oh yes, and the winter 46’ers hiked a mountain while I remained busy near the homestead.

We ate like royalty and had wine to accompany our meals. I went a little crazy with my seal a meal before we left and had beef stroganoff, sour cream, maple syrup, mayo, and even little salt and pepper packets. I’ll definitely do that again. I was able to reheat the meal in the bag and made clean up (with water from the ice covered river) a cinch.


It was even easy to clean up bacon grease. Here’s what happened to it in sub-zero temperature.
There is nothing as peaceful as the woods in winter. We saw huge ice crystals on the walk in (foreshadowing the cabin) and a polar iridescent cloud on the walk out.



I’m looking forward to doing this again next year and am confident we will be warm.

I stand corrected

The other day, I waxed on about Spring’s arrival to the North Country. Not so fast.

Mountain Man proposed a hike to Scarface, a relatively diminutive peak by Adirondack standards, so I said yes. A nice Spring walk. NOT!


There was an icy “spine” most of the way and I clumped along in snowshoes. It was Spring after-all and i left my micro spikes home. I can only speak of most of the way, because when it became too gnarly by my standards, I turned back and headed away from the hills.
That’s Spring in the Adirondacks.


My walk out provided plenty of time to collect a pocketful of lichen, which had fallen off the trees, and to contemplate rocks.

I may not see dead people but I do see things in rocks.