> D215: 08-09-03 Adirondacks, Eastern Townships, Montreal (select) File:D215, select pics. Update: 2019-03-11.
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08-09-03 Adirondacks, Eastern Townships, Montreal
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2008-09-09 - Lunch stop, Brockport, N.Y.

08-09-09 - Erie Canal, Brockport N.Y.. We're on our way east to the Adirondacks and later Quebec. We take the scenic route from the border crossing at Queenston. Brockport, on the Erie Canal, suggests the possibility of a canal trip someday. Apparently, you could travel all the way to the Hudson River and then north, through Lake Champlain, and into Quebec.

08-09-09 - The canal is dotted with old towns like this, ideal places to stop for supplies and sight-seeing.

08-09-09 -

2008-09-10 - Mt. Jo and Heart Lake.

08-09-10 - Camping at Crown Point, we drive next day to Adirondack Loj, near Lake Placid. Mount Jo, overlooking Heart Lake and Algonquin Peak, is reputed to offer one of the most cost-effective climbs in the Adirondack mountains: The best view for the least effort.

08-09-10 - Mount Jo summit. Some kindly fellow traveller offers to take our picture on the summit of Mount Jo. A smaller peak like this allows you to look across at the flanks of higher mountains. The farthest horizons are obscured, but you can get a better idea of the folds and undulations of the terrain, within a single day's radius.

08-09-10 - Mt. Marcy, right centre.

08-09-10 - Avalanche Pass, Algonquin Pk. The Pass is marked by the two exposed rock areas to the left of Algonquin's flank.

08-09-10 - Algonquin Peak, Indian Pass, right. We ascended Algonquin Peak, 5114ft, back in 1996 via a trail that leads to the right of that closer hill on the left, and up the valley. We returned to our campsite via Avalanche Pass. This was a grueling 12 hour hike. If you're viewing via the WWWB windows app, stop the slide show to see a few pictures and sketches from 1986 and 1996, or to digress to our 2006 trip to the Adirondacks.

08-09-10 - Mt. Marcy, right centre. We climbed Mount Marcy on our first trip to the area in 1986. Marcy Dam and reservoir with its campsite lies behind the nearer hill on the right. From Marcy Dam the trail is a long slog through the woods till you reach the rocky shoulders of the peak itself. Mount Marcy is the highest mountain in New York state, 5344ft.

Heart Lake.

08-09-10 - Heart-throb, Heart Lake. There's a bench here to sit on and contemplate the view. Or you could make a sketch as Derek did on a previous trip.

96-08-20 - McIntyre Range, beyond Heart Lake. The sketch is dated August 20th, but reddish leaves were already showing at that date in 1996. The outline is in ink with coloured pencil.

96 - 1996: Algonquin Peak, Heart Lake

08-09-10 -

08-09-10 - Algonquin summit just visible. A side trail leads to Wright Peak which is a sister to Algonquin Peak. So if you have the energy, you can bag at least two peaks on the same day.

08-09-10 - We swam here in warmer weather back in 1996. The swimming area was crowded with kids paddling and demure ladies in conservative bathing suits. On today's date, September 10, all those demure ladies are busy back in Poughkeepsie, New York, ferrying kids to and from school, piano lessons and soccer practice. But today we're free to be rootless nature buffs.

2008-09-10 - Whiteface summit.

08-09-10 - We drive up Mount Whiteface via the Veterans' Memorial Highway. Only $14 admission per car. Derek went up here with his parents sometime in the late 1940s.

08-09-10 - The summit "castle". We have lunch at the summit "castle" and are served by the same waitress as on a previous trip. No, we didn't find out why the flag was at half-mast.

08-09-10 - Inside the castle. The lunchroom and souvenir shop is upstairs.

08-09-10 - Portal. Perhaps this is the dungeon. Doesn't every castle have to have a dungeon?

websrch:"lake placid"+map

Summit trail, Whiteface Mtn.

08-09-10 - The climb to the summit observatory is moderately strenuous despite stairs and handrails.

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08-09-10 - That's the weather station on the summit. It is also reachable via a tunnel and an elevator from the castle.

08-09-10 - Looking back, "castle" roof. Notice how flat the surrounding terrain looks in this picture.

08-09-10 - Needless to say, we chose the footpath. The railings are a considerable help in negotiating the rocks of this ridge. Gripping the railings, Derek is reminded of his ape heritage. (Brachiating biped?)

Whiteface summit.

08-09-10 - At the top, 4967ft, the view is spectacular. However, one issue is that from these higher summits you can see the profiles of only the more distant surrounding peaks.

websrch:Whiteface mountain

08-09-10 -

08-09-10 - Lake Placid. Lake Placid is visible, as well as Lake Placid town. which is on the smaller lake, to the left of Lake Placid proper. A few of the town's buildings are visible, including the pizza place where we had dinner.

08-09-10 - Lake Placid from Whiteface (4967')

08-09-10 - Pan #1, right to left. From a high peak, like Whiteface, you don't see the profiles of the nearer and smaller hills very well. Everything looks more like a map view as seen from above. But the distant horizon gives a fine sense of space, and the infinite possibilities of the world, if we would only take better care of it.

08-09-10 - pan #2

08-09-10 - pan #3

08-09-10 - pan #4

08-09-10 - pan #5, ski area. You can see the top of the chair lift that we visited on an earlier trip.

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08-09-10 - Observatory and weather station. Looking back from the edge of the summit platform.

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08-09-10 - Lake Placid and rockscape. The arrow probably suggest access to the hiking trail leading back down to Lake Placid. We've heard about this route, but after two ascents of this mountain by car, we don't have the heart for an anti-climactic ascent on foot. We did do the ascent of Mount Washington on foot, years ago. Then years later, went up via the cog railway. For maximum satisfaction, you have to earn the right to a ride.

08-09-10 - Rockscape.

Summit observatory, Whiteface Mt.

08-09-10 - This part of the building houses the elevator leading back down to the "castle" and parking lot.

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08-09-10 -

06-09-02 - 2006: Summit trail, Whiteface. Back in 2006 we had less luck with the weather. The summit was almost totally socked-in with cloud.

06-09-02 - 2006: Observatory, Whiteface.

06-09-02 - 2006: Scenic viewpoint, Whiteface. Welcome to the world of Zen mountaineering.

2008-09-10 - High Falls Gorge.

08-09-10 - High Falls Gorge, near Lake Placid, is a commercial scenic area very similar to Ausable Chasm south of Plattsburg. The walkways give a close and intimate view of the rushing water and the potholes. Well thought-out signs explain the geology and ecology of the area.

08-09-10 - Our Victorian forbears used to dote on these rugged beauty spots. Perhaps partly because they conveyed a kind of natural morality. People expected to experience a sense of awe and wonder, the sublimity of God's creation. At one time we were even told we should fear God.

08-09-10 - Perhaps not quite fear exactly, but a sense that religion was to be taken seriously.

08-09-10 - The catwalks, although totally artificial, permit you to view something natural and dangerous that would be totally inaccessible otherwise. Perhaps it's these contradictory qualities that make the experience interesting. Something like a dramatic presentation or a film that lets you witness mayhem at no personal risk.

08-09-10 - Pothole. These holes bored in the rock were apparently created when a crack allowed water to leak from one level to the other. Particles of grit and stones carried by the flow of water then swirled down the channel gradually enlarging it by impacts against the sides.

08-09-10 - Pothole. Changing water levels might eventually transform the pothole into a stagnant well.

08-09-10 - With a little creative brushwork this picture could be transformed into a cliff-hanger. OK, maybe a lot of brushwork.

08-09-10 - Rootscape

08-09-10 - There's a certain fascination in simply contemplating the materials the world is made of. The bulk and massive strength of stone. The filligree agitation of water. The constructive qualities of wood, suggesting props, beams, or even bridges across the abyss.

08-09-10 - Another pothole, now given over to ferns and lichens. A sunken garden.

08-09-10 - Brink. The brink of a waterfall, the lip of a cascade, where the flow moves from glassy smoothness to turbulence in a few feet, seems to have an almost cautionary quality. Like a moral fable. A story from a children's book

08-09-10 - Poised one moment, hurled into chaos the next. Up a creek without a paddle. Out on a limb. Take stock for the morrow. A stitch in time saves nine.

2008-09-10 - High Falls Gorge.

08-09-10 - The jumping-off point.

08-09-10 - Abandon hype all ye who enter here.

08-09-10 - Foam thing. Lest you end up a formless blob.

08-09-10 - A ray of hope, in a world of navigational hazards.

2008-09-11 - Burlington, Vermont.

08-09-11 - Arriving in Burlington Vermont, we're glad to see that the city hasn't abandoned its pedestrian walkway. This is mid-morning, and pedestrian traffic is beginning to build up.

08-09-11 -

08-09-11 - Unitarian Church, 1806.

08-09-11 - Burlington main st. Derek wonders how they get from that gazebo thing, up to the windowed area above. No sign of a ladder. Aha! what looks like a trapdoor, inside that middle arch. 11 o'clock, time to hunt up some lunch.

08-09-11 - Lunch on a park bench. We buy sandwiches at a European deli restaurant on a back street, and head down toward the harbour where we've parked the car. This view looks approximately south-westerly, in the direction of Plattsburg across the lake.

08-09-11 - We eat our lunch on a park bench overlooking the yacht anchorage and alongside a pedestrian and bike path. This view looks more northwest, with the Canadian border somewhere to the right of the picture.

08-09-11 -

2008-09-11 - Lac Ste. Georges Soon after lunch we head north toward the Quebec border, reaching our destination in the Eastern Townships by late afternoon.

08-09-13 - At the cottage. This is Merle and our friends Denise and Normand in their cottage back yard on Lake Saint George, near Windsor Quebec. We stay with them for a few days after our visit to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks.

2008-09-12 - La Poudriere, Windsor, Quebec.

08-09-12 - The first full day in Quebec is rainy. A visit is organized to an old explosives factory where gunpowder was manufactured. The park area has an interpretive centre plus the remains of dams, waterworks and the foundations of buildings where the powder was prepared. In a few places you can see the ruins of buildings that were destroyed in explosions that periodically brought the operation to a standstill. This place was a major source of explosives during the US civil war and the construction of the CPR.

08-09-12 - The factory operations were run by water-power.

08-09-12 - All through the woods these concrete supports are all that remain of aqueducts and conduits that brought water to the water wheels of many separate pieces of machinery.

08-09-12 - Even a relatively recent archaeological site like this would be difficult to interpret, without the supplementary evidence of documents and photographs. Because of the dams and aquaducts, it is clearly an industrial site, not a cemetary or a temple. But how would we be able to tell what was manufactured here. Gunpowder manufacture would likely leave no clear chemical residues that could be analysed by later generations. Unlike metal smelting, for instance.

08-09-12 - North Hatley. This is one of the area's great beauty spots and tourist watering places, if we could only see it through the drizzle.

2008-09-13 - Ag. proj., Lac S. Georges.

08-09-13 - The local farmers got together and built this monumental holstein as a cooperative project. But not without a certain amount of bickering we hear.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - View from the top. This is deep, deep Quebec, seen from the top of Madam Moo-moo's head, looking eastward, inward, toward the misty mountains of national identity. Actually, they are probably the Stoke Mountains, near the town where Derek grew up and where he climbed his first mountain.

08-09-13 - We set off down the road on Derek's voyage of inner discovery.

2008-09-13 - Danville, PQ.{danville} Derek's home town.

08-09-13 - Burbank Pond, Danville. Young Derek's woodsy stamping-ground is on the horizon. The green fields behind the right bank lead back to the apartment building where he lived in war-time years.

08-09-13 - Within these reeds sheltered the ducks that Derek and his friends used to spy on.

08-09-13 - The apartment building. That tower was accessible from the second floor apartments. Derek used to go up to that room with the round windows at the top and read old 1920s copies of the National Geographic Magazine. At the front of the building, on the ground floor was a wide porch. Here the brick is lighter than the part exposed above it.

08-09-13 - Richards: 2nd, 3rd floors. The Richards apartment was on the second and third floors, right of the tower. Derek's bedroom, top right. Our entrance was from a hallway just under that present-day balcony. There used to be a garage where the cars are now parked. The Brock family, Diana and Cathy, lived in the second floor of that wing at the back.

08-09-13 - Side yard, the apartment. The Richards garden was up at the back of that yard. Derek also had a weed garden in the trees. Back of the hedge, was an orchard where we sneaked apples.

08-09-13 - Neighbours. Patsy Dawson lived here. She was the model for the girl with the tea set in the Richard Peters novel: Premonitions of the Past.

08-09-13 - View downtown. Here we are looking back toward the town square from somewhere near the apartment. Derek used to ride his wagon down that sidewalk on the left.

08-09-13 - Derek's school, Danville. This is on the same street as the apartment. It is now a girls' convent school, but used to be Danville High School.

45 or 46 - Derek, middle rt. ca'45 or '46. DR did grades 1 to 4 in this school. 1943-46.

08-09-13 - Neighbours. On what used to be Academy Street.

08-09-13 - Daycare.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - Town square. The Cenotaph, war memorial is in the centre of the square. Derek remembers watching a parade commemorating the end of World War 2 from the sidewalk in front of the brown building.

08-09-13 - On Saturday night, during the war, farmers' buggies used to be drawn up in a continuous line while the shopping was being done.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - Toward the old RR station. Derek would walk his father down to the RR station on Sunday nigts at the end of a "48" furlough. And come back home with tears in his eyes.

08-09-13 - zWe got our get our hair cut in this building or the one beside it. The barber had a speech impediment and used to resent bitterly being called "the dummy" by thoughtless people.

08-09-13 - United Church, right. Albert Hinton's charge in the 1940s.

08-09-13 - United Church. Derek attended many a service through that front door, not having much idea of what the lecture was about, but listening for big words like "democracy", "war", "politics". It seems that grandfather Hinton may have been a bit of an Old Testament philosopher. In any case Derek inherited his first philosophy book, The Mansions of Philosophy, from the man who held forth in that pulpit.

08-09-13 - United Church. Sunday school was held in the basement. Derek also remembers being fascinated by his first lantern-slide lecture, held by a visiting missionary from South Africa in the darkened basement.

08-09-13 - The U.C. manse, Grove St.. Enid and Derek lived here with the maternal grandparents, the Reverend Albert and Lucy Hinton, on first coming to Danville. We moved to the apartment across town, on Academy St., in 1944 or 1945.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - The room, top right, was Derek's bedroom. This was done up in a small repeated pattern floral wallpaper that gave him nightmares.

08-09-13 - Neighbours. This is the house across from the manse, the one that we thought had been demolished. Derek remembers attending a salvage day in the back yard during the late 1940s. The Boy Scouts and Cubs had the job of sorting and stacking artillery shell ammunition containers that had probably been used locally for field excercises by the army. Everything reuseable for the war effort was recycled in those days. Metals, cardboard, paper, even fat left over from cooking. Probably used to make soap or nitroglycerine.

Cottage, Lac Ste. George.

08-09-13 - Friends Normand and Denise. We're relaxing in the garden beside the lake after a strenuous day of nostalgia.

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2008-09-13 - Apple picking. Not far from Lac Ste. Georges.

08-09-13 - We visit a pick-it-yourself apple orchard.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - Not plastic apples!

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - These mountains are far to the south, possibly the Jay Peaks, across the U.S. border.

2008-09-13 - Mine, Asbestos, Que.

08-09-13 - The pit is several kilometers across and over 300 metres deep. Deep enough that the Eiffel Tower at the bottom would barely reach ground level. We are looking across this hole at ghostly town streets that were dug up and discarded to make the pit.

08-09-13 - Interpretive display

08-09-13 - Picturesque bits of mine machinery.

08-09-13 - Derek and his Dad, Eric, walked out here one day from Danville. Three miles by road, one hour. But this was when the mine was still a busy, dusty worksite. Today the operation is more discreet. Some underground workings have apparently been reopened recently, but back then, the day when we would take a nostalgic interest in our industrial heritage was still far in the future.

08-09-13 -

08-09-13 - Don't tread on my toes. Thoughts on leaving Asbestos: These iron toes, painted a nice public-relations green, seem to symbolise, for Derek at least, the way in which an industrial juggernaut can turn a community into featureless gravel.

08-09-14 - Breakfast, Danville. At La Binnerie de Caree, pardon my French, The Beanerie on the Square, a popular resort for Sunday breakfast. Particularly for those who have contrived to escape going to mass.

2008-09-14 - Mount Ham ascent.

08-09-14 - After not going to mass we embark on an ill-fated ascent of Mount Ham. We did reach the summit, in a near gale of wind, lashing rain and 30 yards visibility.

08-09-14 - This picture is to provide documentary proof that we at least reached the interpretive centre.

06-09-02 - 2006: Scenic viewpoint, Whiteface. Although this is a different mountain, you probably get the idea.

08-09-15 - Morning after the climb. The day after, we need much strong coffee to speed our recovery.

2008-09-15 - Winery, Lake Magog.

08-09-15 - Le Cep d'Argent. Who of us from Niagara would have thought that Quebec has a budding wine industry. We sampled their offerings and bought several bottles. As near as I can figure, the name means something like The silver root-stock, or perhaps, The Affluent Vine? Isn't there a story about Jacques and the Vine-stock?

08-09-15 - Grape press from France.

08-09-15 -

2008-09-16 - Peddle-paddle, departure.

08-09-16 - On the morning of our departure for Montreal we decide to loosen up with a little boating excursion.

08-09-16 - The water is an almost glassy calm. Derek is undeterred by the fact that our paddle boat is exactly the same kind that gave him a ruptured disk at Martin's cottage long ago. Oh well, it wasn't the boat's fault.

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08-09-16 - The porch of Eight windows.

08-09-16 - This is Denise and Normand's cottage, in the middle, seen from the lake.

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2008-09-16 - Montreal, botanical garden.

08-09-16 - Arriving in Montreal from the Eastern Townships, via a detour up to Drummondville, we find nobody home at Nathan's place. So we walk over to the botanical garden.

08-09-16 - The tower of the velodrome is just visible behind the trees.

08-09-16 - It is immediately clear that the Code Napoleon is still operative in Quebec society.

08-09-16 - In Quebec horticultural society, that is. Attack unexpectedly, and in overwhelming force. The goddess Flora is on the side of the big botanical battalions.

08-09-16 -

08-09-16 - Interloper. But beware of spies in the ranks.

08-09-16 - They can be the cause of all sorts of unexpected complications in the strategic Grand Design.

08-09-16 - Giant Ironweed. (Free association: Ironweed = Iron duke?) The weed army may have a Duke of Wellington on the attack...

08-09-16 - Leading troops of a different colour uniform.

08-09-16 - Looks almost edible.

08-09-16 - It is edible: kale. Didn't Wellington once say that an army marches on its stomach?

08-09-16 - Is this amaranth? Shocking, the sort of edible stuff the Commissariat will come up with. Looks like something you might find growing on a coral reef.

websrch:ancient grains

08-09-16 -

08-09-16 - Fractal leaves. Could this kind of narrative be the start of an infinite regress into nostalgia?

"Magic lanterns", Chinese garden.

08-09-16 - We move to another part of the garden with an unusual art installation.

08-09-16 - This turns out to be more in tune with Derek's mood of fanciful nostalgia that you may already have noticed.

08-09-16 - The difference is that this is not Derek's nostalgia, but somebody else's.

08-09-16 - However, there is a nostalgic connection.

08-09-16 - A connection that should be mentioned since we're already doing the right kind of mental gymnastics.

08-09-16 - Many years ago, probably in the late 1940s or early 1950s, Derek was brought here with his Dad, Eric, by uncle Fraser. This was in the early days of the garden when this was basically still open fields. He remembers tramping over various generic plots and flower beds.

08-09-16 - But the thing that stuck in his mind was a licorice plant. The curator gave him a small stick of the plant's root to chew on. It seemed amazing at the time, that this could taste just like the familiar licorice candy. An inversion of cause and effect. The candy flavour was the basic datum. How could the candy cause the root to taste that way? Oh! The other way round ... dawning understanding.

08-09-16 - Bonsai interlude. Within the Chinese garden is an enclave of bonsai plants: potted plants cultured to simulate trees and small bits of scenery.

08-09-16 -

08-09-16 - Derek had a brief go at bonsai cultivation during his various botanical phases. He once experimented with an indoor parsely plant. Its leaves had the fine irregularities that made it look like a miniature tree. From certain angles.

08-09-16 - Lotus seed head. Ah, the rotus, always a potent symbol of something or other.

08-09-16 -

08-09-16 - Let's hope this dragon is a symbol of good luck.

08-09-16 - Looks friendly. Could we add The Friendly Dragon to our symbols of Peace, Order and Good Government around the parliament buildings?

08-05-12 - For instance ...

08-09-16 - Even this rock is a kind of mountain, a landscape in miniature. Something like the summit of Mount Ham, you might think, although we climbers never got to see it.

08-09-16 - Floating through a sea of impressions, we ...

08-09-16 - Make our way to the botanical garden exit ...

08-09-16 - Where we are sped on our way by the oriental knight: Don Quixote, or was it, Quixote Don? I never can get these oriental names right.

2008-09-18 - Walk downtown, Montreal.

08-09-18 - A Rapunzel tower

08-09-18 - A brief excursion into the student quarter, U.Q.U.A.M., before we pack up and head to Ottawa.

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2008-09-19 - Ottawa.

08-09-19 - A digestive walk after a dinner with Dimitri in the Byward Market. This is the Natural Gallery, Home to Canada's most distinguished pieces.

08-09-19 - The building itself is a work of art, here caught by the setting sun.

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08-09-19 - Looking west, up the Ottawa River. Is that the sillhouette of a canoe we see heading up-river? A little late in the season to reach Fort William before freeze-up.

08-09-19 -

08-09-19 - Bye-bye. On the eve of a national election, our thoughts turn away from nostalgic mountain climbs in the Adirondacks, meanderings in the daisy fields of the Eastern Townships, and botanical excursions in Montreal, the city of Derek's birth. ... Tomorrow, we travel home via highway 7 and onward to highway 407. A brief respite from freeways and parking lots, as we explore the towns east of Ottawa.

The End.

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