Tag Archive | woods

Falling for Taughannock ~

This past Monday (my day off) I decided to take the day and make a photo excursion of it… all by myself.  I’ve been wanting to try new ways of capturing waterfalls using various shutter speeds and aperture settings, and I thought the always-intriguing Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, NY, would be a nice challenge.  I’m looking to get that slowed motion look rather than stop-action, so off I went with camera bag full of everything I have, plus my tripod to help me get those special effects.  It was nearly 50 miles to the Taughannock Falls State Park, and I enjoyed the ride through wine country and along Cayuga Lake as the sun shone brightly at 8:30 a.m. when I left on my journey.  Even though I knew in the back of my head that I needed more cloudy conditions for what I was looking for, I hoped for the best and headed south.

Before heading to the falls area, I visited the “lake side” area of the park, across the street from the falls (across Highway Route 89).  There were the offices there, and a much-needed restroom before I would start my “journey” to the falls.  But there were also photo opportunities that I took advantage of.  Then I re-parked in the falls lot and loaded myself up for the walk.

Mind you, it’s “only” 3/4 of a mile back to the falls along very nicely kept trails.  I stopped at the lower falls first and tried taking some of my “specialty shots”, to no avail.  I think it was too sunny.  But I spent several minutes trying many different settings before I lost faith and turned to go to the main falls.  I knew, for me, this would be a challenging walk, as I’m not in ideal physical condition ~ being well overweight, bad knees, bad back… but I had a good attitude, and was looking forward to going at my own pace for a change, and enjoying the woodsy outdoors after being cooped up all winter.  I had nothing else on my agenda for the day, and decided to take my time and moreso.  (if you click on a pic, it’ll bring it up to full size)

There were few people and far between during my journey.  But I enjoyed the solace and just the sounds of the rushing waters and some birds of prey circling and flying over the water far above.  I did have to stop at several strategically-placed benches for a brief rest, then I continuted on and finally reached my destination.  I was the only one there.  I walked as far up the trail as I could until there was no trail left, but the roaring falls right in front of me.  Click – click, more pictures.  I surveyed the gorge around me and noticed those raptors were nesting in the sides of the cliffs.  I sat in silence for awhile, then gathered up my things and headed back the 3/4 mile from which I’d come.

I don’t think I’d even gotten out of sight of the falls when I misstepped on a small rock and almost fell on my face on the trail.  I heard this LOUD crunching in my foot and then the shooting pain that accompanied and immediately I jumped onto my left foot to take the weight off the pain.  I’ll never forget that sound!  Loud enough so I heard it over the falls!  I quickly looked for someplace to sit, but the nearest bench was maybe a few hundred feet down the path.  I tried to put my foot down, but it was futile.  I steadied myself enough to get my tripod into position to be used as a walking stick, then I set off  v-e-r-y    s-l-o-w-l-y taking tiny, baby steps and just dealing with the pain.  What else was I going to do?  No cell service.  There had been a couple of couples and a pair of women with some toddler children come and gone.  I didn’t figure there was anyone to help, so I just sucked it up and walked imperceptably slow.  It was going to be a LONG walk back.

And, indeed, it was!  It took me 75 minutes to limp that 3/4 mile!  But I was never so happy to see those lower falls and the highway, then the parking lot and my car!  After all is said and done, it was not so bad as a sprain, but I just seemingly tore all or most of the tendons in the top of my foot.  Two days later, with the help of an Ace bandage, I’m still limping but well on the mend.  I did stop and sit in the car for a bit, and I prayed and thanked God that I’d made it back and that it wasn’t so serious.  And I thanked Him for giving me the opportunity to see all that I did and enjoy what He’d created.  Something so simple as looking up at the blue sky through the trees has new meaning for me.  It’s amazing the life lessons you can get out of an injured foot!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time… TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

My Adirondacks ~

 For as long as I can remember, our family spent one or two weeks each summer camping and visiting relatives in the Adirondacks, right through my teenage years.  So it should be no surprise that I’ve always thought of Long Lake, New York, as my second home.  My mother’s sister and her family lived there, so we would go and visit and camp at nearby Lake Eaton each July 4th for the local Independence Day festivities.  While there we would swim, ride our bikes, go shopping and sightseeing at local stores, then sit around the campfire at night and roast marshmallows and see what local relatives would show up for a visit.  We were never disappointed.  And, although I’m sure we had our share, I don’t remember any time when it rained during our stay.  All I remember is the fun. 

A church steeple rises above the fall foliage as taken from the deck of the bridge in Long Lake, New York

A lone kayaker paddles in the colorful splendor that is Long Lake, New York

Now, as adults, my husband and I have visited Long Lake and Lake Eaton over the past couple of years, both in summer and in fall.  I’ve been able to share with him the members of my family that still reside there, the places we’d go when I was a child, plus we’ve experienced new places together and made new memories to share with others.  I never remember the fall being so vibrant and colorful in my childhood, and I’ve been able to appreciate it much more now. 

A view of Lake Eaton, New York, through the trees on the beach.

Another view of Lake Eaton as the light shimmers on the water and the fall foliage across the way.

 Al and I visited the Adirondack Museum during one of our stays in the Big Woods.  I think I’d been there as a child, but didn’t really remember.  Now, seeing it as an adult, I can fully appreciate the history and beauty that is kept in the museum and its many outbuildings.  There is even a small section dedicated to my Uncle Bob Wallace, who was a fixture in Long Lake for his entire life, and well-respected as they come.  I only remember him as being “larger than life” and very generous with a great sense of humor.

Al sits on this “larger than life” Adirondack chair outside the Adirondack Museum.

A hand made Adirondack-themed quilt on display inside the Adirondack Museum.

I’m so grateful that I have such memories of growing up in the Adirondacks each summer.  And now I have photos and even more recent memories to enjoy.  These photos are just a few of my memories of my childhood, my family, my Adirondacks. 

Buttermilk Falls just outside Long Lake, New York.

A seaplane takes off from the placid waters on Long Lake, New York.