Ice Volcano

Yesterday Bryan, Seneca, and I went to Letchworth Park. It ended up being quite the adventure. Due to the extended crazy cold temperatures, a geyser there turned into an ice volcano. We had heard it was pretty impressive and since the weather is starting to warm up (above freezing today!) we figured it was now or never. The park is a little over two hours away from our place. My parents went last weekend and said it was pretty crowded so we got a very early start to hopefully get pictures without a ton of people in them. On our way it started to flurry. Just enough to make the roads slick. We had to maneuver through the back roads to get to the park entrance that was allegedly the winter entrance. Once we got into the park, the road we needed was closed. So we went back out and found an entrance that is more accessible. Unfortunately, the gate there was closed.

Seneca was starting to get antsy and the park was technically open so we figured we would park off the side of the road and walk Seneca around in that area a bit and see if anyone would come open the gates. We were in the midst of a debate about if we should just go around the gate and walk the two miles when a plow magically appeared on the other side of the gate! Bryan went to talk to the guy and he said that the roads had to be plowed before the gates opened and that he would turn around and we could follow him in. Score!

We got to the parking lot and there were only 5 other people there, the snow stopped, and we had actual blue sky! Right off of the parking lot there stood the 53 foot tall cone of ice. With water still spraying out of the top!

ice volcano portrait

The shady side had intricate icicle/drip formations

ice volcano drips

While the cone was solid ice, there was still water flowing inside it.

ice volcano spray

As always, Bryan kept Seneca occupied while I took pictures

ice volcano bryan seneca

One last picture of the ice volcano

ice volcano landscape

After taking a ton of pictures, we went for a hike. There is a gorge/river that runs the length of Letchworth Park and there are three (possibly more) spectacular sets of falls. Our hike took us by the Middle falls. All frozen with minimal water movement. Due to the intense snow and ice this year the path that takes you next to them was closed so I couldn’t get a shot of how truly impressive they are. This was the best I could do from the upper trail.

middle falls ice

Everything in the gorge seemed to be frozen. Here is a shot from the top of the falls looking back towards the gorge below.

middle falls gorge

We continued to the Upper falls where Seneca did a little exploring. (Yes she was safely on a leash the entire time)

upper falls seneca

Seeing how treacherous the trail ahead looked we turned around and headed back to the car.

It was well worth the trip! With any luck we will soon be able to have some adventures that don’t involve snow and ice 🙂

Morning Commute

While we are still blanketed with snow, the days are getting longer. A definite benefit of that is only the first part of my two hour Tuesday morning commute is in total darkness! While the temperatures were brutal this week, the sky and road were clear (a welcome change for sure!) and I was even treated with a beautiful sunrise. Now just imagine this was in better focus with more dramatic color and contrast. There is only so much you can expect from a camera phone while driving 🙂

morning commute

Oh the Weather We’re Having

Cold (very). Snow (lots of it). For those not in the know, the North East is getting hit with snow and freezing temperatures. Where we are isn’t as bad as places like Boston (84+ inches inches in the last 30 days) but we still have had a great deal of snow (over two feet). The news this morning said it’s the worst February since 1979. Where we live is fairly flat and open so we have a lot of drifting snow as well. The schools have closed on and off for snow and cold. So far the lowest temperature we’ve had (with windchill) is -27 F. Bryan has had the fun of keeping the driveway clear, along with cleaning out the crap that the plows have nailed us with. That is if he will be able to get in the driveway after work. A few times I’ve had to go out and clear a couple of feet of hard packed snow. I know Bryan wants to see exactly how much snow the Jeep can break through but I rather play it a bit safer. I get to shovel a path from the back door, across the deck, to what used to be our yard. Now it resembles more of a snowy field. I’ve taken to snowshoeing around the yard to create paths for Seneca to run around. Friday I noticed some crazy icicles off the roof and decided it was time to take pictures of the icicles and drifting snow we have been having. Don’t worry, we did knock them down so no fear of us being struck by falling ice! And I’m finally getting around to posting some of them. So, here is a slice of our winter wonderland!

these went all along the back of the house. some of them were up to three feet long!

these went all along the back of the house. some of them were up to three feet long!

Bryan and Seneca taking the night's drifting accumulation off the porch

Bryan and Seneca taking the night’s drifting accumulation off the deck

the drifting around the corner of the house were crazy

the drifting around the corner of the house were crazy

another view

another view

more drifts

more drifts

the front porch a bit buried

the front porch a bit buried

our neighborhood

our neighborhood