We might not have Canada without them. And despite our border experience, Canada is worth having. For one Niagara Falls look much better from the Canadian side. Oh wait, we would not have Niagara Falls without the Great Lakes either. As it stands the lakes became a natural border between Patriots and Loyalists sealing the fate of Canada as a separate country. Canadian side of Ontario Lake is home to royalists who fled the land of the free as soon as freedom was won. Did they know something we don’t?
Kaaterskill Falls are high but, when the water is low, not particularly impressive. Seems like a problem, but nothing that can’t be fixed. 19th century hotelier, inspired by an enterprising miller, decided to build a dam at the top of the falls. To make sure that they make an appropriate impact one could just turn the water on. For a fee of course. The trails above the upper section of the falls are now closed to the public due to safety concerns. It doesn’t stop careless tourists from suing the state. Apparently the barrier needs to be installed to prevent people from falling. It’s amazing no-one is suing to put in the stairs and even better an escalator. Looks like we are not that far from the 19th century crowd and their ideas of taming the nature.
Ever traveled the countryside and wondered what farmers hide in those huge silos by the barn? Now we know: the world’s largest kaleidoscope. Well, they can’t all be the largest… You lie on your back, gaze up for 10 minutes watching American History show and let me tell you: nothing reinforces patriotic feelings toward this great country like swirling presidents’ heads set to dramatic music. Interspersed with floral patterns and marijuana leaves.
Falls are in abundance in Adirondacks, and Ausable Chasm is one of the largest and prettiest. Or it would be, if not for its economic exploitation. The chasm is fenced, but not to protect its ecology from people, or people from falling into it, but to prevent you from getting a closer look without paying an admission fee. It costs $5 for a peek and $16 to hike around. Despite the price you do have to hike yourself. Although in the season they’ll actually shuttle you back to the parking lot, so you don’t have to walk back and look at the nature for too long. In case you don’t find the chasm and the falls appealing enough, countess related activities are provided: tubing, rafting, lantern tours, historic tours - you get the idea.
Hike to the top of the mountain to gaze at the calm water below, stop by the roaring falls cascading down the gorge, stroll by the quiet lake if you feel it’s too cold for kayaking: Adirondack State Park is great for outdoor activities. Including bizarre ones like catch-and-release fishing (hurting and stressing fish for dubious satisfaction of the angler), gem panning (rinsing a purchased bag of pebbles in a futile hope the seller forgot to remove valuable stones) or making campfire in the woods (too much worrying it may spread).
Lake George was empty. Not desolate, devoid of skiers, empty at the end of the winter as we are used to, but burgeoning with hope and fresh paint at the beginning of the season. Empty is not bad. Sure, most hotels are still in hibernation and restaurants are closed except for an Indian place. But you have all that emptiness to yourself: no person in sight on top of the Prospect Mountain, which in-season must be crowded to the hilt, at least judging by the size of a parking lot and a picnic area. Yes, you read right: there is a road to the top. I hate to hike all the way to the summit only to find lazy tourists prancing around not breaking any sweat,but not this time - the road doesn’t open until Memorial Day so no pesky people to contend with.