note: Carly previously beat me to the punch and published her entry for the Chimney Bluffs first. (sniff, sniff!) In her post, she gives a brief explanation regarding the formation of these unique “chimneys”. Carly was an Earth Science teacher, so I believe she knows of what she speaks! You can find her explanation here…. http://mockingbirdimagery.wordpress.com/
*** ARGH! It is nearly 8pm and I published this post several hours ago. The problem is, it disappeared! I cannot fathom what hapened. I was sure I had pressed the “publish” button, but the post is no longer there. I began the Part 2 post when I realized the first post was not there. All of the photos are in the gallery (thank heaven!!!) but everything I had spent time writing is now gone. Thus, I am beginning anew.
Yesterday morning, Carly called us just as we were leaving home. I talked to her and told her we were going to go to Chimney Bluffs State Park, located on Lake Ontario. (one of the Great Lakes) As you might have heard, our illustrious governor of New York State has threatened to close 55 state parks and historical sites to save the state from bankruptcy. Mark thought that “just in case” , we should visit the park as it is included in the roster of closures.
Carly said she thought her kids would love to go to the park as well, so she would try to formulate a plan and get back to us. We ended up meeting late in the morning. Carly came along with her kids, Kyle, Sarah, and Erin, as well as her mother-in-law, Madeline. We were so anxious to get going, so we all tumbled out of the vehicles and started off on our beachside journey. Mark would not be able to traverse the terrain in the wheelchair, so he stayed in the truck with Angus and Murphy.
Carly explains on her post that erosion accounts for about three feet of loss to the bluffs each year. When we arrived at the beach, as we walked along, we noticed what looks like red clay at the bottom of the bluffs. It would appear that a great deal of the banks are cut back and wash down into the lake below. As you can see in the following photo, the turf does appear to be claylike with deep cracks where it had dried.
Some of the formations on the bluffs reminded me a great deal of castles Bill in Scotland had shown on his blog! They really did look much more like buildings than “chimneys”!
There were several places along the beach where streams ran down the bluffs, forming gullies where water mixed with the clay, forming a solution that resembled chocolate milk! Some of these places left great gaps in the path and we would have to scurry quickly to cross before the next wave splashed up again. Carly termed the lake as being very “angry” and I think that was a very good description!
I really like this photo. It has a look of “mystique” to it and the sky did a great job of adding to it!
As you can see in the next photo, the pathway that we followed was very narrow. Carly said that the last time she was here, the beach was much wider to walk along. The lake appeared to ge higher and as you can see, there is much clay that has slid down from the bluffs to the left. The tricky thing about the stuff that slid down was that although much of it was hard like a walkway, every now and then, it was soft underneath and if one were to step on the soft areas, their footwear would sink down and feel as though it was about to be suctioned off! Ben and kyle stepped into some of the soft areas, but thankfully, they kept their shoes intact!
Unfortunately, Madeline discovered the irregular pathway was hard on her knees, so she turned back and went to sit in arly’s Jeep. As it worked out, it was nice for Mark as he and Madeline had a very good and lengthy conversation. Mark really enjoyed the company!
Tis always such a treat to capture kids in a photo, unaware! The lake was so loud and noisy, the only way to hear one another speaking was to listen intenly. Thus, I was able to catch Michelle and Erin deep in conversation!
You can see just how high the bluffs rise, as Ben and Kyle look like little ants walking along the beach.
Nature provided some very interesting artwork….
The crew….Carly has been experiencing some excrutiating back pain, so she had to move slowly along. Here she is resting upon a large rock.
And another wonderfully “mystical” shot……
What a terrific piece of driftwood that looks as though it began as a piece someone was cutting into firewood before it went into the lake. The rocks have polished it to a smooth piece of wood!
Kyle, Ben, and Carly…
This poor tree is hanging horizontally from the cliff!
Nature’s very cool mosaic…
I’m not too sure why Ben chose to walk out into the water to stand on this rock. The air was so cold, we all kept our hands tucked in our pockets. We all had rosy cheeks from the cold and wind! But Ben….
I would normally scorn such behavior, but he certainly did look impresive standing on that rock with the waves splashing up around him. Mark said if the waves were just a little higher, it would have looked like Ben was “walking on the water”!
We carefully made our way back to the parking lot where we had started and the kids were ansty to continue on with the adventure. I had found the walk very stimulating and I was game to go along with the kids…..