Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ce Mois de Mai (coda)

Today was Pentecost Sunday. Don't tell the fire marshal, but if you look closely, you can see tongues of fire descending on the congregation:

Here's a closeup:

At the moment, the only tongue I'm speaking is English. You know your French accent is really bad when non-francophones think you're speaking German.

Yesterday KJ and I took it easy. We watched Quantum of Solace, then went for a walk in the park, where we saw (drum roll please) an Elmo pinata! It was a bit high for the kids, but it looks like they have a sort of pulley system rigged up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend in the Adirondacks

Damon, KJ, Marie and I drove up Saturday morning to the Moffit Beach campground. We arrived around 1 pm and got one of the worst possible campsites - right next to the entrance, the streetlights, the showers and the ranger station - and far away from the rest of the group! Thanks to Marie's French charm, however, we managed to trade-up to swampy Campsite #68 located at a fork in the road. It really was a big improvement, and we were happy to get the tents up before the rain started again.

After we got settled in, Marie, KJ and I went canoeing on Scandaga Lake. It was really pretty, but I think what I liked best was climbing around to switch places in the canoe.

Saturday night we enjoyed a BBQ with the entire gang - maybe 28 folks in all - but we retired to Campsite 68 before it got very late. So we missed the rangers who came to tell our group to quiet down. I'm not sure why the rangers singled our group out as the noisemakers, ignoring the blaring loudspeakers next door to us.... Guess we looked a lot more approachable.

On Sunday, 10 of us tried to hike to the Good Luck Cliffs. We found the parking lot, and we found the trailhead. We found our way to West Stoner Lake following the detailed trail description and trail map. We also found plenty of bugs - and we weren't even looking for them. The only thing we couldn't find was the turnoff for the Good Luck Cliffs. Somehow we missed it both coming and going.

KJ and I went kayaking afterward, though our paddling technique most likely left something to be desired... I have a feeling we're not supposed to end the session completely soaked.

That night the rangers kept slowing to a crawl in their jeeps as they repeatedly passed our group HQ campsite. Our group lay as low as it could (some literally ducked under the picnic tables), but again there were much rowdier groups at the other end. Go figure.

Monday we had much better luck with the hike to the Echo Cliffs on Panther Mountain. It was steeper than I expected for a "1" rating (easiest on a scale of 1 to 5), but the views were well worth it.

Rather than retracing our steps after the hike, we continued down 10 South to explore 29A East which fortunately did exactly what it was supposed to in terms of connecting us to 30 South. A great day, and a great weekend.