An Artsy Kind of Trail

My friend Nigel and I headed up to explore the grounds at McMichael Gallery up in Kleinburg. I had never been to the grounds before and was looking forward to walking their trails.

Statue

One of the trails, located not too far away from the parking, is the Sculpture Garden. There are nine bronze sculptures along this short trail, donated by artist Ivan Eyre.

The Trail

After our short walk among the sculptures, we took the valley walking trail on the other side of the parking for a nice walk along the Humber Valley.

The Reflected Pane

The trail took us to the main entrance of the Gallery and then on to Tom Thomson’s shack. Tom Thomson was a Canadian painter and was an early inspiration for what became the Group of Seven.

A Visitor

Before heading back to the car, we took a break at a bench to enjoy a little bit of the day. As we chatted, a little bug decided to visit us. He hung out for quite a while, so we were able to snap a lot of photos of his journey from one side of the bench to the other. I like this photo of him with his large dark shadow following along.

Letchworth State Park

It’s been too long since I’ve done a road trip. Yeah, yeah I know I was on one just a month ago but it feels like it’s been forever. Since it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada this weekend and I was able to swing an extra day off, my friends Nigel Banks and Paul Berkloo joined me on a trip to the Finger Lakes region in New York State. We are heading for Watkins Glen State Park to explore a gorge full of waterfalls. Yay, Waterfalls!

But before we get there a stop at Letchworth State Park to wet our whistle on some waterfalls was our first destination. First up was the Wolf’s Creek. The waterfall itself is awkward to photograph without putting ourselves in danger so we settled with getting some photographs of the cascade above the falls. Not to worry there were more waterfalls in our future that we could photograph safely.

Wolf's Creek

Wolf’s Creek the Upper Falls.

For example the Upper Falls. A paved path takes you right up to a number of possible views of the waterfall. There is a train trestle above the falls so photos of it can be challenging unless you embrace the trestle and make it part of your photograph. Other options are to create detail shots of the falls or some major editing later. All up to you as you are the creator of your art.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Downstream from all the main waterfalls is a wonderful pyramid shaped mountain with a flat top. As you can see we lucked out with some great cloud cover. (It was a little of a drizzly start this morning but the clouds worked for us).

Natural Pyramid

Natural Pyramid

I saved the best for last with the Middle Falls, one of their most dramatic falls. Isn’t she a beauty?

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

After exploring a good portion of the park it was time to get back on the road and make our way to our home away from home for the night. Tomorrow’s plan was an early start at Watkins Glen State Park.

Strange Lands

The sun was shining this morning but the winds were extremely strong – so strong we could barely stand as we explored the Vik area.

Iceland Southern Shores

Iceland Southern Shores

Driving to the highest point along the shores we found it very difficult to walk the cliff edge let alone keep the camera steady but the views were definitely worth the effort.

Vik Gates

Vik Gates

After being blown about for  awhile we headed out enjoy some more waterfalls in the area. It’s really very hard to go anywhere in Iceland without seeing a waterfall somewhere – be it a roadside or in a park that one has to hike into. Skogafoss, a very popular stop for those exploring Iceland was one of those roadside stops. We found the parking lot behind some restaurants and walked the few hundred feet to its base. We are lucky as we have chosen a not so busy season so the crowds are minimal.

Mighty Skogafoss

Mighty Skogafoss

I patiently waited for that window of opportunity when no one was right at the base directly in my shot to get some photos while at other times I took photos with other tourists in them.

Our final stop before we headed to Reykjavik to find a place to lie our heads is Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall allows one to walk behind it and get completely soaked. At certain times I’m told you can walk behind and not get that wet. I decided against going there as I watched person after person come out dripping from head to toe. Today was not the day to venture there.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

It was very impressive from the front so I spent quite a bit of time photographing it before exploring some smaller waterfalls not too far away from it before we headed to the big city and our final leg of our trip.

Icebergs and Big Heads

Our plan this morning had us backtracking to check out a Viking village my friend Nick had told me about. It was an old movie set that someone had on their property. I have to say it looked pretty cool from a distance but up close you can see the wear and tear mother nature has doled out.

Village

Village

I explored the area inside the fence before wandering around to the back near the foothills where I found this little guy (or girl, I didn’t really check).

Well Hello There

Well Hello There

He was mostly uncooperative munching away at the grass but as soon as I started to give up he raised his head and I was able to get this great shot. I love the distorted view.

Our next stop was one of the more anticipated locations – the Glacier lagoon. I was super excited to visit here and we were told that we picked one of the best days with quite a lot of icebergs in the lagoon. Yay us!

Glacier Lagoon

Glacier Lagoon

The lagoon is not the only place to see these lovely beauties. On the opposite side of the road lies the ocean and stranded icebergs along its shores. With black sand beaches as far as you can see and crystal blue and white icebergs dotting its beach its no wonder that most people look forward to visiting this surreal place.

The Wave

The Wave

From small pieces of ice to ones taller than me stuck on the shoreline it is incomprehensible that you are looking at ice that quite possibly is thousands of years old. We spent quite a bit of time here but eventually we had to move on. We had to reach the town of Vik to get settled in for the night and enjoy some hot springs before dinner.

We had just one more stop to make along the way. I had found a photo online of a turf church whose grave mounds were also covered in turf. It looked pretty neat and so we made the stop.

Turf Church

Turf Church

And I’m glad we did. Although it was a short 10 or 15 minute stop it was well worth seeing this church and its graveyard. A recommended stop along this route and not too far off the ring road for a quick look.