Ice. Many people associate ice with its dangers in winter – accidents on ice-covered roads, falls on icy sidewalks, downed power lines, and damage from ice-coated tree limbs that snap under its weight. However, ice is also fascinating! It covers ten percent of the world’s land surface and seven percent of the world’s oceans. The bottom of the ice sheet in Antarctica is over a million years old (via Science Norway). Impurities are necessary for water to freeze into ice, and those same impurities can affect the color of the ice, from it looking transparent to it appearing blue. Water is the only liquid that expands as it freezes. For much of the 1800’s, ice harvesting was a lucrative industry, as ice from frozen ponds, lakes, and rivers would be cut and shipped to homes and businesses to keep food cool during warmer months. The ice cutting industry was worth over a half billion dollars in today’s money (via Just Fun Facts).
Taking advantage of a long weekend, my wife and I returned yet again to Adirondack Park in upstate New York to visit with a dear relative, and enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains in wintertime. While we certainly contended with the dangers of frozen roads and walkways, we also got to experience a time-honored tradition in the Adirondacks: ice cutting.
Please come along, then, on another exciting adventure to the northern reaches of New York, where we will also eat great food, attempt another drone flight, and “become a local,” before stopping by a historic mansion high atop a mountain on our way home.
An Ice-Filled Adirondack Adventure
Being “A Local.”
I also spent some more time test-flying my drone. I’m getting better at it. The biggest drawback is that the drone is unstable in anything stronger than a gentle breeze, and can be easily blow off-course. More advanced drones utilize GPS to enable accurate station keeping, even in windy conditions. My little drone has neither the required power nor the technical abilities to remain in place in the air. After landing it on a neighbor’s roof, and crashing it into a tree (both of which were the result of unexpected gusts of wind), I’ve nicknamed the drone “Air Raid.” I hope you enjoy my latest endeavor, a few test flights around Fourth Lake:
Olana State Historic Site
Odds and Ends
Before closing, I had two updates I wanted to share, automotive and otherwise. The first story comes from Northwest Angle, Minnesota, a small community on a stretch of land that although part of the United States, only shares a border with Canada. During winter, when nearby Muskeg Bay and Lake of the Woods freeze over, the only access is by a road that passes through Manitoba, Canada. Owing to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the residents of the town have been cut off from visitors (upon which their economy depends), along with supplies, as the Canadian border crossing has been closed. The solution? Owners of various resorts in Northwest Angle banded together to build a 22-mile ice road across the frozen Lake of the Woods. You can read more about this fascinating story here.
Finally, a quick update on the Accord:
Even when I think that I’ve uncovered every possible stone and new opportunity, the Adirondacks continue to show me something new with every visit. In the past few months, I’ve stood atop a 100-year old fire tower, climbed two mountains, enjoyed the cool mist of two waterfalls, swam in a crystal-clear lake, and witnessed a century-old industry remain alive and well in the depths of winter. The Raquette Lake Ice Harvest is an annual event, free to watch, and worth stopping by to check out. Although not in the Adirondacks, if you’re in New York near Albany, Olana State Historic Site is definitely worth a stop to see amazing views and stunning architecture.
As always, thanks for coming along on yet another journey down the open road ahead.