This was the first January in about 75 years that we had no snow of any consequence in New York City, and it has been generally warm, so we decided to drive northward and find our old childhood friend, the Winter.
First we drove through the Hudson Valley and the rolling hills and long ridges of the Hudson Highlands which had some snow on the ground and we realized that the color of the light has started to change towards a spring color. There were no “signs of Spring”, just that change of light quality with the lengthening day. It was a feeling of fading winter with Spring just waiting.
Then we passed through the Shawangunks, pronounced “shan-gums” and known as the “Gunks”, with sleeping snowy apple orchards, and frozen water streams on the mountains until we came to the Catskill region and then to the Adirondacks, “the Daks”, beautiful mountains and valleys and we knew there was indeed Winter here. There are fields of snow-covered frozen haystacks, creeks running down frozen snow banks on the mountains.
The placenames are so great, from Dutch, Native American, French and English and many other sources:
Niskayuna, Schroon Lake, Fort Ticonaroga, Saranac Lake, Cairo (say Kay-Row), with Lake Pharoah nearby, Paradox (population 14), AuSable Chasm which was frozen-closed for the winter, Troy, Albany, Loon Lake and Brandt Lake, Lake Champlain and Lake George, Watervliet, Rotterdam, Hague, Kaaterskill Falls and the Hurleys.
We reached the border and entered Quebec Province in Canada and all of the road signs warned us ” It’s winter, be careful” in French.
We had “officially” found the winter…and then the winter found us.
We continued past Montreal up to the Laurentians, which look like the Daks, and as we drove we were overtaken by a full winter blizzard of snow and freezing rain. We took the roadsigns advice and we went very slowly as did the other drivers on the icy, slippery road. We arrived in icy-snowy village of Mont-Tremblant well after dark.
We have spent a day exploring the mountain and ski area, and another day enjoying a new snow fall of about 6 inches of huge, fluffy flakes that made very nice snow for snow-balls and snow-people…
…the beloved snow of childhood.
Next few days: We will snow-shoe through a Canadian National Park, stopping to warm up and feed the birds, and then go out Dog-sledding. Very, very exiting.