Archive for June 2013

In Case of Emergency

As you can imaging there is little to no indoor plumbing and most cottages utilize the outhouse to take care of business.

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Riding the Trails

This weekend, on June 15th, the official grand opening party of the GAP Trail will take place.  The final portion of the trail which runs along Sandcastle Water Park opened a couple weeks ago.  Now that this section is open you can ride from Point State Park in Pittsburgh all the way to Washington D.C.

Jonah and I decided to take a ride on the new section and along the way I grabbed this photo during one of our rest breaks.  Maybe in a few years when he is a bit older we will ride the whole GAP and C&O Trails.

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MS150 Escape to the Lake (Pittsburgh, PA to Conneaut, OH)

This year dad and I completed our 9th MS150 (Escape to the Lake), which starts just north of Pittsburgh on Saturday and finishes on Sunday in Conneaut, OH on the shore of Lake Erie.  The first day is comprised of a very hilly, 4400+ feet of climbing, 80 mile ride.  Allegheny College in Meadville is were we stay the night and the accommodations are very nice.  You can camp in the gym, outside in around the campus, in a dorm (air and no-air conditioning), or at some local hotels.  We stay in the air-conditioned dorms and I think that is the best way to go, since all the action is on the campus.  The food, beer garden, live music, massages, movie, etc.

As usual I had my camera with me and I snapped a few shots when we arrived and then later at the beer and live music portion of the evening.  This year we had unseasonably cool weather and the high temperature may have reached 68 degrees.  With the cool temps and the strange hours for the beer garden and live music and by strange I mean 3:00pm to 7:00pm, the crowd was a little thin.  At last years event the entire ground was covered in bodies recovering with a brew and some tunes.  Hopefully next year this is changed back to the old time configuration.  I think it started at 6:00pm or 7:00pm and went to 9:00pm or 10:00pm. 

We finished up on Sunday which was a very enjoyable ride with less hills and less miles and great weather.

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Star Trails Over Parry Sound, Ontario Canada - The Cottage

Like the previous post I set up my camera each night taking many exposures so I could build the start trails.  On Saturday I pointed the camera south so that I could get a different look and also include a portion of the cottage.  While the camera was taking photos we were inside playing poker and drinking beers.

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Star Trails Over Parry Sound, Ontario Canada

I have been wanting to photograph star trails for some time now.  However, living around Pittsburgh and the amount of light pollution we have is not conducive for this type of photograph.  When I was in Canada I took the opportunity to take hundreds of photographs so that I could build a few images.  The first evening there was some light cloud cover so that evening was a waste.  Saturday and Sunday were perfect and one of the resulting images is below.  This was taken from the deck of the cottage facing north.  Not so bad for my first try.  I probably needed to let the camera run for another 30 minutes but I was getting tired and called it a night.

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Canadian Sunset (Parry Sound, Ontario)

I have seen my share of sunsets and some are prettier than others.  I would have to say the sunsets that I experienced while in Canada were amazing.  The image below was made on our second evening on the island.  This is one of my favorite photographs from the trip.

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Night Sky

When you are as far north as Parry Sound there is very little light pollution.  That makes for some awesome night skies.  This was taken from the end of the deck at the cottage.

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Canada (Parry Sound, Ontario) - Day 3

If you missed Day 2, check the previous two posts.  I did not title them Day 2, but rather focused on the particular topics of the day.

Day 3 consisted of a hike, finishing the porch, Kyle's recovery, and a fire.  Kyle and Brett made a new friend on Day 2 named John.  Not me, the other John in the group.  Well, Kyle spent most of the day in bed and was back to normal around later in the afternoon.  That is why Kyle is not in the group photo.

In the morning the group hiked about a mile over the rocks and through the trees around the coast to locate a totem pole.  I was hiking with camera gear and a tripod to a group shot was no problem.  Once we returned it was lunch time.  The afternoon activity was finishing the removal of the porch floor and reattaching the stairs to the cottage.  Below you see the after and if you would like to see the before and during check out my previous post titled "The Cabin."

Kyle started feeling better and he decided to go on the same hike that we completed in the morning.  I can't recall if this photo at the table was taken before or after his hike.  Either way I like it.  It tells the story of how our weekend went.  Some guys drinking and carrying on.

Last but not least....THE FIRE.

Remember that front porch?  Well, it was just a giant pile of lumber.  The group made several trips taking scraps of lumber out to the rocks along the coast.  We started a large fire and burned about half of the porch.  The wind was gusting quite a bit and we were lucky that is was consistently blowing out to the water.  I had to take a couple photos of the fire.  The first is just of the fire to try and show the size.  The last is to show how extremely hot this blaze was and how close we were attempting to sit.  I love that Greg is taking shelter behind the cooler.

So these were my day by day recaps.  Stay tuned though because I took many landscapes that I will be posting one at a time over the next several weeks.

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