April Adventures & Explorations

April Adventures & Explorations

My April began in Montreal.

Mount Royal City View – Montreal, Quebec, Canada (April 1, 2018).

Then I got sick, which led me to watch some of my favorite movies.
Fight Club. Always gets me thinking.
Tyler Durden asks the question, “If you were to die right now, what do you wish you would have done?”
This question began to roam around recklessly in my mind.

Saratoga Comic-Con

April 7th – Nathan took me to meet Jason Mewes!!! It was an exceptional experience that I’ll never forget. I was literally speechless and ridiculously flustered.

Jason Mewes, Nathan, and me!

And while realizing this dream of meeting Jay, I was still thinking about what I wish I would have done…

Obsessing over this question, my answer was to hike to Kaaterskill Falls.
I’ve had it on my hiking to-do list for over a year.

Ever since I first learned about Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and the Hudson River School I’ve wanted to hike to Kaaterskill Falls.
To be able to see this inspiration in real life!
After visiting Olana in August my desire to see the falls grew even more intense.

But I had been waiting. Waiting for the right time of year. Waiting for Nathan to go with me. Always some excuse, putting it off until later.

April 9th – It was a Monday, the sun was shining, and the outside temperature was promising spring.
It was my birthday. Instead of spending my day brooding I took a pleasant drive and went hiking alone.

No more waiting for the right time, better weather, or companionship.

I packed my daypack, grabbed my Yaktrax, and drove south to the Catskill Mountains. I was confident once I got to my destination that I would be ready for whatever came my way.

I wanted to take my time. Enjoy the moment. Celebrate me, breathe deep, and just be.

Bastion Falls

What a fantastic way to start a hike! This roadside waterfall is worthy of being a main attraction.

Icy Bastion Falls!

The swirling patterns of the ice over Spruce Creek mesmerized while the sound of rushing water was a constant calm.

Icy Spruce Creek!

Occasionally icicles fell from the steep walls of the gorge! It was thunderously thrilling witnessing nature’s power.

Kaaterskill Falls

Icy Kaaterskill Falls!

Ice Age glaciers and meltwater carved this shale and sandstone topography, creating impressive falls. Water plunges more than 230 feet in two tiers from the highest cataract to the lowest pool.
In the 1820s, Peter Schutt purchased the falls area, building a platform and cabin at the top, where refreshments were sold to visitors. In 1852, he added a 50-visitor boarding house, calling it the Laurel House. He added staircases for descending to the amphitheater-like middle pool. After restoring a former mill dam to control Spruce Creek, he charged a fee to see an extra gush of water go over the falls. During the 19th century, throngs visited the falls, among them many painters, writers and poets. Laurel House was enlarged to hold 300 visitors in 1881.
Laurel House closed in 1963. The New York State Conservation Department (now the Department of Environmental Conservation), purchased the decaying building and falls in 1965. Old falls platforms and staircases that had fallen into disrepair were lost. The hotel burned in 1967 and only portions of its rock foundation remain. – Interpretive Sign

Kaaterskill Falls is a very popular destination. On a Monday with the trail covered in ice, and the final observation area unattainable with the icy conditions I counted 15 people on the lower falls trail.

Laurel House Trail to Kaaterskill Falls Viewing Platform

I accidentally captured a random gentleman sitting on the rock at the top of the falls! Can you see him? Hint: He’s on the left hand side of the falls.

After my trip to the Catskills I desperately wanted to go hiking and explore the area around where I live.

And I was still thinking about the question in Fight Club.

“What do you wish you would have done?”
“What do you wish you would have done?”
“What do you wish you would have done?”

It was on repeat in my head!

April 12th – I drove east on NY-29.

Hudson Crossing Park

It is a wonderful park with so many features that I didn’t even see all the park had to offer.

Champlain Canal.
Historical Dix Bridge.
Art in the Park

April 13th – I drove west on NY-29.

Southern Adirondacks

I picked a destination where I could go hiking if conditions were favorable.
They weren’t.
April Weather – A Never Ending Winter

Peck Lake, Caroga Lake, Canada Lake, Green Lake. They were all still frozen.
I stopped and walked gently around an old amusement park on Caroga Lake.

Caroga Lake.
Ferris Wheel at the abandoned Sherman’s Amusement Park.

I wish I would have investigated the abandoned grounds better. A restored carousel with beautiful stained glass windows rests on the property (it can be seen on the left side of the ferris wheel photo) and I would’ve really liked to have gotten a closer look.

April 18th – My Dad’s Death Day
“If you were to die right now, what do you wish you would have done?”
April is an emotional month and after 17 years I know better than to speculate mortality too long.
I went back to Hudson Crossing Park to revisit Dix Bridge and explore the rest of the trail that I missed the first time.

Hudson River – End of the trail.
Champlain Canal and a lock house replica.

The sun filtered through the clouds making the surrounding area seem unreal.
As if everything I saw or felt didn’t exist at all.

After I ran around the park I wasn’t ready to go home quite yet. In memory of my father I drove around the little town I was in (Schuylerville) and stumbled upon a couple different parts of Saratoga National Historical Park.

Saratoga National Historical Park

General Philip Schuyler House
The present Schuyler House has been carefully restored to its 1787-1804 appearance.
I was excited to see the restored ovens in the back of the house.
Saratoga Monument

I had been curious about the Victory Woods Trail since my friend Tambre and I first visited the Saratoga Monument back in April of 2017. I figured since I was at the 155-foot granite obelisk and I had plenty of time that I would take a stroll and see where the trail led.

Victory Woods Trail & Prospect Hill Cemetery

I got lost in the cemetery.
Well, not really lost so much as distracted. The headstones, pillars, and sculptures continuously and randomly caught my attention, leading me away from the white trail blazes.

The winds blew cold as I walked the trail through the cemetery. Many of the headstones imitated the Saratoga Monument and I found it intriguing.

Saratoga Monument from Prospect Hill Cemetery/Victory Woods Trail.

It was weird to end up at a cemetery on the day of my dad’s death, but it felt right being there.

Places to Remember

All the land here in Prospect Hill Cemetery was once part of a vast fortified camp for 6,000 soldiers. Imagine the green lawns and shady paths today covered with raw mud churned by the feet of horses, oxen, and regiments of discouraged men. Replace what you see here with a helter-skelter of army carts, brush huts, and log-and-earthen walls. Then add British regulars, American loyalist, and women and children huddled together in cold October rains, waiting to learn their fate.
Some 80 years after they surrendered, this hillside became a new, elegant burial ground. Workmen pulled down most remnants of the 1777 walls. Marble sculptures, headstones, and Saratoga Monument rose in their place.
Old cemeteries and national parks that protect historic sites like Victory Woods might seem to have little in common. But both give us quiet places to take time to reflect on what our lives – and our history – mean. – Interpretive Sign

Vermont’s Green Mountains can be seen in the distance.

I never made it to the actual woods. It got late while I was daydreaming in the cemetery.

Other things I did in April inspired by Fight Club

  • Sewed a picnic tote with my favorite scrap fabrics
  • Began a lap quilt to go with tote bag (nearly finished)
Logan and the lap quilt that goes with my tote bag.

I am still thinking about the question, “If you were to die right now, what do you wish you would have done?”

And my answer currently is,
Enjoy My Freedom. Explore nature. Discover history.

All photos were taken by me.
All information shared was taken from signs at the various locations.

Other things I’ve written that may relate to this post:


Saratoga National Historical Park

Wilkinson National Recreational Trail

Bemis Heights: American River Fortifications

Saratoga National Battlefield Road