It has been a strange, snowless winter so far in the Capital District but this didn’t stop the Grafton Lakes State Park and the Friends of Grafton from organizing their 27th annual Winter Festival last Saturday. A merciful deity delivered a few inches of snow that very morning but the bitter cold and unknown road conditions discouraged many from attending. Once again, kudos to the small dozen of adventurous people who jumped in the Long Pond, you guys made me feel much warmer as soon as I saw you take that polar plunge.
More photos below. Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
Unfortunately, we didn’t stay very long this year. We weren’t even sure the festival would take place until I made a quick phone call. Unsurprisingly, the lake wasn’t frozen enough to allow a pool to be carved for the plunge and I don’t think much ice fishing happened either — enjoy an extra year, my delicious trout friends. The 26th edition offered many recreational workshops and outings last year but the warmer weather may have had something to do with scaling back the festivities in 2012. This is ironic, considering how cold it got that day.
Young miss above, you are very brave but if I may, let me recommend a slower pace or a different bra — it’s not my style but I had to go all Photoshop on you to fix a wardrobe malfunction.
I guess you can call me out for my double standars here, since I allowed this guy above to keep both his nipples. Guilty as charged.
Spoiler alert, I don’t think there is a lot to see in this lake, but I do like your style.
Once I was done taking pictures and C. had hugged enough Newfoundlands to last another 12 months, we headed back to Albany, our frozen tails between our legs. This is a fun event though — a small crowd worth cheering. Check last year’s photos or Winterfest 2010 for what to expect on a bright, sunny day. Bundle up and see you there in 2013. I think it’s time we plunge.
This guy above was 185 pounds!
This guy above was feeling a bit inadequate. It’s OK, buddy, I do too!
The lake is one of my favorite destination in Spring. The eponymous State Park, on the forested mountain ridge between the Taconic and Hudson Valleys, includes five ponds and 25 miles of park trails. It’s 40 minutes north-east of Albany, you can almost touch it. For more information, visit the Grafton Lakes State Park – NYS Parks page.
Winterfest is a bit of tradition for C. and I, our friendiversary so to speak. Here are photos of Winterfest 2011:
…and Winterfest 2010:
By the way
I highly recommend two more things we checked that day.
Shadow and Substance: African American Images from The Burns Archive, at the NYS Museum, October 15, 2011 to March 31, 2012. Since the early years of photography, African Americans appeared in front of and behind the camera. In some images, they were the loving focus of the picture. In others, the photographer scarcely recognizes their humanity. This exhibit showcases rarely seen photographs that provide unique glimpses into the lives of African-Americans over the past 160 years. The 113 images in Shadow and Substance include portraits, snapshots and photographs documenting industries, property and events related to the African American experience from the beginning of photography to today.
This is powerful show, especially for us foreigners. I grew up learning about my country’s history first and we didn’t cover racial segregation in much details — we abolished slavery before the US, but we didn’t fare much better with respect to our old colonies.
Speaking of shame…
Above, Michael Fassbender in “Shame” (2011, directed Steve McQueen). Fassbender was in no less than 5 movies in 2011, the guy is turning out to be a fantastic actor so you might as well try to catch up now. He and Carey Mulligan deliver great performances in this movie… rated NC17. I’m still chewing on it, I’ve issues with the title itself and what it implies about sexual behaviors not conforming to the norm, the morality of it all, something John Rodat for Metroland puts more eloquently than I can.