Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ausable Chasm

Last evening we went to Whiteface Community United Methodist Church for their Strawberry Festival. Yes,we are still eating field fresh strawberries. It does pay to follow one season from the southern to northern states! We found a cournerstone on the Methodist church giving the year it was built as being 1834. They will be celebrating their 175th birthday in two weeks. The church has a thrift store and food pantry behind the church.It is easy to see that they have been a blessing to the community over the years. We enjoyed worshiping with them today; just sitting in the pew and looking out at the mountains was inspirational in itself. A former member did the wood carvings behind the altar- I have a picture of that here. After church we drove to Ausable Chasm, the oldest natural attraction in the United States. It is a 2 mile long, 200 feet deep gorge formed by the Ausable River. Like the High Falls Gorge, which we visited two days ago, it has rapids and waterfalls. Unlike the High Falls,however, its walls are made of sandstone which ranges in texture from a soft friable sandstone to a hard dense quartzite. Over many years the walls of the gorge have been carved out by the rushing river leaving many unique stone formations which you may notice in the picture I have posted here. We walked on narrow ledges along the gorge and it seemed that at every turn in our path we came upon another awesome towering formation of of a different shape and size than the one which we viewed before.One formation had the shape of an elephant head, another looked like a pulpit,another of cathedral spires and one had the shape of a carved out punch bowl. And again, as at the High Fall Gorge, we were able to walk through a primeval forest of tall(150-200 feet)red and white pine trees. Also on the paths along the gorge we saw many variety of fern and wildflowers as the wild rose,buttercups,asters,and yarrow. I never imagined that there was so much beauty here in the Adirondacks!

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