Unable to get up through this massive ice fall, we returned through the cave and made our way back up to the trail and then out to Lake Maratanza. Cheo had guessed the lake would be frozen, but I thought not, as the lake is a pretty good-sized body of water. As you saw above, I was entirely wrong, and when we reached the lake we saw that there was in fact frozen, windblown snow atop hundreds of bright orange rocks fixed halfway into the frozen tributaries of the lake, making an otherworldly landscape. This was the windiest place we spent any time, taking pictures and wandering out onto the icy edges of the lake and the other frozen areas around the lake. It was really beautiful, and again reminded me why I really enjoy being on the East Coast in the winter despite the hassle and bad weather.
After hanging around the lake for a while, we walked back to the overlook above the visitors center, took in the gorgeous vista around the preserve, and I, being less used to winter landsacapes, commented on how the winter managed to make this very small preserve seem like an entirely separate place from the park we had visited two months before. Then, cold and happy, we made our way back down to the car and headed back to New York so that I could get into the city to have dinner with Aviva and Erez in Manhattan.
Directions - I gave directions to Sam's Point Preserve in the last post I wrote about going there, but since then I have discovered a much faster way to go. To get there from New York City, take I-87 north and cross the Tappan Zee bridge, then continue on to exit 17. Get off at exit 17 and take route 300 north to highway 52. Take highway 52 west for a while, going through Walden and eventually the tiny town of Walker Valley, before turning right on Cragsmoor road and following the signs to Sam's Point Preserve.
Update - Though my camera no longer has the capacity to take videos (such are the things you sacrifice to go to a digital SLR), Cheo was able to make this short video of us taking pictures on Lake Maratanza.