Having Fun Camping, Kayaking and Hiking!
By Rachelle Siegrist
Wes and I enjoyed 3 splendid days whilst camping this past week! The warmer weather was perfect for kayaking, and we enjoyed doing so each day we were there! Starting out early each morning, the glassy surface made for easy paddling, and if we started to feel a bit too warm, we just dipped our feet into the chilly water and all was well.
Huge rock formations rose up along both sides at times, sandwiching us between amazing sandstone sculptures. Some had ledges running across in which moss, ferns and vines grew and hung down, making it look like the hanging gardens of Babylon in places! I felt like I was kayaking in a mountain lagoon, as I paddled along, surrounded by all the lush beauty!
I stared in amazement as we rounded each bend in the stream, showcasing another stone wall with colors so intense at times, that they didn’t even look real! Warm siennas ran down the cliff faces, created from the iron veins running horizontally across the rocks, adding warmth to their color and pairing beautifully with the variety of green mosses.
In several spots, thick, gargantuan-sized clumps of moss hung down, so laden with water, that chunks were about to fall, and felt amazingly soft and fluffy to the touch! As you can imagine, I had to maneuver my kayak over to several of these beauties, just so I could feel them!
The farther we paddled, the more stunning the scenery became, and we felt truly blessed to be able to enjoy such magnificent beauty! Stone walls arching up so high, that in many areas we felt as if we were paddling through caves, with numerous water droplets hitting the water’s surface causing the sound to resonate through the tunnel-like areas.
Wildlife was abundant, especially birds, and their songs constantly filled the air, breathing such joy into the gorgeous setting. One resident family of Canada Geese were quite friendly and as interested in watching us, as we were them! Four goslings constantly followed their parents, whether it be on water or land. The water also teemed with abundant wildlife, with fish and Red-spotted Newts being spotted everywhere. I enjoyed wading in the water upon several occasions, and delighted in watching the Bluegill come and check out my feet.
We spent afternoons hiking, while enjoying a different perspective of the stream below on occasion. One trail in particular showcased an abundant variety of moss, which felt amazingly soft after an afternoon rain!
The Reindeer Lichen in particular was immensely soft, feeling like what I imagine it would feel like to touch a big fluffy cloud, and I couldn’t resist stopping continually to gently pat it, getting Wes to even become enthralled by its softness!
We hiked over stone bridges in places, narrow and high, granting beautiful views of the woodlands below.
Of course we had to enjoy the views from both the top, and beneath, the stone walkways.
At other times we hiked to caves, with stone walls reaching for the sky, rising way above the small openings below, making us feel very, very miniature at times!
The cave walls are home to a variety of critters, including salamanders, which we spotted at one point. Abundant Sandwort, ferns and mosses covered the moist, sandy floor, creating a bright green and striking contrast against the stone walls.
All too soon, our adventure had come to an end and it was time to return home once again, but we brought along with us many wonderful memories, and look forward to our next big adventure!
~ Recently off the Easels ~
Here’s one of my latest still life paintings, featuring a metal pheasant that belonged to my late granny, and an antique crock that belonged to Wes’ family. I’m currently painting a Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, and will share it with you once it’s finished.
This is a landscape commission which Wes did, featuring the collectors beautiful garden.
~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at these three locations ~
13th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2018: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada
27th International Miniature Show
May 5 – June 2, 2018: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC
The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
Learn How to Commission A Painting by Clicking Here
Until next time . . .