Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chimney Bluffs

Just past Sodus Bay are the Chimney Bluffs, geological masterpieces of hard pact soot along Lake Ontario that have eroded into tall spires and peaks of what appears to be sand. While the Bluff formations appear to have eroded slowly over time, annual visits have proven that the landscape is quite vulnerable to the winds and weather offering a sometimes dramatic change in the landscape from one year to the next.

With two entrances located at each end of the bluffs one may opt for a quick walk up a steep hill or meander through wooded trails towards the top. I often opt for the steep hill, a stroll along the top rim, a shimmy down one of the less steep portions of the face of the bluff and a walk back to the parking lot along the beach. It is often very warm when I visit and the lake provides a refreshing cool off before embarking onto the next destination. Motor boats are often seen along the shore line and I always wonder what the view must be like from the lake.The best time to be at the lake is well...most of the time, but if you stick around until sunset, the view from the top of the bluff looking out is amazing. *Just keep in mind that the the rim trail is dangerous in the day time, so a flashlight is a must if you can't get out and down before it becomes completely dark.

This particular day was humid and hot. We had arrived on the heels of a heavy down pour and the lake was churning with sedimentary runoff from the bluffs. The long awaited dip in the lake following our hike would have been as refreshing as rolling around in sand and broken shells so we opted for some air conditioning in the car.While a lot of people come to this spot just to spend time at the lake along the shore and to swim, most come to see the bluffs themselves, and even more do not even know what the bluffs are. Of course, this is what makes them even better for those of us who do know.

I have to say that my favorite time to come to the bluffs is in late summer when the touch-me-nots that cover the steep hill leading up to the bluffs are almost past the flowering stage. A light touch of the seed pods causes them to burst open, providing a sudden burst of excitement that is always fun to share with the person you are with, often scaring them.           

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