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August 20, 2003

Glaciers on Gorgonio

So there were once glaciers on San Gorgonio, eh? I've been there before. It was a non-trivial hike, and, if I remember one of my trips correctly, several people in my party had to turn back. I personally think that San Jacinto, south of Gorgonio, is actually a more difficult hike, although the mountain is a little lower.

August 07, 2003

SillickFest 2003

From August 1 through August 3, members of the Sillick family (or guests, such as myself) arrived at Standing Pines (in Inlet, New York), for their family reunion. It was my pleasure to attend. (Overall, I hope that I did not look too foolish in front of my girlfriend's family!) Elizabeth's mom had many siblings, and so there was geometric-growth of first cousins. The uncles brought guitars, banjos, and mandolins, and entertained with song. The days were spent swimming and relaxing outdoors, and the evenings were filled with games and song.
Elizabeth, black and white.
The youngest addition to the Sillick family is Jack Denihan, child of Margaret (Elizabeth's cousin).
Councils were convened around the campfire.
Elizabeth's female cousins, precariously perched on the Big Bertha innertube.
Elizabeth also on Big Bertha.
A traditional event for their family reunion is to swim around Sixth Lake's central island. I am pleased to have managed that, too.
How many lads does it take to sink a canoe?
An overturned canoe can be used a diving board.
The Sillick brothers, Tom Standing, and young Jack making music.
Maureen Standing, singing with her uncles.
Group photo of the attendees of Sillick-fest 2003.

Black Bear Mountain Hiking Trip

We did another hike, in the days preceding the Sillick family reunion. Black Bear Mountain, well-known in the region, is visible from Standing Pines. The trail, used for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, could be climbed in only a couple of hours, but offered a good view of the surrounding territory. (A geocache is supposedly located at the top, but we did not know of its existence at the time.) Mountains are on a bit of a different scale in the east (this one peaked at about 3000 feet), but the trail was fairly steep in certain sections.

Theresa and Tom Standing, on the trail up Black Bear Mountain.
The last portion of the trail consisted of some serious scrambling over rocks. It is always a good trail when you have to use your hands as well as your feet.
The view of Sixth Lake from the top. We could see Standing Pines, and the people back at the cottage thought they saw us, too. We had two-way radios, and we able to easily hear the "home base".
U.S. Survey marker, on the top of Black Bear Mountain.
Chris Mandile, looking down on the cottages below.
Other mountains in the Adirondack park can be seen off to the east.
The Black Bear Mountain Expedition. Right to left: Jeff Borlik, Chris Mandile, Tom Standing, Theresa Standing.
The trail was mucky-wet in some spots. This looks like the imprint of a bear claw.

Moss Lake Hiking Trip

Elizabeth's parents and brother, as well as her aunt and uncle, took us on a hiking trip around a lake near Inlet, New York, on July 28. The Moss Lake trail is short, but an excellent introduction to the Adirondack environs, and a pleasant stretch.
During the hike around Moss Lake, Janice Mandile poked the fallen body of her son, Chris. As luck would have it, Chris revived, without poison ivy marks.
Stream flowing into Moss Lake
The Moss Lake hiking party. Left to right: Jeff Borlik (me), Richard Mandile, Elizabeth, Chris Mandile, Janice, Theresa Standing and Tom Standing.
An Adirondack tree engulfs a boulder; its roots clenching a grip that the years will not slacken. The boulder has no chance but to be ground into sand.
The view across Moss Lake to its central island. The island is about a quarter of a mile from shore.
A set of water plants in the shallow placid water of Moss Lake.
There were a number of insects in the air; many more than Los Angeles. This dragonfly deigned to give us its photo.

Standing Pines, New York

Elizabeth's mom's family, the Sillicks, have an annual family reunion, and I was fortunate enough to be invited. This event takes place at Elizabeth's aunt and uncle's cottage (known as Standing Pines), in New York's Adirondacks. This cottage is well-equipped for a summer vacation, as it is located on Sixth Lake (in the Fulton chain of lakes). I was the guest of the Mandiles (Elizabeth's mom and dad), and we stayed on the lake for several days before the bulk of the Sillicks arrived. Those several days were quite fun and relaxing.

The Standing Pines cottage is located in the town of Inlet, in the middle of Adirondack Park. (In a remarkable coincidence, my parents drove through this area on their honeymoon.)

These pictures are from those first several days. I will follow up with some more pictures of some of the hikes that we did, and of the Sillickfest itself.

"Fly With Bird" seaplane taking off from Sixth Lake. This seaplane has been immortalized in the children's book: Buzz The Little Seaplane
At Standing Pines, the yard has a number of logs fashioned into faces and shapes.
The Standings own a small motorboat, which we used to tour Seventh Lake.
The two of us, in the boat.
Seventh Lake.
At night, one can hear loons calling across the water.
Standing Pines, the Adirondack cottage of Tom and Theresa Standing (Elizabeth's uncle and aunt).
Sixth Lake is home to a large number of ducks.
In addition to the motorboat, Standing Pines is equipped with a Sunfish sailboat, a paddleboat, a canoe, and a kayak.
Elizabeth, in sepia.
Elizabeth and I, on the Standing Pines dock.
Steps up from the water.
A view of Sixth Lake (and its central island) from the shore.