Goodbye, Winter

Do you think it’s finally safe to say “Goodbye” to winter?

Photo from a few seasons back, my buddy Benji and I ski-mountaineered 11,000 ft Lone Peak, part of the Wasatch Range in Northern Utah.
We did it in the spring, when the snow would be most stable and avalanche danger would be much more manageable. The down side was that we had to start our ascent hiking on dry trails because the valley is only about 4500 ft high, and all the snow in the sunny desert valley had already melted. Hiking with camping gear, skis AND SKI BOOTS, food, and climbing gear… each of our packs easily weighed at least 50 lbs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were closer to 70! Felt like 90 by the time we reached our base camp spot…
Epic adventure though… would do it again in a second!

The Widow Jane Mine, Rosendale NY

After getting that taste of warmer weather just a few days ago, it was extra hard to accept the cold-and-rainy day yesterday.  What’s an adventure-photog to do?!

Thinking outside the box a little, I remembered a place that caught my curiosity… a place that would hopefully provide cover from the monsoon-like wetness pouring from above…

The Widow Jane Mine, which is found basically roadside (just behind the Snyder Estate historical house) in Rosendale NY, is rich in history.  It’s origins go back to a time when “Rosendale Cement” was known world-wide as the very best available, and now this room-and-pillar mine is open for exploration… and some other very interesting things, too!

This time of year most of the mine is filled with water… which limits the exploring one can do… but also presents a very neat photographic opportunity, with the body of water protected underground it sits perfectly still, giving a glassy mirror-like reflection of the pillars and ceiling.

QUICK-and-DIRTY Details:

  • In 1891 almost half of the cement in America was manufactured in the Rosendale Cement Region.
  • Rosendale Natural Cement was used in the building of the most enduring landmarks of the nation. The Brooklyn Bridge, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the wings of the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument, Grand Central Terminal, the Croton Aqueduct and dams, the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels, the New York State Thruway, and thousands of public works projects all got their start underground in the cement mines of Rosendale.
  • The mine is now used as a venue for historic interpretation and special events, including musical performances because of it’s unique acoustics.
  • The water of this mine, which gets purified from flowing through the rock, is used by a distillery in Red Hook, Brooklyn for their Widow Jane Bourbon Whiskey!  Check them out!
  • The mine is owned and managed by:
    The Century House Historical Society at the Snyder Estate