Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vision Quest IV

Vision Quest IV, 2014
acrylic painting on canvas
20" x 16"
© copyright Mike Kraus

I have stayed here for several days.  Alone in the wilderness with only the things I can carry in my backpack.  I've been rationing my food and water to extend my time here.  There's an intensity to the evening sun that is counter-balanced by the darkness of the soil.  A delicate harmony to everything.

This piece would work in a space that is yellow, light orange, blue, light purple, beige or on wood.

For more information or custom order, please visit:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Red and Green Contours

Red and Green Contours, 2014
acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"
Collection of Elmar Pöselt
© copyright Mike Kraus

What do I see?  The personal memories and symbols I am trying to express.  Dreams of flashing images.  All the experiences I have imagined.  What do you perceive?  

For more information or custom order, please visit:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I < 3 NY - Part Four - Taughannock Falls in Ithaca

Megan and I at Taughannock Falls State Park.  

More hiking and more gorges! 

Taughannock Creek 

An old railroad bridge that we'll be crossing that's way the hell up above the gorge. 

Another waterfall  

View of the Taughannock Creek gorge

Taughannock Falls 

 The 215 foot drop is 33 feet higher than Niagara Falls

Unfortunately, it started to rain and Megan hurt her knee.  Scout was pretty tired.  So, we cut out most of the hiking we planned to do.  But, as I said about Lucifer Falls, it's a good excuse to come back. 

Waves of rain crashing against the woods.  Cayuga Lake in the distance.

Occupied by Taughannocks situated north and south of stream burial ground on bluff west of John Jones home site Indians named Lake-Guenguch
First white settlement 1794 by two Goodwin Brothers

That's it for this trip.  All you really need to know though is:

Part One: Albany

Part Two: Buttermilk Falls In Ithaca

Part Three: Lucifer Falls In Ithaca

I < 3 NY - Part Three - Lucifer Falls in Ithaca

Just a short drive from our campsite is another state park.  This time, it's Robert H. Treman State Park (

Enfield Creek flows over the road.  Luckily, there's a bridge for pedestrians.

Once again, "Rim Trail" means you'll be climbing a steep hill up for a while.  And, it's worth it.  Below is Megan's dream camping cabin overlooking a waterfall.

The lower falls

For some reason, this one specific tree is targeted for carving.

Three things I've learned while living in upstate New York: 1) Upstate New York has a lot of waterfalls, 2) New Yorkers are not impressed with waterfalls, 3) the same can be said about slate rock.

Base of Lucifer Falls

Cliff Staircase which is a lot of steps...

"This Glen's singular charm was recognized and rescued for the people of New York by ROBERT and LAURA TREMAN some of whose friends set this tablet here in loving appreciation of their gift of Enfield Gorge to us all." 

View from the Cliff Staircase

Megan, Scout, and I with Lucifer Falls behind us.  The woman who took this picture just happened to be running by and was kind enough to take this for us.

"OH MY GOD!  Is that the running lady who took our picture over there!!!"  Yes it is!  Somehow, she was able to race down the cliff staircase, across the river, and up the gorge trail in a matter of minutes.  It blew my mind.  We saw her again at the end of the trail and she says she runs this park everyday.  We should have gotten her autograph because she should be an Olympian or something.

Lucifer Falls from the top.

Butts.  Is this for puppy butts too?

 Old Mill

This place really impressed me.  Probably because I was born during the wrong time and probably been very good at running an operation like this.

Unfortunately, we've had some very severe storms recently (damn you global climate change!) and it took out much of the really awesome parts of the Upper Gorge Trail.  But, it's a great excuse to visit again when it is rebuilt.

Into the gorge leading to Lucifer Falls.

Bridge over Enfield Creek

Back at Lucifer Falls from the other side of the gorge.

 Trail closed...

We had to carry Scout on this part of the trail because she really likes to sightsee.  She'd jump on all the walls to see what we were looking at.  Also, she's not afraid of cliffs.  So, to save ourselves from a sad vacation, we had to carry her up part of the gorge.

"SCOUT!  How are you missing the frog?"

Cliff wall along the Enfield Gorge

"Family portrait" while resting our sore feet in the creek.

Megan and Scout

Oh la la!

Scout gets goofier every day...

Parking garage mural art.   Very whimsical.

The Commons Pedestrian Mall in downtown Ithaca is being rebuilt (

Lots of great old buildings in the city.

Viva! Taqueria ( was necessary after our hike.

Me: If this is the only time I'll ever come here, what should I get?
Waitress:  Um...  Well, it's all good.  But, I'd get something with the mole

She was right.  Get something with the mole.  In fact, buy extra mole to bring home.  It's $1.50 for 4 ounces.

Poor sleepy Scout.

Mmmm...  More brats, veggie delights, and corn on the cob from the grill.  It was awesome corn.

She was so tired that she put herself to sleep that night.  Megan went to get something from the tent and she made a beeline to her crate.  Too many chipmunks and not enough naps...

If you visit Buttermilk Falls State Park and still see this tent, I wouldn't be surprised.  We saw the family one time the entire trip and their campsite was untouched.  I think this was their first time camping and they said, "This is camping?  I hate it.  Let's stay at a hotel" and left the scene.  If that's the case, I missed out on some good free camping gear...

Part One: Albany

Part Two: Buttermilk Falls In Ithaca

Part Four: Taughannock Falls In Ithaca

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© copyright Mike Kraus. Powered by Blogger.