The White Waters of Essex County

I recently visited friends from Rochester, New York who rented a farmhouse in the Adirondack Mountains State Park. This is the largest park in the lower 48, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks, combined. Its boundary is shown on maps by a blue line that includes both public and private lands. The Adirondacks are geologically active and continue to rise.

This was my longest trip since the pandemic began.  Traveling from Maine through New Hampshire and Vermont, the Green Mountains in the latter provided the more picturesque views as I wound my way through. Crossing the lower end of Lake Champlain on the bridge of the same name, I entered Essex County, New York, and made my way up to Elizabethtown, making the trip from Portland in about five and a half hours with two stops.

After lunch we did some exploratory hikes and had grandiose plans to shoot sunrises and the Milky Way, but alas, we were thwarted by clouds. We also had two days of spring snows, sometimes approaching white-out conditions. The result was fewer photos than planned. Most of the snow was gone a day after it ended, however.

View from Otis Mountain (cell phone shot)

As it turned out, the best photography opportunities were the surging white waters from the melting snow and ice flowing down the mountains, shown in the following video and photo.

A cloudy day shortly before sunset.

We also saw several beavers in the area that, as you might expect, had been busy. You can see some of their work below. We thought the photo showing the downed tree across the stream was felled by the beavers to provide a bracing structure for their dam building materials. They seem pretty smart—perhaps they have civil engineering degrees from M.I.T.! We also found trees that can grow on boulders!

As we were driving along I decided I wanted to photograph the falls on Giant Mountain. And wouldn’t you know it? I left my long lens back at the farmhouse, thinking I wouldn’t need it on this foray. Instead, I shot the falls with my shorter zoom lens, then I tightly cropped the photo. As a result, it’s not super sharp but, not too bad.

Down Giant Mountain

However, the best part of the trip was getting together with friends after 15 months of lock down.

You can see a few more photos from this trip at my online gallery.

What experiences might you have had in the Adirondacks?