From the time of my childhood I wanted to see Blackwater Falls. There was a winter photo with ice framed by a sunny day as the water cascaded. The picture never left my memory.
Who knew I would return from Saudi to finally see the falls in winter. Ha ha. From desert to this. But it would be disappointing in some aspects. We were not there on that magical day my memory recalled. There was ice to be sure. There was much to be needed to make the perfect picture. And in other ways it was a perfect picture. I had never dreamed I would be there with Colleen. She was not in that original memory. Somehow I think this real memory is so much better.
Right after I retired from Saudi and returned to the US, Colleen had me on extensive road trips to visit family. Her family extended across WV, CO, and OH. Do the math. It’s a lot of driving. But she did divert me through Blackwater Falls to see that mythical falls of my childhood memory. It was my first time. And, to return in winter with ice falling….
On so many levels this is a memory of almost. Almost good to almost perfect. I’ll take it!!
Mother is the necessity…
Back in January 2018 we had the worst snowstorm. How worst? It was the first time in my life we couldn’t go. I mean I have been out to do aneurysm surgery in NYC when there were no cars on the road on the west side of Manhattan. Really! We couldn’t back the car out of the garage. Yeah! We were on a mission. We had to feed Colleen’s cousin’s cats. Snow gear? I had to dig up what I had. My North Face coat is decades old. It’s so old… the color is out of style and hasn’t been seen for decades. You just can’t kill these coats! The rest of the winter gear is all mine too. I always had redundant gear. You just never know. We needed it! We were walking in a blizzard. We fell in the canal at least once. But! We made the round trip!
Do not pass go
Some days, not many, are a complete “no go.” It’s not often it snows in New York City enough to stop traffic and business. It’s fascinating to watch the usual routine grind to a halt. For a few days things are way different. Then the snow melts and it’s messy dirty. Oh well, there are a lot of people who trudge through the snow. I’ve never not been able to go. I even did a major brain aneurysm operation in the aftermath of a major snowstorm. Ok, I’m not bragging. It’s just that there was never “no go” for me. This past winter changed that. It’s not that I got old and became a wimp. I just couldn’t go. The snow was literally too much for us to drive. We walked. We did not go far. I was lucky. “Retired” means there is no where you actually have to go. Still, it was a strange feeling to be limited. It’ll snow again in NYC. I won’t be there. I won’t go.
Yes. Every big storm brings out someone who thinks it’s cool to cross country ski down the street or in Central Park. It’s a common spectacle now. I actually considered snow shoes or cross country skis after the last winter storm. The bang for your buck is too small.
A long long time ago… I saw this image in a travel brochure. It was a winter view of the falls with ice and snow and … oh my! It has been on my bucket list of images. Remember I’m a photo opportunist at heart. So it was not OCD enough for me to make a special trip. I was just keeping the image on my list. The point is to shoot the image yourself. Otherwise the internet will provide you with far better shots than I got. I did not hike down to the ideal location to capture the image. My OCD does not extend forever. I could have done better. I wonder why I did not go further. Time was limited. It was slippery. But, I was there, And, this is my shot. Done.
I’ve posted this picture in this blog somewhere else. But I was in this folder and consider the image and its memory iconic to me. We were on one of the ski trips that we took with our friends affectionately known as the ‘Tyler Place group.’ We all met while we had vacationed with our families at, you guessed it, the Tyler Place in Vermont. So about once each winter we skied together. My recollection is that this was a rental house near Okemo. Just as we were packing to leave on Sunday, I got this image of Julia at the window. She was dressed in black so it was a perfect image to isolate her face and hands. Yeah, you get lucky like that sometimes. I’m just glad that I walk around looking for opportunities and that I’m lucky enough to have a camera handy when the shot presents itself. As with most of my images this was not posed but it was taking advantage the moment.
Mohonk Mountain House
For a few years while the kids were in grammar school, we visited Mohonk Mountain House with a bunch of other families. It was an opportunity for the kids to hang out and not be constantly supervised by a hovering parent. It was a fairly relaxed few days where we could hike, cross country ski, skate, snow tube, or just lounge around. The kids had a great time with a little freedom. They weren’t being escorted and watched every moment. And we enjoyed seeing them be kids.