Northeast Road Trip
When it comes to travel plans, I usually settle on one destination and sketch a few ideas around the place. But this time, my mind had difficulty deciding where to go. So I expanded my definition of the "destination" to the whole region: the American Northeast.
A few days later, a week-long itinerary was ready, covering a visit to the ocean side, three mountain regions, and a visit to a museum.
Another question was about how I will be documenting my journey: would that be a color film or black and white? After weighing all cons and pros, I decided to stick to ILFORD Delta 400 - a black and white film that would give me enough shutter speed even in low light. It would also keep me focused on my observations rather than allowing my impulses to take pictures at the sight of the colorful fall splendor.
Part One: Five Lighthouses
The itinerary had one evening and the following morning to achieve my goal: to find and photograph five lighthouses. Rhode Island is a small state, and the task seemed possible. I did some research online and picked a few candidates. The evening weather, however, was not cooperating and I had less opportunities, that I wished. Nevertheless, I managed to visit two locations and photograph Watch Hill and Point Judith Lighthouses.
Next morning was brought very different weather: light breeze, blue sky with a few clouds, and very pleasing temperature. Not only I managed to find the remaining three lighthouses, but also came across a few local photographic gems, and the beautiful Mount Hope Bridge.
Part Two: Lost in the White Mountains
I spent almost two days in New Hampshire. While there, I drove scenic roads, explored beautiful trails and places of the region. I lost myself in nature, rarely picking up my journal camera to document the experience. My medium format, 4x5, and digital cameras were the primary tools most of the time. Nevertheless, in the moments between driving and exploring, or even on the go - without looking in the viewfinder, I captured a few frames making a sketchy diary of those days.
Part Three: In the Green Mountains
On the third day of my trip, in the early afternoon, I arrived to the toll gate at Smugglers Notch State Park in Vermont. My goal was to drive up to the mountain ridge and hike the Long Trail to Mount Mansfield.
I paid my entrance fees and received a standard brief from the park's staff on the specifics of the road, warning me that it is gravel, steep, rough, narrow, has blind turns... nothing that I had any issues with. My Outback was in its elements too, making no apparent effort cruising up over pits and bumps, and leaving clouds of dust behind.
The visitor center atop of the ridge was close for a reason I did not care to remember. Maybe it was because of the day, or season, or COVID-related concerns. I was there for the trail, and that is where I went.
I spent the night in a primitive cabin, tucked away deep in woods, felt asleep under the sound of the rain, an woke up with the same sound as well. My travel to the next state - New York - was going to be in the rain, but even that did not stop me from pulling off the road from time to time to take a picture of a scenic view.
Part Four: Roaming in High Peaks
The rest of the day and the following morning, I was exploring the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks Mountains. The overcast sky remained my predominant companion, but it kept the rain for itself. In the afternoon, I hiked at the summit of Mount Jo and a walk through woods around Lake Heart. After an unexpectedly pretty sunrise, I drove around Lake Placid and the Olympic Village. A few hours later, I turned to the South toward my final destination - Rochester, New York.
Part Five: George Eastman House
The long journey to Rochester was uneventful. I made a few stops to enjoy some roadside views and even pulled over to take a picture of the sign on the entrance to the Town of Russia, and then, for some time, entertained myself imagining stories of how the name came to be.
In the late afternoon, I arrived in Rochester, checked in at the hotel, and spent the rest of the day in Ontario Beach Park. The next morning was dedicated to a small cultural program: a visit to George Eastman House and the International Museum of Photography.