Hello and thank you Upstate Coffee Roasters for sharing my story!
I am a landscape photographer from Washington D.C. who loves getting lost and sharing those stories with people. Any chance I get I’m packing up the truck with my closets friends and setting off on a road trip to somewhere new.
My all time favorite destination has to be upstate New York and the Adirondacks Region. The winter time is my preference when it comes to hiking and exploring; something about snow covered evergreens and less people on the trails makes me happy. During the Winter of 2019, my three best friends and I set out on a road trip to the Adirondacks for 3 full days of hiking, photography and good times. While the trip was short, the days were long; the best day during the trip was definitely the hike up Cascade Mountain. Cascade, while an easy hike compared to the other high peaks in the region, still gives breathtaking views at the summit especially during sunrise in the winter.
We set out in the dark, headlamps on, to get to the summit for sunrise. The freshly fallen snow covered the trail and as we were the only ones out there we were carving the way. The amount of snow definitely slowed me down on the ascent but didn’t deter me from moving forward. I remember the sun started coming up and the inky blue sky started exploding with colors: purples yellows, blues. I was still in the tree-line when this was happening so I went off trail and found an opening that gave me an unobstructed view of the horizon where I sat and took a break to watch the sunrise.
I wasn’t too far from the summit but I knew I wasn’t going to make it in time to enjoy the show. Shortly after I reached the rocky, bald top where everything was covered in a thin sheet of slippery ice. The thing I was not ready for had to be the wind speed at the top. The trees do a great job shielding you from this but at the top there are no trees, just a bald rocky surface exposed to the elements. I didn’t let the wind speed or freezing temperature stop me from what I do best, photographing and capturing the moment and landscape around me.
I shot a bunch of frames but nothing was really doing it for me. Yes the views were stunning and there was snow as far as I could see but I felt like I was missing a subject to complete the story of the photo I wanted to capture. As I’m thinking this, another hiker emerged from the tree line and started up the ice covered rocks to the summit.
Without hesitation I framed him in the viewfinder and shot off some frames; I loved it. Something about a random guy complete with poles and micro-spikes walking towards me up the rocks with snow covered trees everywhere and mountains in the back made this a perfect photo in my mind.
I put the camera down and just enjoyed being up there with my closest friends; taking in the view around us and not being pressured to take photos to post on social media. The wind and cold eventually got to us and we made our way back down through the traffic of dozens of hikers on their way up and back to our car.
All in all, I could not have asked for a better morning. I can’t wait to get back hiking up those mountains.